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EMIB Reflection: An All Encompassing Education

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One of the major benefits that the Executive Masters of International Business program offers is that they are all encompassing.  From a trade negotiations and procurement perspective, I am not sure that there is a class that is being offered that you would not utilize in these fields.  I went into my first class, which was a deep-dive into accounting, with the notion that as an Inventory Specialist with Nike, I would not be in a position to use the lessons from that course.  However, just before the first semester started, I made a career change at the suggestion from my mentor at the time, and my perspective could not have been more wrong.  As a new Purchasing Manager, I was able to evaluate my suppliers based on their financial data and their ability to support my contracts.  Now that I have made another career change to a Procurement Agent for Boeing, I use the lessons from the EMIB program even more.  I have to scrutinize my suppliers in even further detail than I have previously done because of our customer requirements. 

So let us look at trade policy and negotiations as two separate questions.  From a trade policy standpoint, you will get a broader understanding of trade policy and regulations and how they apply to the EMEA and BRIC countries.  Trade policy will get very specific depending on the commodity or services that you are responsible for when you decide on a career choice.  Negotiations is taught more from the perspective of how to conduct oneself when involved with foreign participants, rather than from the “here is how you negotiate” point of view.  I can tell you first-hand that the actual negotiation skill is not something that you can teach in a classroom, but you have to learn it by doing it.  There are too many variables to account for while in the negotiation phase that make it difficult to teach.  Do not get me wrong, you will certainly use the BATNA procedure, and other aspects of the negotiation process, which you will learn in the program and those are the tools that you will need to be a successful negotiator.   

Having my Executive Masters of International Business has helped me in two ways that I have noticed.  One has been that I am more motivated to direct my own career path, rather waiting for it to develop.  By that I mean, I am very eager to use what I have learned in the EMIB program and I will seek out the career path that will allow me to do just that.  The other has been through networking.  The EMIB program is within itself a networking function.  You will meet other professionals, from other companies, with different backgrounds that you will interact with through the semesters to be successful in the program and you will have the opportunity to network with Alumni at other EMIB functions.  I can also say, from a Boeing approach, that the EMIB program has been a big factor at advancing careers for those employees that have completed it.  Some have advanced after graduation and some have been advanced before graduation.

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