Clemson University’s Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business is empowering students to become global leaders through its innovative Dean’s Global Leadership Program. This academic and experiential learning program provides students with a unique opportunity to explore leadership challenges in a global context while immersing themselves abroad in areas with rich cultures and dynamic business environments.
At the heart of this transformative program is the BUS 3990 Global Leadership Lessons course, a critical component of the Dean’s Global Leadership Program (DGLP). This comprehensive curriculum encourages students to critically assess their leadership styles and confront the complexities of leadership in an ever-evolving global landscape. A coveted outcome of the program is the Global Competence Certificate, equipping students with tools to understand cultural nuances, navigate cross-cultural conflicts and bridge cultural differences.
“The DGLP’s mission is to develop leaders with the knowledge, behaviors and attitudes necessary to drive positive change globally,” emphasized Dean Wendy York. “Our approach combines academic rigor with experiential learning, providing students with the skills required to thrive in the 21st-century global economy.”
The DGLP offers students the flexibility to complete the program in as little as one and a half years or extend it over multiple years to align with their schedules. All participants undertake two core courses, Global Business Negotiations and Global Leadership Lessons, alongside a choice of at least one International Business Perspectives course, two semesters of 1-credit hour leadership practicum courses and a transformative Global Experience.
“While specific business majors prepare students for their chosen professions, the DGLP’s primary focus is on nurturing global leadership skills and knowledge that transcend specific careers,” Dean York elaborated. “Our emphasis aligns with essential 21st-century skills, including critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity and collaboration.”
In the summer of 2023, Dean York accompanied students who had the opportunity to put these skills into practice during their immersive journey to South Korea. Their itinerary was carefully curated to maximize exposure to the country’s history, culture and business environment. In addition to coursework with Dean York and accompanying Professors Gaby Peschiera and Judson Jahn, the students engaged with experts in Korean history and culture, leadership and global business negotiations. They were also privileged to meet the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce Managing Director in Seoul to learn about how the state of South Carolina is playing at a global level in Korea.
While the majority of their time was spent in the vibrant city of Seoul, students embarked on a bullet train journey to the coastal city of Busan. Exploring historical landmarks like the Haedong Yonggung Temple, delving into the rich tapestry of Korean heritage.
One of the most profound experiences was a day trip to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), a symbolic border between North and South Korea. Here, students gained a firsthand understanding of the geopolitical dynamics of the Korean Peninsula. Their eye-opening journey continued with a guest lecture by a North Korean defector, who recounted her harrowing escape and inspiring journey to overcome repression.
Gaby Peschiera shared her perspective on the program’s creation and execution: “We developed this course to prepare students for leadership positions in the ever-changing global environment. Faculty-directed programs require a lot of foresight for successful execution, and the hard work in planning certainly paid off once we were on-site in South Korea. It was rewarding to see students directly witness why it is so important to take into account the cultural context when interacting with colleagues who have backgrounds that differ from your own.”
Peschiera also noted, “What I enjoyed most about traveling with this group in South Korea was witnessing their learning in action. The students applied specific scenarios that happened to them in their surroundings to our classroom learning. For instance, one rainy day, a man gave one of our students his umbrella because he saw she didn’t have one. We used this example to talk about the collective nature of Korean culture and how it differed from U.S. culture.”
Derek Dias, a student participant, said the program’s impact was profound. “As I sit here, my mind overflows with gratitude for the incredible experiences of the past semester and this summer studying abroad. It has been an enlightening journey that has broadened my horizons and provided me with invaluable insights into different international business cultures.”
Clemson University’s Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business, through programs like the DGLP, is cultivating the next generation of global leaders who are prepared for their careers and well-equipped to contribute meaningfully to a global society. In the heart of South Korea, The Powers College of Business students discovered that leadership knows no boundaries and the future belongs to those who can navigate the complexities of our interconnected world with curiosity, empathy, and expertise.
Applications are open now for the Global Leadership Lessons course and will be accepted through Jan. 15 for the next cohort of global leaders. Join us on this transformative journey. Apply now!
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