University of Southern California

Curriculum

The Summer Business Program is a four-week course of study requiring significant commitment from participants. Class attendance is mandatory. Active participation in classroom work and group projects as well as presentations is required.

Learn the Essentials of Business

Designed to introduce the concepts, tools, and principles of business management, the Summer Business Program explores the following subject areas:

  • Leadership & Communication
  • Business Strategy & Organizations
  • Business Finance & Managerial Accounting
  • Business Marketing
  • Operations

Leadership & Communication

Personal Leadership

  • Explore effective leadership styles, when and how to assume each role in different situations
  • Understand the role and accountability for personal development and how to address organizational challenges
  • Learn the characteristics of executive leadership: Integrity, Vision, Innovation, Interpersonal Relations
  • Examine the leader’s role in supporting creative thinking and generating new ideas
  • Assess leadership styles and skills using assessment tools

Integrative Thinking

  • Discussion and experiential exercise that explores:
    • Dynamics of consensus seeking in a decision making group
    • Methods for resolving conflict in decision making groups
    • Group processes and the use of synergy to improve outcomes
    • Individual problem solving to group problem solving and decision making

The Entrepreneurial Mindset: Creativity & Innovation

  • Understand the unique value of innovation in organizations
  • Understand how creativity & innovation can lead to high performance
  • Develop tools & techniques for maximizing the creative potential and managing the process

Framing Strategic Opportunities: Expectations & Communication

  • Understand the importance of cognition in recognizing and dealing with strategic opportunities and threats
  • Learn how to better manage relationships (inter-personal or inter-firm) by understanding how others perceive you based on how you frame your ideas and directives
  • Identify ways to frame strategic courses of action to maximize the chances for success

Leading & Motivating ‘Best Performance’

  • Understand various ways for leading and motivating others
  • Developing mentoring and coaching roles
  • Recognize the importance of succession planning, experience and education

Communications: Negotiation, Influence & Persuasion

  • Understand communication styles & achieving win-win outcomes
  • Grasp the concept of planned communication
  • Learn how to use the art of persuasion
  • Learn how to deal with difficult situations

Presentation Skills

  • Improve your ability to communicate through writing and speaking
  • Develop your interpersonal and intra-personal communication skills
  • Increase your speaking ability
  • Evaluate content delivered verbally and assess how it impacts your effectiveness as a presenter
  • Enhance your interpersonal skills

Case Study Preparation

  • Learn the case study method and how to analyze and read cases

Business Strategy & Organizations

Developing a Strategic Mindset

  • Recognize the most fundamental purpose of a strategy - to inform and align the organization
  • Understand the relationship between strategy and market structure
  • Describe the strategy formation process
  • Learn how to make strategic choices in an analytical and integrative manner

Organizational Effectiveness

  • Learn how to align organizational systems, structures, strategy and staff to achieve high performance
  • Understand the organizational challenges between multiple departments

Managing Organizational Change

  • Appreciate the complex dynamics of managing change
  • Describe the factors that influence the ability to change the behavior of people and the performance of organizations
  • Develop skills and abilities for creating and managing change

Creating and Leading High Performance Teams

  • Understand the keys to effective people management
  • Identify different management styles and when to use them
  • Learn the key factors for effective teams in your industry
  • Recognize the skills necessary for building teams, facilitating and leading groups

Business Finance & Accounting

Financial Accounting: Basic Financial Statements

  • Understand how financial data are generated and reported
  • Learn how to read financial statements
  • Explore the topics of:
    • Balance Sheets
    • Income Statements
    • Statements of Cash Flows
    • Financial Statement Elements
    • Revenue Recognition
    • Conservatism
    • Matching Principle
    • Accrual vs. Cash Basis

Financial Accounting: Receivables, Inventories, Investments & Property, Plant & Equipment

  • Understand the following topics:
    • Impacts on financial statements
    • Inventory methods
    • Investment portfolios
    • Cost and equity methods
    • Depreciation methods and their impacts on the financial statement

Management Accounting: Introduction, Cost-Volume-Profit Analysis, Activity Based Costing & Budgeting

  • Understand the following topics:
    • Purpose of management accounting
    • Cost-Volume-Profit relationships: tools for planning profits
    • Activity Based Costing: an opportunity to improve an entity
    • Budgeting and Planning: essentials for a manager

Building Valuation Skills & Measuring Financial Performance

  • Understand the following topics:
    • The linkage between financial and accounting performance
    • Time value of money and financial mathematics
    • Forecasting capital and cash flow requirements
    • Identifying and understanding value drivers

Business Marketing

Introduction to Marketing Strategy Formulation Customer Segmentation New Product Development Strategy

