Purdue News

March 30, 2005

Krannert offers MBA students new career-oriented study options

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University's Krannert School of Management is offering three new inter-disciplinary study options to enable MBA students to customize their degrees both to chart long-term career aspirations and to appeal to employers.

"We started our regular four-year program review by benchmarking our programs against schools such as Harvard, MIT, Stanford and Northwestern," said Manohar Kalwani, American United Life Professor of Management who headed the faculty review group. "Our overarching goal was to provide our students with curriculum that is flexible, up-to-date and innovative."

The new option areas are:

• Global supply-chain management, designed for students seeking careers in global procurement, operations and supply chains or those with a country or regional focus or interests in risk management. The focus is managing issues associated with structuring, understanding and procurement from global supply chains that include both domestic and foreign suppliers; placing products in the supply chains of global customers; and coordinating supply chains that work across national boundaries.

• Analytical consulting, which consists of three tracks: business analysis consulting, financial consulting and marketing consulting. Kalwani said that students choosing this option will be well-positioned for jobs with large consulting firms, such as Accenture and IBM Global Services; positions with small consulting firms that specialize in a particular industry, such as marketing and health care; and as business analysts or members of internal consulting groups within companies.

• Technological innovation and entrepreneurship, designed for students seeking management positions in technology-intensive organizations and entrepreneurial ventures. This option adopts a general management approach to understanding the challenges of the development and introduction of new technology and the starting and managing of entrepreneurial ventures. The courses in the option focus on engendering skills in developing new products and processes, introducing innovations, and developing new businesses, both in existing organizations and startups.

Students can take five eight-week courses – or 10 credit hours of electives – in the option areas to complement the 50 hours of required courses in the "functional" areas. Krannert School MBA functional areas, analogous to undergraduate majors, are accounting, finance, marketing, management information systems, operations management, organizational behavior/human resources and strategic management.

"Krannert is a professional school that students choose to improve their job and career options," Kalwani said. "So we looked at designing option areas that reflect and reinforce the school's strengths. Our goal is to provide students with a world-class management education and produce graduates who are analytically adept, technologically savvy and globally aware."

Kalwani said the curriculum review and new options were designed to accomplish three goals.

"First, we want our school to be attractive to high-achieving students,," he said. "Second, through the new options, we also want to give students guidance in putting together a coherent set of courses to achieve the students' career goals. Finally, we want to bring new corporate recruiters to campus."

Chuck Johnson, director of Krannert's professional master's degree programs, said the new concentration areas are being made possible by putting together existing classes and adding new classes with an expanding faculty.

"Our strategic plan calls for increasing our number of faculty by 20 over three years," Johnson said. "We've added 13 or 14 already, so we're looking at expanding our intellectual base and areas of expertise."

New and continuing MBA students will be able to sign up for the new options fall semester.

Writer: Mike Lillich, (765) 494-2077, mlillich@purdue.edu

Sources: Manohar Kalwani, (765) 494-4400, kalwani@purdue.edu

Chuck Johnson, (765) 496-3668, cjohnson@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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