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The spring semester brought several new courses to the Kellogg School of Management.

New course roundup

Hands-on learning

Projects for Ecuador and growth strategies are among Kellogg's new spring courses

By Paul Dailing

3/20/2014 - In addition to the regular offerings students take at Kellogg, each semester new classes debut to keep the students on the cutting edge of new development. 

Here are a few of the brand-new courses students are taking spring semester 2014.

Ecuador to Evanston

The Ecuadorian government wants to promote their tilapia, export their sugar substitute stevia and have their national airline fly directly into the U.S.

So they turned to Kellogg students in Professor Susan Perkins’ new International Business Strategies Lab. Perkins was inspired to create the course after seeing the innovative work and excitement from students on hypothetical situations in a previous international business strategy course.

“Wouldn’t it be great to give them the opportunity to do this real time?” she remembers thinking.

Perkins originally designed the course, which she describes as reaching "the trifecta of international trade, global strategy and government policy," to work remotely with real-world clients, using Skype and other means to communicate internationally. But then she arranged for Ecuador, which has a trade commission office in Chicago, to be the primary client. 

“We are going to have those executives in the classroom,” Perkins said. “The students will be working with them on a weekly basis to understand their needs.”

Growing mid-sized companies

Professor Mike Mazzeo designed a course to study an often-ignored segment of the economy and was thrilled when students signed up en masse.

Mazzeo’s new Strategies for Growth course looks at middle-market companies, which he roughly defined as in the $10 million to $200 million, 20- to 200-employee range.

“Their challenges have been understudied,” he said. “The large companies and the startups have gotten a lot of attention.”

Kellogg students apparently agreed during course bidding, filling both the new class and a waiting list. Those that did get in will learn strategies for growing these companies, working from case studies compiled during Mazzeo’s research for his new book, Roadside MBA.

“I’m hoping that they get a greater appreciation for the fundamentals of growth and how that can be applied in all sorts of different situations,” Mazzeo said.

Other new courses

VC Experience (FINC-916-B) with Professor Paul Lee

Changing Business Models in the Media Industry (MEDM-916-B) with Professor Amy Barnett

Real Estate Finance and Investments II (FINC 455-A) with Professor Craig Furfine

Thought Leadership Seminar: Contemporary Issues in Finance (FINC-484-A) with Professor David Matsa

Thought Leadership Seminar: Sustainable Development (KPPI-484-0) with Professor Klaus Weber

Thought Leadership Seminar: Infrastructure Strategy - Public Sector Reforms and Private Sector Opportunities (KPPI-484-0) with Professor David Besanko

Business Opportunities in Energy Markets (KPPI-915-A) with Professor Luciano de Castro

Competitive Strategy in Financial Markets (MGMT-950-0) with Professor Sarit Markovich

Strategy Implementation (MORS 455-0) with Professor Edward Smith