MBA students to study e-business
By KATE NAGENGAST
Assistant News Editor
In response to the drastic changes the Internet caused to modern business practices, the Mendoza College of Business created an e-commerce curriculum to provide students with applicable knowledge about commerce, consulting and entrepreneurship.
Approximately a year-and-a-half ago, Carolyn Woo, dean of the Mendoza College of Business and management professor, Khalil Matta discussed the addition of e-commerce courses to the college's MBA curriculum.
"We knew we wanted to have a differentiated program — one that would build on the strengths and the reputation we have at Notre Dame and use the resources we have to introduce the students to this new area of business," said Matta.
The result of their efforts is the MBA track introduced this fall. Students begin with a general curriculum designed to provide an understanding of the basic concepts and strategies associated with e-commerce.
The students then have a choice between e-consulting studies designed for students interested in working for a consulting firm or becoming an e-business consultant within a company or e-entrepreneurship for students interested in starting their own e-business.
"E-Consulting and e- entrepreneurship are two areas that we decided to focus on because they are both built on the strengths of Notre Dame," said Matta.
In addition to these options, all first-year MBA students are required to attend a lecture series held Friday mornings throughout the year to gain exposure to e-commerce ideas.
"Ultimately I think a lot of the e-commerce topics will become integrated into the required and elective courses that we offer in the college," said Matta.
Signs of changes in business practices are already evident in a growing trend for students to skip MBA work in favor of careers at Internet start-up companies. Notre Dame's MBA track, however, provides an alternative.
Through a lab funded by Anderson Consulting, students can develop prototypes of their new Internet business ideas.
"People with ideas for starting their own business can develop their business plan here, build a prototype while in school; get in touch with [an alumni network] to fund this prototype; and as such, reduce the risk associated with starting their own business," Matta said.
Although e-MBA was developed before the Mendoza gift, the program hopes to benefit from their donation through an increased number of faculty positions, technological resources, and continuing education programs to maintain a state-of-the-art status for the curriculum.
The program also has hopes for expansion. PricewaterhouseCoopers donated $150,000 to bring these e-commerce concepts to the undergraduate level and encourage all areas of business to revise their offerings to include modern business issues.
"We are hoping that the entire faculty of the college of business will be involved eventually because e-commerce does not just affect technology-oriented faculty," said Matta.
All News Stories for Tuesday, September 12, 2000