Here is a list of special problem courses offered to MBA and MS students at the Neeley School. Our world-class faculty have created these courses to support current business application and industry changes. These courses are subject to change, meaning they will become a permanent course or the course topic is relevant in a given semester based on the business climate.

The course is focused on providing a sound understanding of the range of standards and frameworks that exist for climate accounting and more broadly ESG disclosures. This interactive course includes mini-cases and case work on ESG data and ESG disclosures in Annual reports. The course will address the interlinkages between financial reporting and ESG reporting.

Participants will gain technical and contextual approaches that will equip them to understand, among other things; carbon accounting, materiality matrixes and voluntary versus mandatory ESG disclosures and the benefits and risks of both.

  • New trends and hot topics in ESG
  • Benchmark best practices and industry standards on ESG
  • Maximize ESG value creation
  • Practical guidance on how companies can leverage existing data to better identify ESG risk, stay ahead of the ESG curve, create value and make ESG good for business
Faculty: Ann Bluntzer

The Transition to Sustainable Energy won’t give you the answer. Instead, we will focus on how to ask the right questions and estimate the consequences of different choices. Ultimately, the key questions we address in this course are (1) can renewables, like wind and solar, provide a long-term solution to reducing our carbon footprint? And (2) is nuclear power really a sustainable alternative? Much of our discussion will be framed around climate change, but we will also address issues such as air pollution and deforestation and how they play into the transition debate. Overall, my goal is to provide an opportunity to become familiar with environmental issues, sensitivities, and impacts around the energy industry.

Please note: my presentation and framing of these issues may not necessarily be yours (in fact, I hope it is not!) and thus the ability to adequately defend a position for controversial aspects is the paramount feature of each discussion.

Faculty: Mike Slattery

This course will focus on the commodity markets and how they affect the energy industry.  We will gain an understanding of the differences between various markets (stock and commodity) while also learning the similarities.  We will look at the instruments and uses of hedging in industry, and debate the pros and cons of doing so. We will have conversations on speculation, Black Swan events and current topics, and how they relate to price. The format of the class will consist of conversational lectures; discussion of the current week’s reading assignment and how it affects the commodity markets or a marketing shop; and individual presentations. Weekly readings will be assigned in a timely manner via email, with a one-page summary due prior to the next week’s class for this discussion.Students who complete this course will be able to understand commodity markets, hedging, and be conversational in these topics.

Faculty: Jay Lauderdale

Through executing the project, students will learn how their MBA curriculum may be applied and develop project-specific skills and content knowledge. Students must complete this course to earn their Energy MBA. Substitutions are not permitted.

Faculty: Ann Bluntzer

  1. Communicate the history and scale of US shale exploration and development. Understand the scale of investment and volumes produced.
  2. Understand current investor pressure on the E&P sector. What metrics are investors demanding be positive and why? Articulate 1) the metrics investors demand to be trending positive and 2) the rationale for why this is.
  3. Articulate what the future of US onshore looks like. Be able to argue if consolidation does or does not happen. How will decarbonization pressures impact the US independents and US Majors?
  4. Know what types of assets will build a resilient portfolio. Be able to SWOT shale vs deepwater vs energy transition projects.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge in valuing oil and gas properties. What variables drive the most value and are commodity prices more or less important that well performance and cost? Identify high value variables and contrast the importance of commodity prices.
  6. Showcase awareness and understanding of the rapidly unfolding energy transition. Will fossil fuel demand drop? Where, why, and how?
Faculty: Robert Clarke

This course is intended to be a challenging and exciting capstone for the MS in Business Analytics curriculum.
This class has elements of ambiguity and uncertainty. In that way it will probably be a lot like most workplaces. The challenges of business do not come wrapped as case studies or textbooks or exams. This course is designed to help prepare you to recognize challenges faced by organizations and to create innovative, value-oriented solutions and to explain and sell those solutions to management. This is a core competency youmust have in the 21st century.

Business analytics is the process of using quantitative methods to derive meaning from data in order to make informed business decisions. It is a powerful tool in today’s marketplace. Across industries, organizations are generating vast amounts of data which, in turn, has heightened the need for professionals who know how to interpret and analyze that information and who are comfortable with the machine/human interface.

According to a recent study by MicroStrategy, companies worldwide are using data to:

  • Boost process and cost efficiency (60 percent)
  • Drive strategy and change (57 percent)
  • Monitor and improve financial performance (52 percent)

There are three primary methods of business analysis:

  • Descriptive: The interpretation of historical data to identify trends and patterns
  • Predictive: The use of statistics to forecast future outcomes
  • Prescriptive: The application of testing and other techniques to determine which outcome will yield the best result in a given scenario

Deciding which method to employ is dependent on the business situation at hand.

