Program structure and courses
Our program is structured to combine knowing, doing and being components of business:
The Gustavson MBA program begins with the Essentials of Business and Leadership (EBL) Module, a full-time, intensive three-week experience. For you to succeed in the later modules of the program, EBL provides you with a "tool kit" of skills, including:
- Working in teams
- Presentation skills
- Critical and creative thinking
- Global Mindset
- Meet with mentors
- Case analysis
- Business writing
The EBL Module also provides opportunities for you to interact with your cohort and meet second-year MBA students, faculty, staff and members of the business community. These are the networks and friendships that contribute to the success and enjoyment of your MBA - and positively impact your career in the long-term.
The Foundation Module is the common core of our MBA program. Through these terms (two for Daytime students, four for Evening students), you build competencies in the functional areas, develop a deep understanding of the context of business, and begin to integrate the knowledge to enhance your strategic and analytical capabilities. Each course introduces relevant international and sustainability issues.
Foundation Module I concludes with MBA 501A: Integrative Management Exercise (IME). In this first of two IMEs, you and your team integrate the core subject material you've learned so far, by investigating an issue for a real organization. The IME culminates in a final team presentation and report to faculty and the client organization.
Core courses of Foundation Module (Fall):
MBA 510: Marketing ManagementControllable and uncontrollable marketing variables that managers face in today's business environment. Topics include factors affecting consumer demand and methods of satisfying it, market structure, and product selection, distribution, promotion, pricing and market research. The course structure, exercises, projects and case problems are all designed to develop the students' ability to generate effective marketing strategies in the face of uncertainty.
MBA 514: Business & Sustainability
An introduction to the business challenges and opportunities arising from the world’s growing social and ecological issues, including climate change, poverty and corporate corruption. Students are exposed to how companies across multiple sectors have chosen to respond - or not respond - to the call for sustainable social, ecological and economic value creation. Relevent tools and frameworks are introduced, including stakeholder management/engagement, triple-bottom line, Natural Step, base-of-the-pyramid strategies and social entrepreneurship.
MBA 515: Applied Managerial EconomicsApplies economic principles to the analysis of corporate problems. Topics include product, risk and business opportunity analysis, production costs and profit maximization, the determination of prices and output under different market structures, investment decisions, and economic forecasting.
MBA 520: Financial and Managerial Accounting
The external analysis of corporate financial reports, focusing on the reconstruction of financial events from published accounting statements. Topics also include short term financial decisions, and discussion of the nature, analysis and control of costs, product costing, and the use of accounting information in management decisions.
MBA 553: Managing People and Organizations I
Examines the behaviour of individuals, groups and organizations from an organizational design perspective. Topics include: the analysis of goals, environment and growth; organizational culture, power, politics and conflict management; decision making, motivation and leadership.
MBA 585: Consulting Methods
Designed to provide an overview of management consulting. The main objective is to help students gain an understanding of management consulting skills and competencies. These consulting skills can be used in the pursuit of a consulting career or integrated as part of general management knowledge. Designed to prepare students for MBA 501 Integrated Management Exercises and MBA 596 Consulting Project.
MBA 540: Applied Data Analysis and Decision Analysis
A decision-oriented course that focuses on the frameworks, concepts, theories and principles needed to organize and use information to make informed business decisions. Cases, exercises, discussion questions and other pedagogical tools are used to help participants build data gathering and analysis skills. Topics include collecting, summarizing, organizing and extracting data; probability theory and risk in decision making; and One-Way Analysis of Variance and Regression Analysis.
The Spring Foundation Module builds on the core courses from the Fall, continuing to develop your competencies and understanding of functional areas.
This module concludes with the second IIME, MBA 501: International Integrative Management Exercise (IIME). You will choose among projects in China, India or Brazil. In this exercise, you will learn about the cultural context of a specific business or industry and apply and integrate your learning for a real organization.
The IIME culminates in a final team presentation and report to faculty and the organization.
Core courses of the Foundation Module (Spring):
MBA 530: Managerial FinanceAn introduction to corporate financial management. The primary objective is to provide a framework, concepts, and tools for analyzing financial decisions. Main topics include discounted cash flow techniques, the valuation of financial assets, financial statement analysis, capital budgeting decisions, risk and return tradeoffs, diversification and portfolio theory, capital market efficiency, and the cost of capital to the firm.
MBA 535: Operations ManagementAn introduction to the concepts for managing the systems organizations use for producing goods and services. Topics include operations strategy, capacity and technology planning, purchasing and materials management, workflow planning, scheduling, and quality management and control.
Managing People and Organizations II
Examines the issues in managing employees in organizations. Topics include recruitment and hiring, retention practices, performance review, compensation design, layoffs and selected employment and human rights legislation.
MBA 560: Managing Legal Risks
Examines various legal risks (whether arising from the common law or through legislation) that must be identified and effectively managed within contemporary organizations (including for-profit businesses, not-for-profit firms and governmental organizations). Examines the legal risks associated with the manufacture, delivery and marketing of goods and services, the creation and protection of confidential information and other intellectual property, and risks arising from employment and contractor relationships. Also reviews risk management strategies available under the law of tort and contract.
