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Business Major

Private enterprise is the world's primary driver of wealth, employment, technological advancements, and cures for social ailments. Minerva's business major will focus on corporate and market dynamics, the strategy and mechanics behind transactions, and the operational complexity involved with taking a concept from ideation to global availability.

Cornerstone Courses

In their first year, Business majors complete their Cornerstone Courses.

Core Courses

In their second year, Business majors enroll in core courses that provide the foundation for the Business concentrations. They also take electives from core courses offered in other majors.

B110 / Market Dynamics and Product Analytics

Business is a powerful driver of economic growth and stability; to do well in business, you must understand consumers, products, and markets. Market Dynamics and Product Analytics is a Major Core course that provides essential foundations for business majors and is a prerequisite for all junior-level business Concentration courses. The objective of B110 is to challenge students to apply marketing methods used by businesses to create value for shareholders and selected customers and consumers. We examine the consumer behavior of individuals, learn how to run, analyze and interpret experiments, and we review business marketing strategies designed to create and capture value.

Prerequisite: Co-requisite: B111; AH51; CS51; NS51; SS51

B111 / Financial Planning, Budgeting and Modeling

Explore tools used in quantitative modeling to solve common business problems and create processes. Study aspects of the business process through a financial lens with applied modeling and scenario-based exercises. Key topics include financial returns of projects, supply chain management, human resources allocation and budgeting, networks and marketplace driven business designs, inventory, and scenario planning.

Prerequisite: Co-requisite: B110; AH51; CS51; NS51; SS51

B112 / Doing Business

Analyze the political, regulatory, and societal contexts in which business gets done from a global perspective. Examine how different societies have constructed legislative and societal norm-based solutions to problems originating from real or perceived market failures. Cultural biases, labor market conditions, financial regulations, legislative systems, and international frameworks all will be addressed.

Prerequisite: Co-requisite: B113; B110; B111

B113 / Enterprise, Design and Optimization

This Core course provides a foundation for all Business majors and is a prerequisite for all Business Concentration courses. Students learn about the financial and strategic tools managers use to track, evaluate, and improve their business operations for achieving business objectives. Students learn accounting terminology to read financial statements, explore tools used to develop financial models, and analyze case studies of real-world business situations. Key topics include financial and managerial accounting, present value analysis, options, capital structure, strategy, and corporate social responsibility.

Prerequisite: Co-requisite: B112; B110; B111

Concentrations

In their third year, Business majors select a concentration, begin taking courses within it and begin work on their capstone courses. They also take electives chosen from other Minerva courses (other concentration courses in Business, core and concentration courses in other colleges). Business offers concentrations shown in the table below.

All Business majors complete a summer practicum, and, in their fourth year, Business majors enroll in additional electives chosen from Minerva’s course offerings within or outside the major. capstone courses conclude during the fourth year as well.

  New Business Ventures Scalable Growth Enterprise Management
Brand Management B144 / Needs Identification and Product Development B154 / Strategic Brand Leadership B164 / Product Evolution and Reinvention
Strategic Finance B145 / Venture Initiation and Valuation B155 / Capital Allocation and Value Creating Growth B165 / Global Enterprise Financial Strategy
Managing Operational Complexity B146 / Business Operations B156 / Business Systems B166 / Business Optimization

Each row and each column of the matrix represent a different concentration, as noted above.

Brand Management

Master the processes, tactics, and tools that businesses utilize through various stages of growth, from the general manager's perspective. From ideation to start up, from domestic to international, from market follower to market leader, students learn effective brand management through a rigorous academic and practical approach.

Career Possibilities

  • Brand Manager
  • Chief Marketing Officer
  • Entrepreneur
  • Executive Director of a Non-Profit
  • Product Manager

Enterprise Management

Deeply examine the complexity of managing and optimizing a multi-national corporation. Explore the systems necessary to operate a business at scale to workforce management; from leveraging investments to leveraging the brand.

Career Possibilities

  • Corporate Strategy
  • General Management
  • Investment Banker
  • Project Management

Managing Operational Complexity

Study how to balance an intricate array of constituents, systems, and environmental factors when growing a business. The Managing Operational Complexity concentration provides students with advanced modeling tools and specific strategies to manage large employee bases, navigate multinational laws and regulations, create scalable IT infrastructures, and optimize global supply chains.

Career Possibilities

  • Chief Operations Officer
  • Customer Support Director
  • Director of Information Technology
  • Human Resources Director
  • Operational Analyst
  • Organizational Development Consultant

New Business Ventures

Delve into the critical elements of successfully navigating businesses through the earliest stages of formation and establishment of market traction. Explore critical questions in business and market analysis for new product introduction, start up finance, the elements of contracts and sales, and how to successfully manage in highly constrained environments.

Career Possibilities

  • Entrepreneur
  • Product Manager
  • Startup Executive
  • Venture Analyst

Scalable Growth

Dig into the critical elements of successfully navigating businesses through various trajectories of growth as they penetrate new markets and solidify success in existing ones. Explore both internal (capital allocation & supply chain) and external (market penetration and complex partnerships) factors.

Career Possibilities

  • Brand Manager
  • Chief Operations Officer
  • Consultant
  • Growth Company Executive

Strategic Finance

Learn how to allocate and preserve funds to make informed decisions; understand how to utilize financial instruments to manage a growing private enterprise successfully. The Strategic Finance concentration provides students with rigorous financial modeling and budgeting skills, success tactics of great CFOs, accounting principles necessary for effective corporate management, and the optimal utilization of various assets to maximize corporate returns.

