By Jaclyn Lansbery | Photo by Kathy Hillegonds
Managers make decisions every day – decisions that influence the organization, the people they manage and overall business outcomes. So how can managers become better decision-makers?
For the past 10 years, the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business has offered the MBA in Business Strategy and Decision Making. One of 14 MBA concentrations offered by Kellstadt, the Business Strategy and Decision Making program teaches students how to diagnose strategic positions, evaluate alternative courses of action, and make the best possible decisions. The program is a fast-track career development option for managers who want the skills and abilities to make strategic economic decisions in a business environment.
Professor of Economics Rafael Tenorio, who oversees the program, says it gives students skills they can use in several different industries. Below, he shares three reasons an MBA in Business Strategy and Decision Making may be right for you.
More than 1,200 alumni have taken the business strategy classes, and collectively they work in all kinds of sectors– from finance and manufacturing to nonprofit and management consulting. One of the most popular classes, “ECO 525 – Strategic Decision Making and Game Theory,” teaches students how to use game theory insights to problems in business, economics, and other disciplines.
“Game theory can be applied to just about any industry or policy scenario,” Tenorio says. “It’s about making decisions in situations in which your outcomes depend on what other people do. Think about problems like optimal pricing, how to bid in auctions, how to negotiate a new contract, or how to position your product or service in the presence of competition.”
The MBA concentration consists of two required core classes and one elective that best matches your personal and professionals goals. Since the frameworks and applications discussed in the strategy classes are also of interest to applied economists, MBA students in this concentration often take classes with students enrolled in DePaul’s MS in Economics and Policy Analysis program.
“One of the things that really enriches the experience in the strategy classes is the fact that we get students from both programs,” Tenorio says. “Since these classes blend theory with a more analytical way of thinking about real-world business decisions, the interactions we have in our classes are just phenomenal.”
MBA alumna Admira Ibisevic says the classroom environment is what drew her to the program. “It can be difficult to find settings that are both useful and fun, yet that was exactly the atmosphere in these classrooms,” says Ibisevic, who is a Managing Partner at Illumia Consulting Group, an organizational effectiveness firm focused on driving performance through people.
With a growing and diverse alumni network, Tenorio considers it very important to nurture relationships with students after they graduate. He organizes quarterly alumni events and manages a LinkedIn group that connects alumni and current students. There is also a mentoring program, where experienced alumni provide guidance to those just starting their careers. “To me, my students and alumni are my lifelines,” he says.