Messiah College provides leadership for international business program
During a recent trip to Beijing, Ron Webb, managing director of IBI, met with alumni to discuss the possibility of a China IBI program: (left to right) Nathan Belete ’94, a rural development economist with the World Bank; Edwin Lun ’90, director of Pharos Industrial Ltd.; Ron Webb; and Peter Greer ’97, President of HOPE International.
In October 2004, Messiah College expanded its international focus by acquiring leadership of the International Business Institute (IBI), a collaborative organization comprised of 12 member schools of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).
For 35 years, IBI has offered a 10-week summer trip for approximately 40 students to various locations in Scandinavia, Russia, the United Kingdom, and other Eastern and Western European countries. The trip exposes students to major European corporations—such as Nokia, John Deere, and DaimlerChrysler—and enables them to visit the American Embassy in Moscow and the British Parliament and to learn from leaders in these organizations. In various classroom sessions of this 12-credit summer semester, students develop a greater understanding of international business, economics, and finance in the 21st-century global economy.
Messiah requires that all international business majors take part in the program, making the College—which sends nearly a third of all students to the program each year—one of the primary participants in IBI for the past 15–20 years. Because of this historic high level of support for the program, Messiah was a good fit as the new home for IBI. The move not only enhances the College’s reputation within the CCCU and beyond, but it also gives Messiah the opportunity to make an already successful program even better.
Managing Director Ron Webb, also a visiting professor of management at Messiah, envisions an expansion of IBI in the future to include a January-term trip to China, speaking engagements by international scholars, an international business conference, a scholarship fund in honor of IBI founders Bob and Shirley Bartel, and an alumni network to connect past participants of the program to one another.