Executive Homework

An overview of real business challenges addressed by students in the Penn State Smeal Executive MBA Program in Philadelphia.

In the Penn State Smeal Smeal Executive MBA, real problems form the core of course work and assignments. This executive homework allows students to take on challenges at work immediately by applying their new knowledge to develop solutions and ideas that will provide a positive impact on the firm.

"The program gave me increased explosure to our company's executive management. Results for one of the surveys taken for our Strategic Leadership course were reviewed by our COO, and other elements were immediately applicable to my role at Subaru, helping me advance in my career."
John M. Zahoroiko, Director, Financial Services Group, Subaru of America, Inc.

Real Problems, Real Solutions

In one course, two students chose to study a particular manufacturing facility that was facing problems on all fronts. Product quality was down, as well as the safety record and employee morale. Furthermore, the facility was often missing important production deadlines.

After some time at the facility, the two students made suggestions to the plant management. Their suggestions became the road map for the plant turnaround. Within one year, the plant had gone from a 4 percent loss to a 15 percent profit. It moved from $12 million in revenue to over $25 million. The student of the partnership who had been a sales representative for the plant is now the plant manager, and is currently spearheading this same plan at other plants within the firm.

Strategy Implementation Project

At the end of the first program year, students will be given the opportunity to continue to directly apply course materials to their own companies through two projects: the Strategic Analysis Project and the Strategy Implementation Project. Students will develop a set of recommendations based upon a strategic analysis of their chosen organization. Then, they will address specifically how to implement that strategy fully – from people to systems and beyond.