This capstone course project is designed to help you, through experiential learning, better understand how to use each and to illustrate how data insights can drive organizational performance through:

  1. More Informed Decision-Making
  2. Greater Revenue
  3. Improved Operational Efficiency

Through learning how to recognize trends, test hypotheses, and draw conclusions from population samples, you can build an analytical framework that can be applied in your everyday decision-making and help your organization thrive.

Faculty: Michael Sherrod

There will be some group work and exercises, and each group will have a final presentation based on the exercises that have been executed over the session. We will learn the principles and rationale behind IP Law and Protections, explore current cases in the news as well as established case law and settled matters, and relate what we learn to the intangible assets of a company.

Course Objectives:

  • Delineate the difference between the Big 3 of IP: copyright, trademark, patent
  • Identify the nontangible assets of a business that are ripe for protection
  • Understand how to leverage IP assets for capital raises
  • Navigate the various mechanisms of protection and registration
  • Navigate contractual obligations for trade secrets and licensing
  • Effectively manage discussions in anticipation of forging a business relationship that requires disclosure of confidential and proprietary information
Faculty: Kelly Trager

This course is intended to be a challenging and exciting elective course for the MBA curriculum. It is first and foremost a course about entrepreneurially managing innovation within organizations.

Corporate Entrepreneurship refers to entrepreneurship within existing for-profit or not-for-profit organizations. It is the practice of seeking innovative uses, markets, or owners of the organization’s existing products, services, and technologies. It draws the creativity of the organization’s personnel to new business possibilities that go beyond the current business model of the organization. It engages the entrepreneurial spirit in spawning a new vision from within the organization.

By equipping yourselves with the information you’ll learn in this class, you will be positioned to participate in the constant economic renewal of your company, and potentially, your city, state and nation. This course is not designed to cover all aspects of corporate entrepreneurship. It is designed to impart only the most proven, useful and effective techniques for managing innovation and entrepreneurship within corporations and help you succeed.

This class has elements of ambiguity and uncertainty. In that way it will probably be a lot like your workplace. The challenges of business do not come wrapped as case studies or textbooks or exams. This course is designed to help prepare you to recognize challenges faced by your organization and to create innovative, value oriented solutions and sell those solutions to management. This is a core competency you will have to have in the 21st century.

Students are expected to come to class having read text material. Class lectures are designed to supplement the reading material not review it.

Faculty: Michael Sherrod

How to get money for a business, how to plan and project financials, how to manage cash, how to value the business.

Faculty: Thomas Allison

Course Description: This course empowers students to develop the skills needed to successfully execute a capital raise or financing for an early-stage venture. Students will focus on the application of practical knowledge, rather than theoretical concepts. Working in assigned teams throughout the semester, students will incrementally deliver elements of a real-world fundraising package—the cumulative product of which will be presented in the place of an exam. While the course relies heavily on financial concepts, it should not be thought of as a quantitative course. The student’s ability to develop the course deliverables has little to do with financial skills. Pro forma financial models are little more than a means to communicate a comprehensive understanding of a business opportunity to capital providers. In the interest of delivering practical knowledge, a number of subject matter experts will serve as guest lecturers. Examples of these industry experts include successful entrepreneurs with multiple exits, venture capital and private equity investment professionals, and securities attorneys. Students will have the unique opportunity to engage in a dialogue with seasoned practitioners. It is expected that students will research the speakers prior to class and come prepared with thoughtful questions to drive the conversation.

Faculty: Joe K. Dickerson

Designed for MBA and MS Supply Chain students who have an interest in understanding special topics related to supply chain analytics. This course will focus on demand forecasting topics while at the same time leveraging Python and Excel software to perform analytical techniques and/or algorithmic scripts via jupyter notebooks.

Faculty: Justin Keeler

Students will research and describe the logistics performed throughout the over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceutical supply chain from the point of manufacturer, through wholesale distribution, into retail distribution networks, and ultimately to the consumer.  The goal of the student-driven research is to understand and document the security, handling, storage, and transportation controls established to ensure these medications arrive to the consumer safely, while retaining their full potency (for example, some drugs lose potency outside of a prescribed temperature and/or humidity range).  The research will be recapped in a formal report not to exceed 20 pages.

Faculty: Cliff Defee

No matter your career stage, job title or industry, the ability to persuade others is critical for success. This course will provide you with practical tools that you can utilize immediately in your career. This workshop combines social psychology research and marketing insights to build time- tested principles that deliver practical application to your real-world challenges.

This interactive course is designed to teach you to communicate more effectively, thereby making your contributions more influential and impactful. Utilizing exercises and in-class evaluations, you will receive first-hand experience practicing persuasive communication and customizing the approaches to your individual personality style. Throughout the course you are provided with frameworks, based on both fundamental ideas in social psychology and cutting- edge research that will allow you to apply these techniques to your daily business goals.

Faculty: Zachary Hall