In Parts 1 and 2 we went through part of the class catalog to tell you what all this stuff really means, what you will be studying. We trudge on.
This course examines fundamental issues of general management and leadership within an organization. You will learn about setting an organization’s strategic direction, aligning structure to implement strategy, and leading individuals within the firm. You will master concepts, frameworks, and tools to assess an industry and a firm’s competitive environment, and to craft alternatives. You will study the interplay among formal structure, informal networks, and culture in shaping organizational performance. By integrating leadership theory, the lessons of practical application, and your own experience, you will develop skills and capabilities essential to leading others. And you’ll gain a better understanding of your own leadership preferences, strengths, and weaknesses.
Not sure about this one. Long on promises but a bit short on details. Or as they say in Texas; all hat, no cattle. So will take it one sentence at a time--"examines fundamental issues of general management and leadership within an organization." You may end up examing them but from this discussion you don't know what they are. "study interplay among formal structure, informal networks, and culture"--this is code for networking and gossip. "By integrating leadership theory, the lessons of practical application, and your own experience, you will develop skills and capabilities essential to leading others"--quite a mouthful but not exactly sure leadership is teachable. Usually is learned on the job and in a crisis. Classroom exercises are rarely crisis situations unless you didn't read the assignment.
Here's my read on this course. It could be life changing but I doubt it.
Ok, all you ex-liberal arts majors, watch out for this one.
Data Analysis and Decision Making
General managers require a sophisticated understanding of what you can (and cannot) infer from data, and how to use those inferences to make good decisions. Courses on Data Analysis and Decision Making provide you with analytical techniques for making smart decisions. If you have limited prior background, the base-level course covers topics such as probability theory and decision analysis (including decision trees, decision criteria, the value of information, and simulation techniques) and statistical methods for interpreting and analyzing data (including sampling concepts, regression analysis, and hypothesis testing). If you have more extensive background and/or quantitative exposure, you can select courses that cover topics such as advanced regression, conjoint analysis, and other statistical programs. These choices enable you to leverage your background by applying statistical techniques to specific applied topics.
My blood runs cold. I didn't really like algebra or calculus in high school, college or grad school. I just didn't see the relevance to problem solving. I'm sure I have used all of these math subjects in real life without even knowing it. If you're a liberal arts person you probably have the same attitude. So here is how you get around this. Go back to team and form a team. Which is what I did. Sitting there in statistics or calculus or whatever class I knew I hated, I looked around for inspiration. And found it. Somebody had to like that class and there he was--a guy from Indonesia with definite English issues. But he was happy in this class because numbers are numbers no matter what the language. He was in my marketing class as well and that was a different story. He was petrified. The prospect of making a presentation is bad enough but in English was terrifying to this guy. So I cornered him and cut a deal--he would do the math and I would do the marketing. Which is what business is all about anyway. Find a way to solve a problem. So don't let this course scare you off. Just find somebody with a language problem.
Back to Finance.
Building from the fall-quarter course in Managerial Finance, you have two basic paths: you can learn more about investments and financial markets or you can hone your skills in the use of financial markets by individual corporations. Advanced courses allow students with more extensive background and experience in finance to extend your knowledge of financial markets and corporate finance.
Now we have an either/or. Investments and financial markets means Wall Street or you end up as a financial salesman at Edward Jones. I would go the second route which is the use of financial mrkets by individual corporations. Corporate finance is pretty easy--once you figure it out. (What isn't?) A working knowledge of balance sheet preparation, cash flow analysis, capital ratios and debt vs. equity will get you a long way in the corporate world so I recommend that route. Also, there is that old trick of finding what is wrong with any company by studying the balance sheet. You can find the problem but not always the solution. But finding the problem is half the battle.
We're getting there. Remember the purpose of this exercise is to figure out what each course is really about so MBA school won't overwhelm you. Or more importantly, scare you off.