News & Events

The International Growth Lab (pictured) is one of several new offerings aimed at bringing leading-edge thought leadership to students.

New course roundup

New Kellogg MBA courses look into several leading-edge trends

From data visualization to design thinking, offerings give students a glimpse into new research and thought leadership

By Andrea Mustain

5/18/2015 - A crop of new courses and boot camps, offered both this spring and in 2016, provide a glimpse of the myriad ways Kellogg's programs are keeping pace with real-world trends, helping students stay on the bleeding edge of the innovation and change that is shaping today's business climate.

The class descriptions offer up a menu of on-trend watchwords, from big data to design thinking to channel relationships. Whether students want to dive into international consulting, cognitive science or macaroni (Kraft, that is), the courses below have plenty to offer.

Kraft CPG Boot Camp
Offered May 2, 2015

The world of consumer packaged goods (CPG) is changing, and this inaugural boot camp gave students an inside look at an incredibly vast industry, which touches nearly every aspect of human life. The one-day program, sponsored by Kraft through a partnership with the Kellogg Marketing Club, offered students face-to-face sessions with company leaders and covered everything from channel relationships to storytelling to Nielsen research.

“The purpose of the boot camp was to give first-year students some exposure to concepts that they will encounter in their consumer packaged goods internships, but are not necessarily covered in the first-year curriculum,” says Eric Leininger, clinical associate professor of executive education, and the executive director of Kellogg’s Chief Marketing Officer Program. "Everyone at Kellogg deeply appreciates the time, energy and resources that Kraft devoted to the boot camp."

Second-year Kellogg MBA student and Marketing Club member Matt Benson and colleague Dan Rubin-Willis helped launch the effort when they saw an opportunity to reach Kellogg students during the academic year, "so that interns could hit the ground running even faster," said Benson. After all, "a summer internship is the quickest way to spend 10 weeks I have ever encountered." The boot camp offered students about to embark upon internships valuable real-world know-how, including a well-received impromptu session, led by Professor Julie Hennessy, on how to get good feedback from a summer internship boss.

“We plan to expand this idea to cover the tech and pharma industries next year,” Leininger says.

Visit the Kellogg Full-Time MBA Blog to learn more about the boot camp experience.

Venture Design Boot Camp
Offered May 11-12, 2015

Design thinking is an increasingly popular approach in the tech world and beyond, and Kellogg’s Executive MBAs want a piece of the action. This recent two-day workshop was born out of a chorus of requests from EMBAs who wanted to delve deeper into the worlds of entrepreneurship and innovation ⎯ a corner of the Kellogg curriculum that is traditionally not as available to such students. Nearly three-dozen EMBAs from the Miami and Evanston campuses took time off from work to attend.

Clinical Assistant Professor David Schonthal ’09 (EMP-74) kicked off the workshop; attendees heard from keynote speaker Hank Adams '99, CEO of Sports Vision, and the boot camp closed with a speed mentoring session. Attendees learned not only how to apply design thinking to new ventures, but also how to apply an innovative approach to the everyday challenges they confront in corporate boardrooms.

The next Venture Design Boot Camp is slated for July 10-11, in Miami.

International Growth Lab
First offered Spring 2015

Students who crave real-world consulting experience are getting a firsthand look at the rigors—and pleasures—of the notoriously globetrotting profession with the launch of this new class, which partners Kellogg's future MBAs with students in Spain and Hong Kong.

Over the course of the three-month-long program, students apply their management and strategy skills to real-world problems facing an international business, and, in addition to videoconferencing at least twice a week, travel to meet with their counterparts at ESADE Business & Law School in Barcelona and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

“They’ll be real consultants, doing a real consulting project, making real recommendations to clients,” says Harold Sirkin, an adjunct professor of strategy who runs the program. Sirkin is also a senior partner and managing director at The Boston Consulting Group in Chicago.

Visit the Kellogg Full-Time MBA Blog for a first-hand look inside the growth lab.

Visualization for Persuasion
First offered Spring 2015

If you've ever longed to get inside the head of a client, this course offers the next best thing. Developed by Brian Uzzi, Kellogg's Richard L. Thomas Professor of Leadership and Organizational Change, and Steven Franconeri, an associate professor of psychology, this Spring 2015 class takes a science-based approach to the art of persuasion. The course delves into how to use a powerful combination of empirical evidence, cognitive science, computer science and graphic design as catalysts that can help you convince an audience of the virtues of your ideas.

And the course isn't just an intellectual exercise. Through hands-on experience, students develop data visualization skills, and take with them the tools they need in the real world to showcase their ideas and convictions.

Visit Kellogg Insight to learn more about data visualization.

Thought Partnerships: Man Plus Machine Is Greater Than Man or Machine
To be offered in 2016

Big Data is being collected at a lightning pace, from the ever-growing number of devices at our fingertips. It's also a key ingredient of a successful business and can help companies understand everything from what their customers want to where their customers are. But picking out the right signal from all the noise isn't necessarily easy. This 2016 course, developed by Professor Brian Uzzi and Agnes Horvat, a postdoctoral fellow, is designed to do just that.

The class aims to help future MBAs learn how to harness data—everything from information on individual consumers to the rollups and aggregations of data that can paint a picture of a mass market. Students will learn how to use big data to better understand how—and why—people behave the way they do, and, in turn, how to create companies and products offering the experiences that consumers crave.