Fall 2014 Two-Credit Hour Liautaud Courses

This fall 2014 semester the Liautaud program is offering several unique two-credit course options.  What makes these courses unique is that they are short courses that only last eight weeks out of the semester and they focus on developing professional skills that will assist in launching and developing a successful career.  Topics taught include project management, web analytics, and improvisation & leadership to name a few.

MBA 500:  Corporate Strategy
Section 1:  Monday, 8/25-10-13.  Instructor:  Betsy Hill
Section 2:  Tuesday, 10/21-12/9.  Instructor:  Mark Shanley

Analysis of major strategic decisions affecting the long-term performance of a firm and its ability to sustain competitive advantage.

MBA 590: Improv & Leadership.     Instructor:  Michael Popowits
Section 1:  Monday, 8/25-10/13.  
Section 2:  Monday, 10/20-12/8.

Using improvisational theater techniques taught in workshop exercise of graduating difficulty, this course creates a safe laboratory for students to experiment with the elements of their own executive presence. This is a “presentations course” where students study how to present themselves in a variety of executive communication modes: networking, interviewing, creative team leadership and impromptu speaking situations, like client interactions or expert panel discussions.

The course is taught by Michael Popowits, a 20-year faculty member of the UIC College of Business Administration, and an executive communications coach who worked with executives in dozens of industries in the US, Europe, and Asia. Professor Popowits has also studied the art of improvisation for years and currently teaches weekend classes and directs student ensembles at the Second City Theater in Chicago.

Project Management.  Instructor:  John Fyfe.  Thursday, 8/28-10/16

The project management discipline is a twenty-first century core business process because it enables profit generation by maintaining tight controls on expenditures with a proactive view of project events, allowing organizations to manage initiatives with predictable outcomes, in terms of costs, time and other resources.
This course provides an introduction to the project management discipline, and specifically to the concepts inherent in the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification process.  The course focuses on real-world cases to build the foundational skills for students to be able to participate effectively in projects and ultimately to manage them.

Creating Careers That Count.  Instructor:  Dave Kreischer.  Tuesday, 8/26 – 10/14

In a highly dynamic, well-educated and globally competitive marketplace, relevance has replaced loyalty as a basis for relationships—which includes the contract between employee and employer.  Since the marketplace dictates what is relevant, you are free to create a career that really counts for you as long as it counts for the marketplace.  This eight-week course will explore the three steps to creating a career that counts for you and for the marketplace:

•    Defining your difference-making strategy
•    Discovering your marketplace relevance
•    Demonstrating and delivering your difference-making capability with highly relevant impact.

The Venture Process.  Instructor:  Ronald L. Kirschner, MD.  Thursday, 8/28-10/16

Examines investment strategies, structures and policies in the venture capital process. Students in this course will explore the following:  the process, sourcing and screening of deals; evaluating a business opportunity; valuation and the term sheet; due diligence and investing’ monitoring, exit and returns.  Students should have completed the core accounting, finance and marketing courses before enrolling.  

Ronald L. Kirschner  is president of Heartland Angels, Inc.  Dr. Kirschner has a broad background in healthcare, start-ups and practiced as a doctor of anesthesia for 17 years.  While practicing medicine, he started three companies of his own in the healthcare field dealing with nutrition, managed care and lobbied the state government on funding and marketing strategies for both entrepreneurs and early stage companies.  He was a VP of the Biotechnology Venture Fund (started by the China Development Industrial Bank) where his role was to assist in discovery and fund development.

Social Entrepreneurs Leading Change.  Instructor:  Anna Lloyd.  Wednesday, 10/22-12/10

This course focuses on the integration of social enterprise tools into the traditional business curriculum, as an  essential component of a business school curriculum:  some students will pursue direct employment in this area; others will remember the curriculum as they decide to join a nonprofit board or serve as the director or chief operating officer of a service delivery organization.  This eight-week course is one that looks at integrative leadership, the development of business skills with public policy and philanthropy skills, which support cross-boundary, multi-sector entrepreneurship and enhance our ability to build teams and attract investment.

Managing Enterprise Data & Analytics.  Instructor:  Kyle Cheek.  Wednesday, 10/22 – 12/10

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 including: business data, its sources, its potential, and its challenges; a comparative view of analytic practices and maturity across industries; and critical considerations in the management of analytics within a business.

Web Analytics.  Instructor:  Doug Lindquist.  Tuesday, 10/21 – 12/9

Modern firms rely heavily on the Internet to promote their products. Their own websites are especially important, since visitors can reveal their interests by their browsing behavior. Web analytics gathers and processes this information to learn more about their customers. This analysis allows assessing a website's effectiveness along metrics like web traffic and how long customers spend at pages. Web analytics offers a source of competitive advantage for both gaining new customers and keeping existing ones. This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of web analytics. Students will learn to use Google's online and offline software tools. The course will emphasize how these tools help inform marketing decisions.

Course topics include:

- Key concepts and terms and their usage
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and their importance
- Visitor behavior analysis
- Developing and aligning KPIs with strategic objectives

Applied Consulting.  Instructor:  John Fyfe.  Thursday, 10/23 – 12/11

The Applied Consulting course is an introduction to the client-consultant engagement process typically used by consulting and professional services firms.  Students who aspire to go into the consulting industry will particularly benefit from this course, as will those who intend to serve as an internal consultant or operations analyst within any public or private sector organization.  However, since most public and private sector management personnel end up working on projects for their organizations at some time in their careers , this course will be of interest to all MBA students.
The class will be conducted as a guided workshop for students to work in a professional consulting role to address a real life client problem as a case study. Each student will work in a team with some other students (depending on the number of students enrolled) working as consultants to create, manage and execute a client engagement that addresses their problem. Each week, each team will work on producing some interim deliverable, such as they would to a real client. Each team will then produce a final project report with recommendations, which they will present during the last class.

Business Data & Decision Making.  Instructor:  Murad Gharibeh.  Wednesday, 10/22 – 12/10

The tools of statistics and data analysis are increasingly more important for business managers, and this course is designed to provide those who have not previously studied in these areas with tools that they will need both for their MBA studies and in addressing analytical challenges in their work.  The course covers basic tools of statistics:  distributions and relationships, probability and sampling distributions,  hypothesis testing, regression, etc.  In working with data analysis, it covers collecting and organizing data, sort the distractions from the truth, find meaningful patterns, draw conclusions and predict the future, and present findings.

If you have any questions about these courses and/or the registration process please contact the Liautaud programs office at 312-996-4573 or email Dawn Birkland or James Brown.