Curriculum

Explore the detailed Masters in General Management curriculum:

Management Fundamentals

Intro to Financial Accounting


Why you need this course:


Accounting is the language of business. Hence, the purpose of this course is to provide you with a general understanding of this language. You will learn how to prepare and interpret financial statements (e.g. balance sheet, income statement, statement of shareholders' equity and statement of cash flow) according to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). In addition, you will work toward a thorough understanding of key accounting concepts and the financial reporting process, improving your skill set when using future financial accounting information.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the meaning and relevance of key concepts in accounting;
  • Develop the skills needed to analyse and interpret financial reports or financial statements in an international context.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By discussing practical examples and real-world applications;
  • Through formative assignments and online exercises with immediate feedback (MyLab Accounting)

Course holder:
Prof Dr Kristof Stouthuysen

Intro to Statistics


Why you need this course:


Statistics can be described as the skillset required for collecting, organising, analysing and interpreting data. This understanding and usage of data is a prerequisite in applying modern business analytics methods. It’s a skill that nowadays surpasses the traditional applications in operations and marketing, and is becoming increasingly important in all functional domains. Some technical features will be explained, but the emphasis will be on the application and added-value for decision-making. Step by step, you will explore the fundamentals of statistics and discover how these techniques and insights relate to business applications.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Summarize data of a variable visually and numerically into meaningful information that is needed to feed business decision-making;
  • Calculate the likelihood of an event happening, by means of probability rules and distributions with a focus on normal distributions;
  • Understand why sampling is necessary to make inferences about the population.
  • Apply the needed steps to perform hypothesis tests for the mean and proportion;
  • Perform a regression analysis to model the relationship between two or more variables, and to link the insights to the business problem at hand.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through blended learning via our digital learning environment, to allow you to learn at your own pace at home while reserving class time for applications and discussions;
  • Through learning by doing to grasp the added value of the different methods;
  • Through exercises you will learn how to apply the different concepts and techniques;
  • Through a dataset of the Delhaize retail store which lists data from customers on their shop visit behaviour;
  • Through an optional MS Excel training to sharpen your spreadsheet skills, which will be crucial when discussing data analysis.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Brecht Cardoen

Intro to Economics


Why you need this course:


Are you wondering why you should study economics, whether it will tell you what the stock market will do tomorrow, or if it will make you rich? This course will teach you there is in fact no crystal ball which will give you this information about the future of a multitude of economic variables. You will come to see that overall management success relies on knowledge of several different academic fields, including economics, decision-making, statistics and political science. The ability to consider the ‘big picture’ and anticipate the effects of different decisions on an organisation and its employees are important requirements of the successful manager. The overarching purpose of this course is to equip you with a thorough understanding of the influence of economic principles and changes in the economic environment on your function as a manager in a rapidly changing world, fraught with uncertainty.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the meaning of economics and economic systems, and how economics influences all stakeholders in society;
  • Appreciate the meaning and challenges of globalisation and international economic integration, and to be able to determine their influence on the future performance of a country, organization, manager;
  • Understand the behaviour of consumers and firms in a modern economy;
  • Discuss and debate the implication of the interaction between changes in one or more of a wide range of macro-economic forces (e.g. economic growth, unemployment, inflation, exchange rates, balance of payments);
  • Understand how and why economic policy decisions are made based on the above and determine the impact of such decisions on the managerial function

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By discussing practical examples;
  • Through engaging in formal and informal debates and discussions;
  • Through continuous encouragement to make informed decisions, based on the processing and integration of credible information and knowledge.

Course holder:
Prof Dr André Roux

Decision Sciences for Business


Why you need this course:


In today’s competitive environment, taking sound business decisions is key to the success of any company. Thanks to the increasing availability of data, the ability to build explicit models for analysing decisions is an important task for every manager. The use of these models to solve business problems involves the integration of business processes with data analysis and automated decision support software systems.

You will focus on different techniques used for this decision-making process, including mathematical modelling and risk analysis. You will consider modelling concepts that are applicable to a variety of different management situations and learn that modelling should consist of a well-balanced mix of creativity, imagination, business understanding and people skills. You will come to understand that a modeller needs to have not only the technical know-how, but also the skills to translate the mathematical concepts into business relevance.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify which business problems are amendable for modelling;
  • Develop technical models to solve real business problems;
  • Gain insights into the use of modelling software tools;
  • Create understanding in problem analytics.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By solving small exercises or case studies;
  • Through case study discussions of practical business cases (e.g. Brussels Airlines, University Hospital);
  • Through simulation of an assigned case study exercise;
  • By critically reviewing popular decision-support methodologies.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Mario Vanhoucken

Corporate Finance


Why you need this course:


