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Global Business Center

Shaping the Future of Global Business

Think globally. Make a difference. It’s the Washington Way.

global business center

In a world where the forces of globalization increasingly reach into every corner of our lives, we need business leaders with a global perspective to solve today’s problems and discover tomorrow’s opportunities. Since 1990, the Global Business Center has been developing future business leaders with the knowledge, skill and vision needed to collaborate and compete across the globe. This mission drives us, and it’s one we share with students, educators, supporters, and partners in the private, public and non-profit sectors. Transforming students into global business leaders starts in the classroom, but that is only the beginning. Direct experience is the ultimate catalyst for learning. That’s why the Global Business Center offers a wide range of programs and services that send Foster students to countries around the world, and bring the world to the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business in Seattle.

Impact: The Global Business Center is a federally-designated Center for International Business Education & Research (CIBER). These centers were created by Congress in 1988 to increase and promote the nation’s capacity for international understanding and competitiveness. Annually, the Global Business Center directly benefits over 6,000 students, faculty and community members.

“Global business education is critical to the future success of our students and to U.S. competitiveness. And creating learning opportunities that build global business expertise is a top priority of the Foster School.” James Jiambalvo

Dean, Michael G. Foster School of Business

global competitions Case competitions and business plan competitions offer students invaluable experience in applying what they’ve learned in the classroom to the challenges of doing business in the real world. These global competitions bring students together for unprecedented experiential learning, providing them with a chance to build their global networks and develop critical business skills.

Impact: Over 3,400 students from 117 countries have competed in the Global Business Center’s competitions.

Global Business Case Competitions

Two annual competitions enable undergraduate students to apply their knowledge and skills to real international business problems. The week-long Global Business Case Competition brings together undergraduate university students from the United States and 12 - 14 other countries. The Holland America Line Global Case Competition is focused on UW undergraduates, who have just 48 hours to address a global business challenge. For both competitions, panels of judges evaluate team analyses and recommendations based on the teams’ diagnosis of the problem, application of theory and classroom concepts, ability to communicate ideas, teamwork, and creativity. Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition

The Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition is a week-long business plan competition that challenges university-level students worldwide to use business principles to create sustainable, positive solutions to some of the world’s most difficult and intractable problems — poverty, health and development. “To learn about global markets, you need to have a global mindset. When students come to the University of Washington for this week, they experience interacting with students from different schools. It helps them open their minds to see what people are thinking in other countries.” Ya-Han Brownlee Chen

Aerospace Project Manager, The Boeing Company

“I enjoy building a network of connections around the world that GSEC affords me through the students who are coming here. These really bright young minds have an invigorating, energetic spirit about them. That’s contagious, that’s healthy and it keeps me vibrant as well.” Duane Dunk

VP Sales, Marketing & Business Development, Seldon Technologies, Inc.



Study Abroad The opportunity to travel, study and work in a different region of the world can transform a life, and a career. Central to the Global Business Center’s mission is the goal of making these life-changing experiences available to every business student. Facilitated by the center, outbound programs send graduate and undergraduate students at the Foster School to countries around the world, while inbound programs bring international students to Seattle. These programs range in scale and duration, including two-week study tours and consulting projects, three-month internships, and year-long exchange programs.

Impact: With support from the Global Business Center, more than 4,000 Foster students have studied abroad. On average, 46 percent of MBA students and over 30 percent of undergraduate students study abroad each year. (Nationally, only one in ten undergraduate students studies abroad.)

“I left India transformed. The trip confirmed what I had suspected for my own career path: My own compulsion to serve was an innate calling that could be aligned with both business ideals and women’s leadership. Arriving at this realization completed the goal of the trip. My cosmos is expanded forever.” Melanie Sharpe

MBA 2010

Foster Business Research Group A partnership between the Foster School of Business and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Foster Business Research Group helps currently enrolled Foster MBA students gain hands-on experience conducting short-term research and data analysis on current issues. The group provides high quality research and analysis that supports the development of strategic planning and project execution in the fields of global health, global development, global policy and advocacy, and education.

Impact: In its first two years, the Foster Business Research Group executed twenty projects, involving thirteen students and seven faculty mentors. Four graduating students went on to careers in consulting, including one with McKinsey & Company.

“The caliber and capacity of the UW has not ceased to impress the programmatic teams at the foundation. There is a depth of accessible expertise that consulting firms can’t necessarily provide.” Saara Romu

Senior Project Officer Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation


projects in 2 years


Certificate of International Studies in Business The nationally-ranked, award-winning CISB Program helps Foster undergraduate students hone the competitive edge they need to succeed in global business. CISB students combine international business courses with language training, study abroad, in-depth area studies, an international business practicum, and an internship with an internationally-focused business. This package of knowledge and skills is ideal preparation for a career in global business.

Impact: Since its inception, more than 650 undergraduate students have completed the rigorous requirements for the Certificate of International Studies in Business. Alumni of the program are currently working or enrolled in graduate study in 20 countries.

“CISB students are a good fit for Expeditors because of their passion for the international trade community and their curiosity around other cultures. We’ve made a number of hires from that program.� Sam Bokor

VP Training and Personnel Development, Expeditors International

other programs and services The range of programs and resources offered by the Global Business Center is as rich, diverse and complex as the world of global business itself. The center serves undergraduate students, graduate students, doctoral students, faculty, and the business community locally and world-wide.

Other programs include

• Internships abroad • Global Business Center Scholarships • Global Business Forum Speaker Series • Student leadership opportunities • Dual degree options • Global Business Program Certificate • Doctoral internationalization consortia • Northwest International Business Educators Network • Faculty development opportunities • Faculty business language grants • Visiting Executive and Scholars Programs • Community speaker events and workshops • Strategic partnerships

Go Global! • Sponsor or judge a global business competition. • Mentor MBA or undergraduate students and share your expertise. • Speak to students about global business issues and opportunities. • Host a company visit and introduce students to your business or industry. • Initiate a globally-focused internship or consulting project. • Contribute to study abroad scholarships for Foster School students. • Hire Foster graduates with global business experience. • Serve on a Global Business Center advisory board. • Create an endowment to provide ongoing support for proven programs and new initiatives. Learn More Visit

“It’s very important that we engage the corporate community in what we do, so we can create the kinds of graduates who become the employees they want to hire. It’s also critical to have people involved who are actually out there practicing global business so students have a chance to talk with them, ask them questions, and learn from them.” Kirsten Aoyama

Director, Global Business Center

Global Business Center

Global Business Center Michael G. Foster School of Business University of Washington Mackenzie Hall 137, Box 353200 Seattle, WA 98195-3200 T 206.685.3432 General Inquiries: Undergraduate Global Programs: MBA Global Programs:

Think globally. Make a difference. It’s the Washington Way.

Global Business Center - UW Foster School of Business  

Since 1990, the Global Business Center at the University of Washington's Foster School of Business has been developing future business leade...