International Business Dual Degree Program Celebrates 10 Years of Global Learning

In August 2011, NC State Poole College of Management formed a partnership with the International Partnership of Business Schools (IPBS) under the leadership of Dr. Ira Weiss, professor of strategic management and former dean of Poole College. This allowed for students to earn dual degree agreements with ESB Business School in Reutlingen, Germany, and NEOMA Business School in Reims, France. Thus creating the International Business Dual Degree (IBDD) Program. 

Ten years and 101 alumni later, the IBDD Program has added additional language tracks and welcomed students from Spain, Italy, Germany and France. Now, the program is working towards a new partnership in China with the Antai College of Economics and Management at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 

“I started in my role as Director of Global Programs shortly after the first three students from Germany arrived to NC State. Seeing the growth in the program and observing students start and complete the program has been great to see,” said Robert Sanduck, director of global programs. “It attracts a special type of student to Poole – one who is excited to engage in an intense global experience and who upon graduation is ready to launch a globally-minded career.”

“Now in our tenth year, I remain in awe of the students who are a part of the IBDD program. They are talented, driven, and passionate about international business and add a unique perspective to our student population and our global dispersed alumni. As we move into our second decade, I am excited to see the existing program grow at the same time we expand with our new partnership in China.”

Program Overview

The IBDD program is designed for students to spend two years at their home institution and two years abroad at a partnering school. Students will complete a three-month or six-month internship during each phase of the program as well as take most, if not all, of their courses at the partner school in the host language.

Concerning the degrees, students completing the program will earn a Bachelor of Science in business administration from NC State and a Bachelor of Science in international management from their partner school. 

Explore the Language Tracks:

Poole’s newest IBDD track partners with Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, China. The university is known for its vigorous international exchanges and cooperation between students as well as having a leading business school in China. Students will be continuing their Mandarin education with classes taught in Mandarin and English to immerse students in the language and culture. Learn more about the Chinese track. 

Students in the Italian track spend their third and fourth years in Piacenza, Italy, studying at the Universitá Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC), the world’s largest Catholic university. A unique aspect of UCSC is their three-year bachelor’s degree track and given this, students will be taking master’s level courses during their fourth year and graduate with three degrees instead of two. Learn more about the Italian track. 

NEOMA Business School in Reims, France, is the home of the IBDD French track where 25% of the student and faculty population are international. It is one of the few business schools worldwide to have attained triple accreditation from EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA. Learn more about the French track.

The ESB Business School in Reutlingen, Germany, is one of the largest business schools in Germany with high academic standards and a commitment to international learning. During their time at ESB, many students have completed their internships with automobile manufacturer Diamler, Porsche and as well as many other German companies like SAP and Lidl. Learn more about the German track.

Third and fourth-year Spanish track students will reside in Madrid, Spain, while attending the ICADE Business School at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas, one of the most prestigious private universities in Spain. The ICADE Business School has a long history of training business professionals by combining the best of the past with innovative teaching, research and transfer of knowledge in the field of business. Learn more about the Spanish track. 

Our Students

This academic year the IBDD Program welcomed 28 new students including 16 students from our partner schools in France and Germany as well as 13 first-year students who started at NC State in August. This group includes three students pursuing the Chinese track with Shanghai Jiao Tong University, four students in the Spanish track, four in the French track, and one in the German track.

These students will spend the next two years at NC State taking language, general education and an accelerated portfolio of business courses. 

Marcela Harrel, a current senior living in Spain.

Marcela Harrel, Spanish Track

With dreams of studying abroad, Marcela Harrel joined the IBDD Program and is a current senior living in Madrid, Spain. She describes her program in Madrid as challenging dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and adjusting to how fast Spaniards speak. Her time in the program has made her a more flexible and adaptable student and is looking forward to her professional career beginning in 2021.

Harrell is completing her marketing internship abroad with Good Rebels, a marketing firm with locations in Spain, the United Kingdom and Mexico. 

Olivia Halferty, Poole College sophomore

Olivia Halferty, German Track

Raleigh native and Poole College sophomore Olivia Halferty got a taste of global learning while studying abroad during her time at Cary Academy. She was drawn to the IBDD Program by the opportunity to earn two degrees and the reputation of the program. 

“I am most looking forward to having the ability to travel over the weekend and see as much of the world as I can while still balancing my studies,” said Halferty.

Halferty anticipates the program’s rigorous coursework and experience will bring lifelong connections that will be beneficial professionally. 