Almost every decision taken by a firm has financial implications, no matter what functional area is involved. Therefore, this course has the necessary ingredients to be of interest to any student. After discussing some financial news items, you will start the course by analysing the financial performance of some real-life examples. Next, you will study how companies can finance their activities and focus on financial planning to evaluate how various investment and financing decisions interact and how firms’ objectives can be achieved. You will also look at investment and financial policies in detail, focus on the capital structure of companies and discuss the relation between return and risk. Subsequently, you will evaluate different capital budgeting techniques and show how projects and firms can be valued. The course will end with some more advanced topics, such as mergers and acquisitions as well as financial and real options.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Interpret financial statements and evaluate a firms’ financial
  • performance and risk;
  • Distinguish and choose between different financing sources;
  • Calculate a firm’s weighted average cost of capital;
  • Compare, evaluate and construct different capital budgeting evaluation models;
  • Write an analyst report valuing a publicly quoted company.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By providing you with a solid knowledge of the fundamental concepts and tools in corporate finance that allow individuals to intelligently solve practical business problems;
  • Through a strong emphasis on intuition and applicability, and by looking at several real-life examples;
  • Through interactive lectures that will combine a discussion of theory with the use of problems and mini-case studies;
  • Through input from the class during sessions, as a means of bringing real experience and testimony into the debate so that the fit between theory and reality can be well-understood.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Mathieu Luypaert

Strategic Management Accounting & Control


Why you need this course:


A firm’s management accounting and control system serves two fundamental purposes. First, managing the firm requires financial and non-financial information about the firm’s products, services, processes, and customers. It provides the key input to understanding current value creation and supports value-based decision making. Second, business complexity requires owners and top managers to delegate the rights to make critical business decisions to managers at all levels. Accounting numbers like revenues, costs, and profits do not manage themselves – it is people who manage, and are managed, with them. The firm’s management accounting and control system plays a key role in evaluating these managers’ performance. This course will equip you with the necessary knowledge to prepare, understand, and act upon important financial and non-financial information to manage your organisation’s performance. You will focus on three main themes: analysing cost behaviour for managerial decision making, strategic cost management and performance measurement to support strategy execution.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Use tools and techniques to explore managerial issues, as well as prepare and interpret management reports;
  • Use accounting and control systems for implementing effective strategies and enhancing business performance;
  • Grasp the complexities of using strategic management accounting and control systems in an organisational context;
  • Analyse cost management and performance measurement tools in order to manage businesses towards sustainable success and managerial decision-making.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By studying and debating real-life cases, best practices and the latest research in the field.
  • By discovering new concepts encouraging and collective learning during class discussions and group assignments.
  • By engaging in a stimulating simulation exercise on strategy execution.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Regine Slagmulder

Marketing: Customer-driven Strategy, Innovation & Tactics


Why you need this course:


The essence of marketing is about understanding and addressing customer needs in an innovative, differentiating way. As every company needs to offer its products or services to a target audience, marketing is considered as a core management discipline.

The first part focuses on ‘strategic marketing’ elements. You will learn about concepts and frameworks which are helpful to understand customer needs, business and societal trends, innovative competitive initiatives, etc. You will come to understand a market segment and find a differentiating, innovative perspective to approach it. In the second part, ‘operational marketing’ elements or components belonging to the marketing mix are the focus. You will consider concepts and frameworks which are useful in the context of marketing tactics, including communication, branding, pricing, digital tactics, etc. You will execute the (differentiating) strategic approach chosen in tangible ‘customer touchpoints’ elements.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand and apply a selection of frameworks and concepts related to strategic marketing and customer-innovation approaches;
  • Understand and apply a selection of frameworks and concepts related to operational marketing approaches;
  • Explore tangible best-practice examples of strong marketing approaches by companies.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through the inclusion of two real-life case challenges co-facilitated by business representatives (one focused on strategic marketing/customer-based innovation; and one focused on operational marketing);
  • Through business guest lectures and active coaching by business professionals to guide you in tackling these real-life case challenges;
  • By working with companies that are actively involved in this course (examples from the past: KBC, Nespresso, Studio 100, Nestlé).

Course holder:
Prof Dr Frank Goedertier

Operations Management


Why you need this course:


While most people think of factories when they think of ‘operations’, delivering customer value through operations is broader. In fact, every organisation in every industry uses operations-based principles to plan, control or improve their processes. Operations is therefore not limited to manufacturing goods, but also encompasses the creation and delivery of services, such as in a hospital or restaurant. As such, this course applies to both for-profit and non-profit organisations, and to virtually any functional area or industry, at the level of the individual plant or facility, or at the level of the supply chain.

You will explore how different business strategies require different business processes, and vice versa, how different operational capabilities allow and support different strategies to gain competitive advantage. Through a process view of operations, you will analyse different key operational dimensions such as flow, inventory, and capacity management, as well as lean operation developments through.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Put into action the operations management language, concepts, insights and tools;
  • Detect the major operational problems and issues that confront managers;
  • Deal with these issues in order to gain competitive advantage through operations.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By studying cases (e.g. Benihana, Toyota) to engage you in the issues, to teach you ways to think about and analyse operational problems, and to prepare you to be effective managers;
  • By encouraging collective learning and discovering during class discussions and team assignments;
  • Through a field trip to (inter)national plants and facilities (e.g. Opera Ballet Flanders, DHL Aviation, AB InBev) all over Belgium to let you experience operations management in practice.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Ann Vereecke

Innovation Management


Why you need this course:


Innovation plays an important role in an organization’s success. Market leaders derive a significant proportion of their income from new products, whether it is a major breakthrough or incremental improvements to existing products. In a fast-paced environment, companies need to rethink and redesign their current practices in order to grow and stay competitive in the future. Management of innovations helps organizations encourage and support innovation and realize the commercial benefits from it.

