Chamber, MSU build Springfield's international network

Posted by Chamber Staff on Aug 05, 2015

Consider this—95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States.

Also consider that there are more than 1,800 international students from more than 80 countries that attend Missouri State University.

These two numbers represent a significant opportunity for Springfield.

“The International Business Council has been unique and invaluable in my practice and professional development. I have gained a great deal of knowledge from the informative presentations, special guests, and networking among the speakers, fellow members, and their guests--especially those from Missouri State University’s China EMBA program.”

- Dwayne Fulk, Lathrop & Gage, LLP

Since 2008, the Chamber’s International Business Council has worked to seize upon this opportunity by connecting international students at Missouri State with businesses around our region. In particular, the Chamber has forged a partnership with MSU’s College of Business Executive Masters of Business Administration program.

This program recruits working professionals from China that have between five and 30 years of experience in fields ranging from manufacturing, banking, engineering, aviation and more. These professionals then attend a year-long program on the MSU campus in order to earn their MBA.

Just this year alone, the Chamber has connected more than 200 business professionals participating in the EMBA program with Springfield’s business community. This summer, students visited Prime, Inc., Paul Mueller Company, The eFactory and participated in a panel discussion with lawyers representing different local firms and companies. 

The goal of these business visits is to expose the students to what their job might look like at a company in Springfield, but also to connect Springfield area businesses with international contacts.

The EMBA program now has an alumni network of more than 900 business and government professionals who have spent time, resources and energy learning about Springfield and have taken that experience back to China.

The relationships formed with students in the EMBA program are just one example of how the Chamber is working to connect our members with an increasingly global economy.

Since it was established, the Chamber’s International Business Council has worked to identify export opportunities for Springfield area businesses, connect Chamber members with international trade resources and promote the Springfield area as a favorable location for foreign direct investment.  The Council serves as a resource for companies that are beginning or expanding their international presence and seeks to establish partnerships to provide additional networking and business opportunities for our members.

Want to learn more about the International Business Council? Contact Emily Denniston at emily@springfieldchamber.com.

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