Braving New Fields in the MBA

I used to tell myself that once I got into business school I would focus on marketing and marketing only. In meetings with my career advisor, I was confident that after immersing myself in marketing studies, I’d transition easily into a marketing career. He would push back - a narrow focus on marketing might be inadequate, he'd say, to a job market driven by demand for data skills. Fortunately for me, Liautaud’s IDS courses were an option.

I waded into IDS last semester with an Introduction to Operational Management. The class, taught by Professor Selva Nadarajah, was quite challenging, and had the professor not been so generous with his time and attention, I might not have survived the stats-heavy coursework. But now I can answer questions about business analytics and supply-chain management, which gives me a leg up in the marketing applicant pool.

My advice to Liautaud students is this: you may be set on an area of expertise, and maybe this area of expertise is your comfort zone. You’ve got to step outside of it if you’re really going to grow during your time at UIC. For other marketing MBAs like me, I can recommend a few IDS courses that will greatly expand your skill set.

Managing Service and Operations – Instructor: Dr. Matthew Liotine

Scheduled: Thursday, 01/11 – 03/04, 6–8:30 p.m.

In this course, Professor Liotine covers principles of operations management, supply chain management, quality management and control, and reliability analysis. The concepts taught will encompass techniques from Six Sigma. Classes will focus on analyzing data related to processes whose operation is defined by one or more characteristics. Professor Liotine will guide students in applications of process measurement, control techniques and statistical methods. The course is designed to benefit those students who may have to deal with operational issues in an organization, and to teach them how to plan and analyze data to understand existing operational performance and detect changes due to improvement or deterioration. It stresses fundamental analytic techniques that are useful to achieve these goals.

Quality Management & Control - Instructor: Dr. Matthew Liotine

Scheduled: Wednesday, 03/07–04/29, 6–8:30 p.m.

This course focuses on analyzing data related to process outputs whose quality is defined by one or more quality characteristics. Application of process control techniques (such as control charts), statistical methods and statistically designed experiments are presented. Coursework in this class will also be grounded in Six Sigma. Students will analyze data related to processes whose operation is defined by one or more characteristics, and Professor Liotine will lead students in applications of process measurement, control techniques and statistical methods. Since students taking this course come from a variety of backgrounds, the course focuses on tools and techniques that can be applied to any product or service.

Information Systems Project Management- Instructor: James Erickson

Scheduled: Wednesda, 1/11 - 3/04 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Good project management skills have become a critical necessity in today’s fast paced, dynamic business environment. Project management competence could be a key element in a successful managerial career.  More and more management tasks are being executed as projects, with skills in project planning, resource allocation and scheduling becoming a basic expertise for effective business professionals.  This course is 8 weeks long.

Advanced Analytics using SAS- Instructor: Kyle Cheek 

Scheduled: Wednesday, 03/07–04/29, 6–8:30 p.m.

Enterprises are increasingly turning their attention from the capture and maintenance of business data to a focus on very sophisticated analysis of that data. This shift is motivated by a belief that the vast quantities of data created through transactional, operational, web and other sources contains valuable insights into customer behavior, market trends and new operational efficiencies. This course will provide a survey of the emerging practice of business analytics, covering topics that inlude business data, data sources, data potential and data challenges; a comparative view of analytic practices and maturity across industries; and critical considerations in the management of analytics within a business.