One-week program offers an alternative to an MBA program.

Business people often seek an MBA to get an edge on the competition and to propel their careers forward. For those who can't commit to an MBA program yet are still seeking that business boost, there's the one-week MBA Essentials program.

"MBA Essentials is for people who want to develop their general business vocabulary, get a better understanding of the key issues and challenges facing the various functions in their organization, and improve their communication with senior management, clients, customers, and suppliers," says Mark Kizilos, assistant dean of Carlson Executive Education.

For Bernard Rosenzweig, group manager at a large retailer, MBA Essentials was a great, and expeditious, alternative to an MBA program.

"This is the perfect solution," says Rosenzweig, who attended MBA Essentials in spring 2011. "It provides you in a very short period of time a wide variety of different subjects that allows you to apply them right away in your working environment without having to commit to a long-term, full MBA."

The program begins by providing an understanding of the nature of business strategy and the foundations of competitive advantage. In subsequent sessions, participants are introduced to the core perspectives of the basic business functions and how they each contribute to the organization.

Other topics covered include marketing management, financial accounting, human resource management, financial statement analysis and corporate finance, building and leading teams, operations management, international business, and leadership.

Classes are led by top Carlson School professors, including Myles Shaver, Mark Bergen, Ed Joyce, Connie Wanberg, Raj Aggarwal, Svjetlana Madzar, Art Hill, and Paul Vaaler.

"I have one word for the professors: Brilliant. They are absolutely brilliant, experts in their field, published, they are engaging, thought provoking, they're fun," says Illa Scott Hauge, a VP of administration and former MBA Essentials student. "I'd also say the professors were generous with their time and their knowledge."

"The MBA Essentials professors are very well connected to the business community," added Rosenzweig. "They bring to the table real life examples that I can apply to my job day one."