Global Experiences and Perspectives Infuse New Dual-Degree Programs in Business

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By Scott Lewis

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Through a new partnership with Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, students at Illinois Institute of Technology’s Stuart School of Business will be able to complete two master’s degrees in two years across two continents, bringing an international scope to their business knowledge and perspective and positioning them for high-level careers with global corporations.

The Illinois Tech-Yonsei partnership establishes three dual-degree programs in business beginning in fall 2021. Each pairs a specialized master of science program at Stuart—M.S. in finance, M.S. in marketing analytics, or M.S. in environmental management and sustainability—with the internationally ranked Global Master of Business Administration (G.M.B.A.) program at Yonsei University School of Business.

Students will study for a year in residence at each institution, gaining practical business experience in two cultures through internships and building their professional networks in the global business hubs of Chicago and Seoul.

“To be successful, especially in rising to top management positions, business professionals need to cultivate an international perspective and experience,” says John Bilson, John and Mae Calamos Stuart School of Business Dean Endowed Chair. “In addition, they are likely to need both a general business education and mastery in a functional area, such as finance, marketing analytics, or sustainability. As such, our dual-degree programs with Yonsei University are well suited for students who are culturally and professionally interested in Asia and might also want to pursue career opportunities in the U.S.”

G.M.B.A. courses are taught in English, and the program’s comprehensive management curriculum includes content designed to develop students’ expertise in business in Asia. With course credits shared through the dual degree arrangement, students will be able to earn both degrees with a total of about one-third fewer credits than if they enrolled in the two degree programs separately.

Stuart Associate Professor of Finance Sang Baum “Solomon” Kang, who is a Yonsei graduate, played a key role in bringing the partnership to fruition. “Our goal is to develop students into successful, forward-looking professionals,” Kang says, “and collaboration with such a prominent business school in Asia can increase such chances.”

Planning and development for the new programs included trips to Yonsei by Kang and Stuart Associate Professor of Finance Ricky Cooper, as well as a visit to Illinois Tech by Kil-Soo Suh, a past dean of Yonsei University School of Business, and Associate Dean for Graduate Business Programs Soonhong Min.

“This partnership will set a standard for global educational collaboration,” Min says, with its combination of a globally competitive M.B.A. program and specialized business degrees from a top STEM university. “Yonsei will provide students opportunities to learn customer value creation, innovation, and many other core management concepts and practices that future CEOs should stamp on their memories, and Illinois Tech will train students to develop disruptive, creative ideas to win in the market. Yonsei students will also broaden their perspectives while interacting with Stuart students beyond the classroom and exploring the great city of Chicago.”

Photo: The campus of Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea (provided)