Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School invests significantly in global study opportunities for its undergraduate and graduate students. In 2015, the 599 Mays students who studied abroad comprised 13 percent of the Texas A&M students who did so. Within Mays, about 24 percent of graduating seniors had an overseas study experience.
A number of programs are coordinated by Mays’ Center for International Business Studies (CIBS). Julian Gaspar, CIBS executive director, explained, “CIBS’ mission is to empower Mays students to become globally competent and operate at a professional level in intercultural and international contexts.”
CIBS is a member of the national Center for International Business Education & Research (CIBER) Network: a select group of 17 universities, chosen by the U.S. Department of Education.
“At Texas A&M’s Mays Business School, we believe that awareness of global issues is just as important as knowledge of accounting, finance, management, marketing, management information systems or supply chain issues… business is truly a global enterprise,” said Dean Eli Jones. “For anyone aspiring to leadership of a business – especially one that is has a global reach – cross-cultural skills and global competence are critical.”
One program with strong Mays participation is the Texas A&M Global Business Brigades (GBB), a chapter of Global Business Brigades – the world’s largest student-led global health and sustainable development organization. Over the past few years, Mays GBB students have provided basic business and financial literacy to micro enterprises (primarily in Panama) to help entrepreneurs succeed.
Gaspar also explained that CIBS offers Certificates in International Business (a minor in International Business) to Mays undergraduate and graduate students. Certificates entail both international business courses as well as a study-abroad component. While most of Mays certificate programs are available to all students, the school has also worked with the Department of Petroleum Engineering for 15 years on a specialized master’s-level certificate in International Petroleum Management.
Gaspar recently announced plans to grow Mays study-abroad programs. “To impact the world, you must first know the world,” he said. “The dean’s goal is to raise the overseas study experience from the current 24 percent to 50 percent, which is possible, provided we restructure our programs accordingly.” In Fall 2017, seven new exchange partnerships will be added in Asia/Oceania and Europe.
The growth in study-abroad programs is in part due to the generosity of Mays corporate partners and donors. Corporate partners include Phillips 66, PwC and Deloitte. A recent $200,000 gift from former students Jarrett ’93 and Tracy Anderson ’92 will assist students who go abroad to study sustainable business development programs. The II Corinthians 9:7 Foundation CIBS Excellence Endowment, created through the Texas A&M Foundation, will provide financial support to the programs that assist micro-business expansion in developing countries.
The Andersons have generously supported Mays and Texas A&M in the past: An earlier gift came from their II Corinthians 9:7 Foundation, and the couple funded an endowed Presidential Scholarship at Texas A&M. Jarrett’s degree was in business management and Tracy’s was in accounting.