Succeeding in a Globalized World

In the 21st century, all commerce—the exchange of goods, services, information, and money—is inherently global, connected to international supply chains and financial institutions, population shifts, global weather patterns, and a wide variety of other global factors.

To prepare for success in this globalized world, Denison’s Global Commerce majors develop familiarity not only with organizational cultures, business strategy, and structures, but also with the foreign language skills, historical understanding, and cultural awareness needed to truly understand how commerce works in a globalized world.

Students develop cultural fluency, including foreign language skills beyond the intermediate level, both at Denison and when they travel to places like Paris, Hong Kong, and Santiago. They pursue internships with international companies in locations both abroad and in the U.S., including in nearby Columbus. They interact with expert practitioners in a range of professions —from global companies to entrepreneurial start-ups to non-profit organizations — who have deep knowledge and experience to share.

Leadership is at the Core

Denison’s Global Commerce majors are preparing themselves to be effective leaders at all levels of global companies, local businesses, start-ups, and non-profit organizations, whether in domestic or international settings. In the classroom and through internship experiences, site visits, campus workshops, and discussions with visiting experts and industry leaders, Global Commerce majors develop the following sets of skills and knowledge crucial to effective global leadership:

  • Global economic thinking. Our majors understand that all businesses and organizations today operate in a global economy. They learn to look for connections and to think across regions and cultures in order to understand the economic policies, needs, and opportunities that shape commerce-related decisions and actions.
  • Cultural fluency. Our majors develop the foreign language skills needed to make inroads in professional settings and to appreciate the nuances of communication in any given context. They understand how the language and culture of a particular region shape any form of exchange in that region, and they apply that knowledge to examining similar dynamics in other societies and regions.
  • Facility with the language of business. As they complete our Global Commerce core courses, participate in Global Commerce workshops, and pursue summer internships, Global Commerce majors develop the financial acumen necessary to interpret financial reports and balance sheets, evaluate organizational performance, identify problems and opportunities, and plan new initiatives.
  • Well-honed analytical skills. Their analytical training in a variety of fields, from history to sociology to economics, provides Global Commerce majors a broad set of analytical tools that allow them to solve problems constructively and creatively.
  • Effective communication skills. Global Commerce majors hone their capacities to communicate with clarity, persuasion, and diplomacy, orally and in writing. From concise presentations to detailed project proposals, Global Commerce majors know how to communicate their ideas and knowledge effectively to get results.
  • Collaborative know-how. Through class projects, Global Commerce workshops, and internship experiences, Global Commerce majors gain experience working in teams. They learn to work together to identify problems and opportunities, envision solutions, collect and analyze information, and propose plans clearly and coherently. They are prepared to work across differences and to build on multiple viewpoints as they move into the professional world.

Why Global Commerce at Denison?

Throughout their Denison experience, inside and beyond the classroom, Global Commerce majors develop the leadership skills needed to begin and succeed in a wide range of business-related professions and non-profit careers in our globalized world. Skills like identifying opportunities and problems, analyzing causal factors and risk, team building, negotiating, effective communicating, and informed decision-making are necessary at many levels across all types of organizations, which also must take into account the interconnected nature of the global economy. Global Commerce majors are prepared to succeed throughout their careers by seeing the big picture, identifying problems and opportunities that others have overlooked, and implementing creative solutions.

The Global Commerce major prepares students for four key realities of commerce in the 21st century:

  1. The economy is global. From the most local farmer or small-town business to a fully global corporation or NGO, all commerce today is connected to global dynamics. Global Commerce majors can look at the big picture to identify how a local venture is connected to the global economy, what challenges those connections pose, and how those challenges can be addressed to achieve success.
  2. Competition for jobs is global, too. College graduates in the U.S. are competing with job candidates from around the globe, most of whom speak multiple languages and understand something of U.S. culture, while knowing their own culture intimately. Global Commerce majors level the playing field by speaking a second language, learning how to operate in other cultures and societies, and developing the skills and questions needed to adapt to each new society and situation that they encounter throughout their lives.
  3. For-profit and non-profit organizations are more alike than different. Regardless of its profit goals, the success of any organization depends on effective leadership, healthy organizational culture, financial solvency, a clear understanding of local context, the ability to manage risk, and adaptability to changing circumstances. Global Commerce majors are prepared to apply their skills working for both for-profit and non-profit global organizations.
  4. Knowledge is power. There is no single set of data, information, or technical skills related to the global economy today’s undergraduates can master that will carry them through the coming decades of their careers. Global Commerce majors learn to be adaptable—they know what questions to ask to locate and interpret the information needed in any given situation. With these skills, they will spend their lives gathering and creating the knowledge necessary to succeed in global companies and organizations.

This unique major is possible because of Denison’s strengths across the liberal arts, our remarkably accomplished alumni network, our wide range of global programs, our proximity to Columbus, one of the nation’s largest and most thriving cities, and our location in Ohio, one of the states most friendly to international business.

Contact Us

Global Commerce
100 West College Street
Granville, OH 43023

Karen Spierling

Associate Professor
Director of Global Commerce

Jane Palmer

Assistant Director for Global Commerce Programs

Monica Graffeo

Academic Administrative Assistant

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