EBay's Brian Bieron '87 Talks Global Trade with Spring Interns

EBay's Brian Bieron '87 Talks Global Trade with Spring Interns

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Christian Holm
February 26, 2015

EBay executive Brian Bieron ’87 returned to TWC on Feb. 20, speaking with students from two TWC academic internship programs about the impacts the rapidly evolving Internet has on global trade.


Bieron, eBay’s executive director of global public policy, met with students from TWC’s Prudential Foundation Global Scholars and Business & Global Trade programs. His lecture focused on how online platforms are changing global trade, why good public policy can have an impact on internet commerce and ways students can prepare for careers in this growing field.


Bieron explained that as digital platforms narrow the divide between affluent and less affluent users, more people are gaining access to global trade. This phenomenon brings in a new generation of buyers and sellers, broadening the base of internet commerce. This global empowerment model, as eBay refers to it, is expanding opportunities for a wide range of businesses. For example, while only 5 percent of traditional American businesses export their goods and services, 97% of worldwide businesses that use eBay are exporting.


“We’re seeing the global empowerment model create businesses that never would have existed without a global trade platform,” Bieron explained. “These businesses were once limited to local commerce, but are now able to export their goods anywhere they want.”


Because many TWC students in the Prudential and Business and Global Trade programs come from international backgrounds, many plan to will work in Bieron’s area of expertise after graduation. Chin Yen Cheng, a from Taiwan’s Yuan Ze University and an  intern with the Small Business Administration, found particular value in Bieron’s presentation. She aspires to take her family’s business to the international market, and platforms like eBay are a great way to break through.


“It’s interesting to see the challenges that platforms like eBay face and how they adapt as markets evolve,” Cheng said. “As someone who wants to work in global trade after I graduate, learning how to adapt your business model is invaluable.”

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