At the Harbert College, we’ve enthusiastically embraced our mission of producing highly desired graduates, and in doing so, we know our graduates must be prepared to compete in the global marketplace. A global perspective is crucial to that preparation, which is why we are infusing that perspective throughout the college, in every discipline we teach.
The Harbert College recognizes that a global perspective is important for every student, regardless of major. Whether they graduate in accounting or supply chain management, finance or marketing, business analytics or management, information systems or human resource management, our students will be entering a world—not a state or a region or a country, but a world—of complex competitive challenges.
We know that our graduates aren’t afraid of hard work. They embody that message in the Auburn Creed. They will be job-ready. At the same time, we know that the jobs they enter will change dramatically—or even be gone altogether—in a few years. That’s how fast things change in the data-intensive global economy, so it’s incumbent upon us to also prepare our students to be career-minded.
Our graduates leave the Harbert College with skills and a strong understanding of business principles, but they also develop critical competencies in leadership, teamwork, communications, and intercultural fluency. These competencies help them not to simply get a job, but to forge a career. As an employer recently told me, the technical aspects of a job will change over time, but the need for people with the ability to lead and work with diverse, multicultural teams remains constant. We are committed to producing graduates who are ready to fill that need.
Experiencing the world is useful in preparing to compete in that world, so we provide opportunities for students to study abroad in short-term sessions with faculty or in longer-term exchange programs. We will be expanding those opportunities for our undergraduates in the coming years. As valuable as these greater opportunities will be, we should not overlook the enriching and enlightening contacts to be had here at the Harbert College. Almost 5,000 students representing 30 countries are enrolled in our college, creating—literally—a world of opportunities to learn about differences and cultures.
As you’ve read elsewhere in this issue, the global marketplace presents a huge variety of challenges and opportunities. The Harbert College has a big role to play in meeting those challenges and making the most of those opportunities. I’m excited about that and I hope you are, too.
Dr. Annette L. Ranft
Dean and Wells Fargo Professor
Harbert College of Business