  • Assess the market and customer orientation of your strategic plans, metrics, and processes
  • Identify clear value propositions for target market segments
  • Develop effective strategic market plans
  • Gain insights into successful strategic marketing
  • Understand how to build and manage a brand
  • Create a customer-driven marketing strategy
  • Learn the role of marketing in product development

Pricing from a Marketing Perspective

  • Understand profit-based decision analysis
  • Learn the elements of the marketing mix (product strategy, pricing advertising and promotion, and distribution)
  • Identify new business development & opportunities

Integration of All Marketing Elements to Develop and Implement Marketing Strategy

  • Understand how to present and defend marketing recommendations
  • Learn how to critically examine recommendations presented by others

Introduction to Operations

  • Learn fundamental properties of operating systems
  • Discuss process measures and trade-offs
  • Learn what capacity and waiting lines are
  • Discuss service processes and mapping
  • Quality and system design
  • Discuss service processes and mapping

Quality and System Design

  • Explore successful operation models
  • Discuss the intricate connection between service strategy and service system design

Other Activities

  • Guest Speaker: A Real-world Perspective from the Front Lines
  • Site Visits: Visit various organizations that demonstrate Best Practices
  • Preparation of Project Presentations: A facilitated discussion to plan for project presentations. Participants will have time to work in groups and/or individually to prepare for projects.
  • Project presentations & putting it all together: A facilitated discussion to review the program objectives, course learning and how they apply to a business challenge.

USC Marshall Summer Business Program
Sample Schedule



Week One



Sunday
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday


9am - 12pm










Free Time

Intro to Program/Personal Leadership
Jody Tolan


Case Study Preparation
Jody Tolan



Leading and Motivating Others
Jody Tolan


Fundamentals of Marketing Management
Dennis Rook


Preparation of Project Presentations
(Focus on building a team)
Jody Tolan









Free Time
12pm - 1pm Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch



1pm - 4pm

Developing a Strategic Mindset
Carl Voigt


Strategic Thinking
Carl Voigt


Financial Accounting
Cecil Jackson


Organizational Effectiveness
Jody Tolan


Site Visit

Daily Wrap Up of Key Takeaways

Daily Wrap Up of Key Takeaways


Daily Wrap Up of Key Takeaways


Daily Wrap Up of Key Takeaways

Daily Wrap Up of Key Takeaways
6pm - 8pm General Intro & BBQ








Week Two



Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday


9am - 12pm







Free Time

Creating and Leading High Performance Teams
Jody Tolan


Financial and Managerial Accounting
Cecil Jackson


Using Data for Decision Making



Analyzing Consumer Behavior and Trends
Dennis Rook

Creative & Innovative Thinking
Joe Priester






Free Time
12pm - 1pm Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch




1pm - 4pm

Creating and Leading High Performance Teams
Jody Tolan


Site Visit

Managerial Accounting
Cecil Jackson

New Product Development
Dennis Rook

Creative & Innovative Thinking
Joe Priester


Daily Wrap Up of Key Takeaways


Daily Wrap Up of Key Takeaways


Daily Wrap Up of Key Takeaways


Daily Wrap Up of Key Takeaways


Daily Wrap Up of Key Takeaways





Week Three



Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday


9am - 12pm











Free Time

Measuring and Understanding Financial Performance
Julia Plotts

Introduction to Operations
Jonathan Yormark

Measuring and Understanding Financial Performance
Julia Plotts


Entrepreneurship
Tommy Knapp

Site Visit









Free Time
12pm - 1pm Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch




1pm - 4pm

Strategic Communications: Negotiation, Influence & Persuasion
Michael Coombs

Quality and System Design
Jonathan Yormark

Financial Literacy / Guest Panel of Speakers

Presentation Skills
Stacey Geck

Preparation of Project Presentations




Daily Wrap Up of Key Takeaways


Daily Wrap Up of Key Takeaways


Daily Wrap Up of Key Takeaways


Daily Wrap Up of Key Takeaways


Daily Wrap Up of Key Takeaways





Week Four



Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday


9am - 12pm







Free Time

Understanding Organizational Culture
Jody Tolan


Strategy
Carl Voigt

Presentation Skills
Stacey Geck

Managing Organizational Change
Jody Tolan
Project Presentations & Putting It All Together






Travel Day
12pm - 1pm Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch




1pm - 4pm

Communications: Negotiation, Influence & Persuasion
Michael Coombs

Framing Strategic Opportunities: Expectations and Communication
Carl Voigt


Site Visit

Preparation of Project Presentations



Project Presentations & Putting It All Together


Daily Wrap Up of Key Takeaways

Daily Wrap Up of Key Takeaways

Daily Wrap Up of Key Takeaways


Daily Wrap Up of Key Takeaways

Daily Wrap Up of Key Takeaways