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Courses Typically Available to General Business APC Students

Here is a list of courses that are typically available to students pursuing the Advanced Professional Certificate (APC) in General Business.

In addition to these courses, all MBA core courses are generally available to APC students, and sample courses for the Finance and Marketing APC programs may also be taken as part of the APC in General Business.

Please note:

Business Law for Managers
The objective of this course is to help develop an ability to recognize and understand legal issues in business. This course focuses on the body of law governing the types of issues that students can expect to encounter in their roles as managers of public and private companies, consultants, and entrepreneurs. Topics for discussion include, but are not limited to contract and cyber laws; the various forms of business structures (e.g., partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies); business torts; product liability; and specific issues regarding entrepreneurs and employment law.

Business Process Design and Implementation
This course presents an integrated approach for the analysis and refinement of business processes utilizing BPM (business process management) principles. We focus on bridging business process design with the deployment of well-matched technologies, both on the strategic-side as well as the operations-side of the enterprise. The course further considers: feasiblity analysis of system alternatives; the rendering of a formal development plan; systems "usability"; assessment of technology-based risk; and finally the quality assurance and implementation of these technologies.

Collaboration, Conflict and Negotiation
Successful managers know how to collaborate with other people effectively and how to resolve conflicts constructively. The goal of this course is to teach students the fundamentals of managing collaboration and conflict in one-on-one and small group settings. Our objective is to enhance students’ interpersonal skills at their jobs. Drawing from the latest findings in managerial psychology, we cover the fundamentals of effective negotiation, communication, and persuasion. Special topics include getting buy-in, coping with resistance, and building coalitions.

Dealing With Data
The volume of data being generated every day continues to grow exponentially. We capture and store data about pretty much every aspect of our lives. Being able to handle and analyze the available data is now a fundamental skill for everyone. The objective of this course is to challenge and teach students how to handle data that come in a variety of forms and sizes. This course guides students through the whole data management process, from initial data acquisition to final data analysis. The (tentative) list of topics that we plan to cover: Unix tools Regular expressions Data formats: XML, JSON, YAML, etc. Accessing data sources: Crawling, parsing HTML, APIs Data modeling and ER model Relational databases and SQL NoSQL databases and MongoDB Data cleaning Crowdsourcing for data management Textual data and natural language processing tools Handling time series, dates, timezones, etc Handling spatial data, maps, ets Handling image/audio/video data using signal processing Handling social media and network data Basic predictive modeling techniques Visualization Big Data: Hadoop, HBase, Pig

Decision Models and Analytics
This course introduces the basic principles and techniques of applied mathematical modeling for managerial decision making. Students learn to use some of the more important analytic methods (e.g., spreadsheet modeling, optimization, Monte Carlo simulation) to recognize their assumptions and limitations and to employ them in decision making. Students learn to: Develop mathematical models that can be used to improve decision making within an organization, Sharpen their ability to structure problems and to perform logical analyses, Translate descriptions of decision problems into formal models and investigate those models in an organized fashion, Identify settings in which models can be used effectively, and apply modeling concepts in practical situations, Strengthen their computer skills, focusing on how to use the computer to support decision making. The emphasis is on model formulation and interpretation of results, not on mathematical theory. This course is aimed at M.B.A. students with little prior exposure to modeling and quantitative analysis, but it is appropriate for all students who wish to strengthen their quantitative skills. The emphasis is on models that are widely used in diverse industries and functional areas, including finance, operations, and marketing.
Pre-requisites: Statistics and Data Analysis, Operations Management
Digital Strategy
The course explores the role of information technology (IT) in corporate strategy with specific attention paid to the Internet. Different Internet business models are identified and are used to explain competitive practices. Cases and lectures illustrate how technology is used to gain and sustain a competitive advantage. The course also describes different Internet technology infrastructures and identifies issues in managing a firm’s technology as a strategic asset.

Economic and Business History of the U.S.
This course examines the historical development of American enterprise since the beginnings of the industrial revolution. Focusing on the entrepreneurial forces that shaped the rise and evolution of the modern economy and business system, the course takes into account business strategy and structure, finance, management, labor organization, technology, transportation, communications, and public policy. Discusses the broader economic, cultural, and political constraints within which American enterprise has been shaped. The goals are to impart a long-term perspective from which contemporary business can be understood and to introduce students to historical ways of thinking about economic development.

