Global Commerce Executive Speaker Series

Global Commerce
February 26, 2018

A new speaker series, the Global Commerce Executive Speaker Series, brings key national and international business leaders to campus to reflect and share on their professional experiences. The series is an extension of the college's global commerce major, which prepares students for successful careers around the world.

“In the 21st century, long-term success in our globalized world requires adaptability, broad thinking and the ability to see connections among seemingly unrelated factors,” says Karen Spierling, associate professor and director of the Global Commerce Program. “The Global Commerce Executive Speaker Series gives our students unprecedented access to the world of global business through industry leaders who understand it first-hand. To sit in a room with a global CEO and talk with them - this is an opportunity that many executives would be envious of. It's an invaluable experience.”

The Global Commerce Executive Speaker Series takes place in small classrooms, where global commerce majors meet with industry leaders and learn how to assess and handle challenges, seize an opportunity, and succeed in a competitive global environment. Select students are invited to roundtable discussions with the speakers, giving them a unique opportunity to meet notable business executives one-on-one. Spring 2018 semester speakers include enterprising alumni: Bradley Blum '76, founder and owner of BLUM Growth Fund, LLC, which includes Olive Garden and Burger King restaurant chains; Matthew Harrington '84, global chief operating officer of Edelman, the world's largest public relations firm; John Faraci '72, retired chairman and CEO of International Paper; and Cynthia Booth '79, president and CEO of COBCO Enterprises, holder of a Cincinnati-based restaurant chain.

These small gatherings bring corporate and nonprofit executives and the next generation of emerging leaders together to discuss career opportunities and “talk shop.” These conversations provide global commerce students with the means to build their professional networks, sometimes opening the doors to internships and other pre-professional experiences. They also give visiting professionals opportunities to scout future talent from among a talented and diverse student population and to cultivate brand awareness on campus.

Launched in 2016, Denison's global commerce major has quickly become a popular major for students who are interested in how business and non-profit organizations work in diverse cultures and countries around the globe. Grounded in the liberal arts, which gives students a foundation of thinking critically, communicating effectively and successfully solving problems, global commerce majors gain core knowledge in economics as well as the language and history of a chosen geographical area. Through study abroad, they sharpen their language skills and immerse themselves in the culture of that area. During their senior year, they combine their knowledge of international commerce and local norms into a capstone project that becomes a keystone in their resume.

Throughout their time at Denison, students are asked to find the answers to three questions: What kind of life do I want to lead? How do careers and professions fit into those lives? How do I use my time in college to develop the skills, values, habits, experiences, and networks to get started? The global commerce major provides a basis in which to answer those questions thoroughly, preparing students for a lifetime of success.

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