Faculty teaching executive education program

MBA Essentials

Five days of in-depth work to polish your approach to critical business operations, enhance your understanding of data-driven decision-making, and refine your communication and leadership strategies.

Program Details

In Person: Minneapolis, MN

About the Program

This course provides an introduction to the critical business disciplines housed within an MBA. Participants will learn key concepts and terminology from Strategy, HR, Leadership, Analytics, Supply Chain, Finance, Accounting, and International Management. The course is structured to broaden your perspective on your organization and to elevate your ability to influence and make more informed business decisions.     

Experience & Results

You will learn to build and lead teams, get a better grasp on finance and accounting, as well as develop business strategies. You’ll be engaged in discussions that tackle the practical issues and challenges associated with each functional business area and apply them to issues of strategy and competitiveness. Upon completion of this non-credit course, you’ll receive an MBA Essentials Certificate.

Learn how you can customize this program for your organization.

Tuition Reimbursement

Attendees who apply for and are accepted into a Carlson MBA program within one year of completing the MBA Essentials course will be eligible to apply up to 50% of the MBA Essentials course fee toward their MBA tuition.


  • Directors and managers who seek to refine their business acumen
  • Professionals in transition who wish to enhance their skills
  • Technically-trained leaders who seek to enhance their business knowledge
  • Potential MBA students

Key Benefits

  • Become more effective in day-to-day operations
  • Make better informed decisions
  • Broaden your understanding of business beyond your specific area of expertise
  • Learn language and best-practices for business areas including marketing, operations, supply chain, finance, and leadership
  • Communicate more effectively with colleagues and senior management
After taking this course, I feel confident in my ability to translate my learnings immediately in my career and armed with additional resources to continue my learnings independently. This course is perfect for those who are interested in pursuing an MBA in the future, as well as, for those interested in a week of exploring the general scope of business with other brilliant business minds in the Twin Cities and beyond.

Participant Perspective

Participants share their experience in MBA Essentials and how the course provided them with practical business tools and frameworks to utilize in their organizations. 


Day 1
Business Strategy
Building and Leading Teams
Day 2
Talent Management
Data Mining for Business Decisions
Day 3
Supply Chain and Operations
International Business
Day 4
Marketing Management
Day 5
Measuring Value Added: Why Financial Markets Matter
Strategy Execution & Conclusion

Additional Details


Ravi Bapna
Curtis L. Carlson Chair in Business Analytics and Information Systems; Academic Director, Carlson Analytics Lab

Professor Ravi Bapna's expertise lies in helping companies reframe their understanding of analytics, AI, and machine learning, and then leverage that understanding for competitive advantage.

Larry Bourgerie
Senior Lecturer

Larry Bourgerie is a Senior Lecturer, Work & Organizations, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota.  Professor Bourgerie is a dedicated, energetic educator and HR professional with over 25 years of experience in HR and 15 years in teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Svjetlana Madzar
Senior Lecturer

Svjetlana Madzar teaches courses such as Management of Teams, Leading Global Teams, Strategic Alliances, and Competing Globally, across several programs, including Global EMBA and DBA China.

Susan Meyer-Goldstein
Associate Professor

Susan Meyer Goldstein is an associate professor of Supply Chain and Operations. She earned her BS in Genetics and Cell Biology, her MBA at the University of Minnesota, and her PhD in Operations Management from The Ohio State University. Her research interests include service process design, management, and improvement.

Kendell Poch
Senior Lecturer

Kendell Poch teaches undergraduate, MBA, and Executive Education accounting courses at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. Before shifting her career to academia, she served in various roles within the consulting industry, most recently in public accounting at KPMG. Kendell is a graduate of the MBA and MBT programs at the Carlson School.

Joe Redden
Professor, Curtis L. Carlson Chair in Marketing Analytics
Joseph Redden is a Professor, Curtis L. Carlson Chair in Marketing Analytics at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota.
Raj Singh

Raj Singh's work has appeared in publications such as the Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of LawEconomics & Organizations, and Journal of Accounting Research.

Myles Shaver
Professor of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship, Curtis L. Carlson Chair in Corporate Strategy

Myles Shaver is the Professor of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, where he holds the Curtis L. Carlson Chair in Corporate Strategy. 

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