Economics of Healthcare
This course is designed to give the student a general understanding of the economics of healthcare. More specifically, the course will allow students: 1) To understand what makes the Economics of Healthcare unique. 2) To understand Healthcare Markets: a) Demand b) Production and Costs c) Supply 3) To understand the market for Healthcare, Market Failure, and the Role of Government 4) Health Insurance, Third Party Payers, and Healthcare Financing. 5) Economic Evaluation in Healthcare: a) Equity, Efficiency, Ethics b) Cost-Benefit c) Measuring Value and Outcomes
Pre-requisite: Firms and Markets
Emerging Technology and Business Innovation
This course provides a thorough examination of several key technologies that enable major advances in e-business and other high-tech industries, and explores the new business opportunities that these technologies create. For each of these technologies, it provides an overview of the space corresponding to this class, examines who the major players are, and how they use these technologies. Students then study the underlying technologies; examine the business problems to which they can be applied; and discuss how these problems are solved. Key companies in the spaces created by these technologies are also studied: what these companies do; which technologies they use; how these technologies support their critical applications; and how these companies compete and collaborate among themselves. Moreover, the course examines possible future directions and trends for the technologies being studied; novel applications that they enable; and how high-tech companies can leverage applications of these technologies. This is an advanced course, and it is intended for the students who have already acquired basic knowledge of technical concepts and who want to advance their knowledge of technologies beyond the basics and to further develop an understanding of the dynamics of the spaces associated with these technologies.

Energy and the Environment
This course is designed to give students an overview of the economics and politics of the interlinked fields of energy and environment. Drawing on topical readings as well as the instructor’s experience, the class will explore the impact of three inter-related forces now driving change: the geopolitical consequences of petroleum use, especially as China emerges as an energy-consuming giant, the economic costs of volatile energy prices, and the prospects for a scarcity induced oil shock, the environmental implications of growing energy consumption, especially on global warming. Additionally, the course will investigate why change tends to come slowly in these industries, and ask whether the world is at an energy crossroads. The class will look closely at the rapidly evolving landscape of oil and cars, the symbiotic twins that powered the prosperity seen in the 20th century—but which also contribute mightily to the health, environmental and foreign policy problems associated with energy.

Entertainment and Media: Markets and Economics
This course is a survey of economic issues in the entertainment and media industries. It examines some of the special aspects of these businesses that complicate the market processes, such as the special nature of demand (fads, interdependent preferences), scale economies, vertical integration in production, and obstacles to market equilibrium that motivate public policy. Industries examined include the movie business and the staged project nature of production, vertical integration, peculiar contracting mechanisms, and the reasons that nearly all films "lose" money; music and publishing, with an emphasis on intellectual property, both legal and economic issues such as valuation and royalties, and the implications of new digital media; television and radio and the fundamental differences between private and public broadcast markets; major league sports and the implications of simultaneous production and consumption, labor markets, and value creation in sports leagues; art markets and the creation and pursuit of economic rents through space and time; and certainties of the business of gambling.

Financial Crisis and the Policy Response
The global financial crisis that began in 2007 has been the most severe since the Great Depression, and is more complex than that episode. Understanding this crisis and the responses of central banks and other authorities will help business decision-makers and investors assess financial opportunities and risks in normal times. This course examines lessons from the crisis as viewed by a market practitioner. International comparisons during the current crisis will be used to illuminate key issues. Comparison and contrast with past crises and policy actions also will play an important role. Along the way, key concepts like information asymmetries and asset bubbles will be explored. The course will be conducted using a combination of lecture, discussion, and case analysis. The teaching style will be socratic, so active class participation will be key. When appropriate, an experienced market practitioner or policymaker will be invited to join in the discussion. Although formal prerequisites have not been listed, success in this course requires prior (undergraduate or graduate) coursework in intermediate macroeconomics (equivalent to B01.2303 The Global Economy) or in money and banking. Enrolling without such experience would be ill-advised.