You will be equipped with state-of-the-art knowledge and best practices needed to successfully develop innovation-based growth and renewal strategies. You will explore the innovation process, from idea generation over idea development and commercialization to protection of intellectual property. In addition, you will discuss why the ecosystem in which an organization operates is crucial for its innovation strategy. Finally, you will develop a framework to analyze a firm´s innovation portfolio.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Discuss how to create a corporate environment that fosters creativity;
  • Analyse a firm´s innovation process;
  • Assess the (innovation) ecosystem of a company and derive implications for its innovation strategy;
  • Evaluate trade-offs when choosing innovation projects to build a balanced R&D portfolio.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By discussing many practical examples;
  • Through simulations that highlight the trade-offs when choosing between different innovation projects;
  • Through guest lectures on innovation management of large companies (such as ING or Philipps) or innovative start-ups (such as Wireflies);
  • By analysing a new technology and discussing its implications for a (real) company´s innovation strategy.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Robin Kleer

Corporate Sustainability & Responsibility


Why you need this course:


The main objective of the course is to discuss, explore and clarify the content, meaning and different dimensions of (strategic) CSR. In order to achieve this, specific attention will be paid to how CSR can be integrated in different management disciplines such as performance management, reporting, HRM, supply chain management, marketing, etc. Also, the course aims at discussing and explaining how and to what extent CSR can lead to innovation in products and services. Ultimately, we explore whether and to what extent CSR can lead to a competitive advantage. Specific attention will also be paid to the topic of stakeholder management and engagement.

Human Resource Management


Why you need this course:


Human resources and the way in which these are managed are one of the most important sources of organisations’ competitive advantage. In order to successfully cope with an ever-changing and challenging economical context, effective management of human potential is of critical importance.

You will explore how HRM can add value to the business in terms of attracting, selecting, motivating and retaining talent. In addition, you will pay special attention to the role of line management in shaping a strong HR approach.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the key elements of a strong HR approach and its impact on business performance;
  • Improve selection decisions, enabling you to maximize chances of hiring high-performing people;
  • Understand and manage employee motivation and retention in a better way;
  • Manage difficult situations and employee emotions in the workplace.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through a selection interview simulation game which enables you to take both the position of a candidate and an interviewer;
  • By acting as a consultant and helping an SME-owner to set up and shape a solid HR approach;
  • By role-playing a downsizing operation which will help you improve dealing with emotions at work.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Koen Dewettinck
Prof Dr Dirk Buyens

Entrepreneurship


Why you need this course:


Start-ups are everywhere and have a profound impact on our daily lives. Entrepreneurship is a way of thinking, reasoning and acting that is opportunity-obsessed and holistic in approach. It has become a fundamental part of all Vlerick degree programs, and many Vlerick graduates eventually find themselves occupying a position as entrepreneur, or are associated with one as their financier, partner, supplier or customer.

You will learn about the growing recognition of the critical importance of entrepreneurial activities in the economy and the society at large. The course will also offer you an insight in the specific challenges and solutions that characterize entrepreneurship and that have broad implications for any 21st century graduate. In addition, given the specific challenges entrepreneurs often face in terms of uncertainty and resource scarcity, you will explore solutions applied by expert entrepreneurs and come to understand how these can be of value to any professional finding him/herself in similar situations in organizations seeking growth, renewal or even survival.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the essence of entrepreneurship;
  • Explore and identify new venture opportunities in a more systematic way;
  • Understand the importance of a business model for new venture creation;
  • Evaluate the viability of a new venture idea and understand how to finance it;
  • Develop and pitch a business case for a new venture.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By developing and pitching a business plan in front of potential investors;
  • By receiving hands-on coaching in New Venture Labs to improve your business case;
  • Through testimonials of successful entrepreneurs and their lessons learned;
  • By analysing in detail different aspects of the new venture creation process using real cases from across the globe.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Miguel Meuleman
Prof Dr Fredrik Hacklin
Prof Dr Veroniek Collewaert
Prof Dr Hans Crijns
Dr Yannick Dillen

Strategic Management


Why you need this course:


Strategic management decisions are crucial for the long-term success and the survival of firms. The right or wrong strategic answer to changing conditions of the environment are supposed to be decisive for firms’ fate and future. The strategy of a firm influences whether the respective firm outperforms its competitors or is downed out by the market.

This course aims to equip future general managers with the necessary tools and thinking skills to critically evaluate an existing strategy, make necessary adjustments to a strategy or develop a strategy from scratch. Therefore, the course starts with an introduction of the most common strategic tools and frameworks of strategic management decisions. Based on this theoretical fundament, the course pursues with analyzing and discussing actual strategies and strategic decisions of real world firms.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Structure your strategic analysis;
  • Evaluate existing strategies critically from an outside perspective;
  • Make recommendations on how to adapt and improve the strategy;
  • Develop a strategic plan.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By working on case studies;
  • By discussing real-life and actual examples;
  • By tackling and defending your own strategy assignment.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Kerstin Fehre

Professional Management Skills

Negotiating to create value


Why you need this course:


We negotiate all the time, both in a professional and a personal capacity. Negotiation lies at the heart of doing business, selling, leading teams, managing and influencing people and resolving differences. Yet few people are able to negotiate effectively. In this course we situate negotiation as essentially a decision-making process in which we engage other people to meet our key interests through give and take. We further explore its three core dimensions, i.e., people, content and process as well as different negotiation strategies for different situations. Overall, the focus is on two key competencies in negotiation, i.e., to create and claim value.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Distinguish between the taking of positions and the exploration of interests in negotiation
  • Apply creativity to find integrative solutions to difficult negotiation situations
  • Communicate more effectively in negotiation
  • Prepare better for future negotiations
  • Manage the three dimensions of negotiation more consciously

