Bloomsburg broadens horizons with new international business major

Bitania Yemane, News Editor

     The Zeigler College of Business at Bloomsburg University created a new international business major for students interested in the field. The new major is designed so that students can leave Bloomsburg understanding business on a global scale. John Okpara, Chairperson of the Department of Management, Marketing and International Business teaches classes required for the major like Global Business and International Management, believing that international business is important in today’s world.  

     “Well we have been working on this for ten years actually,” said Okpara, “But for some reason it got delayed. As soon as the new dean (Jeffrey Krug) started working here at the university, he made it a priority to have this major added to our department. This is important because of the globalization of businesses. Nowadays many are going international. For example, over 1,000 businesses in this area are going overseas from exporting and importing materials,” said Okpara.

     The benefits of graduating with a degree in international business are limitless. Students can leave Bloomsburg with a set of skills that will prepare them for the future.

     “There are so many jobs available, human resource manager, transportation manager, international translator and many more,” said Okpara. “The sky’s the limit. Anything you can do here, you can do overseas as well. Students can try to work for the U.S government by working for the embassies overseas, the salaries are good and it’s a way for someone to save their money here at their business while also working at a different country.”

     Currently, only 2 students are declared as International Business majors but Okpara is confident that the number will increase once students are aware about it.  

     “We just declared that we will have the major in July,” said Okpara, “So students who scheduled their classes last semester had no idea, but I am certain that more and more students will be interested.”

     Classes offered in the major include Managing Multinational Organizations, International management, International Finance, International Marketing, International Accounting, International Economics and more.

      “Students have a choice to have a concentration in the major as well,” said Okpara, “Whether it’s in economics or even policy.”


     The department reached out to the School of Liberal Arts to do a collaboration so students in the major can take classes related to a different language and culture. The department believes that it is important for students to understand a different culture outside of the U.S. when dealing with business overseas.

     “If a student is an International Business major and minoring in a different language like Chinese, it will look great when applying for a job, plus it is a huge advantage for them,” said Okpara.

     Okpara explains the importance of studying abroad for anyone studying in this field and hopes that more of his students will have the opportunity to experience it before graduating.

     “We understand that most students cannot afford to study abroad for a whole semester because it is very expensive, so we want students to do a summer study abroad for like 2-3 weeks, and they will come back with 3 credits towards their major,” said Okpara. “We had an anonymous donor that donated $30,000 towards that which is amazing because this can be a great experience and opportunity for any student. Many people here never left Bloomsburg or this area and there is so much you can learn when traveling to a different country. We presented this to the alumnus and honestly even if one student gets to go it will still mean something.”

     Okpara explains that you don’t have to go overseas to study international business.

     “We have the World Bank in Washington D.C. ,” said Okpara. “There is even an international business here at Bloomsburg. Multi-cultural businesses like Chinese ones come here to this country and it is important that there are people who can understand their culture to communicate with them because even though they are in the U.S., it is still a Chinese business.”

     The international business major is a great driving force due to the world’s shift into globalization and technological innovation. Students will gain international business and leadership skills while expanding their knowledge in how business works in different countries around the world.
“I am just happy that we filled that gap in our curriculum,” said Okpara. “We want to develop something that will benefit the students, not us. These are skills that they will need, like I said, the sky’s the limit with a career like this.”