SKEMA international business school partnership with NC State welcomes first freshman class of US students

Posted September 18, 2019 6:30 a.m. EDT
Updated September 18, 2019 3:40 p.m. EDT

— When SKEMA Business School, a private, nonprofit venture with seven campuses across five continents, opened its first branch in the United States, Vamsi Kasiraju, 18, of Cary, jumped at the chance to interact with students who come to Raleigh from around the world.

Kasiraju is part of the North Carolina State University SKEMA business school's first freshman class for domestic students. SKEMA U.S. Academic Director Mohamed Desoky says the private French business school, an acronym for School of Knowledge Economy & Management, was born in 2009. They partnered with North Carolina State University in 2011 on Centennial Campus.

“Since its creation, the school has been home to a rotating cohort of international undergraduate and graduate students who wish to acquire practical business knowledge," SKEMA leaders said.

Another perk: Students from the U.S. spend their third year in the program traveling abroad. Depending on their course of study or preference, they could travel to any one of six other SKEMA campuses in Paris, the French Riviera, Shanghai, the Ivory Coast of South Africa or Brazil.

SKEMA web page map of global campuses

The bachelor’s program also includes a requirement that students fulfill a 6 to 10 month internship before they graduate. Desoky says that gives students the chance to apply what they’ve learned.

Gaining the skills to negotiate cultural differences and overcome language barriers is now considered a key to success in international trade. Robert Sandruck, director of global program in State's Poole College of Management, remembers a campus speech from the CEO of John Deere.

"I did not realize that over 51 percent of their sales are outside of the United States. So as we educate our students in North Carolina, we need to do it in a global context," said Sandruck.

SKEMA Business School

Kasiraju, who wants to pursue management or executive positions upon graduation, was also drawn by another benefit of the business school.

“I'll also get a double degree,” he said. That translates to one international business degree as well as a specialized degree from N.C. State all within four years of study.

Vamsi Kasiraju of Cary, SKEMA freshman

Gisa Rollin, SKEMA's U.S. director of development, focuses on admissions and recruitment for domestic students.

"We're looking for students who have that curiosity and want to be in this environment,” she said.

Rollin says all SKEMA campuses offer students multicultural exposure by pairing academic life with international professional experience. "Our multi-campus structure works to the advantage of both companies and students. It means that we can be in close collaboration with our economic environment and that of international higher education," said Rollin.

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