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through a series of simulations, exercises and cases that increase in complexity over the course

Course holder:
Prof Dr Barney Jordaan

Leadership Development Seminar

 
Why you need this course:


For this course we’ll take you off campus for 3 days and focus on leadership development and the people skills needed in the digital age. Central to the approach is the concept of ‘learning by doing’. You’ll get an in-depth opportunity to assess your own skills profile in an active environment, rather than just thinking and talking about your skills. You’ll receive some inspiring frameworks to guide and develop your competencies. You’ll also learn how to optimize your teamwork.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Enhance your personal and professional growth by developing a number of important competencies, both on the individual level (eg knowledge of your own cognitive and interaction style) and the professional level (eg presentation skills, brainstorming skills, communication skills, giving and receiving feedback, intercultural awareness)
  • Use some basic theoretical frameworks, practical information and hands-on experiences to reflect on and manage group dynamics and interaction between people

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By experiencing the theory through working on a real business case and pitching your solution as consultants to the client company
  • By reflecting on the team processes while working on the problem, with the help of coaches and the theoretical frames provided

Course holder: Prof Dr Karlien Vanderheyden

Career Skills

 
Why you need this course:


During your Masters at Vlerick you’ll be confronted with a wide range of career opportunities. To help you make the right career choices, we’ll work on a set of competencies that are critical for career success in today’s work environment. Specifically, we’ll start from 3 crucial questions:

  • What is my ambition? What are my basic values and energy drivers?
  • What are my abilities? What am I good at?
  • How do I land a job in line with my personal aspirations and needs?

In this course you’ll gain a better understanding of the labour market, experience the importance of networking, and get inspired by career experiences of alumni. We’ll discuss and help you prepare for the different phases in the job search process. You’ll learn how to make your application stand out, practise online ability assessments, and get personal feedback based on assessment centre simulations and mock interviews with professional recruiters.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Pitch your strengths and talents, clarify your career values and energy drivers, and match them with specific jobs and company cultures
  • Effectively prepare for the different stages of the job search process in order to successfully land a job that will give you career satisfaction

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through a mixture of in-class sessions, coaching in small groups, and many practical exercises
  • Through exchanges with practitioners and a diverse group of young and senior Vlerick alumni
  • By using the Career Focus Tool, a practical tool that will facilitate your job search

Course holder: Ms Veroniek De Schamphelaere

My Vlerick Development Portfolio (MyVDP)

 
Why you need this course:


Knowing who you are and how this can impact others - one of the key competencies to succeed as a professional today is to be self-aware of your strengths, your points of improvement, and your proficiency in a set of generic competencies that are crucial in today’s business world. Other indispensable generic business skills are to have an open attitude, and the ability to embrace feedback as well as give feedback in a constructive way. In My Vlerick Development Portfolio (MyVDP) we’ll combine both.

Throughout your MyVDP learning journey you’ll not only gain insight into your own strengths and weaknesses, we’ll also challenge you to reflect and act on improvement actions. We’ll do this by means of a 360° assessment, peer feedback, and individual as well as group coaching.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Compile a portfolio that will enable you to reflect and be critical of yourself, and help you understand your strengths and weaknesses, not only as you define them but also through the eyes of others
  • Give constructive feedback to peers and receive feedback from peers
  • Take the necessary actions to develop and optimise your potential during your Masters at Vlerick and get support from your peers
  • Describe your learning process, demonstrate the progress you made, and make it visible by taking charge of your own learning

Course holder: Ms Veroniek De Schamphelaere

Presentation Skills

 
Why you need this course:


Communication is an essential component in the business world. Communicating with customers, discussing within teams, presenting business ideas to potential investors, or motivating one’s own workforce – the communication moments are vast. Also, during your Master journey at Vlerick, you will extensively engage in communication. You will constantly work in teams, preparing presentations of case solutions and of class assignments. Soon, you will also present to representatives from companies in various occasions.

Consequently, it is important to better understand the underlying mechanism of good communication. In this course, you will focus on the communicative elements of presentations: from clearly developing messages, embedding them in a stringent and compelling flow, using aids such as slides, as well as successfully delivering them.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Develop a presentation flow, with an awareness-creating introduction, a main body with clear messages, and an ending that secures the outcomes;
  • Use slides and other aids as a means of transmitting their messages;
  • Deliver presentations, aware of their individual appearance and connecting with the audience.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By trying out your communication and presentation skills in various short exercises;
  • By developing and performing presentations;
  • Through direct feedback on the spot to improve your performance.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Martin Weiss

Action Learning

International Study Trip Berlin – Impossible Futures


Why you need this course:


We live in a time of disruptive change. The capacity to sense emerging futures may well be one of the most important leadership skills individuals need today. The future will look quite different from the past in many areas, such as mobility, work, manufacturing, healthcare, food and living. How can you cultivate curiosity, compassion and courage in the face of prejudice, anger and fear? During the international study trip to Berlin, you will come to understand major societal challenges and technological trends, and be offered inspiration on how you as an individual or future manager can leverage these changes to become future proof and create more effective organizations.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Spot societal and technological trends as well as threats and opportunities they offer more systematically;
  • Understand how organisations prepare for change;
  • Understand how multiple actors collaborate in ecosystems to drive change;
  • Reflect on your own role in helping to shape change in society.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through visits to both start-ups and big corporates (e.g. Porsche, Siemens) and through observing how they prepare for change and explore new opportunities;
  • By being introduced to different technological trends (e.g. AI) and using cases for these technologies;
  • By taking part in discussions with leading experts and developing a critical view on technological and societal change and the role you can play in this.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Miguel Meuleman
Prof Dr Fredrik Hacklin

Goldstein Brewery Case


Why you need this course:


Many companies are searching for ways to increase their return on capital in order to satisfy inventors. This course focuses on improving a company’s value in a real-life setting, based on an actual consultancy project. This while integrating the different functions of a company: marketing, sales, operations and supply chain, finance and HR.