Katherine Beekman, first-year IBDD student

Katherine Beekman, Chinese Track

Katherine Beekman is a first-year student and one of the first IBDD students in the new Chinese track offered by the college. Beekman is looking forward to being immersed in the culture and while earning her degrees from NC State and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 

“I would advise anyone looking to be apart of this program to be proactive and foster their passion for other cultures,” said Beekman.

10 Years of Alumni

Sydney Swain pictured overlooking Reims, France.
Swain looking a bit chilly sitting port side in France.
Swain and one of her classmates posing on a bridge in Reims.

Sydney Swain, French Track Alumna

Sydney Swain graduated from the IBDD Program in 2017 after studying in Reims, France, while completing a six-month internship in Lyon. The North Carolina native was able to visit cities throughout Europe and build a professional network around the globe. Her time in France made the country a home and not just a short-term experience.

Three years out of the program, Swain is the senior supply chain analyst for the American region for BioMerieux, a French multinational biotechnology company. 

“I work with many different cultures every day and have realized that this is something that few people can do well,” said Swain. “I know my managers trust me to travel to new places and collaborate with any team in the world because they understand I have unique experiences.”

Swain’s best experience from her studies around was visiting Madrid for the first time with classmates, the program director and the dean.

Elizabeth Fisher (middle) with friends at Oktoberfest dressed in traditional German garments.
Fisher (middle) at her internship with Any B consulting firm.
Fisher hiking in Germany with a furry friend.

Elizabeth Fisher, German Track Alumna

Driven by the opportunity to deepen language skills and cultural knowledge, Elizabeth Fisher joined the IBDD Program to challenge herself academically and socially. The recent graduate concentrated her studies on supply chain management while studying in Reutlingen, Germany, where she was quick to make friends with her classmates.

“While traveling over the weekend is fun, staying in Reutlingen on weekends allowed for me to build a real community,” said Fisher. “The ability to look around a room full of people who you didn’t know more than a year ago, who, besides the IBDD Program, do not have much in common, but are all in one place at the same time celebrating passing exams.”

Fisher’s advice for current and future students of the IBDD Program is that results are based on the work you put in.

“Find a way to be present in the time you are in, not wishing you could be somewhere else with different people but learn to find fun things to do and hidden gems in the community you are in,” said Fisher.

Maarek and friends after completing a Tough Mudder race during his time at NC State.
Maarek and his lifelong friends he met at NC State
Maarek wearing Wolfpack red at a park in Raleigh

Raphael Maarek, French Track Alumnus

Raphael Maarek is an alumnus of IBDD Program class of 2016 and is currently living in Paris, France, as an associate consultant for Bain & Company, a global management consultancy. He spent his time abroad at NC State, as he is a French native, enjoying rewarding and insightful courses as well as traveling the East coast with classmates.

Maarek’s best memory from NC State was his last Thanksgiving that he spent with both an American and international classmate from Italy. 

“He [classmate] has also brought over his family from Jamaica and New York so the dinner was a true melting pot. I remember realizing at that moment how amazing my time at NC State had been discovering the most emblematic symbols of American everyday culture, always in a cheerful and diverse way,” said Maarek.

The global learning experience improved his English and prepared him for his current position with Bain & Company and allowed him to bond with his co-workers.

Next year, Maarek will embark on earning his Master of Business Administration from Harvard University and feels confident he be able to tackle the logistics and academic content thanks to the IBDD Program. 

Fleming (right) at a restaurant with a friend during his time in Madrid, Spain.
Fleming now works for Ernst & Young’s office in Madrid.
Fleming (right) visiting a beautiful coastal city during his studies in Spain.

Harrison Fleming, Spanish Track Alumnus

Currently living in Madrid, Spain, Harrison Fleming is a recent 2020 graduate of the IBDD Program working in the financial risk sector of Ernst & Young, a multinational professional services network. Fleming joined the program with the goal in mind of becoming an international businessman and to put himself in line for future success. 

“At the beginning studying in Madrid, there were some cultural differences to become accustomed to. However, overcoming adversity and adapting accordingly to new environments and cultures is how one will succeed in life,” said Fleming.

Fleming concentrated his studies in finance and business administration while abroad and got the opportunity to travel to Morocco, Italy, Ireland, Scotland and many cities in Spain. He attributes the IBDD Program with teaching him the meaning of hard work paying off and giving the opportunity to develop lifelong friendships abroad.

This post was originally published in Poole College of Management News.