Notre Dame Revamps EMBA Program

The University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business has retooled its executive MBA curriculum to emphasize strategic-thinking skills and the ability to effect strategies through strong values-based leadership, the school recently announced. The new curriculum takes effect in August 2011 for the incoming South Bend class of 2013 and the Notre Dame Chicago EMBA program that begins in January 2012.

“This curriculum is designed to develop a senior management perspective in our students over the course of two years,”says Paul C. Velasco, director of Notre Dame Executive Education Degree Programs.

“Given the complexities and fluidity of the global business climate, effective business leaders must do more than consume information. It’s vitally important that they understand how to interpret and use information to make critical business choices on a daily basis. They must also be able to create a flexible, resilient implementation strategy.”

Currently ranked No. 6 in The Wall Street Journal’sBest Executive MBA Programs 2010,” the program continues its heavy emphasis on ethics, beginning with its signature leadership program, Executive Integral Leadership (EIL), and integrating considerations of values-based leadership and ethical decision making throughout the coursework, the school explains.

“We believe that an education worthy of our students must teach them to address difficult business problems with honesty and strong habits of the mind,” says Carolyn Y. Woo, Martin J. Gillen Dean of the Mendoza College. “But to be an effective leader, you must also have the ability to develop the larger vision, and the strategic plan to get there.”

One of the most notable changes, says the school, is the addition of Strategic Thinking as one of the first courses that students will take in their first year. “The Strategic Thinking course provides the structural steel to reshape students’ mindset so that they can think about business more completely and holistically,” Velasco explains. “It sets the foundation that helps students synthesize individual courses into a unified general management framework.”

Advanced Tactics, a new course for second-years, is also strategy-focused, but drives students to approach business problems as dynamic systems, where decisions must be considered in the context of interrelated functions and a dynamic market structure.

Additional new courses include Design Thinking and Innovation, Change Management, Strategic Planning for Growth and a re-worked Financial Statement Analysis and Valuation ”“ all intended to provide students with innovative frameworks for driving value creation and implementing change.

Students in the South Bend program can participate in one-week International Immersion experiences, where students can choose from a slate of 10 to 15 projects located around the world that engage them with multinational corporations, local entrepreneurs or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in order to solve a business problem. The immersion provides an action-learning experience as a capstone to the first year of studies.

“Many programs provide international immersions that provide students with exposure to global issues, but the organizations our students work for demand more applied knowledge,” Velasco says. “Our format requires students to take everything they’ve learned in the first year and integrate their skills and knowledge from various disciplines toward a realizable decision or solution in an international setting.”

For more information about the Notre Dame EMBA, visit the program website here.




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