You will get to thoroughly tackle the business case, analyse the company’s data and present sound recommendations and an executable, realistic 100-day action plan. After successfully completing the course, you will have a better understanding of the drivers of value and ways to improve a company’s performance.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the integration between the management of different functional domains on an operational level;
  • Discover actionable results based on a large amount of data;
  • Collaborate with consultants from PwC to understand the types of challenges in management consultancy.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By discussing an actual business case;
  • Through collaborating in a team and leveraging the strengths of each team member;
  • By working with an advanced data analysis tool used by PwC in real life;
  • Through pitching your findings and action plan in front of a jury of experts.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Robert Boute
Prof Dr Ann Vereecke

IMEx – Integrated Management Exercise


Why you need this course:


As closing course of the programme, its goal is to emphasize the integration between the management of the different functional domains on an operational, tactical and strategic level. The knowledge from previous courses (e.g. Operations and Supply Chain Management, Corporate Finance, Negotiation Skills, Strategic Management, Financial and Managerial Accounting, Marketing Management) will be applied through managing a fictious company.

You will be working in a team and compete against other teams on economic, social and environmental metrics (the triple bottom line) during the first three years after a crisis. A strong performance will make you the leader of the industry, while a weak performance might eventually lead to bankruptcy.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Apply techniques and concepts from the entire program in a real-life setting;
  • Develop a strategy for a company and take operational decisions based on that strategy;
  • Manage a company by considering the objectives of multiple stakeholders.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By making decisions in a competitive, dynamic and interactive environment;
  • Through working together in a team as well as competing against other teams;
  • By receiving quick and hands-on feedback on your performance.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Bjorn Cumps
Prof Dr Behzad Samii
Prof Dr Ann Vereecke

Deep Dive Challenge


Why you need this course:


You will be introduced to several major strategic questions senior managers have to deal with. The challenge highlights the holistic nature of managerial thinking by requiring you to think about different functional domains of management in an integrated way. The Deep Dive Challenge offers you a starting point to link management theory to practice by working on managerial questions that will be covered in the different management courses throughout the year. Specifically, you will work on an action plan outlining the prioritized initiatives that you, as a management team, will undertake to improve the growth prospects and the performance of the company. In addition, you will outline implications of your action plan for the different functional domains (finance, human resources, operations and supply chain, innovation and marketing), including the possible risks when implementing it.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Recognize the holistic nature of managerial thinking;
  • Prioritize strategic actions;
  • Present action plans in a convincing way.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through the exploration of strategic questions which the management of Neuhaus is dealing with;
  • By presenting recommendations and their implications to the Board of Directors on how to tackle the different managerial questions in the form of an action plan;

Course holder:
Prof Dr Philippe Baecke
Prof Dr Veroniek Collewaert
Prof Dr Kerstin Fehre
Prof Dr Mathieu Luypaert

Finance and Accounting Simulation Tool (FAST)


Why you need this course:


FAST is a simulation game which will help you understand the language of accountants, controllers and financial managers. You will recognise why issues like inventory policy or development times are financially important, and why all managerial decisions, in whatever department, affect an organisation’s financial health. You will learn more about the financial dynamics of a commercial business, from firm foundation, investments in machinery and buildings, hiring staff, purchasing raw materials and services, to a first production cycle. After having worked through this simulation, you should be able to understand how your decisions affect your organisation’s financial risk and value creation.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Interpret an organisation’s financial statements: balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement and how they fit together;
  • Understand how operational decisions impact an organisation’s financial statements;
  • Analyse an organisation’s short-term and long-term financial risk, based upon its financial statements;
  • Evaluate a firm’s profitability and understand its different components.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through a simulation of the activities of a fictitious company (Aquajet, a speed boat manufacturer) with gradually increasing complexity, focusing on its operational processes (e.g. buying raw materials, attracting labour, producing and selling boats, inventory build-up) as well as on the related financial transactions;
  • By visualizing all operational and financial flows by means of tokens during a physical board game;
  • Through analyzing all recorded changes in operating activities and financing via financial statements (on liquidity, profitability and solvency).
  • By proposing actions that will improve Aquajet’s performance.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Mathieu Luypaert

Consultancy Project

 
In the final months, you’ll apply everything you’ve learned during a real consultancy project (In-Company Project or "ICP") or a global social project for a NGO. Working in teams of two or three, you’ll analyse a specific business issue for a company of your choice which can be as diverse as a multinational corporation, an SME or a non-profit organisation. You’ll work within the company for 3 months to develop a full-fledged plan. At the end, our team presents its proposal to a jury consisting of both an academic expert and company executives. Read more >

Boot camp

Gain hands-on experience in one chosen domain, e.g.:

Code Camp: Programming for Business


Why you need this course:


Today, more and more major industries are being run on software and delivered as online services. At the same time, more and more Silicon Valley-style entrepreneurs are overturning established industries with their technology-centered solutions. And so far, things are only accelerating. Organizations are busy digitizing their internal processes, their products and services, or their channels to reach out to customers. These transformation initiatives are in fact a combination of several, small and large scale, software development projects.

