Money may make the world go round, but business brings that money in. As the world began to globalise, International Business became more important and continues to be at the forefront of nearly all the innovation and development that we see around us. In the Turks and Caicos, although we live in a small country, we are still capable of ‘playing in the big league’ and being a part of the global market. If you feel called to the International Business arena, then continue reading to find out more about this field.
What is International Business?
International Business, as a study, looks at the different business management practices around the world with the aim of garnering a global perspective in order to work and trade across borders.
Careers in International Business
As a business discipline, International Business can be pervasive and relevant across industries. Below is a non-exhaustive list of careers that can be pursued via International Business:
- Business analyst – work within an organisation, helping to manage, change and plan for the future in line with their goals.
- Management consultant – work with businesses across a wide range of sectors to improve their performance by providing expert advice to solve problems and encourage growth.
- Business development manager– ultimately these persons identify new business opportunities. They combine strategic analysis with marketing and sales techniques to help a company grow and increase its revenues.
- Policy analyst – study complex problems and recommend solutions for a wide range of political issues as well as develop government policies and provide advice and briefing to government Ministers and senior management.
- Business adviser – give advice and support to new business start-ups and help established businesses to grow.
- Supply chain manager – responsible for the management of equipment, hardware, and other logistical details of a company. They, therefore, manage all of the steps needed to purchase raw materials, deliver it to various points throughout the business, ensure that the company makes enough of its product to meet customer demand, and deliver the output to the right destinations on time.
- Marketing executive – contribute to and develop integrated marketing campaigns to promote a product, service or idea.
- Human resources officer/manager – develop and maintain programs and processes that systematically hire employees, retain employees and deal with all aspects of talent management.
- Public relations specialist – create and maintain a favourable public image for the organization they represent by crafting media releases and developing social media programs to shape public perception of their organization and increase awareness of its work and goals.
Tip: There are also some careers that would benefit from knowledge in international business such as Stockbroker, Product manager, Corporate investment banker, Consultant foreign exchange trader.
Because of the abundance of options in this field, it is difficult to compile a definitive list of job requirements. Nevertheless, a good starting point is a bachelor’s degree in International Business as this offers transferability. From here, you have the option of specializing via a master’s degree or beginning your career directly. It is also possible to get a bachelor’s degree in another related area (such as economics) and then follow it up with a master’s degree in International Business instead. This route gives you both breadth and depth which could benefit you greatly.
You may find that many of the jobs listed above can be positions in different businesses and, in fact, different industries. For example, you can hold the position of the Business analyst in a company within the fashion industry or within the food industry. Due to this, it is also imperative that you have knowledge and experience in the industry that you decide to work in. Although this makes it even more difficult to advise on job requirements at this point, one tool that you can use to counteract that is commercial awareness. By being commercially aware of your chosen industry, you would set yourself apart to prospective employers even if you have little actual experience in the field.
Other skills and competencies that would benefit you in this field include:
- Quantitative skills
- Analytical skills
- Strategic planning ability
- Good people skills
- International awareness
How to Stand Out
In light of the above and the fact that you may use International Business in different industries, there is a myriad of options when it comes to certifications that you can obtain to give yourself a competitive edge. Some of these are certifications in project management, business analysis, international relations, management, finance and presentation & public speaking.
Get Hands-On Experience
Work experience is always an excellent way to not only set yourself apart but also to give you a head start in the industry. For this reason, securing an internship would be a great option for you to explore. Where you seek an internship is entirely up to you, given that you can learn many transferable skills from working in just about any office that would help a career in International Business and likewise, studying International Business would be useful for many jobs and industries. However, for an international approach, there are some businesses in the TCI that particularly stand out. These include KMPG (financial services company with offices all over the world), Fortis TCI (energy provider with its parent company located in Canada and branches in several other countries), Beaches by Sandals (branch of resorts with locations across the Caribbean region), and Karam & Missick (international law firm in the TCI with offices also in the Bahamas and the UK).
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If having an international scope is not a deal-breaker for you, you can also consider internship/work experience opportunities with the Turks and Caicos Government, particularly, the Department of Trade, Industry and Consumer Affairs (DTICA) which is responsible for the improvement of trade and business in the Turks and Caicos Islands and facilitating access to international markets – you can find them here.
Getting practice can look very different depending on which career and area you decide to get into, however, one thing that would certainly benefit you in any area is reading. You can get your hands on business magazines in various categories that suit your interest like the Financial Times, The Economist, Forbes, and Bloomberg. Each of these international business magazines, publish articles on topics including stocks, economies, finance, industries, investing and so on all with an international perspective. Click on the links provided in the names to start a subscription or simply read the free posts on their website to get started.
If you are not looking to start a subscription, you may find the links at the bottom of this post of some use in getting started. Alternatively, feel free to browse our other career topics if you are still undecided or send us a message if you would like more personalised advice.
Fun fact – Using data from 2017, the Turks and Caicos Islands ranked in the 33rd position of countries listed by their GDP per capita at nominal values. However, we were not officially given the 33rd spot as we are not a sovereign nation. (This list did not account for differences resulting from the cost of living)
Learn how to pursue a career in International Business within these regions
Resources: Use the link below to sign up for a free International Business course at Coursera and get a certificate upon completion. You can also watch the video lecture giving an introduction to International Business.
International Business course at Coursera: https://www.coursera.org/learn/international-business