International Internships Part of Villanova School of Business' Global Mindset

VSB students in Istanbul

The expansion of the global economy is dramatically affecting industries, consumers, and people around the world and it’s impacting the expectations of employers. Corporate recruiters note that students who have not only studied overseas, but have worked overseas in an internship, stand out when applying for a job because it shows a commitment to preparing for increasingly globalized careers.

The Villanova School of Business (VSB) is committed to providing its students with distinctive experiences inside and outside of the classroom that emphasize the importance of global leadership.

VSB is a leader in the study abroad and international internship opportunities it helps provide its students. What used to be a simple language immersion and cultural experience for VSB students in the spring of their junior year has turned into an even greater engagement while studying overseas. VSB students can study abroad as early as the second semester freshman year, and have many opportunities to pursue internships throughout their academic career. International internships play an important and expanding role in business education at VSB, which now offers internships in Singapore, Great Britain, China and South America, among others. This past spring, VSB launched a sophomore program in Urbino, Italy, in which students developed a market analysis for an Italian food and wine company that was presented to the CEO at the end of the semester.

Students participating in international internships have reported increased marketability as this experience is a differentiating factor in a competitive global environment. Students have also reported that their international internship has been a conversation changer during every job interview as employers find the experience intriguing and the learning outcomes very attractive. As a result of the international experience, students develop cross-cultural competence, interpersonal/relationship skills, knowledge about conducting business across borders, and ambiguity tolerance and adaptability.

Overall involvement in global opportunities at the Villanova School of Business is at an all-time high with 55% of students studying abroad at some point during their four years of study – and of those, one-third of them are taking paid and unpaid internships in those countries.  Some students are even participating in two international internships to enhance their employment opportunities after graduation.

VSB students have worked overseas for many industries, including BBC Worldwide, Gordon Ramsey and Barclays in Britain, Kellogg’s in Hong Kong, Deloitte in Vietnam, and KPMG in Korea and Singapore.

According to the Institute for International Education’s (IIE) annual Open Doors report, 273,996 U.S. students studied abroad for credit during the 2010-11 academic year, an increase of 1.3% over the previous year. Villanova ranks fourth in the nation among Master’s universities for study abroad.

VSB also offers incoming freshman the unique opportunity to study and intern overseas through its Global Citizens Program. Now in its 10th year in London and its second year in Singapore, the program offers freshmen a 16-week overseas experience that combines academic coursework with a practical internship.

VSB recently introduced a new program designed to provide students with an opportunity to emphasize and integrate global leadership throughout their undergraduate experience. The Global Leadership Fellows (GLF) program builds on the requirements of the Global Citizens Program. In addition to participating in the Global Citizens Program in London or Singapore the spring semester of freshman year, GLF students follow a series of international coursework and are required to do a second study abroad, preferably in a developing or emerging market.

Below is a list of some additional global opportunities available to VSB students:

  • For undergraduate students, VSB offers an International Business co-major or minor.
  • Students can also participate in multiple international societies and have access to unparalleled study abroad and service opportunities.
  • VSB’s new undergraduate and graduate curricula place a strong emphasis on global themes, practices, and global leadership development. For undergraduates, global content is emphasized in the required Business Dynamics and Competitive Effectiveness courses. The required Global Political Economy course – which replaces International Economics – is a dynamic survey of the broad global political economy with special emphasis on the emerging regions and countries in Asia, Latin America, and Central Europe.
  • Each fall, the Center for Global Leadership (CGL) Advisory Council of senior executives participate in a series of panels on globalization for all VSB freshmen during their first weeks on campus to stimulate their interest in and awareness of global issues.