By Alina Tang
Have you ever wanted to take a class offered at your university, but it was completely unrelated to all your major’s core classes? Whether it’s Design of Steel Structures in Civil Engineering or The Performance of Healing in Anthropology, we’ve all gone through a phase when we’ve wondered what it’d be like to explore other courses and career options.
One of the coolest things about my university is the number of interdisciplinary majors and minors available for students. Plenty of my peers in Marshall have decided to supplement their major with an additional major or minor related to business; for instance, cinematic arts, communication design, and computer science. Others have decided to be Renaissance scholars and pursue areas of study quite unrelated to business—although these days, it seems business is applicable anywhere and everywhere!
As I was registering for my own classes during fall of my sophomore year, I suddenly had the urge to pick up a minor myself. While I adore Marshall, I realized that I wanted to explore classes in other schools and get an idea of what non-business students were up to.
Since my interests have always aligned with the humanities department (English, history, politics), I decided to research minors in the Dornsife School of International Relations and the Annenberg School of Communications. What I discovered was the best of both words: the Global Communications Minor.
Essentially, the Global Communication minor is a joint program consisting of courses offered by both schools. In the IR classes, a student can learn about anything from global challenges and transnational diplomacy to Asian security and European integration.
At the same time, he or she could be studying communication technology and culture or censorship and law in the Communications classes. When I heard about this amazing combination, I couldn’t wait to jump right into the program.
For me, this minor is especially appealing because it relates directly to my interest in global marketing.
Because business is becoming increasingly cross-cultural and international, it is important to have background knowledge about many different countries and cities. I have always been fascinated by how products from the U.S. are completely altered (localized) in order to become popular in another country—for instance, how McDonalds features McVeggies instead of hamburgers in India, a country in which the cow is sacred, or how Haagen-Dazs has turned into a luxurious sit-in restaurant in China and even offers mooncakes on its menu.
Someday, I hope to combine my American upbringing with my Chinese heritage and language skills, and dive into industries that I’m interested in, so I can figure out how to make their products also a hit in China.
I realize that such a feat will require a great deal of research, hard work, and commitment, but I am quite certain that the Global Communications Minor will help me do so.
Alina Tang will graduate from USC in 2016. She is majoring in business administration and plans to work in the Management Development Program at Mondelez International and gain more experience in global marketing.