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Global Georgia offers insight into international business close to home

New domestic field study program gives undergraduates a behind the scenes look at global markets
Monday, August 23, 2021 - 2:18pm
Kari Sicard

University of Georgia students embarked on a new domestic field study this summer to see firsthand how Georgia companies are doing business with the rest of the world and how the state works with partners overseas to attract new industries to Georgia.

Students traveled with Terry College of Business faculty and staff to Atlanta, Columbus, and Savannah. The weeklong international business field study, called Global Georgia, gave the undergraduates an accessible and affordable learning experience after school-sponsored study abroad was canceled out of concern for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organized by the International Business Programs office at Terry, Global Georgia is the first domestic field study program to be offered to business undergraduates. Similar globally focused domestic programs are available to Terry MBA students.

Students on the tour were introduced to international business topics through corporate engagement, site visits, and coursework. They earned experiential learning and international immersion credits alongside credit hours toward their degrees.

“A main goal of the course was to examine how information systems and technologies help to make the state of Georgia a global leader in business,” said management information systems senior lecturer Craig Piercy, who led the field study.

The tour began at the UGA Gwinnett campus, where students participated in an Export Market Simulation with International Trade Center experts from the university’s Small Business Development Center. Then, representatives from the Georgia Department of Economic Development and U.S. Department of Commerce delivered market presentations.

“The students got to see how both the U.S. government and the state of Georgia provide resources for businesses to connect with overseas partners and to attract global business to the state,” Piercy said.

From Gwinnett, the program moved to the Terry Executive Education Center in Buckhead for presentations by representatives from Equifax, The Home Depot and others. Next, participants traveled to Columbus State University, where they heard from senior leaders at payment processor TSYS Inc. and Kia Motors.

“Our students were able to see how these organizations use information to work with their global partners,” Piercy added.

The trip wrapped up on the Georgia coast, where students met with managers and toured the Port of Savannah — one of the most strategic ports on the East Coast. Students then attended a lecture by Hadi Farhangi, assistant professor of global logistics at Savannah State University. The final day entailed a debrief session and visit to UGA’s Center for Research and Education at Wormsloe, where students reflected on the sustainability of these enterprises.

UGA undergraduate Joyce Shepherd, who intends to major in finance, said she enjoyed getting to see global commerce up close without leaving the state.

“It was so beneficial for me to be educated on international business. It impacts most areas of business,” she said. “I will certainly be able to carry these lessons with me in any area that I pursue.”

International Business Programs at Terry plans its next Global Georgia field study during spring break week in 2022, with a new mix of corporate site visits and industry engagement.


Department or Program featured:

International Business Programs