Commerce Connoisseurs cordially recieved: International Business (B. A.)
For Lee, conquering the challenges of tomorrow goes hand in hand with scrutinizing the economy of today. Do you think like that as well? Maybe our International Business bachelor with a specialization in either Intercultural Management, Responsible Business, or Marketing is for you?
The features of the Karls: 01. Personalized focal point 02. Focus on practical experience + Company projects 03. Language courses + Study abroad semester 04. Friendly atmosphere + Friendly professors 05. Small class size + Interactive lectures 06. Personal development
Interview with Prof. Dr. Dr. Björn Bohnenkamp
# What are central characteristics of the International Business program that make it especially relevant for study applicants interested in business, management and economy?
The internationally fast changing economic, entrepreneurial and socio-cultural context of the last decades allows anticipating that tomorrow companies and organizations will be different, so that they will need managers with a new vision towards business administration. And, of course, in a way... tomorrow is now!
Our program in International Business provides participants with a well-founded and balanced set of knowledge and abilities in business administration that qualify them to develop managerial activities within every kind of company or organization, from start-ups to global players, from industrial companies to non-profit organizations. But where does this “new vision” come from? Well, from the fact that we understand management as a cultural practice, diversity in international organizations as a chance to generate synergy and ethics as a driving factor of today’s companies. This vision allows our graduates to grasp the relations between economic, social and environmental processes on a global, transnational and local level in a reflective way. Hence, qualifying them to innovatively generate solutions to issues and paradoxes of today’s organizations, moving themselves within the networks of a globalized world.
# What is special and unique about studying International Business at Karlshochschule?
Something very specific about the International Business program at Karlshochschule is that, along with the mentioned fundamental education in business administration, students are able to sharpen their profile by selecting one of these three specializations: Intercultural Management, focussing on an updated understanding of the interrelation between communication, culture and diversity in organizations; Responsible Business, that aims to the development of socially and environmentally sustainable concepts of business; or Marketing, setting the accent on consumer culture and digitalization. I am convinced that these very future oriented specializations, on the one hand contribute to enhance the employability of our graduates and, on the other hand, prepare them properly for their master program.
Nevertheless, studying at Karlshochschule is a special experience for a number of reasons that are not exclusive for the International Business program, but refer to the university as a whole and its diversity (and I mean this is literally: for instance, we mix groups from different study programs, because we know well that they mutually inspire and learn from each other). I’m referring to the international environment, to the cultural approach to management and society, to the attention set on ethics and citizenship, to the importance of acquiring practical experience during the study, to the constructivist didactic approach, positioning the students at the centre of the process, and to the importance granted to personality development.
# What is important to know about the relations and cooperation among students as well as between the students and professors within the International Business program?
Our classes are taught in English… but we are multilingual, multicultural, multi-ethnic and multinational, for our students have very different origins and biographies and, despite being quite young, they possess a wide range of diverse experiences, many of them internationally acquired. This is the reason why, when they work together, one has the opportunity of witnessing a magical moment of creativity and mutual motivation. I always say that the students are undoubtedly the main asset of the International Business program. They are very inquisitive and I really believe that we accomplish their expectations with a team of lecturers, who have both, an interesting combination of academic career and great research records on the one side, and strategic thinking and practical experience on the other. But we have also certain expectations: we want to attract students who are willing to actively participate in the classes and contribute with their insights. Of course for doing so they need solid fundaments; hence the International Business program steers clear from mainstream understanding of what is a “university of applied sciences” providing its students with a firm theoretical basis and a decidedly scientific set of analysis and research instruments. Therefore studying in our program is not only an exciting adventure but also an intellectual challenge. Along with this, our credo is all about interaction and exchange: Learning from first-hand experiences and observations, personal and team analysis, abstraction, development and implementation helps students to “really” autonomously develop their own knowledge and competences in a significant way. It may be through case studies or simulations and games, practical workshops or company projects - In every module our students will have the opportunity to learn from real or close-to-real situations.
The buzzwords "Personal Development" are just about as interesting as "Orthopedic Shoes". Namely, not at all. But still this is the reason why I teach at the Karlshochschule. As a practicing actress and coach, I am mainly occupied with understanding what makes successful people stand out, how they function, and which personal strengths they bring to the labor market.
So you want to be a manager? You want to be successfull at a leading position? - That sounds great, but what about coping with the pressure? Are you able to move forward, even when you're not sure of yourself? Can you keep up with the expectations of those around you, waiting for you to lead? What about when even you don't know the way to success? How can you develop creative solutions which never the less comply with your character and values? Can you improvise? What do you do in the situations which don't have a "How to..." guide written about them? When do you act authentically? What would that even look like?
A strong personality can more easily navigate surprising and turbulent situations. This is something that Karlshochschule has recognized and therefore has built into its degree programs.
In my courses I prioritize that the individuals in my classes define their own goals, and recognize their own reasons for wanting to do something, and learning what they want to do. This provides an opportunity and freedom for independent study. Yet at the same time it resonates with the individual as I don't determine what the goal is, but the individual defines it for themselves. In this way the group becomes an essential component for self-reflection and a mirror of one's own essence.
For many this is a difficult stimulus to deal with, as they may be more used to fulfilling a 'function' which is externally demanded from them. Therefore I use excercises from theatre, coaching, or just plain experimentation so that my students may find out how they respond to being absolutely clueless, and so that they may also find out how they would like to answer to such ambiguity. I like to think of such exercises as weight training for one's personality. The students who have successfully passed this class will leave with a wide range of resources which prepare them for the complexity of life in a way which technical knowledge alone does not.
About Andrea Naurath
As an actress, trainer, and coach Andrea Naurath feels right at home in both the Arts and in Business. This extraordinary mix is what inspires her to try out new styles of teaching which are becoming ever more relevant for the future professional lives of our Bachelor and Masters students.
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