Business Essentials: an Immersive Experience

Kelley School of Business

How long?

  • 5 days
  • blended

Kelley School of Business


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About the course

This immersive program is designed to enhance participants’ understanding and ability to apply business concepts and skills. Its aim is to help you develop a broader perspective on how a business or organization works by integrating the major business areas, including management, marketing, finance, operations, supply chain management, and analytics. This experience will help you “look up from your desk” and gain a better appreciation for how the total enterprise functions, and how you, your employees, and the decisions you make as a manager impact the performance and profitability of the enterprise. We accomplish this with integrated topics, an engaging capstone simulation, the creation of a professional development plan, and a virtual 90-day follow-up and check-in.

This immersive program is designed for technical professionals with a desire to increase their business contributions, or for business professionals who wish to increase their business acumen, develop general management skills, and create an effective professional development plan.

People who earn the certificate will be able to:

  • Understand and apply business fundamentals involving strategy, team management, planning, and decision-making.
  • Understand and assess financial and other business reports for decision-making purposes and to assess the health of an enterprise.
  • Understand marketing goals and how to market effectively.
  • Improve business processes through the effective use of analytical tools.
  • Continually strive to improve business acumen in part by developing 6-, 12-, and 24-month personal development plans.

In-Residence Business Certificate: Curriculum

This curriculum is interactive and engaging, involving both group and individual work. Participants will work directly with a large number of Kelley faculty to understand and master the key elements of their discipline and how to develop or advance business acumen in these areas. The certificate program begins with a virtual launch led by the faculty lead, and ends with a check-in with faculty 90 days after the program’s conclusion to ensure that the value from the program is being realized by participants.

The curriculum is divided into 10 modules, two per day. Participants must earn at least a 70% on assessments to receive the certificate.

Day 1: Business Acumen, Business Strategy

  • Business Acumen module. Participants will learn about the purpose of developing business acumen and how it fits into a career development model; understand a holistic framework for value creation within a business (Business Model Canvas); use tools for organizing and improving team performance; and discuss the biggest obstacles to good business process.
  • Business Strategy module. We will discuss and apply the fundamental frameworks for business assessment and planning (SWOT, PESTLE,) and a model for business decision-making and strategic planning.

Day 2: Fundamentals of Financial Intelligence, Value Creation

Fundamentals of Financial Intelligence module. Participants will learn how to identify and correctly read fundamental business reports and also how to interpret them to assess the health and direction of a company. Value Creation module. We will discuss fundamental concepts of value creation, time value of money, and risk/return and then apply these financial concepts to better understand and lead a business. Participants will also discuss how to make decisions based on financial outcomes, including capital budgeting and business resource allocation decisions.

Day 3: Effective Marketing

  • Understanding the Voice of the Customer module. We will discuss the fundamental purpose of marketing and the necessary skills for success. Participants also will learn about tools for identifying meaningful market segments.
  • Reaching Markets module. Participants will learn how to develop and implement effective marketing plans and how to test marketing effectiveness.

Day 4: Process and Project Management, and Analytics for Business

  • Process and Project Management for Business module. Participants will learn about a framework and tools for improving business processes and be able to apply project management concepts and tools.
  • Business Analytics: From Data to Insight module. Participants will learn about and practice using tools for extracting valuable insights from business data.

Day 5: Managing the Business, Turning Business Acumen into Value

  • Managing the Business: From Decision Making to Execution module. Participants will take on the mantle of business leader and make the decisions necessary to run a business in this integrated capstone simulation.
  • Turning Business Acumen into Value: From Here to There. We will discuss how to turn business acumen into career success, including creating personalized professional development plans for the next 6, 12, and 24 months.


Andrea Astill

Andrea Astill is a lecturer in the Accounting Department at the Kelley School of Business. Prior to joining the faculty, she worked as an internal auditor and held various positions in corporate accounting. During her 20 years with the Kelley School, she has taught at every level of the accountin...

Joseph Fitter

26 years of professional corporate financial management, strategy, leadership and people development experience in a multinational/global environment. Finance and Strategy leadership roles include manufacturing and product cost, R&D product development, sales and marketing, accounting/shared ...

Will Geoghegan

Areas of Expertise Professor Geoghegan’s research interests include strategic management, innovation, innovation systems, innovative capabilities and technology transfer. Academic Degrees Ph.D., National University of Ireland, Galway Awards, Honors & Certificates Syracuse University DCP Fa...

Kari Johnson

Kari Johnson is a senior lecturer of Operations and Decision Technologies and an award-winning educator with nearly twenty years at the Kelley School of Business. A master’s degree in instructional systems technology has provided Kari with a strong background in designing effective and efficient ...

Shannon Threlkeld

J. Shannon Threlkeld is a Senior Lecturer for the Department of Marketing at the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University Areas of Expertise Analytical Techniques for Marketing & Consumer Data, Professional Sales Training, Distance & Online Learning, Data Modeling Tools and Technique...

Carl Briggs

Dr. Carl Briggs is a clinical professor in the Department of Operations and Decision Technologies at the Kelley School of Business. Briggs has spent the last 20 years working with companies around the world that seek to improve their collective capacity to produce and sustain meaningful results....

Russ Clark

Russ Clark is a senior research scientist in Georgia Tech's School of Computer Science, who engages hundreds of students each semester in mobile development, networking and the Internet of Things research. He emphasizes innovation, entrepreneurship and industry involvement in student projects and...

Kent Rerko

Kent Rerko is a lecturer in Operations and Decision Technologies at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. His professional career at Target Corporation included experience in merchandising operations, purchasing, supply chain optimization, project management, and marketing operations....

Business Essentials: an Immersive Experience at Kelley School of Business

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