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From how to present or accept a business card to what to say, and what not to say, international business meetings can present some tricky challenges.
IUPUC plans to host lectures to help students and faculty learn to avoid some common pitfalls in international business dealings.
The initial lecture will take place in November, with subsequent lectures to follow at least once a semester. Exact dates and times have not been set.
The business world is becoming ever more intertwined internationally, and students must prepare to work in global companies, said Cindy Felsten, assistant director of development and alumni relations at IUPUC. Such skills are even more important in a community as international as Columbus, she said.
The lectures are being
organized by the IUPUC Alumni Association and the Columbus Area Multi-Ethnic
The lectures will teach attendees some business basics for various countries, with each lecture focusing on a different country. Lessons may range from how to behave in an interview to proper eating etiquette at a business meal to how to present or receive a business card, Felsten said.
A lot of today’s students may end up working for global companies, she said, and universities must do their best to prepare students for international assignments by encouraging that they study abroad and by teaching them some of the basics of international business etiquette.
Frank Wadsworth, head of the division of business at
IUPUC, said developing such skills is critical in today’s global business world.
Wadsworth said students get some exposure to those skills in IUPUC’s international business class, but the more they know how to behave in different cultural environments, the better it is for
the students — and their
Wadsworth tries to impart some of those lessons by leading students on international business trips. This spring, he traveled to Hong Kong for the fourth time, and students learned about everything from business (supply chain logistics) and culture (population density and cuisine) to practical matters (how to pack a suitcase for an international trip and how to deal with jet lag).
Wadsworth said IUPUC expects to offer trips next year to London, Paris and Hong Kong.
Billie J. Fouts, vice president of marketing and development for the Indianapolis-based International Center, welcomed IUPUC’s efforts.
“Communication and proper etiquette are two hallmarks of any successful relationship in businesses, whether domestic or international. Equally true is that cultural barriers can — and occasionally do —stand in the way of seeing an international business transaction through to a successful conclusion, even when both participants have the purest of intentions and desire a positive outcome,” Fouts said via email.
Kevin Jones, assistant professor of management at IUPUC, said recently that today’s workforce must continue to develop new skills, particularly cultural ones that allow them to work with people of different races, countries and cultures. Jones will speak on the topic at 6 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center at the 24th annual Freedom Fund/Scholarship Banquet of the Columbus/Bartholomew County Area Branch of the NAACP.
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