Almost a year has passed since I applied for the Masters in International Business at the University of St Andrews. I remember it was raining heavily while I was working on the cover letter for my application, trying to find the right words to describe my expectations (ultimately ‘a promising balance between theory and research’). Now I’m living in Scottish student accommodation and have been officially enrolled in St Andrews since September. Listening to the raindrops again, it is time to share my reflections on one of the core modules of International Business with you, namely ‘Contemporary Global Issues in Management’ (funnily my professors had the same idea).
‘Contemporary Global Issues in Management’ is one of three courses taught in the first semester (‘Martinmas’). It consists of a weekly, two-hour lecture and a tutorial. The latter is more interactive and aims at deepening our knowledge by linking it to our experiences. In class, we discuss many interesting things (or ‘key issues’ in business terms) like the economic crisis, health care, justice, climate change, and sustainability. This may sound very broad to some of you (and I must admit it is). It is complex due to its ‘global’ nature (and therefore worth studying). Now, don’t get too confused by the expression ‘contemporary’. Even though the module brings contemporary issues to our mind, it also brings an understanding of the underlying causes and profound historical developments that led to these circumstances. This module particularly helps me to understand the complexity and volatility of the world in which we live, while other modules provide me with a variety of tools (‘best practices’) to tackle the aforementioned challenges (even though we rather say ‘opportunities’).
In the future most of us will work in multi-national organisations whose strategy is not only determined by contemporary global issues, but who can substantially shape the environment themselves (‘bidirectional stakeholders’). The degree in International Business will eventually allow me to successfully and sustainably manage an enterprise, because I can make well-balanced decisions in fast-moving dynamic environments. Also, I see an important link between the aforementioned module and my degree in the ability to reflect, to constantly challenge my thinking, because my values and beliefs might not hold true elsewhere (so be aware of your distorted views!).
What are your experiences with business studies?