Summer Institute for International Business Students
The Summer Institute for International Business Students (SIIBS) is an intensive four-week program, held in July, for students who have either been accepted into an MBA program or who intend to apply to an MBA program. Students participate in this intense MBA skills course to prepare them for the rigors of the demanding business school classroom. SIIBS is appropriate for international students, both native and non-native English speakers, who want to identify and master the specific skills needed for success in the intense first year MBA curriculum.
The SIIBS curriculum mirrors a traditional MBA curriculum and introduces fundamental concepts of business including marketing, leadership, strategy, and management, using case studies from the University of Pennsylvania’s famous Wharton School of Business and other top MBA programs. SIIBS students take the following courses:
MBA Core – This course focuses on the topics taught in MBA classrooms and builds skills essential for success in business school including: analyzing, presenting, and writing-up case studies, understanding rapid speech, participating in cross-cultural learning teams, conducting library research, and participating in impromptu speaking activities.
Power Reading – In this course, students learn and apply efficient reading skills to understand and analyze a variety of business texts. Students demonstrate their understanding through timed reading and writing assignments and group discussions. They will also synthesize ideas, demonstrate critical thinking, and state their opinions persuasively about topics addressed in the readings.
All SIIBS courses are taught by instructors with experience in business and language instruction. Guest lectures are given by faculty from the Wharton School, other Penn departments and industry executives. Classes are held in Wharton’s state of the art building, Huntsman Hall.
Visit our website to view a sample course schedule.
Another key component of the SIIBS curriculum focuses on U.S. business practices and cultural perspectives. Participants have opportunities to meet leaders of corporations and learn firsthand the concerns of executives in the rapidly changing global marketplace. In recent years, corporate visits have included the Vanguard Group, Verizon, Rohm & Haas, Comcast Corporation, and other Fortune 500 companies. Students also participate in cultural activities that introduce them to U.S. history and culture, such as a major league baseball game, a day trip to Washington D.C., and a BBQ sponsored by Philadelphia’s International Visitors Council.
- Greater familiarity with the Case Study Method including how to read, analyze, write up, and present a case study
- Ability to participate effectively and respond to professor ‘cold calls’ in the classroom
- Reading long business texts quickly and efficiently
- Writing clearly and more efficiently
- Effective participation in learning teams and case discussions
- Understanding rapid speech, unfamiliar accents, and idiomatic language
- Get a head start adjusting to life as a graduate student in
- Optional Pronunciation workshops
- Network with other MBA students
“As an international student who attended college in the US, I found SIIBS to be a very effective preparation for the challenges of my MBA program. Not only was I able to familiarize myself with the case method and the format of class discussions, but I also became a more productive team player by learning how to best leverage my teammate skills.”
Wharton School of Business,
MBA Class of 2011