Career Possibilities

  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Corporate Finance
  • Financial Analyst
  • Investment Banker
  • Venture Analyst

Concentration Courses

B144 / Needs Identification and Product Development

In this course, we will explore different approaches to need identification, product design and development, and market introduction. We will learn how to understand our customers and their needs and learn how to identify the new market potential of existing products. We will delve into the conception, design, planning, and forecasting phases of new product design. Finally, will explore the process of realizing a product in different business settings, and learn how to introduce new products to various markets. To do this, we build on our knowledge of market research, consumer psychology, and creative problem-solving from previous courses.

Prerequisite: B110; B111; B112; B113

B145 / Venture Initiation and Valuation

This course provides you a broad stroke understanding of startup finance in venture capital and entrepreneurial ecosystems. We will analyze the venture capital industry from the perspective of both global entrepreneurs and investors. We will observe shifting funding trends around the globe toward businesses that reach social and ecological goals as opposed to those that historically simply have created the next widget or service. We will discuss how entrepreneurs, investors, and policymakers can move the needle in order to bring about more equal access to entrepreneurial capital. We will analyze new ventures and projects from readings, real-world illustrations, case studies, a location-based assignment, and your own business plan. Relying on skills developed in B111, we will utilize a toolkit that sharpens your ability to create legal entities, engage in investor negotiations, manage employee retention, utilize real options, understand discounted cash flow, venture capital method, and comparable valuation, among other helpful techniques. As potential entrepreneurs, you also learn how to raise capital and effectively interface with investors, board members, employees, and other stakeholders in order to maximize positive outcomes. You will build “muscle memory” so you can raise capital and effectively interface with stakeholders in future business creation and growth.The overall goal of this course is to bolster your ability to work with scarce resources while balancing growth and profitability in socially and ecologically responsible businesses and investments.

Prerequisite: B110; B111; B112; B113

B146 / Business Operations

Study the entrepreneurial process from inception through early growth stages and the unique operational challenges of competing with highly constrained resources. Integrate financial planning, organizational design, product development, market penetration and operations management concepts while addressing risk-reward tradeoffs. The focus is on the utilization of business practices to transform inputs into goods and services as efficiently as possible to enable sustainable growth.

Prerequisite: B110; B111; B112; B113

B154 / Strategic Brand Leadership

In this course, we build on your knowledge of market research, consumer psychology, and creative problem-solving to understand and explore different approaches to growth. Throughout the course, we will delve into new metrics for measuring marketing’s worth, leverage psychological principles for brand building, and analyze the power of partnerships for growth. Throughout the semester you will propose, execute, and evaluate experiments to get first-hand experience in growing a brand. We will place these activities into the larger context of the firm and will explore the strategic role that they play in business development.

Prerequisite: B110; B111; B112; B113

B155 / Capital Allocation and Value Creating Growth

Investigate how growing enterprises use their balance sheets to execute growth strategies. Apply discounted cash flow and real options to select among opportunities that create business value. Learn the role of finance in selecting and valuing appropriate M&A candidates and strategies for achieving synergy.Investigate how growing enterprises use their balance sheets to execute growth strategies. 

Prerequisite: B110; B111; B112; B113

B156 / Business Systems

Learn strategic and tactical decision-making for the design and operation of product and service delivery systems. Consider strategies to increase competitiveness while managing risk. Compare approaches to business process outsourcing, quality management, partnering, and supply chain coordination and rationalization.

Prerequisite: B110; B111; B112; B113

B164 / Product Evolution and Reinvention

Powerful brands can enhance customer relationships, generate profitability, and produce shareholder value. Yet, enterprise growth often begins to slows down as brands get older and approach maturity. During this tipping point in the life cycle, firms must decide how to revitalize their brands and rekindle enterprise growth in order to prevent brand failure. To address these challenges, this course examines signs of brand maturity and explores opportunities for brand revitalization. To begin, we analyze key performance indicators to generate a brand audit and learn how to assess brand equity. Thereafter, we use creative and innovative thinking to explore different paths to enterprise growth and brand revitalization including new market entry, brand extensions, co-branding, brand reinvention, and mergers and acquisitions. 

Prerequisite: B110; B111; B112; B113

B165 / Global Enterprise Financial Strategy

Global investing requires sophisticated tools to select among risk/return scenarios. Learn to apply these tools, which include diversification and hedging for risk reduction, appropriate capital structuring to fund growth, and dividend/share repurchase strategies to drive shareholder value. Investigate the role of private equity investing and financial engineering in modern global finance.

Prerequisite: B110; B111; B112; B113

B166 / Business Optimization

In this class we study ways to optimize organizational structure, processes, and systems that support key business functions in large enterprises. We learn build, buy, and partner strategies, identify the major pitfalls in systems design and management, and navigate the often conflicting requirements that drive profitability. The goal of the course is to examine how large enterprises use their operational systems to synchronize product or service availability with market potential.

Prerequisite: B110; B111; B112; B113

Business Practicum

B199 / Business Practicum

The Business Practicum is a paper written during the summer between the third and fourth years. The topic is approved beforehand by a Business College faculty member, who will oversee the process and grade the paper at the end of the summer. The topic is ideally, but not necessarily, associated with a summer internship or job. It combines Learning Outcomes from two or more major core or concentration courses in the Business College. This paper is practical (as opposed to totally theoretical) in its orientation.

Prerequisite: B112; B113

Capstone Courses

In their fourth year, Business majors finish their Capstone Courses.