Helping Utahns to think, act and succeed globally has always been the focus of World Trade Center Utah. Not surprisingly, it is also the primary focus of the Office of Global Enrichment in the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.
"You have to be global in Utah," says Program Director Liz Allred. "Our students need to be internationally savvy."
Dubbed "Go Global," the Huntsman School’s global learning experiences feature a portfolio of programs that aim to give undergraduate and graduate students global perspectives. For students in the MBA and Masters of Human Resources programs a global learning experience is a requirement. Hence, those students spend 12 days during spring break visiting destinations in countries such as Japan, China, India, Chile, Panama, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, Estonia, France, Israel, Jordan or Dubai.
"We have taken our graduate students around the globe," continues Allred.
USU's undergraduate students also have variety of global opportunities. One summer program offers them the opportunity to visit Chile and Peru. While in Peru the students work on a micro finance program that was spun out of the Huntsman School of Business in partnership with Mentors International. Another summer program takes business students to Vietnam, Thailand and China. Yet another program, called "The City Break," takes students to London or Paris during spring break for a deep dive into what makes those international cities tick, she explains.
"The predominant focus of these programs is on visiting companies and international organizations," says Allred. "We leverage the international connections of our alums to provide rich experiences that add to the international mindsets of our students."
She cites the international connections of USU alum David Pierce, director of business development at GPS Capital Markets in South Jordan, for facilitating a visit by USU students to the London office of GPS Capital Markets. Other student visits have involved international companies such as Goldman Sachs, Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers and numerous local companies. Another alumnus connection led to a visit to the fin-tech accelerator run by Barclays Bank in London. During such visits the students have interacted with business and government leaders, entrepreneurs and mentors. They have examined the business ecosystems in the areas they've visited and researched the companies and countries for greater global perspective.
"We always tell our students that we want them to look inside the economic activity of a business or area to see what makes it tick," says Allred. "They can be tourists on their own time."
USU's international business programs have another "Go Global" side to them. Allred says Utah has such a treasure trove of incredible human capital that it is important for the program to let companies, both domestic and international, know about Utah's students. "We want everyone to know about our workforce," she adds.