The Notre Dame Council on International Business Development was founded in 1989 by a group of dedicated students at the University of Notre Dame under the inspiration of Rev. Theodore Hesburgh and in collaboration with the current benefactor, Mr. Frank Potenziani. These students recognized the changing nature of the global economy, and how companies could no longer concentrate solely on the domestic market. The students believed these changes offered a meaningful opportunity to gain valuable business experience.
Through their vision, they formed what has become the largest student-led organization on Notre Dame’s campus. Known since 2000 as the Student International Business Council (SIBC), the SIBC seeks to fulfill its vision of “Peace through Commerce” by interacting with global companies and organizations, while educating its members and the Notre Dame community on the different aspects of international business. Since its inception, the group has grown from a small activity within the business college to the largest student organization on campus, and now includes over 800 active members from both the University of Notre Dame and St. Mary’s College.
Students are elected annually to serve on the SIBC's Board of Directors, which includes an Executive Board and Directors of the Council's five divisions. While the mission within these divisions has remained consistent, the project base has grown to include over 60 academic projects each semester. Besides offering students the opportunity to participate in semester-long projects, the Council now supports more than 30 international initiatives annually. The Council has also expanded to campuses beyond Notre Dame, as sister chapters of the SIBC have been launched at Benedictine College and the University of San Diego.
The SIBC draws upon the resources of the University, comprehensive library research, a distinguished faculty, and a close relationship with the vast network of dedicated Notre Dame alumni, including the International Business Council. These opportunities allow SIBC members to expand their horizons and gain international exposure to a variety of business disciplines. The SIBC encourages students from all majors and interests to become active members of the organization with the hope of bringing a variety of perspectives to issues regarding international business and economics.
At the core of the Council are the students. The SIBC was founded by a group of undergraduates and has continued to grow under the undergraduate student body. This unique student-focused and student-led organization has allowed students to build upon their education, learn from their experiences, and shape the direction of the Council going forward.
Early on, students recognized the imperativeness of having not only more academic exposure to international topics but also real-life experiences worldwide. This realization caused students to demand an evolution in their undergraduate educations to include a broader range of global topics.
“Peace through Commerce” has been an underlying belief and driving force of the Council since its creation. Why commerce? Because it encompasses every facet of life and relationships, it is blind to boundaries and physical differences, and, in its best form, it seeks to enhance life and living.
Not an ordinary student club, but rather a Council of hundreds of students organized in a businesslike, yet highly entrepreneurial hierarchy. This perfect blend of formality and flexibility allows the Council’s positive impact on the world to be all the more significant.