You will use Python as the programming language to teach the fundamentals of algorithm development. After you learn the basic syntax and programming skills, you will focus on web development. In addition, you will learn how to code with HTML and CSS, as well as focus on one of the most widely used Python frameworks for web development.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Think algorithmically and solve programming problems efficiently;
  • Develop your own dynamic webpage with data collection and storage capabilities, and without being limited by the mainstream website creation tools like WordPress;
  • Develop software with basic functionality to improve their productivity using the very popular and easy-to-learn programming language Python;
  • Appreciate what it really takes to turn an idea into a digital business;
  • Learn how to choose the best approach for a software development initiative.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through exposure to software developers who understand business requirements and business professionals who can code;
  • Through a company’s real-life challenge;
  • Through coaching sessions by the company during the deep-dive challenge, such as Mobile Vikings and In The Pocket;
  • By creating small yet functional programs in Python that you can leverage.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Öykü Işık

Data Science for Finance and Strategy


Why you need this course:


The amount of data available to organizations and individuals is unprecedented, while research predicts a significant shortage of advanced analytics talent, and an even larger shortage of managers and leaders who can make decisions based on data. Companies seeking to maximize use of the available data require finance and strategy professionals who understand data science and know how to use it to solve business challenges.

During this boot camp, you will learn current data and technology challenges of managers and decision-makers, as well as the language, concepts, insights and analytical tools required to deal with them. You will apply the Python programming language and essential machine learning techniques (including data visualization and exploration, predictive analytics, network analysis, natural language processing) to practical exercises and cases. You will also put your coding and analytics knowledge to use through the deep dive challenge at an international strategy consulting or financial services company.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the advantages of data science and machine learning methods;
  • Apply the Python programming language for general-purpose programming and solving business cases (no prior programming knowledge required);
  • Comment and contribute more effectively to financial and strategic business challenges in an increasing complex organizational context.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By discussing many practical examples and real-life coding exercises;
  • Through guest speakers who are data scientists in the finance and consulting industries;
  • Through a deep dive challenge (organized in the format of a Hackaton) in which you and your team members will collaborate intensively on a real big data challenge a financial service company is facing (e.g. Allianz, a leading insurance company in the world);
  • Through presenting your solutions to the board of directors of the case company (as winners).

Course holder:
Prof Dr Kristof Stouthuysen

Digital Transformation


Why you need this course:


In times where digitisation is radically transforming many industries, incumbent organisations are trying to grasp what the digital age means for their current business model. In sharp contrast with digital natives such as Google, Facebook or Snapchat, many existing enterprises have not been built to compete in this new environment where the digital and physical world are blended seamlessly. But how to survive – and win – in the digital age?

This boot camp focuses on digital transformation, a form of end-to-end, integrated business transformation where digital technologies play a dominant role. You will be addressing questions like: What are the new realities of the digital economy? What does digital innovation and transformation mean for existing companies? How to start a digital transformation and grow digital capabilities over time? How to apply digital technologies and innovation to business models, product attributes and company ecosystem combinations?

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand what digital transformation means for an organization;
  • Recognize different leadership types for digital transformation;
  • Discuss how established companies can respond to digital disruption.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By playing the digital transformation leadership game;
  • Through sessions by guest speakers, e.g. from Volvo Group;
  • Through company visits during the Amsterdam trip, e.g. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines;
  • Through a one-week deep dive in real-life transformation challenges at several Belgian companies, e.g. Fednot, Renson, TVH.

Course holder:
Dr Lieselot Danneels

Global Supply Chain Strategy


Why you need this course:


Supply chain activities – inventory management, warehousing, sourcing, and transportation – have been performed since the start of commercial activity. It is difficult to visualize any product that could reach a customer without logistical support. Yet it is only since the last few years that firms have started focusing on supply chain management as a source of competitive advantage. There is a realization that no company can do any better than its supply chain. This becomes even more important given that product life cycles are shrinking, and competition is intense. Supply chain management today represents a great challenge as well as a tremendous opportunity.

Your goal on this course will be to improve supply chain design and planning decisions to benefit the performance of the firm as well as the entire supply chain. You will develop an understanding of the complex interactions between supply chain and other functional areas, particularly marketing and finance.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Improve a firms’ strategic and financial performance by effectively managing its supply chain;
  • Make complex supply decisions such as distribution network design, sales & operations planning, or offshoring versus onshoring location decisions;
  • Apply state-of-the-art practices in digital and smart supply chains.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through experiential learning, supply chain simulations, case-based teaching, industry guest speakers, a field trip and a deep dive challenge to advise a real company in their current supply chain challenges.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Robert Boute

Other Teaching Faculty:
Prof Dr Behzad Samii
Prof Dr Ann Vereecke

Strategic Innovation: FinTech


Why you need this course:


What do Alipay, Bitcoin, Klarna, Facebook, Qover and Revolut have in common? They all want a piece of the financial services sector pie, which is facing a fundamental transformation. Not only is digital technology the driver of this change, but the digital transformation also brings in a new attitude regarding user experience and an intense revision of global regulation.

