Business Icon

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.

Core Courses

In their sophomore year, Business majors enroll in the four core courses that provide the foundation for the Business concentrations. They also take two to four electives from core courses offered in other majors. The Business core courses are: Market Dynamics and Product Analytics (B110), Financial Planning, Budgeting and Modeling (B111), Doing Business (B112) and Enterprise Design and Optimization (B113).

B110 / Market Dynamics and Product Analytics

Learn advanced analytical tools used for the intensive study of markets; study product analytics such as business-oriented conjoint and factor analysis, market efficiencies and failures analysis, product development principles, and market gap analysis.

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.

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.

B113 / Enterprise Design and Optimization

Develop a framework for implementing strategy and understanding the tradeoffs inherent in organizational designs. Study the interdependencies of organizational planning, design, control and implementation. Implementations of enterprise design or optimization plans are considered systematically with examinations of incentive structures, emergent effects, and cost considerations.

Concentrations

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

In the senior year, Business majors enroll in four additional electives chosen from Minerva’s course offerings within or outside the major. Additionally, they take two senior tutorials in the major, and finish their capstone projects.

  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 for 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

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

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

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

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

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

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
  • Startup executive
  • Product manager
  • 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
  • Growth company executive
  • Chief Operations Officer
  • Consultant

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

  • General management
  • Corporate strategy
  • Project management
  • Investment banker

Concentration Courses

B144 / Needs Identification and Product Development

Build on knowledge of market research to analyze different approaches to new product design and market introduction. Delve into the conception, design, planning, and forecasting phases of new product design and market introduction.

Prerequisites: B110: Market Dynamics and Product Analytics, B111: Financial Planning, Budgeting and Modeling, B112: Doing Business, B113: Enterprise Design and Optimization

B154 / Strategic Brand Leadership

Learn about brand and product development, including tradeoffs that businesses encounter in planning for short-term vs. long-term growth. Analyze pricing, distribution, product development and promotional strategies using tools such as scenario planning. Understand how growth requires the integration of marketing and sales, and learn how to create revenue synergies through M&A and alliances.

Prerequisites: B110: Market Dynamics and Product Analytics, B111: Financial Planning, Budgeting and Modeling, B112: Doing Business, B113: Enterprise Design and Optimization

B164 / Product Evolution and Reinvention

Examine how to manage, defend, and extend brands to maximize customer loyalty and shareholder value. Utilize research tools that measure brand value and predict how brand extensions can impact a firm’s overall brand capital. Apply sales management structures and incentives to focus on offerings that build long-term value.

Prerequisites: B110: Market Dynamics and Product Analytics, B111: Financial Planning, Budgeting and Modeling, B112: Doing Business, B113: Enterprise Design and Optimization

B145 / Venture Initiation and Valuation

Evaluate new ventures and projects using discounted cash flow, real options and comparables valuation techniques. Learn how to raise capital and negotiate with investors using the venture capital process. Explore how to work within the constraints of limited resources to balance growth and profitability. Learn project finance strategies and implementation.

Prerequisites: B110: Market Dynamics and Product Analytics, B111: Financial Planning, Budgeting and Modeling, B112: Doing Business, B113: Enterprise Design and Optimization

B155 / Capital Allocation for 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.

Prerequisites: B110: Market Dynamics and Product Analytics, B111: Financial Planning, Budgeting and Modeling, B112: Doing Business, B113: Enterprise Design and Optimization

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.

Prerequisites: B110: Market Dynamics and Product Analytics, B111: Financial Planning, Budgeting and Modeling, B112: Doing Business, B113: Enterprise Design and Optimization

B146 / Business Operations

Study the entrepreneurial process from inception through early growth stages and the unique challenges of competing with highly constrained resources. Integrate financial planning, organizational design, product development, market penetration and supply chain strategies while addressing risk-reward tradeoffs.

Prerequisites: B110: Market Dynamics and Product Analytics, B111: Financial Planning, Budgeting and Modeling, B112: Doing Business, B113: Enterprise Design and Optimization

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.

Prerequisites: B110: Market Dynamics and Product Analytics, B111: Financial Planning, Budgeting and Modeling, B112: Doing Business, B113: Enterprise Design and Optimization

B166 / Business Optimization

Optimize organizational structure, processes and systems that support key business functions in large enterprises. Learn build, buy, and partner strategies, identify the major pitfalls in systems design and management, and navigate the often conflicting requirements that drive profitability. Analyze how operations and marketing collaborate to synchronize product/service availability with market potential.

Prerequisites: B110: Market Dynamics and Product Analytics, B111: Financial Planning, Budgeting and Modeling, B112: Doing Business, B113: Enterprise Design and Optimization

Capstone Courses

B195 / Business Capstone I

Learn how to define a study topic, research it, understand various competing perspectives, and discover relevant data and information sources. The study topic, which is presented to the class in the final third of the course, integrates elements from the major and from the entire curriculum, and in particular from the Cornerstone courses.

B196 / Business Capstone Independent Study I

Conduct an original piece of research or a project in any business field under the guidance of a faculty advisor. By the end of the course, students should be ready to begin writing a report of their work. If the student is interested in starting a new venture, the student should be ready by the end of the course to begin drafting the business plan.

B198 / Business Capstone Independent Study II

Continue developing an original piece of research or a project under the guidance of a faculty advisor. By the end of the course, students have drafted a final report on their project. If the student is interested in starting a new venture, the student's output can be a draft of a business plan designed to present to venture capitalists (VCs) for funding.

B199 / Business Capstone II

Revise and complete a report of their Senior Capstone Project, which is expected to be at a professional level. Present the project to the class to receive critiques and suggestions from their student colleagues. If the student is interested in starting a new venture, the student's output can consist of a final business plan and a business pitch designed to present to VCs for funding.