Q: What is one of the most important skills needed to be successful in international business?
A: Cross-cultural communication skills are at the top of the list for a successful international business career. Being able to speak two or more languages shows your customers or partners that you’re interested and engaged in their culture. Even if you’ve never studied a foreign language or haven’t practiced in years, it’s never too late to learn. Numerous community colleges and universities offer language courses that provide the opportunity to practice speaking, reading and writing with other people at similar levels of comprehension. There are also multiple mobile applications and online services to choose from. The University of Wisconsin-Extension offers different online language courses, including those geared toward business language. See the full list of languages offered here.
Q: Where can I learn the practical skills needed to work in international business?
A: Several of Wisconsin’s technical colleges offer professional development seminars and full courses on different elements of international business. For example, Waukesha County Technical College offers a 66-credit associate of applied science degree, with a focus in global business, which addresses a host of necessary skills including importing and exporting goods, global marketing, logistics, understanding regulations and exploring the potential for global expansion through emerging technologies. A number of the required and elective courses are offered in cooperation with other schools within the Wisconsin Technical College System, the University of Wisconsin System and several of the state’s private colleges and universities. Find more information here.
Q: What kind of peer education is available in Wisconsin?
A: Knowledge about international business comes from interaction with other business people who can provide insight into similar situations they’ve encountered. Wisconsin businesses are fortunate to have several international trade associations available that provide access to experts from exporting and importing firms. Businesses can learn from people of all backgrounds including those responsible for sales, marketing, shipping and finance. These organizations also can provide access to educators, government assistance agencies and support service providers such as freight forwarders, language professionals, bankers and lawyers. Check out the educational and networking opportunities offered by groups in different parts of the state:
Q: How can I prove or test my international business knowledge?
A: NASBITE International, an educational and professional association, established the Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) credential in 2005 as a globally recognized certification of international business and trade professionals. It demonstrates a person’s competency in the following four primary domains:
Q: Is there funding to help offset some of the costs of international education?
A: The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s (WEDC’s) International Market Access Grant (IMAG) allows for up to $10,000 in funding assistance towards multiple areas including export-related classes, conferences, cultural competency training and foreign language assistance. Additional grant funding is available for companies that have participated in a WEDC Global Trade Venture in FY17. See the IMAG page for more information on applying for this funding support.