In this industry-focused boot camp, you will zoom in on the emerging ecosystem of collaborative competitors. Digital technology is a major disruptive force in the financial services sector: Incumbent companies such as major banks and insurance companies have woken up to the digital revolution and are experimenting with mobile banking, AI, Bots, Blockchain, Tokens and digital platforms. The goal of this boot camp is for you to build an in-depth understanding of the main FinTech drivers, forces and dynamics in the financial services sector.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Interpret the major trends that are shaping today’s financial services landscape;
  • Understand the interplay between incumbents (banks & insurance companies), start-ups/scale-ups, big techs and regulators, and how they engage each other (partner – compete);
  • Master the basics of how technologies like blockchain, AI, digital platforms, mobile apps, etc. work and impact organizational business models;
  • Recognize how the ‘FIN’ part is changing due to ‘TECH’ influences, e.g. the trends in payments, lending, daily banking, insurance, …

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By discussing and learning from real-life FinTech cases and news articles;
  • By interacting with industry professionals through testimonials and company visits;
  • Through working in teams on a FinTech focused deep-dive case assignment provided by a company.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Bjorn Cumps

Strategic Innovation: Healthcare


Why you need this course:


Healthcare is an important industry and public sector in society requiring specific management methods that fit regulated markets too. Involved industry sectors include biomedical technology, such as medicines, medical devices and diagnostics, as well as enabling technology, such as mobile health (m-health). On the healthcare delivery side, it includes hospitals and health management organisations.

During the boot camp, you will learn how to manage practical clinical and health problems, making use of technological or operational innovation. You will investigate how big data analytic sciences and digitally enabled care delivery processes will alter the way healthcare is delivered, such as the use of advanced biomedical products, hospital procedures and practice styles. In short, you will focus on how to create, implement, embed and sustain innovations in healthcare systems, while always taking a patient perspective and health system view, as opposed to a silo view, as a guide to manage and innovate.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the biggest trends, developments and complexities impacting the sector and the key success factors to be active in the health and life sciences field;
  • Design and critically evaluate the innovation and operational strategies pursued by the healthcare ecosystem players, i.e. physicians and hospitals, biopharmaceutical and medical technology producers, and health payers and regulators;
  • Apply fundamental concepts of health economics and value-based thinking (ICER, QALY, etc.) to make business cases and obtain market access for innovative health technologies;
  • Formulate answers to real-world health system problems, currently faced by healthcare ecosystem players, and put them into practice right away.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through a visit to a hospital you will experience the impact of technology in a life sciences lab;
  • By receiving testimonials by health entrepreneurs, public and corporate medical leaders;
  • Through a real management problem to be solved in a hospital or medical industry setting, taking a deep dive to present a solution at the end of the bootcamp to a jury of professors and corporate execs.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Walter Van Dyck
Prof Dr Brecht Cardoen

Strategic Innovation: Renewable Energy


Why you need this course:


To limit global warming, we need to decarbonize our society, starting with a zero-carbon energy system. Part of the solution are renewable energy sources, such as solar energy, wind energy, biomass, and ocean energy. The renewable energy business is fast-growing and becoming mainstream. Corporates increasingly have green energy procurement targets, while citizens organize the supply of their energy consumption individually or collectively.

This boot camp is organized around the real-life challenges that the actors in this energy transition are facing. You will use the management frameworks from other courses, such as strategy, entrepreneurship, finance, and marketing, and apply them to these real-life challenges. We will divide you in multi-disciplinary groups and expose you to the main actors and concepts you need to know to be able to function in this sector.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify innovative renewable energy solutions;
  • Apply management frameworks to the renewable energy businesses;
  • Develop and present a renewable energy business model;
  • Use renewable energy business jargon.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By creating solutions for real-life challenges;
  • Through interaction with guest speakers from different parts of the value chain;
  • Through company visits or a conference visit

Course holder:
Prof Dr Leonardo Meeus

Strategic Innovation: Retail & Marketing of FMCG


Why you need this course:


How can you deliver value to your customers and how can customers deliver value to you in the current FMCG context? You will be introduced to new trends, challenges, and the different stakeholders that are involved in the marketing and retail of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). You will improve the effectiveness of your marketing management strategy in creating value for and from their customers, ranging from the market analysis and the formulation of the strategy to the implementation.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Apply new trends and technologies in marketing research on FMCG (multi-sensorial research, online communities, social scraping…);
  • Apply strategies & frameworks in FMCG innovation and marketing (customer journeys, omni-channel, e-commerce, mindless consumption, nudging, assortment architecture…);
  • Realize business objectives, keeping in mind a context with an increasing focus on sustainability of all stakeholders involved.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through a deep-dive real-life case and assignments (Delhaize);
  • By visiting companies in Belgium and the Netherlands, e.g. Delhaize, Haystack, Tony Chocolonely, Unilever;
  • Through ‘Academia meets business’ material by Vlerick professors, e.g. customer journeys, customer centricity, omni-channel, e-commerce, mindless consumption, nudging, assortment architecture, multi-sensorial marketing, food marketing, implicit measures, etc.;
  • Through ‘Business meets academia’ sessions by business managers, e.g. innovative marketing measurement techniques, retail dynamics in a food context, retail dynamics in a non-food context, sustainable retail, new product development, etc.;
  • Through small group coaching sessions;
  • Through action-learning workshops at the sites of companies;
  • By delivering presentations for business juries.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Barbara Briers

Strategy Consulting


Why you need this course:


This boot camp aims to equip you with the essential skills as a (junior) consultant in a professional services firm active in strategy consulting. While being trained on these skills, you will have the opportunity to apply them in a real-life case. You will solve a client case together with your project team, following the generic problem-solving method typically used by strategy consulting firms.

