As an international community, South Florida reflects what the U.S. will be like in 30 years. Seeing as major global events impact not only large businesses but medium and small ones as well, we make sure that as our students are developing their own business skills, they are doing so with an eye to the international.

Our Small Business Development Center, for instance, has a trade specialty program that teaches students that competition comes in from unexpected areas wherever they go. We have a capital markets lab that examines international investment flows, and this year we launched a global sales lab, with competitions conducted in English and Spanish. Additionally, we have dual-degree opportunities and partnerships with over 40 universities around the world to help us facilitate cross-cultural exchanges.

We are constantly assessing the skills we need to develop for this community. Some of those are in the areas of data analytics, logistics, marketing, finance and international business. Our programs address topics that spread across several industries, including mortgage lending, flower importing, consulting, international human resources and Latin American health care—all of which are relevant industries for the South Florida market. Given this curriculum, it’s a win-win when our students get internships with companies in the area. The companies get manpower with specialized training, while our students gain experience in their field.

For its 2016 edition, U.S. News & World Report ranked our undergraduate program sixth for international business, while our graduate school was ranked 15th for its International MBA program. We are proud of this recognition, but among FIU’s most important roles is to be a pillar that trains the talent in the community to drive South Florida’s economic development and growth. FIU’s community programs, and its partnerships with local businesses and alumni, are accomplishing this. More than 30,000 of the 50,000 alumni FIU’s College of Business has graduated have stayed in the community, while thousands are based in 40 major cities around the U.S. and the world, creating a network that leads back to South Florida.