A Catholic and Marianist Liberal Arts Institution

All the World’s a Classroom

Jeff Johnson, Ph.D., is a well-versed expert of foreign entrepreneurial practices. As director of the Center for Global Business Studies in the Bill Greehey School of Business and an Associate Professor of International Business, that’s to be expected.

But when it comes to teaching what he knows, Johnson prefers to take students out of the classroom and right to the subject — in whatever country that may be. In the past year alone, Johnson has accompanied students on study abroad trips to Dubai, Hong Kong, Panama, Scotland and Brazil.

Image of Professor Jeff Johnson in his office at St. Mary's“I could teach classes right here at St. Mary’s, but the whole idea is to get them out to see the international business environment,” Johnson said.

Johnson’s trips include visits to international companies where students hear executives explain the infrastructure of their market strategies and how they maximize commerce.

Each excursion offers a different perspective and a new cultural experience. That’s why Johnson abides by the philosophy that the best classrooms don’t always have four walls, and that there are some things a textbook just can’t teach.

“They ordinarily wouldn’t get an opportunity like this at any other university of our size,” he said.

Since becoming director in 2006, Johnson has devoted himself to finding unique educational experiences and supplying students with an arsenal of career resources, from guest speakers to internships.

“I think we are doing a lot of great things here that are very progressive, innovative and exciting,” Johnson said. “The reward for me is opening their perspective to see a bigger world, and that’s very exciting for me.”

“I could teach classes right here at St. Mary’s, but the whole idea is to get them out to see the international business environment,” Johnson said.

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