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.

Program Contact
Contact Carol Roecklein


  • 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
I was pushed to higher levels of understanding core business concepts until I reached those "a-ha!" moments that I can instantly implement in my own firm to achieve better success.
– MBA Essentials Program Participant

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 & Leading Teams
Day 2
IT Disruptions & Business Implications
International Business
Day 3
Marketing Management
Talent Management
Day 4
Supply Chain & Operations
Day 5
Data Mining & Business Decisions
Strategy Execution & Conclusions

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.

Jason Chan
Associate Professor, Mary & Jim Lawrence Fellow in Information & Decision Sciences

Dr. Jason Chan is an Associate Professor of Information & Decision Sciences at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. His work has been published in top academic journals and conferences such as Information Systems Research, Management Science, and MIS Quarterly.

Daniel Forbes
Associate Professor, Strategic Management & Entrepreneurship

Daniel Forbes is an Associate Professor in the Strategic Management & Entrepreneurship department at the Carlson School. He has also been named a Schulze Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship by the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation.

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 previously served in various roles within the consulting industry and most recently in public accounting at KPMG, and she also received both her MBA and MBT from the Carlson School of Management. Kendell shifted to a full-time faculty role in 2017 teaching undergraduate, MBA, and executive education courses at the Carlson School, and she also serves as the undergraduate coordinator

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.

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