Course: Gateway to Business Management
When: Twice a year
Next: April 24-29, 2005
November 13-18, 2005
Instructor: William F. Joyce (director)
Class Size: 35
Where: Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire
Mission Provides a broad perspective in business to drive careers out of tunnel vision.
Switching careers at the top of your New Year's resolution list?
Well, slow down there. A more complete business perspective may be the way to create your own opportunity. Tuck's Gateway to Business Management is a sort of mini-MBA with Ivy League credentials — without the two-year detour and $125,000-plus price tag.
You explore the five pillars that prop up all businesses — strategy, marketing, accounting and finance, operations and supply chains, and leadership — but don't think of this as remedial B-school. "I designed the course to emphasize the fundamentals, not basics, of management," explains Tuck professor and course director William F. Joyce. What's special is the oddball, hands-on approaches that bring the teaching to life: culling strategy from World War I military operations; learning supply-chain management through a blind guessing game that moves pennies as product units (in this case, beer); role playing to understand the impact, successful or not, that each of the five pillars has on a new initiative. Group assignments are informed by student applications, and faculty aim for a wide diversity in background and industry for each team. Leaders from such organizations as Fujitsu, Barclays, and the U.S. Army are regulars.
Student Evaluation: Brian Michon, a director of engineering at Intuit, took the course to fill in the gaps in his predominantly tech background. At the time, he managed 20 engineers focused on one business unit. When Intuit centralized its engineering department, Michon was able to assist in the transition, smoothing out any engineers' concerns, because of what he had learned. "The course better prepared me to understand what the issues were," he says. Today, Michon manages 60 engineers, and he has referred three colleagues to the course.
Want to go? www.tuck.dartmouth.edu/exec
A version of this article appeared in the January 2005 issue of Fast Company magazine.