Is It Aligned with Your Background?
Now that we plowed through my rapid synopsis of the dozen of disciplinary dictates, it’s time to move on to the fun part of the MBA program and that is the individual’s specialization. This took the form of a nine-credit emphasis with a floating class in the mix for 12 total credits on top of the 36-credit lockstep track required of all students.
Many full-time MBA students tend to focus on the finance or supply chain certificate. With my right-brained liberal arts pedigree and communications background, I chose the marketing emphasis and it was a perfect fit. My career had taken a turn more public relations toward a marketing communications approach and I enjoyed all of the online content I had been creating, so I embrace the marketing electives.
There were three courses I took – Customer Relationship Management, Business-to-Business Marketing and Global Business Marketing. For the fourth elective course, I took Entrepreneurship, probably one of the most practical and beneficial classes in the entire school.
- CRM was a great foundational course yet had much more math than I anticipated. There are a lot of calculations rooted in determining a Customer’s Lifetime Value. There were some great case studies, including the Ritz Carlton customer service gold standard.
- B2B was a quick elective grounded in a group project in which we provided a marketing plan for a local nonprofit to aid in their development of a new strategic business unit. Nothing like feeling like an intern again, but the executive of the company was very appreciative of all the group presentations of ideas and rationale for enhancing their operations.
- Global Business included several international case studies based on multinational companies manufacturing an array of consumer products. A large portion of this class featured a group simulation game where we used software to determine our marketing mix and tailor our production based on market factors.
- The Entrepreneurship class, though not technically part of my marketing emphasis, was excellent for weaving all of the business start-up disciplines together. We poured through a variety of case studies to assess how to structure deals with investors and partners. The process of valuating a company was a major component of breaking down the state of each company in the class discussions.
I thoroughly enjoyed all of the marketing classes. They covered a broad spectrum of planning, researching and evaluating marketing objectives, principles and tactics. If I were to do it again, I would probably pursue the finance emphasis.