What can I do with a degree in International Business?

MGMT228 Study Tour to China

New Zealand organisations are becoming increasingly globalised and need well-prepared graduates able to operate with confidence in the international business environment.

This major provides the skills to conduct business in a global, multicultural economy. You will study activities and transactions that involve: the crossing of borders; decision making and management in cross-cultural settings; how firms can configure their activities to achieve their owners' objectives in an evolving operating environment; the strategic and cross-cultural aspects involved in international marketing; the market for foreign exchange, currency risk and hedging; and the reasons for and the welfare effects of international trade and trade policies such as tariffs and export subsidies.

You will also study a foreign language and/or culture and are encouraged to spend a semester at an overseas university. This provides a great opportunity to learn about a different culture, gain insight into different business environments and practices, and form new contacts.

Through their International Business degree, graduates develop a valuable set of transferable skills that include:

  • A global perspective
  • Effective communication with customers and suppliers in different countries
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Research design and data collection skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Logical and quantitative thinking
  • Business problem solving across sectors, industries and national boundaries
  • Working effectively in multicultural groups
  • A broad and diverse business approach.

Jet set and learn

International Business students are encouraged to spend a semester studying at an overseas partner university. This provides a great opportunity to learn about a different culture, gain insight into different business environments and practices, and form new contacts. UC has 60 partnership agreements with universities in Asia, Europe, North America and Australia.

Many Aotearoa New Zealand businesses are looking to expand into the global market, creating a need for graduates who are well versed in international business.

An International Business degree can be an excellent springboard for graduates interested in exploring roles within the global business market.

Frequent employers of International Business graduates include:

  • Government departments
  • Banks
  • Import/export corporations
  • Multinational manufacturers
  • Consulting firms
  • Small–medium sized / entrepreneurial firms
  • International non-governmental organisations
  • Development agencies
  • Social enterprises
  • Electronics industry
  • Tourism and travel companies
  • Hospitality organisations.

Graduates with this degree are employed in a range of jobs — see some examples below.

Note: Some of the jobs listed may require postgraduate study. See the ‘Further study’ section.

Foreign sales representative

  • Writes proposals
  • Negotiates with clients to secure sales
  • Presents, demonstrates and explains products and services to clients

International trader

  • Deals with the export and import of goods
  • Works with product specialists
  • Establishes relationships between buyers and sellers

Business analyst

  • Evaluates an organisation’s business needs
  • Analyses the competition, audiences and prices
  • Recommends strategies to increase profit and/ or efficiency
  • Works with clients or staff to implement those

Marketing assistant

  • Assists in implementing the marketing plan
  • Coordinates and produces promotions/collateral
  • Liaises with groups eg, via events, social media

Customer / client services officer

  • Provides information or advice to people
  • Uses knowledge to attract customers
  • Starts the next steps in the process

Travel and tourism operator

  • Plans and prices tours and holidays
  • Visits providers and negotiates prices
  • Markets and promotes holiday packages

Operations manager

  • Improves ongoing business effectiveness
  • Ensures health and safety adhered to
  • Builds an engaged and skilled team
  • Manages day-to-day operations and budgets

Teacher of English for speakers of other languages

  • Assesses a student’s reading, writing, speaking and listening skills and needs
  • Designs and prepares learning materials
  • Presents lessons, including on local knowledge and skills for coping in a new place

Account manager, business development manager

  • Identifies and builds new markets or business
  • Manages client relationships
  • Implements sales and marketing strategies

Foreign exchange advisor

  • Advises clients on exchange rates and global financial services
  • Processes international transactions
  • Upsells company products
  • Resolves any customer problems

Trade consultant

  • Advises businesses how to comply with international trade laws and regulations
  • Briefs clients on trade agreements, customs valuations, taxes and tariffs, permits
  • Adjusts prices

Graduate logistics, import operations

  • Investigates overseas demand for goods
  • Builds networks and liaises with others in the supply chain, may include global customers
  • Organises incoming and outgoing deliveries

Research officer

  • Organises and conducts research surveys
  • Tests theories and interprets the results
  • Writes reports and makes recommendations

Entrepreneur, Director and CEO

  • Develops an idea to form their own business
  • Gets involved in a start-up
  • Offers their services as a freelancer/consultant

Get started with Entrepreneurship here

As they progress, students and graduates often join professional bodies or organisations relevant to their area of interest. These organisations can provide regular communications and offer the chance to network with others in a community.

Social media networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can provide avenues to keep upto-date with industry knowledge, networking opportunities, events and job vacancies.

Learn from our students' experiences

For more information

see the International Business subject page