MBA and Master's Programs

Strategy and Consulting Career Track

At its core, the MBA degree is a general management degree. The Strategy and Consulting career track builds off the base of the MBA by providing students with the strategic tools, frameworks, and industry-specific knowledge needed to help organizations move forward.

The first half of the MBA program builds your general business knowledge and provides a solid knowledge base. The MBA Capstone Course (SMO 641) allows you to put your training into practice and help an organization with a business strategy problem they are facing. Suggested electives allow you to gain more expertise in specific areas or industries that align well with consulting.


Strategy and Consulting Career Track Courses

  • MGTSC 645: Intro to Business Analytics

    The merging of massive data-sets with analytical tools from Statistics, Computer Science, and Operations Research has created the emerging field of analytics. Methods are developing rapidly based on statistical platforms such as SAS and R, or more general purpose programming tools such as Python. This course will build on the basis from MGTSC 501 to provide an overview of Big Data and analytics and develop programming and methodological skills to acquire, analyze, and present analysis.

  • SMO 502: Organization Strategy / Managing Organizations

    The first part of this course examines the formation of business strategy. It recognizes the complexities and messiness of strategy formation and explores how organizations develop strategies. The second part examines the evolution, determinants, and relevance of alternative ways of organizing. Contemporary ideas (e.g. re-engineering, the learning organization, virtual organizations) are critically reviewed.

  • SMO 627: Strategic Consulting for Family Businesses

    In this course, students will examine some of the most salient issues facing family businesses from a consulting perspective. Case studies and recent research will be used to help students learn how consultants and other advisors can address fundamental challenges facing family businesses in practice (e.g., strategic re-positioning, process improvement, business valuation, governance and succession issues, and complex family dynamics). The course is case-based and highly interactive, providing students with an opportunity to both learn consulting skills and understand the unique dynamics associated with family businesses.

  • SMO 633: Managing Organizational Change

    This course examines organization change, e.g. how organizations make transitions from one state to another. There is also a focus on understanding how management goes about changing corporate culture, organization structure and management systems.

  • SMO 636: Management Consulting

    This course is an introduction to the management consulting industry. First, the course outlines the history, regulation, business models and competitive structure of the industry. Because the industry is changing quite rapidly, attention will be given to the dynamics of the industry's business models and competitive structure. Second, the course introduces participants to key practices in the consulting process, with specific attention to the analytical and diagnostic approach to the preparation of proposals and management of engagements.

  • SMO 651: Project Management for Consulting Professionals

    This course is an introduction to project management for the management consulting industry. This course is designed for management consulting professionals, current and prospective, and will explore the dynamics of project management fundamentals. The focus will be on managing the constraints faced by a project manager in any project: budgets, human resources, time frames, changing specifications, and quality. This course will examine techniques for establishing project objectives, developing deliverables, managing scope, developing work plans, managing and mitigating risks, issues and challenges as well as explore client management, profitability, and project close-out techniques.

Complimentary Courses

Operations and Analytics Focus

  • OM 620: Predictive Business Analytics

    Application of predictive statistical models in areas such as insurance risk management, credit risk evaluation, targeted advertising, appointment scheduling, hotel and airline overbooking, and fraud detection. Students will learn how to extract data from relational databases, prepare the data for analysis, and build basic predictive models using data mining software. Emphasizes the practical use of analytical tools to improve decisions rather than algorithm details.

  • OM 622: Simulation and Computer Modelling Techniques in Management

    This course will discuss computer modelling of management systems in such functional areas as accounting, finance, marketing, and production. Basic concepts of deterministic and probabilistic (Monte Carlo) simulation and their applications will also be covered. Microcomputer implementations of case studies using spreadsheets will be particularly emphasized. A term project will be required.

  • OM 671: Decision Support Systems

    Decision support systems integrated with various management tools in a microcomputer environment. The programming language to be used is Visual Basic for Applications. Different multicriteria decision-making tools such as the Analytic Hierarchy Process, Multiattribute Utility Theory, Goal Programming and Multiobjective Optimization are introduced. Students create decision support systems with graphical user interfaces that use a formal multicriteria decision-making front end as well as optimization, simulation or other appropriate engines for calculations in the background. Student projects in this implementation-oriented course will come from different areas such as employee scheduling, facility location, project/product selection and portfolio optimization.

Public Sector Focus

  • SMO 639: Public Policy

    Emphasizes a systematic and comprehensive approach to the study of developing and implementing public policy within the context of Canadian society. This course explores both the decision-making process and such factors as the separation of powers between levels of government, electoral politics, interest groups, media and government bureaucracy as they influence the making of public policy.

  • SMO 643: Strategic Management in the Public Sector

    Strategic management in the public sector comprises defining public value, building consensus and support, making decisions, deploying organizational capacity to implement, and managing performance to achieve the desired mission and goals. It addresses the unique complexities, ambiguities and messiness of strategic management in the public sector.


Career Paths

Students with interest in Strategy and Consulting could find themselves working with large multinational consulting firms, small local practices, with a large organization as an internal consulting or in the strategy department, or building a sole proprietorship.

Recent Positions

Many UAlberta MBA grads find employment across Canada and internationally. Some firms and organizations that have employed our students include:

  • Deloitte
  • KPMG
  • EY
  • MNP
  • CapGemini

Experiential Learning

Courses

SMO 641: Business Strategy

Frontiers of Business

Student Clubs

Net Impact

Case Competitions

John Molson MBA Case Competition

Global Family Enterprise Case Competition