By Gahala, Charles
Business Credit , Vol. 109, No. 3
Companies really do value employees with technical expertise and credit managers have a lot to think about concerning the appropriate expertise for career development. Perhaps one of the areas of focus with the most opportunity, yet also the most challenge, is the area of international credit management. There is no better way to accelerate business credit skills in the area of international risk management than through the FCIB online course in International Credit and Risk Management.
The course was developed through a partnership of FCIB (Finance, Credit, and International Business), the Michigan State University Global Online Resource Center and the U.S. Department of Commerce. Professionals with experience were actively engaged in the development of the credit management-related risk management content contained in the course while Michigan State University provides the online resources essential to deliver the course. The links to U.S. Department of Commerce laws and regulations are an essential ingredient to learning more about international risk management.
The International Credit and Risk Management course is delivered via an online format in a cohort model approach. For those credit managers who have not experienced an online course, the course provides a hands-on opportunity to appreciate the potential for the use of technology in education. The cohort model simply refers to the use of an instructor-led course that includes considerable peer-to-peer interaction throughout the course.
Who Should Consider the Course?
The course is ideal for those credit managers who are new to international credit management responsibilities. For seasoned credit managers, the course is a vehicle for keeping current with the rapidly changing international business community. In the course, credit managers will be asked to consider risk management in relation to various types of pertinent questions. Who would have thought that Europe would move toward a common currency? How much more growth can Asian countries continue to sustain? What changes are in store as a result of the UCP 600? The course develops a credit risk management focus in consideration of a wide range of questions.
On a personal side note, I enrolled in the course to update my own skills in the area of international credit and risk management. I cannot think of any area of credit management that has been changing as rapidly as international credit management. I found the course to be quite enriching; in particular, I thoroughly enjoyed the dialogue with credit managers who were employed in 15 different countries.
The Course Content
The course is delivered through 12 weekly modules over a 13-week period. There is an extra week to allow students to catch up to the class halfway through the course. The lessons can be completed at home, at work or on the road; all that is needed is Internet access. I would estimate that, on average, a module could take anywhere from 6 to 10 hours to complete depending on the experience of the student.
FCIB furnishes an excellent glossary of terms that is quite useful to credit managers. In addition, there are several links to business and government websites, relevant practitioner and academic articles and various PowerPoint presentations. The links provide a wealth of vital resources that could serve as useful bookmarks for credit managers.
The 12 modules in the course contain a wide variety of subject matter. The following are brief highlights from each module:
* Module 1 contains an introduction to the course. There is an opportunity to introduce yourself to your online classmates and also to become engaged in a group discussion through the use of bulletin board postings.
* Module 2 focuses on international trade. Discussion of territorialism, arbitration, litigation and legislation provide a nice foundation to the course.
* Module 3 delves into credit policies and procedures. …