MBA 570: International Business Environment
An introduction to the international business environment. Topics include the evaluation of economic platforms, the determinates of foreign currency values, problems of adaption to different cultural, political, social, legal and economic environments, and an analysis of the key managerial problems encountered by firms operating in international markets.
MBA 550: Strategic Analysis and Action
Introduces the integrative nature of management. Explores the overall general management of the organization, and the formulation, development and implementation of the strategic direction of the firm. Intended to develop an appreciation of the role of a general manager from a conceptual as well as an operational standpoint.
MBA 544: Information Technology in the Organization
An introduction to the capabilities and utilization of information technology (IT), information systems (IS), and networks. Different approaches using IT and IS will be covered to provide an understanding of how they can be used effectively in today's internetworked enterprise. Cases and other assignments will be used to illustrate the evolving role of IS and networks in today's interconnected organization both within and external to it.
You have the option to apply what you've learned and gain valuable experience through one or two co-op (paid internship) terms. Our international students are particularly keen to benefit from this professional work experience. Our students have interned in the following positions:
- Assistant Account Manager
- Associate Product Manager
- Business Analyst
- Business Development Analyst
- Business Management Coordinator
- Career Event Project Coordinator
- Corporate Business Planning Analyst
- Engineering Business Process Developer
- External Relations
- Fund Development Coordinator
- Global Marketing Strategist
- Human Resources Analyst
- International Business Development
- Marketing Research Coordinator
- Master Data Analyst Associate
- Performance and Sponsorship Analyst
- Policy Analyst
- Research Analyst
- Strategy Analyst
Several hundred internship opportunities are posted in the Business and Career Centre each term. In many cases, these internships lead to offers of permanent employment after graduation.
Your internship generally occurs after completing the Foundation Module, and a second internship term may be scheduled thereafter.
At the end of your program, you will be required to complete a major consulting project. The MBA 596: Management Consulting Report is a team project.
Under the supervision of a faculty member, students conduct a full consulting assignment for a client organization. This represents an opportunity to showcase their knowledge and skills while gaining valuable consulting experience.
Some examples are:
- Business plans for private organizations
- Economic studies
- Market analysis and recommendations
- Feasibility studies
- Sales and distribution strategy
In your final year, you may choose to specialize in one of three specific areas or study abroad through the international exchange program.
Through this module, you learn to effectively manage and lead in an organization that operates globally. Courses include:
- MBA 571: International Financial Management (1.5 units): An examination of international financial markets and the financial decision making of multinational firms. Topics include international monetary systems, exchange rate determination, foreign currency derivatives, risk management techniques, and investments, financing and operations in global markets.
- MBA 572: International Marketing and Global Strategy (1.5 units): An examination of the strategic challenges facing businesses in an international context, with a focus on marketing issues. Topics include the problems associated with controlling and coordinating activities in multiple markets, managing diverse markets, responding to consumer and competitor differences, understanding the impact of different institutional structures, and coping with market consolidation.
- MBA 73: Managing People and Relationships in a Global Context (1.5 units): An examination of the issues involved in managing subordinates and partners in an international context. Particular attention will be paid to how internationalization poses additional challenges to the development of human resources management practices and how cultural values affect interpersonal relationships.
- MBA 561: Entrepreneurial Planning and Finance (1.5 units): This course develops the thinking skills and courses of action needed to take advantage of opportunity. It focuses on the development of a sound business model leading to a business plan that is financially feasible and attractive to investors.
- MBA 562: New Venture Marketing (1.5 units):This course develops the thinking skills required to: identify business opportunities, understand customers, develop valued products, gain market acceptance, develop trust, and manage stakeholder relationships.
- MBA 563: Entrepreneurial Strategy (1.5 units): This course develops the thinking skills needed to assess the viability of ventures, set up ventures to succeed, and develop sustainable competitive advantage.
- MBA 511: Services Marketing (1.5 units): This course addresses the distinct needs and problems of service organizations in the area of marketing. Topics include: the difference between marketing services versus manufacturing organizations; the marketing mix for service organizations; market research in services; managing demand in services; integrated services marketing communication; services pricing; and the overlap of marketing/operations/human resource systems in service organizations.
- MBA 512: Quality Management and Service Operations (1.5 units): This course addresses the distinct needs and problems of service organizations in the area of operations and quality management. A core theme is a quality management approach to providing service excellence. Topics include: service quality measurement; service quality control; service quality improvement; quality function deployment; service design; and service capacity management for rapid growth and change.
- MBA 513: Issues in Service Technology and HR Management (1.5 units): This course addresses the distinct needs and problems of service organizations in the areas of human resource management and IT management. Topics include: e-service and the role of technology; customer relationship management (CRM); managing the organizational culture; impact of cultural differences on customer service; management and motivation of knowledge workers; customer self-service technology; and the service profit chain.