Master’s program goes global

Spinnaker

Picture a man in charge looking through resumes and tossing them into one of two piles: call for an interview or ignore. He lingers on one resume longer than the rest; this applicant has two master’s degrees received from four different universities around the world. He tosses it into the “call” pile.

This applicant could be you.

The Global MBA program offered at UNF is in partnership with the Cologne University of Applied Sciences in Germany, the University of Warsaw in Poland, and the Dongbei University of Finance and Economics in China.

By the end of 15 months, students in the program will have taken classes, which are taught in English, in each of these environments and earned a Master of Business Administration from UNF and a European master’s from CUAS and UW.

“I’m not aware of any other programs like it,” said Anne Sheridan Fugard, director of study abroad for the Coggin College of Business.

In the program, 10 American students travel with 10 German students, 10 Polish students and 10 Chinese students, taking a variety of classes involving finance, accounting, logistics, management, business environment and cultural diversity. The program’s goal is to not only educate students pursuing post-graduate degrees but to prepare them for an increasingly globalized job market, Fugard said.

“As the world is getting smaller, business is global,” she said. “Understanding cross-cultural differences is essential.”

Jason Moonen graduated from the program in fall 2008 and has since started a career at PSS World Medical as a global sourcing project specialist, where he works with international suppliers, making international products available for domestic sale.

“For them to see that I had that global experience prior to starting the job was definitely a key selling factor,” he said. “Especially doing the study abroad in China; 70 percent of our sourcing is done
from Asia.”

All spots in the program are open to American students who meet the requirements, and with only 10 spots available, the competitive application review process begins early each January.

After proving their eligibility to apply, students proceed to the interview process. The first interview is in January, and rolling admissions begin during the second interview in March. The program’s 10 spots are normally full by April 1, Fugard said.

“During the interview process, we’re talking to students about their experiences traveling, looking for their leadership experiences, their experiences working with diverse student populations, [and] we’re looking a little bit at their language skills,” she said.

Moonen said the advantages carry on past the job application process, as students gain global networking ties and personal perspective that lasts a lifetime.

“It’s a real eye-opening experience being able to travel abroad and make a lot of connections with all the different students who were able to travel with us,” he said. “I can now look at everything from an international perspective and not be just a single-minded American.”

The program costs roughly $32,970 for an in-state student and $69,800 for an out-of-state student, according to globalmba.unf.edu.

E-mail Rebecca McKinnon at [email protected]