D'Amore-McKim School of Business Dean Hugh Courtney was recently elected president of the International Partnership of Business Schools (IPBS), a consortium of leading business institutions uniting to elevate global business education.

Embarking on a two-year term, Courtney is focused on growing the number of participating schools and students while improving curricula and student experience.

“It is a great honor and pleasure to be elected president of IPBS,” says Courtney. “Through this unique partnership of business schools on three continents, we offer our undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to study international business in their non-native languages and to complete co-op work assignments with global business leaders.”

D'Amore-McKim excels at global business education

Global learning is engrained in the school's history of business education. As the first American institution to become involved with the then European Partnership of Business Schools, Northeastern expanded the international reach of the consortium. Officially joining in 1986, the collaboration spurred the IPBS name change.

Consistently expanding partnerships since then, the group now includes institutions from Ireland, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Brazil, and four American business schools.

“The global experiential learning opportunities that IPBS enables are perfectly aligned with D'Amore-McKim's vision to be a leader in international business education, research, and outreach,” explains Courtney. D'Amore-McKim undergraduate international business programs are ranked 15th in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report and over 225 undergraduate students completed co-ops outside of the U.S. last year.

The D'Amore-McKim Bachelor of Science in International Business (BSIB) program partners with non-U.S. IPBS schools, enabling students to take courses at those institutions and in turn accepting their students on campus in Boston. Global immersion isn't limited to abroad experiences, as these international students bring authentic cultural perspective to D'Amore-McKim classrooms.

All BSIB students major in international business while intensively studying a second language and concentrating in a business function such as finance, marketing or entrepreneurship. In addition to spending one to three semesters studying at a partner university, BSIB students also complete two six-month co-op work placements – one in the U.S. and the other in the host country. Students who spend two years completing all requirements at a partner university receive a degree from that institution as well as from Northeastern.

D'Amore-McKim also partners with five IPBS schools for the Masters of Science in International Management (MIM) program, in which students select an international institution, study for one semester at each school, and, similar to the BSIB, have the opportunity to live and learn in two different countries and languages while they earn their degree.

“We work very closely with the IPBS schools to align our curricula so that there is a seamless student experience,” explains Courtney. Partnership guidelines ensure that transfer credits are easily accepted from participating schools.

D'Amore-McKim is the largest American partner in the IPBS, sending the most students abroad, and, in turn, enrolling the majority of international IPBS students seeking to learn in the U.S. Those students join an already diverse student population, with 34 percent of D'Amore-McKim undergraduate students hailing from over 100 countries.

Rachel Taback, DMSB'14/MIM'15, knows firsthand the power of the learning experiences that IPBS affords. “The BSIB program was the perfect opportunity for me to cultivate my business and international skills and jumpstart a global career,” she says.

Spending time abroad during her undergraduate studies was a game changer, leaving Taback eager for more international experiences. “After my two years in Spain, I decided to transition directly into the MIM program to continue my international experience in a new country while working towards my master's degree,” says Taback. “Through the complete cultural immersion I experienced in both countries, I feel confident communicating and conducting business across cultural boundaries.”

During his time as president, Courtney plans to focus on expanding the geographic footprint of the IPBS even further by working to identify potential new partners in places like Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. This strategic expansion is fueled by a goal to offer students a wider range of business education opportunities that will equip them with the cultural agility needed to succeed in global business markets.

“I am excited to work with my fellow IPBS deans to grow our partnership and create even more transformational international business learning experiences for our students in the coming years,” he says.