Meet George White

Assistant Professor of International Business, University of Michigan–Flint
PHD in International Business, 2008


George White

 El Paso is very multi-cultural, and I thought that was a perfect place for me to study international business.

George White was the first to graduate from the PhD program in International Business in May (2008) here at the University of Texas at El Paso. Dr. White is an example to the CoBA students not only because of his great achievements, but also for his humble and determined attitude.

After earning a BA from and studying as a graduate at the University of Alabama, George received a Chinese Language Scholarship to study Mandarin Chinese at Feng Chia University in Taiwan. There George also taught English as a second language at night. After a while one of his employers wanted him to permanently stay in Taiwan and sponsored him in applying for a permanent residency card. In order to do this, George had to leave the country and decided to go to the Philippines with one of his friends whom owned a textile manufacturing plant in Manila. While he was there he met his wife, Arceli.

After getting married and living in the Philippines for several months, he decided to come back to the U.S and applied to take the LSAT (which is the entrance exam for law school). He subsequently received a JD, a doctorate in law, with a concentration in international law from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Michigan. While in Michigan, he published several articles in international law journals such as Texas International Law Journal and the North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation.

After that, he obtained an internship in Washington D.C. at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) where he assisted in drafting international commerce policy instruments such as micro-finance initiatives for poor women and single mothers in India. After deciding that one law degree was not enough, he moved to Atlanta to pursue a second law degree, an LLM (an advanced law degree) in international commercial law), at Emory University.

Although he had obtained a well-rounded education, George felt that his “book on Asia was not yet closed.” He sent his resume out to various institutions and was offered a visiting professorship teaching International commercial law and globalization classes at a major university (Hebei normal University) just south of Beijing. He also helped the university internationalize their academic programs. While he was in China, a friend of his (performing research on China), Robert Bejesky, encouraged him to pursue a PhD in international business. He said he had not considered it yet, but he looked around and saw that UTEP had just started its international Ph.D. program. George decided to apply and was very excited to be accepted into the program.

George has received several recognitions for his work, yet he believes that his greatest accomplishment is receiving his PhD because it is a research degree that requires hard work and perseverance. As he describes it, “there is a faculty—your doctoral committee—that determines if you are worthy or not of defending your dissertation and ultimately receiving your Ph.D. When they think that you prepared then they will allow you to move through the process.” George has received other recognition as well. When he left China, Hebei Normal University honored him by naming him as an Honorary Professor of Global Commerce. While at UTEP George also received several research awards as well as travel grants and scholarships, earned an MBA, and has published in international business journals such as International Business Review and the International Journal of Conflict Management.

However, in every road to success there are obstacles along the way; George confessed that his greatest obstacle along the way has been himself. He told us that the people that he worked with would possibly describe him as a stubborn person since he had a “go it alone” type of mentality. He claims that his biggest flaw is not being able to listen to others, but he is working hard to improve it. As he said, “when you go through life and people always tell you that you cannot do something, eventually you learn to block people out.”

Although George has been working hard to reach his goals, he also finds time within his busy schedule to be an active member of the community. He has been part of the organizations such as the Academy of International Business and Academy of Management. He knows that being a member of an organization proves to be truly beneficial, stating “I highly encourage my students to get involved with organizations that interest them because they can develop networks and connections which can lead to future job opportunities and long-lasting relationships.”

Right now George is moving to the School of Management at the University of Michigan-Flint where he will be an Assistant Professor of International Business. At the University of Michigan-Flint, he will teach an MBA course entitled “Managing in a Global Environment” and undergraduate courses in international business and international management. He also plans to continue performing research and writing on how regulations and laws impact multinational enterprise strategies in emerging markets. He also looks forward to playing an active role in a new Global MBA program the School is currently developing. Congratulations and good luck George. We wish you the best!

OECD-IMHE