Financial Information Systems
As financial markets become more electronic and more liquid, a higher degree of knowledge about systems and analytics is required in order to compete. This course teaches students how modern financial markets function as a network of systems and information flows, and how to use information technology for decision making in trading and managing customer relationships. Information systems serve two purposes in the financial industry. First, they facilitate markets and their supporting services such as payment, settlement, authentication, and representation. Second, they facilitate or engage in making decisions such as when and how much to invest in various instruments and markets. The first part of the course describes how systems facilitate various kinds of payment and settlement mechanisms, enable financial markets such as exchanges and ECNs, and support inter-institution communication. The second part of the course describes how traders, analysts, and risk managers use systems to cope with the vast amounts of data on the economy, markets, and customers that flow into their systems each day. It covers automated trading systems and other types of customer-oriented analytic systems that are becoming increasingly intelligent in how they make or support decisions. The course features a mix of case studies, Excel-based illustrations and assignments, and the latest industry tools. It is particularly suited for finance and marketing students interested in understanding information technologies in financial services from a practical career standpoint.

An Integrated Approach to Financial Statement Analysis
This course describes financial reporting objectives and methods used by corporations. Focuses on the analysis of the information in corporate financial statements, including the impact of alternative accounting procedures and assumptions. Offers ways to adjust for selected reporting differences. Discusses applications using cross-sectional and time series analysis. Case studies (including firms with international operations), computer databases, and computer-based assignments may be used. An understanding of basic financial concepts is recommended.
Pre-requisite: Financial Accounting and Reporting
Foundations of Entrepreneurship
This course offers a framework for understanding the entrepreneurial process and exposes the student to most problems and issues faced by entrepreneurs who start new ventures. Case study is the principal teaching method, supplemented by lectures, a venture planning exercise, and guest speakers. Major objectives are for students to learn how to identify and evaluate market opportunities; develop a venture concept and marketing plan; assess and obtain the required resources; and manage the launch of a new venture.

Global Perspectives On Enterprise Systems
This course compares the emergence and development of four of the world’s leading enterprise systems—Great Britain, Germany, Japan, and the United States. It examines political, cultural, and economic similarities and differences of successful wealth-creating societies, paying special attention to impacts of government, entrepreneurship, management, and financial institutions. The objectives of the course are to develop an understanding of different enterprise systems and to hone abilities to think comparatively, both over time and across national contexts.

Growth in the Developing World and the Global Economy
The course deals with the recent (post war) sustained high growth in the developing world and its likely evolution and impact in the future. How are these kinds of growth rates possible? What are the structural, economic, political and policy underpinnings? What accounts for the absence of growth in a substantial part of the developing world? Attention will be given to the evolving global landscape surrounding this growth. What is the impact of this widening pattern of growth? Are there natural brakes that may slow the process down or make it difficult for the non-G20 developing countries and their 1/3 of the world’s population to start or sustain high growth? The class will attempt to identify and assess the impact of important global trends and challenges. Included in the latter will be governance issues. We will spend a little time on the impact of the 2008-2009 crisis, the transmission channels and lessons learned from the vantage point of developing countries.

International Macroeconomics: Policy, Theory & Evidence
This course is an introduction to international macroeconomics, and a review and analysis of current international macroeconomic and financial issues, policies, and events, including interest rates, exchange rates, and asset prices in the global economy; causes and consequences of trade deficits and external imbalances; the Asian and the global financial crisis of 1997-1999 and the policy response to it; causes of currency, banking, and financial crises; short- and long-term effects of monetary and fiscal policy; the drive to reform the international financial architecture; the debate on IMF and World Bank reform; emerging markets external debt and attempts to restructure it (the "bail-in/burden sharing" debate); and the globalization of financial markets. These topics are integrated into a theoretical framework that stresses international factors from the start. Examples from the United States, Europe, Japan, and emerging market economies are used to enhance knowledge of the world economy.
Pre-requisite: The Global Economy

