Creating a global classroomIn his first travels back home to India, Associate Dean Bala Shetty brought American souvenirs back to his friends and family. That was over 25 years ago. Now, Shetty is at a loss as to what to carry home to India. “Everything I can get in America I can get there. The world has changed quite a bit,” he says.

The world indeed has changed. For one thing, thinking only in U.S. terms is out of the question. “The world has become very interconnected globally. It’s no longer an option to do business globally—it’s a requirement in order to remain competitive,” says Kelli Kilpatrick, director of the Mays MBA Program.

Starting this fall, a new international business policy course will be offered as part of the core curriculum for MBA students. An international business policy class was offered a few years ago, but now has been updated with a twist.

Mays administrators asked Christian Seelos from the prestigious IESE Business School in Barcelona to teach eight weeks of the 10-week course. Seelos is originally from Germany and has traveled across the world, teaching international business and strategy in Europe, Africa and the United States. His background is unique—not only has he worked with the United Nations, but he also has a master’s and a PhD in molecular biology.

Two of Mays’ own faculty also will teach the course. Michael A. Hitt, Distinguished Professor in Management, will teach one week on China, incorporating his own experience from strategy work in China. And Venkatesh Shankar, Coleman Chair Professor in Marketing, will teach one week about India, his country of origin.

Shetty and administrators hope that the new course will capture students’ attention and interest in international issues. They plan to engage students by showing them the culture of the countries studied in class, bringing food and native symbols or products of each country. One of Shetty’s goals with this new course is to help students find good opportunities. “We don’t want them to be afraid of other cultures. We want them to be comfortable in any market.”

— Lindsay Newcomer