MBA Essentials: Preparing an IT Professional for the Next Step Up

Yvonne Lai, a Product Manager at US Bank, is on a leadership track. To prepare herself to take on a larger role in her organization, she began to seek out professional development options. “I’d heard good things about Carlson Executive Education, about how [the content] is easily applied back at work.”

As she was interested in enhancing a range of business acumen skills, Yvonne decided on MBA Essentials, Carlson Executive Education’s 5-day short course. Throughout the week, faculty share key foundational concepts in such topics as Strategy, Leading Teams, Accounting, Marketing Management, and International Business. “It felt like a crash course of the whole MBA, it was pretty intense,” says Yvonne. “I really applaud how the professors made it interesting…and how they take some of the key components from an MBA curriculum and highlight them.”

Yvonne’s favorite unit was Supply Chain and Operations. She used the skill of process mapping when she got back to the office: “[I used process mapping to] tell the story of how a new process could benefit the organization. My boss’s boss noticed that and he really liked what I did to visualize things.”

Increased skills and knowledge of key business terms also increased Yvonne’s confidence at work. “Overall, the course gave me more confidence to partner and communicate better, and my executive presence has increased. Confidence helps with my presence and visibility to leadership, and not just in my area. Now I’m becoming more of a liaison between different departments. Taking the course helped me take on that role…It’s becoming more and more official that ‘Yvonne is leading this, go to her’.”

Looking back on the experience, Yvonne says, “I recommend this course to anyone wanting to transition to a higher leadership level. I really liked the delivery, the interactive faculty, and the opportunity to create personal connections with all the people who took the class with me. In one intense week you build new friendships and professional connections. It’s always good to network!”

All in all, Yvonne says, “I really enjoyed the week there, so I really look forward to coming back.”

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