Meetings get down to business

Melissa Dunson

For more than four years, Missouri Southern’s Inter-national Business Club has offered itself as a forum for students of all majors.

One of the organization’s leaders, Dr. John Lewis, professor of international business and marketing, sees the monthly meetings as a service to the students.

“The International Business Club’s mission is to help any students interested in international business to find out more about business and give them a place to exchange information and ideas,” he said.

The meetings usually take place at 12:15 p.m. on a Thursday in Matthews Hall, Room 108. Some popular topics include different international companies in the area, international business procedures and ethics, as well as overseas trips and study abroad opportunities.

“It’s really up to the students what they want to discuss; it’s a student-run organization,” Lewis said.

A speaker from an area international corporation, such as Pillsbury or Eagle Picher, usually comes to a meeting every couple of months, makes a presentation and takes questions from the students.

Barbra Lukunka, junior international studies and French major from Zambia and Ethiopia, has been a member of the International Business Club for two semesters and thinks the transfer of information is vital to her career after college.

“It’s not just getting together to talk about international business, but we also get feedback from people who have had the experience,” she said. “These are people who are in international business, who have traveled and who know what to expect. You come out of the meetings with ideas of what you want to do, where you want to do it, how you want to do it and how you should do it.”

The organization is also trying to incorporate field trips to area businesses for the students.

“We’re looking for something to get the students out of the classroom to see exactly what is out there for them,” Lukunka said.

The first meeting of this semester was Jan. 30. The guest speaker was David Wallace, director of business development and planning for American Ordnance. He spoke about the international trade of arms and ammunition and the ethics involved in that business.

Lewis said these meetings are for anyone interested in 21st century business.

“We have a combination of international students from all majors, international business majors and students from other majors as well that are interested in international business,” he said.

Lukunka thinks the group’s diversity is its greatest strength.

“There’s real diversity here,” she said. “You can have a club with only a certain kind of people there, but we have professors come here because it interests them, people who are freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors come. We have people from all over the world come, and on top of that, what I really like, is that we also have Americans come.”

The monthly meetings are announced by fliers around campus and e-mails to certain groups of students. Anyone interested in attending can contact Lewis or Terry Marion, professor of business and director of the international trade and quality center.

Lukunka stresses the usefulness of the organization.

“Be open minded,” she said. “You never know what you’re going to get yourself into later in life. You could study physics all through your college career and end up doing international business. I think anybody should join.”