Feb 13, 2018 at 12:00am ET By G. John Cole

International management is all about creating global business strategies to foster positive change in international companies and organizations. Study business management with an international dimension and you will emerge fully-equipped to apply business practices on the global stage: sensitive to local cultural and political nuances, to broader economic contexts, and to the minutiae of communicating with international work associates.

European business networks are strengthening, with the EU facilitating more opportunities for graduate mobility. Awareness of different business cultures and knowledge of local languages is becoming more valuable than ever. Bilingual students who choose to study business management in two languages at once will discover a new business culture and the means with which to forge connections to it.

As Harriet Kleiminger, academic head of the NBS Northern Business School in Hamburg Business Management MA, says, ‘English is the international language, knowledge of German is a prerequisite or at least a strong advantage for working in Germany, in German subsidiaries abroad or in other companies that operate in the German market.’

In the UK alone, it’s estimated that a lack of language skills costs the economy £50bn in lost contracts each year. Employees who can communicate equally comfortably with their local office and international contacts are a significant asset to the businesses that employ them.

The ability to keep up with social and economic developments in a client’s region enables a level of direct engagement that just isn’t possible when a company relies on translators to bridge that gap. As a bilingual MIM or MBA, you’ll develop career opportunities by raising your value within your organization – or making yourself vastly more employable in a market where the language deficit leaves a significant number of vacancies unfilled.

Employees and clients alike will pick up on your impressive empathy levels, problem-solving skills, and perception, too. That’s not to mention the improved prospects for your social and professional networks.

NBS’s Business Management M.A. is taught half in German, half in English. As each of these is a major business language across the world, if you already speak both then developing your business skills in German and English simultaneously is a distinct advantage for any graduate.

Germany is the world’s second-largest exporter, the number one economy in Europe, and directly invests over ten billion dollars in the US each year. There are more native German speakers in Germany than there are English speakers in England, French speakers in France, or indeed native speakers in any other EU state.

As a Master of Management (MIM) rather than an MBA, no work experience is needed to apply. An MIM provides introductory knowledge on entrepreneurship and leadership and is a perfect starting point for students who may want to specialize in one particular business field later.

And it’s a more versatile learning model, which is ideal if you see your language, networking, and collaborative skills as a key asset. Harriet Kleiminger identifies the program’s most important features as the possibility to study in small groups, experienced and practice-oriented teachers, and internationality - as well as a deepening in business management in contrast to a specialization.

‘For students who want to be broad-minded and therefore want to be able to work flexibly, a general education is preferable,’ she says. ‘We live in a rapidly changing world. This also applies to the specializations. What seems important today will be different tomorrow.

‘Building on a good general knowledge base and then specializing on the job is, in our view, a good strategy for the professional world. In addition, it also implies a larger number of job possibilities.’

The program is set to start for the first time in September 2018, so don’t wait to register!

John is a digital nomad and freelance writer for higher education and marketing publications. A native Englishman, he is always on the move but can most commonly be spotted in Norway, the UK and the Balkans.

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