International Business Negotiations Class Reflection

Melanie Billings-Yun

Melanie Billings-Yun, International Business Negotiations Teacher in the MIM Program

By the time summer roles around on the MIM calendar, students are already divided up in their specialization classes (Global Supply Chain, Global Marketing, Global Finance). One class that all MIM students take in the summer, however, is International Business Negotiations, taught by Melanie Billings-Yun. Melanie has more than 20 years of experience as a negotiations consultant for international firms, and brings this wealth of experience to the course that she teaches in the MIM program. Closely following the GRASP method that she outlines in her book Beyond Dealmaking, Melanie’s class emphasizes a style of negotiating that emphasizes long-term relationships between parties, not simply looking at getting a deal in the short-term. This technique requires negotiators to prepare well ahead of time, to try and understand your counterparts’ positions, and to be flexible enough that you can work together with the other party to come to an agreement that both parties feel is fair and advantageous.  Throughout the course we were able to role play a variety of negotiations based on actual case studies, and practice negotiation techniques that can be applied to professional, as well as personal situations. Other topics covered in the course include negotiating a salary and compensation when starting a new job, techniques for negotiations between more than two parties, and a final project where students must write about a real-life negotiation of their own and try to apply the techniques that they learned through the course. The class is routinely cited as one of the most popular in the MIM program, from current and past students alike! Many thanks to Melanie for the fantastic class!

Joshua Thorpe is a full-time student in the Master of International Management program.  After graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in Japanese, he taught English in Tokyo for 3 years, before moving to China and teaching at a university in the city of Zhengzhou.  Inspired by his experiences in Japan and China, he was drawn to the MIM program because of its regional focus on Asia, as well as for Portland State University’s reputation as a leader in the field of sustainable business. He is studying Chinese in the MIM program, but tries to keep up his Japanese whenever he can.


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