New business center to open

In 2002, foreign-controlled companies employed 87,700 workers in Kentucky.

With the globalization of business, the world seems to be getting smaller and smaller and businesses are expecting employees to know how to handle the different situations.

In order to help graduating students prepare for the international market, the International Business Center (IBC) premiered at the Oct. 5 inaugural event, which attracted approximately 70 students and community members to Northern Kentucky University’s campus.

The launch of the IBC made it the only university-affiliated international business center in the area.

Assistant Marketing professor Dr. Mary Conway Dato-on first felt the need for students to have an understanding of global business practices in fall 2004. She began the year-long process of creating an advisory board, assessing the need and setting the goals and mission of the IBC.

The center has what Conway Dato-on calls a “three-pronged foundation” which focuses on the students, faculty and community.

“There is a gap in student knowledge base, faculty knowledge base and community knowledge base,” said Conway Dato-on.

Conway Dato-on said the faculty adds international study in the curriculum based on the counsel of the advisory board, which consists of top international executives in the area.

Some of the board members include the director of international programs at General Electric Co. Aviation, vice-president of PNC Bank, and president and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Greater Cincinnati and International Visitors Council of Greater Cincinnati.

In addition to seminars and conferences offered by the IBC, the center also is teaming up with the Office of International Programs to offer study abroad programs. “Study abroad programs are good to put in your resume,” said graduate student Hanaa Fawzy, who works with the IBC. “Many people don’t get the academic and business exposure in the different cultures that affect everything around you.”

Conway Dato-on said she “truly believes all business is international,” even if it’s on a small scale, such as being influenced by global market trends.

“The IBC will benefit the students of NKU because having an international business background may prove decisive in future employment,” said senior international marketing and Spanish major Lauren Hoefker. “Whether university students realize it or not, international business is a booming sector of the economy right here in Kentucky and being able to compete globally will be critical in determining a graduate’s success.”