Spring 2015 Two-Credit Hour Liautaud Courses

This Spring 2015 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 The Venture Process, web analytics, and improvisation & leadership to name a few.


MBA 500:  Corporate Strategy (Instructor:  Betsy Hill)

Monday, 3/09 - 5/01 

 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:  Tuesday, 1/13 - 3/03

Section 2:  Tuesday, 3/10 - 5/05

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.

Creating Careers That Count (Instructor:  Dave Kreischer)

Tuesday, 3/10 – 5/05

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, and demonstrating and delivering your difference-making capability with highly relevant impact. 

The Venture Process (Instructor:  Ronald L. Kirschner, MD)

Thursday, 3/09 - 5/04 

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.

Managing Enterprise Data & Analytics (Instructor:  Kyle Cheek)

Wednesday, 3/11 - 5/06

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, 1/12 - 3/02

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, and developing and aligning KPIs with strategic objectives. 

Applied Consulting (Instructor:  John Fyfe)

Thursday, 3/12 - 5/07

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.

Chicago Exchanges (Instructor Gilbert Bassett)

Thursday, 3/09 - 5/01

The course features presentations by the leaders of financial exchanges discussing the past and future role of financial exchanges in the global economy. 

MBA 570 - Entreprise Strategy (Instructor Mark Shanley)

Tuesday, 3/10 - 5/05

A capstone course for MBA students which provides frameworks and decision tools to integrate prior course work in a set of analytics and problem solving efforts to address the strategies and enterprise level challenges of firms.