Global Option in Business – Reflection

As she gets close in completing her Global Option in Business program, Megan Reardon reflects on how the program helped her learn, develop skills, and gain experience for her to be ready for a global future.

Before I came to Fisher, I knew I wanted to study abroad. Having studied Mandarin in high school, I wanted to be able to apply my language skills in a real-world setting. When I was abroad, it opened my eyes to the world of global business and that I could be a player in the international business scene. At this point, I did not find it worthwhile to pick up an International Business degree. However, I wanted a way to differentiate myself among my peers as a global citizen. Thus, I learned more about the Global Option program and decided that I wanted to pursue it.

The global option consists of several sections in order to earn the certificate. For my sections, I took classes, mentored students, and went abroad. Going abroad was definitely the most impactful section that I completed, however, it only gave me insight to business in Asia. Through the other sections, I was able to learn more about business in other parts of the world, including South America and Europe.

Since coming back from Singapore and having had a full semester to reflect on how my experience impacted my personal, school, and professional life, I have started to notice visible changes in how I act. I am now more confident in speaking up in classes. I no longer get nervous that my answers will be wrong or I am not knowledgeable enough about a topic to answer a question. My classes at Singapore Management University (SMU) were all discussion based. Because of the language barrier, I often had to make sure that I was well-prepared for classes and spoke very clearly about what I was trying to convey. This has translated back to my studies at Ohio State in that I come to classes ready and willing to make my opinions known.

I also think that I am much more understanding in group projects. Before I went to Singapore, I would completely commandeer the leadership position in my group projects. I would delegate and assign tasks to people, even if I didn’t have the best knowledge of the topic. After I went to Singapore, I am much more willing to take a step back and first look at what people are good at or interested in and discuss roles based on that. I no longer take a lead position in every project I work on.

Also as part of the global option, I took International Finance and International Marketing. I definitely found International Marketing more interesting because it focused much more on culture abroad compared to International Finance which focused on hedging and derivatives. For International Marketing, our final grade was a semester long consulting project designed to bring a U.S.-based firm to four different international markets – France, Hong Kong, Canada, and Brazil. We did in depth cultural, economic, and political analyses on these topics that resulted in recommendations for how to introduce this new firm to international markets. Overall, I really liked this project because it gave a good sense of business operations in other countries without having to go to those countries.

I would recommend the Global Option in Business program to any student at Fisher. As the world is becoming more globalized, it is inevitable that current students will have to work with foreign entities at some point in our careers. The Global Option in Business is a quick way for students to enter the workforce more prepared for inevitable global careers.

GO BUS: Before I underwent Fisher’s Global Option in Business

Adam Wolf reflects back on when he started the Global Option in Business program, on what he was not aware then, and how the program has changed the way he thinks. He encourages others to join the journey as well!

Before I came to The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, I did not know what to expect. I never thought about the Global Option program, I never thought about what I truly wanted. I wasn’t even sure that I was going to stay in business. I thought about things in a pretty closed-minded way because I hadn’t yet been exposed to the type of international stimulus to build my personal character. Before I started the program, I wasn’t ready for what was coming my way.

As an operations management major, I was not generally too sure of how to define a supply chain. The only thing that I really heard about from the news was in terms of China ‘stealing jobs’ and I did not understand where that ever came from in the first place. My major was a recommendation as Operations Management because my school did not offer supply chain specific curriculum.

Another perspective difference I had before I joined the program epitomized the idea of considering residents of another country as ‘foreign’ as opposed to ‘international.’ I did not even think about what that difference meant until I had it applied in another context. The idea behind the argument to consider members of another country in your resident country (or the other way around) is in the scope of applying it in different perspectives. In short, if you were to go to India, you would be considered a ‘foreigner’ there; that doesn’t feel good! It’s important to keep this type of distinction separate because, as I learned later, it affects the way that you perceive members of your future company in the workplace.

The perspective difference is not meant maliciously against those who still use the term. Rather, I write about the difference to raise awareness. A lot of people in the United States never have the opportunity to leave the country. A lot of people never have the opportunity to go to college. A lot of people never have the opportunity to participate in the Global Option Program at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. Although I’m scratching at the surface of another blog post where I talk about my growth after the program as a whole, I think it’s important to raise as much awareness as I can.

All in all, the Global Option served me well in terms of changing the perspective that I had before the program. I would in no ways call myself stupid before I started the program, and I think that given enough time in life, I would be able to change my previous ideas of global business. However, the most meaningful way the program affects me to this day revolves around how it has changed the way I think. I wanted to do the best job possible of painting my life on a written canvas to show the ways that the Global Option program has affected me. I hope that whoever reads this can think about how this will affect them in the future, or even join the program itself!