New summer program at UI a lesson in business

You don't have to be a business major or MBA student to receive training from University of Illinois professors on the fundamentals of accountancy or marketing.

A new summer program at the University of Illinois will offer instruction to nonbusiness majors who want to know more about marketing, business strategy and several other business topics.

The Illinois Summer Management Institute pilot project is a four-week certificate program in business management that runs from May 25 to June 17.

The idea is to fill a growing need among students who are considering or choosing to minor in business or transfer into business as well as students who want a competitive edge when seeking a job in a business-related career.

It's not a bad resume-booster, according to the program's director, Cele Otnes, a professor of marketing in the College of Business.

"The payoff for employers is it shows the student was proactive in their ability to differentiate themselves from hundreds of other resumes. For students, it gives them confidence to compete against other candidates and is something interesting to discuss with their potential employer," Otnes said.

All majors are welcome. Students must have 60 credit hours completed at a four-year school. Students from outside the University of Illinois are welcome to apply. It's also open to recent college graduates.

It is a noncredit course; students will not be graded. You can list it on your curriculum vitae, though.

The class is limited to 60 students. Several different UI professors have signed on to teach.

"We are really excited about the program and the faculty are enthusiastic about participating. ... It won't be just six hours a day of sitting in a chair. It will be a high-energy, active learning experience," Otnes said.

The four areas to be covered include accountancy, finance, marketing and strategy. Those areas account for 36 of 72 hours. In addition there will be discussions about business ethics, the business landscape today, resume building, making presentations and selling.

The program will also include a case-study competition. The school recruited the new owner of the Art Theater in Champaign with whom they'll consult.

"We will offer him solutions to real-world problems: which movies he should hold, how can he bolster profitability while retaining price sensitivity," Otnes said. The class will also include field trips to other independent movie theaters.

The last day of the class will be devoted to the case competition.

The cost of the program this summer is $3,500, plus $300 for program-related fees and $50 for a nonrefundable application fee.

More information is available at http://www.business.illinois.edu/ISMI. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis; decisions will be made between March 31 and May 1.

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xb wrote on March 07, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Sad that they ban laptops and therefore treat their students like kids by simply banning them, instead of business professionals where a code of conduct could be agreed upon.