Managing Family Businesses and Privately Held Firms
Most companies around the world are controlled by their founders or founding families, including not only private firms but also more than half of all public corporations in the U.S. and more than two thirds of public corporations around the world. Family control raises unique challenges as well as value-creating opportunities for these companies and their various stakeholders. This course introduces students to the management, governance, and financial issues faced by family businesses and related organizations such as family offices and family foundations, and to the different career opportunities in and around them. The course will consist of four modules, which address the following questions, among others: 1. Creating value through family business management. How does family control affect strategy and management decisions such as diversification, mergers and acquisitions, or financial policies? How do these decisions, in turn, impact firm value? How can this value be measured in family and privately held businesses? 2. Managing and financing growth in family businesses. How can growth in family businesses be managed given the demands for liquidity and control often placed on them by their shareholders? How can the company’s growth be financed given family owners’ reluctance to lose control? What do different capital providers, such as joint-venture partners, private equity partners, and public investors bring to the table, and what do they want in return? How do different mechanisms for retaining control in excess of share ownership work? How should family businesses be managed in the presence of shared control? 3. Governance of the family enterprise. What structures and mechanisms can be put in place to manage family dynamics in a productive way? How do the interests of family and non-family shareholders differ and what mechanisms can be used to align them? How should family and non-family executives be compensated in private family firms? How do the different organizations included in a family enterprise (family business, family office, and family foundation) interact? 4. Managing intergenerational transitions. How can succession be managed to ensure continuity in family business systems? How can family ownership and control of the family business, and of family wealth, be transferred from one generation to another? How do different estate-planning vehicles like trusts, foundations, and ESOPs work? Class discussions will be case-based and will benefit from the interaction with guest speakers. The cases cover a wide range of family businesses, including both public and private firms of various sizes and from multiple industries and countries. The course is designed for students who may be involved with family enterprises in a variety of roles: as founders, as managers of a company owned by their family or controlled by another family; as advisors (investment bankers, investment managers, consultants, or board members); or as investors or business partners (family shareholders, joint-venture partners, private equity partners, and hedge funds). Students who want to pursue a general management, consulting, or finance career have a high probability of working at or with a family-controlled business. Whatever their future role, students will find it useful to understand the uniqueness of these companies, and why they may or may not want to be involved with them.
Pre-requisite: Leadership in Organizations

Risk Management Systems
In today's world of complex financial engineering, rising volatility, and regulatory oversight, prudent management increasingly requires understanding, measuring, and managing risk. Banks, securities dealers, asset managers, insurance companies, and firms with significant financing operations all require real-time, enterprise-wide risk management systems for handling market, credit, and operational risk. Such systems establish standards for aggregating disparate information, including positions and market data and operational risk, calculating consistent risk measures, and creating timely reporting tools. This course is directed toward both finance and technology oriented students who are interested in understanding how large-scale risk systems need to be evaluated, acquired, architected, and managed. It identifies the business and technical issues, regulatory requirements, and techniques to measure and report risk across an organization or market.

The Economy and Financial Markets
This course will examine the interaction between the performance of the economy and key financial markets- namely bonds, equities and foreign exchange. The approach to the topics will consist of a more pragmatic, “real-world” framework that focuses on the dynamics and “noisy” realities that often drive financial market behavior in the short-run and, often, over the medium-term. A basic analytical framework discussing those relationships will also be presented where appropriate. Special emphasis will be given on the bi-directional nature of the relationship between macro economic activity and markets, as well as on the destabilizing effect that the behavior of the latter can have on the economy. For example, the burst of the stock market bubble in 2000-2001 and its role in the 2001 recession, the stimulative effect on economic activity that a major and sustained bond market rally can engineer, etc

Urban Systems
The unifying theme of the course is the city as a crucial unit of analysis that fits in between the nation-state and the business, and shares attributes with both. The number of people living in cities is increasing at an extraordinary rate. It took 11,000 years to get 3.5 billion people into cities, but in the next 100 years alone, that number will more than double. By the end of this century, between 7 and 8 billion people will call cities home. This explosion in the world’s urban population presents us with a truly historic opportunity. We may never again be so well-positioned to include everyone on earth in the dynamic of rapid progress that until now has been available to relatively few. In a macroeconomics course, you implicitly adopt the perspective of the president or prime minister who leads a nation. In a strategy course, you implicitly adopt the perspective of the CEO who leads a business. In this course, you will look at leadership from the perspective of a mayor. Doing so offers a new window into some of the deepest questions in both academic social science and practical leadership: - Why is it that individuals achieve more by cooperating in large social groups? - Why is it so difficult to sustain both cooperation and change? - How do we resolve the tension between the interests of the individual and the group? - What mix of hierarchical control and decentralized action leads to effective cooperation? Anyone who is part of any social group that wants to accomplish something -- the founder of a small non-profit, an employee in a startup firm, a manager in a large multinational corporation, the leader of a nation -- needs to have workable answers to these questions -- and as we look at these questions through the eyes of a mayor, you will update your answers.
Pre-requisite: Firms & Markets