Why is Global Commerce better than a business major?

In the 21st century, all trade and business are connected to the global economy even at the most local level. Navigating the challenges and uncertainties of this global system to contribute to and lead productive and sustainable enterprises and organizations requires thinking beyond the usual options and envisioning new possibilities. Creating a sustainable organization requires far more than maximizing the bottom line. Denison’s liberal arts approach prepares students to lead the way.

Global Commerce majors are students who want to understand why human societies engage in trade the way that they do, and how we can learn to do it better. They gain critical thinking, communication, and language skills and learn workplace skills such as reading financial reports, working in teams, networking, and pitching ideas. By combining their liberal arts classes with co-curricular, study abroad, and internship experiences, Global Commerce majors are prepared to make decisions, take action, adapt to unexpected circumstances, build strong careers, and make productive contributions to society.

Our majors recognize that understanding the path of a company’s supply chain allows you to accomplish important but limited tasks. But understanding how social, political, cultural and environmental factors shape how that supply chain operates means that you have the depth of knowledge, analytical tools, and big-picture thinking that you need not just to react to problems when they arise but to analyze risk and propose solutions before the problems develop.

The major combines a set of core commerce-related courses with an individually-designed path combining language study and a deep dive into the culture, history and politics of a selected region or into transregional connections. Students pursue their coursework in tandem with study abroad, internship and work experiences. Our robust co-curricular programming exposes them to professional skills, training, and networking opportunities crucial to initial employment success.

Based on our uniquely integrated academic and co-curricular program, Global Commerce majors are prepared to engage in global organizations and businesses effectively and productively. They can build bridges, communicate with cultural agility, think critically about current systems, incorporate multiple points of view and stakeholder concerns, and develop sustainable strategies and solutions at all levels.

Building Global Leaders

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:

  • Understanding the global economy. Our majors understand that all businesses and organizations today operate in a global economy. They learn to ask important questions, analyze 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 agility. 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 capacity 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 anthropology to economics, provides Global Commerce majors a broad set of analytical tools that allow them to solve problems constructively and creatively. They can identify the variety of factors at play in any given situation, evaluate their sources of information, and synthesize the crucial points needed for decision-making.
  • 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.