The MS in International Business Focus on Experiential Learning Prepares Students for Career Success

November 16, 2023

GWSB Professor Bonnie Pierce (center) pictured with some of her Fall 2023 capstone students

GWSB Professor Bonnie Pierce (center) pictured with some of her Fall 2023 MSIB capstone course students.

The Master of Science in International Business (MSIB) consulting capstone provides integral skills-building opportunities for students to develop and apply their learning to tackle real-world international business challenges. The capstone course is taught by Professor Bonnie Pierce, who shares expertise and lessons learned from her diverse professional experience in international business. During the capstone, participants prepare for, source, and manage independent international business projects as an integral part of their degree program.

A recent survey of MSIB alumni found that the capstone was the most applicable class in preparing them for their current profession. Over the years, dozens of MSIB students have engaged capstone industry partners from around the globe, including the Department for Economic Development and Commerce of Puerto Rico, Universal Studios in Orlando, International Maritima in Brazil, Famly in Denmark, and Peergrowth in India.

This semester, MSIB student Rachael Rusnov (pictured at right) is currently working on a project with Christoffer Connée, co-founder and head of business development at Stockholm-based Klimato. Reflecting on the experience thus far, Rachael shared, “My capstone project with Klimato has given me a deeper understanding of how firms operate in new markets. Through this project, I have firsthand experience of seeing what it takes for a start-up to go global. International business is changing, and I want to help firms succeed in this new unknown.”

To ensure students are prepared for a successful project-based learning engagement, Professor Pierce also teaches a cornerstone course at the very start of the program. This course focuses on students as individuals so they can discover their skills, interests, motivations, and potential career path. Leveraging GW’s career services, 300K+ alumni, influential location and global reputation, students are taught skills to build a strong network they can then leverage to secure a capstone project and potential employment upon graduation.

MSIB Faculty Director Rob Weiner was part of the team that developed the MSIB curriculum to truly prepare students for the marketplace. Of the program, he states, “The International Business cornerstone, consulting capstone, and required study abroad experience are at the heart of the MSIB program's experiential-learning approach to professional education and are designed to endow students with hands-on skills and a competitive advantage."