10:39 AM

SMBA Seeks to Hone Strategic Skills

SMBA Seeks to Hone Strategic Skills

By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager Strategy - a plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result. Bellevue University recently unveiled its Strategic Master of Business Administration (SMBA) program, a collaboration between the College of Business and the Institute for Advanced Professional Programs (iAPP). While the University’s traditional MBA builds foundational skills in areas such as marketing, accounting, and finance, the Strategic MBA emphasizes business and organization value creation.

“The SMBA is most appropriate for students who have a solid business background and want to understand business from a strategic or integrated perspective not just a foundational or functional perspective,” explained Rod Hewlett, vice president of iAPP.

SMBATeam The SMBA is the result of the efforts of many people at the University including (from left to right) Dr. Rod Hewlett, Rebecca Murdock, Dr. Gregory Ashley, Strawberry Olive, Sharon Rea, and Merrill Johnson. Other key contributors include Dr. David Levy, Dr. Pamela Imperato and many others.

Hewlett said the goal was to create something distinctive for a group of students with a particular set of needs. “We wanted to create a unique opportunity and offering,” he said. “These students want to know ‘how do I discuss strategy? How do I implement strategy and how do I use strategy from a foundational standpoint to apply it and move an organization strategically?’”

Potential students can contact the Graduate Admissions department to help determine which MBA will best meet their needs. “Counselors have an in-depth discussion to determine which MBA program is best suited for a student. They ask probing questions about the length and type of the student’s experience in the business world,” said Julie Hamilton, manager of the graduate admissions department. “The SMBA is designed for students who have a solid command of the major functional areas of business and who are ready to advance their careers. Students who are nearer the beginning of their business careers and who perhaps have not already mastered all the major functional areas within business will find the Performance MBA to be the vehicle to help them grow their careers either from the individual contributor level to the manager level, or higher up in the organization in an individual, specialized role.”

The SMBA is offered exclusively online with monthly program starts. The degree uses a synergistic approach, developing a strategic outlook and framework from which to investigate and solve business problems. The SMBA is designed to enhance individual students’ abilities to move beyond the tactical and operational level to the deployment of strategic-based outcomes that will enhance organizational growth and human capital, and development of economic growth at the industry, state and local levels.

“The SMBA program provides additional competencies beyond a traditional MBA by focusing on the dynamic capacities that leaders need in a rapidly changing business climate,” said Dr. Greg Ashley, a professor teaching within the program. “Examples of foci include but are not limited to self-regulation, collaboration, critical thinking, and problem solving. The SMBA moves beyond static-stock views of resource management with the understanding that today's success factors may not work tomorrow.”

The program kicks off with SMBA 600 Analytical and Creative Problem Solving in Business and runs through SMBA 680 Changing a Business: Entrance, Innovation, and Exit Strategies. Students will then proceed to their chosen area of concentration: Analytics, Creativity, or Organizational Development.

“The Strategic MBA curriculum is providing a fortified and enriching foundation of the strategic elements for the business leader of tomorrow. Trends would indicate that the e-commerce and global supply chain processes will continue to evolve at alarming rates,” said Dr. Billy Powers, an adjunct professor teaching in the program. “This program is equipping our students with the skills and attributes required to maintain and drive keen competitive advantage. The work that our students are producing demonstrates their commitment to meet business trends from a more concentrated and strategic paradigm.”

With the first cohort already over halfway through the program, feedback has been positive and has helped polish the program even further.

“We’ve learned a great deal from them. The first cohort through has been very helpful and we’ve listened to them,” Hewlett said. “We figure out what students need. We go to the marketplace, they give us the insights, and we build it to their needs. We get it right for the student.”

To learn more about the SMBA program visit www.bellevue.edu/degrees/master/strategic-mba/.