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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University January 18, 2005 | Vol. 34 No. 18
Course Prepares Students for Global Landscape in Careers

In his lecture, Peter Marber, investment strategist, author and Johns Hopkins alumnus, introduces students to perspectives on globalization and the global economy.

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

Investment strategist and noted author Peter Marber began his talk on globalization and emerging markets by showing off his black-and-gray monotone attire. A guest speaker for the intersession course on Globalization Theory and Practice in the 21st Century, Marber told the gathered 25 students about his jacket manufactured in Turkey and pants produced in Guatemala. He then tendered a $100 offer to anyone who could guess where his sweater originated. Several incorrect guesses later, he came clean.

"Mongolia," he blurted. "Now, how bizarre is that?"

Not an act of vanity, Marber's point was that the global marketplace is here and its growth inevitable, as each year more countries join the fray of those both importing and exporting goods world-round.

An expert on investing in emerging markets, Marber is currently president and chief strategist of the Atlantic Funds. He has published two books on globalization, Money Changes Everything: How Global Prosperity Is Reshaping Our Needs, Values and Lifestyles (Pearson, 2003) and From Third World to World Class (Perseus Publishing, 1998). A Johns Hopkins alumnus and chair of the university's Second Decade Society, Marber three years ago founded the two-week, eight-session Globalization course, which introduces students to perspectives on globalization and the global economy as practiced by leading professionals in a range of fields.

The course's talks and readings focus on the changing nature and importance of global trade and finance, cross-culture marketing, human rights, sustainable economic development, news media and entertainment industries, and state sovereignty and national security. It is capped off by a three-day, two-night trip to New York City, where students have an opportunity to network and learn of career possibilities related to globalization.

"The course was geared toward providing a broad understanding of globalization and its complexities, and how it will shape student careers," said Marber, who is also an adjunct professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. "The course weaves alumni presentations, select readings, discussions and a class trip to provide a pragmatic perspective to complement the school's normal academic curriculum. It also serves as a model for alumni relations. We want current students to know there are Hopkins alumni who care about them and their futures, and we'd love these students to come back over time and contribute to this and similar intersession courses sponsored by alumni."

Globalization Theory and Practice in the 21st Century is just one of the dozens of credit courses and personal development workshops scheduled during the intersession period. The diverse slate of 2005 intersession courses includes Tropical Marine Ecology, the Nature of Infinity, Appalachian Fiddle and the Entertainment State: A Critical Look at Contemporary Media, which also includes a field trip to New York City to meet industry insiders in film, television and radio.

Nicole Suveges, a graduate student in the Department of Political Science and the Globalization course's instructor, says the core element of an experiential course like this is the speakers like Marber who come in to share their unique perspectives.

"These are experts and leaders in their field who bring years of experience to the classroom," Suveges said. "What's really important here is that [the class] exposes students to careers and topics that they may not get from regular academic courses."

Students who enrolled in the Globalization course were required in December to go to the Career Center, where they received a resume critique and interview advice from the center's staff. The staff also imparted proper business etiquette tips to prepare the students for the New York trip, where they will network with powerful and influential executives and administrators.

The speakers lined up for the Globalization course this year include Ricardo Reyes, manager of strategic communications for the international law firm of Bracewell and Patterson; Eric Bost, undersecretary of agriculture in the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Ian Vasquez, a SAIS alumnus and director of the Project on Global Economic Liberty at the Cato Institute; and U.S. Army Maj. Scott Bryson, who is with the Defense Attache Service. In New York, the students are scheduled to meet with representatives of Shearman and Sterling, Bloomberg Inc., the Cato Institute, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Peace Corps and the Center for Emerging National Security Affairs.

In his lecture, which has kicked off the course for the past three years, Marber tries to emphasize the growing importance of developing countries like China and India, and how these and other countries will become more interwoven in our lives in the future.

Marber said he likes to offer a big-picture overview to ground students in topics they will hear about from the other "talented" list of speakers.

"This course has been blessed by having excellent Hopkins professors and alumni who bring an awesome mix of perspectives and experience," he said. "Ask anyone who's participated, both students and alums — it's been a lot of fun. Whether you plan on a career as a doctor, lawyer, businessperson, public servant or academic, global forces are shaping the landscapes of all the professions, and hopefully our class will give Hopkins students an edge as they venture out into the world."


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