Executive MBA in a time of COVID-19: Marketing in a Global Context and Supply Chain Management


The MSM Executive MBA experience from a student perspective

By Rodney Rosalia, MSc, PhD
MSM Executive MBA student

The fourth module of the Executive MBA19 cohort included the Marketing and Supply Chain Management courses. Despite the sudden switch from classroom teaching to online (Zoom) classes, we can look back on a truly insightful, eye-opening, challenging but foremost satisfactory module. The course content was tailored to our ambitions and long-term management aspirations.

Marketing in a Global Context
The first part of the week was dedicated to Marketing in a Global Context. The lecturer Oliver Olson did a superb job to dissect critical elements of marketing. He exposed us to several international marketing strategies practiced by multinational companies - the concepts, tools and thought processes.

Oliver Olson`s lecture style and use of engaging PowerPoint presentations gradually introduced the subject to those with “zero” background in the topic (such as myself), while keeping the more experienced classmates motivated and ready to share their own field-experience with the rest of the class; a big thanks to them as well.

The highlight of the course was the DiG Business Simulation using the platform of DiG Business Learning supervised by Frans Cornelis. In a few intensive hours, we were baptized in the art of exploring marketing approaches and iterative product design to drive pricing strategies and sustain profitable growth.

Moreover, through multiple cases studies, daily exams and virtual teamwork, I can say that I have gained a sufficient basis to critically analyze marketing strategies and perhaps even identify new international markets and consumer segments in my line of work.

Supply Chain Management
The second course, Supply Chain Management (SCM) provided by Ed Weenk was also of an advanced level worthy of a top-tier executive MBA program. The SCM course emphasized the importance of operational excellence and lean execution as a vital pillar to support a great business strategy and deliver consistent high value to customers.

This course provided concepts, models and methods that are vital to the design, control, operation, and management of global supply chains in a dynamic (volatile) world. The lectures covered several frameworks and approaches that may be used to describe and analyze related supply chain strategies.

The SCM aligned very well with the marketing course as it linked customer value to supply chain concepts; for instance, the design of the distribution network, push and pull, the primary processes for managing manufacturing, inventories and distribution, as well as systems/IT and organizational aspects.

The course connected three distinct, but equally relevant dimensions of SCM: “the business dimension, the technical dimension and the leadership dimension”.

The SCM course was a highly interactive learning experience; through daily, intensive, group work, we were drilled into the art of SCM using a simulation game on the Inchainge platform.

Our team was tasked with producing and selling fresh juice – the aim was to generate the biggest profit margins with the lowest production costs possible – through iterative business modelling, learning from our mistakes and applying diverse SCM strategies we increased our ROI from -22.87 to 6.46% in just “3 years” – not bad for a group of newbies in the field.

The next three months are going to be challenging – the group and individual assignments await us. However, I am already looking forward to our next module in January 2021 – If the virus allows us, it will be great to meet up in person with MSM`s faculty and of course, my classmates.