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The business administration department provides opportunities for real-world experience that prepares students for their careers and helps them grow intellectually and personally.
Visiting entertainment companies, historic landmarks, and local shopping destinations are all part of professor Kristen Smirnov’s JanTerm course, Consumer Behavior. During the course, students step off campus and use Los Angeles as a laboratory to examine consumerism in the real world.
As part of the first excursion last January, students attended a showing of Aquaman on the IMAX screen at the historic Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. The epic screening was an opportunity for the business class to discuss how streaming services are changing the way people consume media and what effect that has on traditional media production. The course also visits the famed J. Paul Getty Museum to explore the consumer experience at a non-profit, and spends an afternoon studying the dichotomy of The Grove's high-end shops, built to attract an audience, and The Original Farmers Market, which grew organically to meet a need.
As a final trip, the class went behind-the-scenes at the headquarters of Blizzard Entertainment, a heavyweight video game developer and publisher. During their visit, students toured the company’s main campus and engaged in an hour-long Q&A with J. Allen Brack, senior vice president at Blizzard and executive producer of World of Warcraft. During the visit, students saw how consumer-focused companies develop and maintain products, develop consumer engagement strategies, and react to changing markets.
Nothing compares to the real-world business experience gained from going abroad. And after spending much of January experiencing business administration first-hand in China, the world’s largest economy, international business major Brittany Snapp was hooked.
She’s just one of the many Poets who have traveled overseas to gain invaluable perspectives on the global marketplace, thanks to globetrotting JanTerm courses. In China, Brittany and her classmates met with diplomats and senior executives of global firms such as Google and Lenovo. Other Poets have traveled to Argentina, Mexico, Germany, and England, often meeting with heads of multinational corporations.
Professors lead these trips and add their special focus to the course, based on their own research interests. For instance, when professor Lana Nino has led students through China, she has turned their attention to the influence of business on society by visiting non-profit organizations that are focused on the country’s environment.
Whittier College increases access for students to study abroad with the Global Poet Scholarship, which awards $2,000 to every student who studies abroad through the College's Office of International Programs.
From participating in an international sales meeting to working in a call center, everything international business major Austin Luckett experienced while interning in China reaffirmed his dream to work internationally.
Austin was among the first group of Whittier students to intern for two months at Intex, one of China’s major manufacturers and Walmart’s Vendor of the Year. Through the Intex Fellowship, students learn about international business, customer service, inventory forecast, employee training, and how to collaborate with Chinese employees.
To join, Poets need to demonstrate a desire to learn about Chinese culture and business practices and show an enthusiasm for sharing positive elements of American culture with Chinese counterparts. Learn more about the fellowship, and visit the fellowship page for more opportunities, as well.
To learn more about internship opportunities, visit the Weingart Center for Career and Professional Development.