You will kick off by being introduced to the consulting industry and the problem-solving method, covering problem identification, problem structuring, problem analysis, and the communication of solutions. You will be exposed in detail to every phase and have the opportunity to practise a series of small exercises and cases.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Recognize the problem-solving methodology commonly used in consulting;
  • Structure a problem in order to solve complex problems;
  • Illustrate the (rational) elements of selecting solutions;
  • Compose a sound communication structure.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through a real-life project which presents a problem that may develop into a typical consulting project, e.g. a growth strategy for a roof tile manufacturer, a market entry strategy for a professional service company or the development of a digital strategy for a fast-fashion company;
  • By presenting the solution to the client at the end of the boot camp.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Martin Weiss

Sports Business & Digital Innovation


Why you need this course:


The global sports industry is estimated to be a 1.3 trillion US dollar business*. This business consists of an elite group of professional athletes and organisation with a huge fan-base and media companies broadcasting the athletes activities. Besides this, also a group of mass participants sports can be identified that includes all amateur athletes, organisations and retailers supplying product to them. The sports business is characterised by industryspecific elements such as a very passionate and highly involved consumer base, big investments in human resources and a high level of uncertainty. There is a need for people who understand the do’s and don’ts in this business, and simultaneously, have the management skills to help sports athletes, organisations and other stakeholders to generate business value from athletic performances.

This bootcamp will focus on the business part of the sports industry. It will first introduce the participants to the specific industry. Next, digital technologies have changed the game of the sports business significantly. Hence, a second part of this bootcamp will discuss how digital technologies such as social media, sensors, virtual and augmented reality push this industry further into “over-the-top” customer experiences. In this context, also data, analytics and artificial intelligence is taking an increasingly important role in this business.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the industry-specific dynamics and ecosystems in the sports industry
  • Develop and present on-field and off-field innovation in the sports industry based on digital technologies
  • Identify new opportunities for fan engagement using data, analytics and AI

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through several company visits, the students will get a practical experience of
    the sports business & digital innovation.
  • By applying their knowledge in two business challenges.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Philippe Baecke

Electives

Choose any 4. The electives can take place in Ghent (G), Leuven (L) or Brussels (B)

Advanced Corporate Finance (L)


Why you need this course:


A sound and comprehensive understanding of managerial finance is a critical skill in many management positions and professional expert roles. The ultimate goal in this course is to provide you with a more extensive knowledge of financial management, equip you with profound practical experience and a critical mindset to assess financial issues. The advanced corporate finance elective neatly builds further on the core MGM Corporate Finance course. Some topics are dealt with in more depth whilst also new areas within the finance domain are explored. You will be thoroughly analyzing a large number of case studies and a wide range of recent corporate finance transactions.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Interpret financial statements, reports and press releases to evaluate firms’ financial performance and risk;
  • Identify flaws in valuation methods, construct proper valuation models and defend assumptions and input parameters deployed;
  • Evaluate various financing alternatives;
  • Critically analyse the financial press.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through interactive lectures containing a (brief) discussion of theory along with background and insight in numerous real-life examples;
  • Through active class participation and by presenting your analysis and perspectives;
  • Through an up-to-date Corporate Finance in the News overview;
  • Through a combination of case work, in-class exercises, group discussions and tackling “What is wrong here?”-questions;
  • By conducting a graded team-based assignment pushing you to critically judge a transaction, event or theme in corporate finance.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Wouter De Maeseneire

Advanced Strategy (B)


Why you need this course:


In the basic strategy courses, you got exposed to traditional understandings of strategy and strategic management. However, since we are facing more and more dynamic and complex environments as well as more behavioural elements in the processes of developing strategies, the applicability of those traditional concepts might be challenged. For example, companies might find it hard to forecast the future when facing frequent or disruptive market changes, and therefore, to define their strategies.

In this course, you will get a deeper understanding of how strategies can be developed to shape a company’s path to success, given the presence of dynamic, complex or uncertain environments. You will also be exposed to the development and use of tools to overcome such obstacles. The course’s approach is balancing findings from theoretical and practical insights to provide you with state-of-the-art knowledge and a sense for practical challenges and pitfalls when dealing with strategic issues.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Explain the limitations of traditional strategy concepts;
  • Relate the different environmental conditions to the (strategic) decision-making of executives;
  • Deal with dynamic and complex situations when it comes to giving strategic recommendations.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through a case which simulates the decision-making processes on a strategic level;
  • By assuming the role of decision-maker and by coming up with several options, given a limited and inconclusive amount of information;
  • By exploring decision-making in which you accept the uncertain and ambiguous nature of the environment, as opposed to more rational decision-making which is based on more objective data, such as financial evaluations.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Martin Weiss

Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (G)


Why you need this course:


Recent technologies have enabled organisations to collect, store and process multiple sources of high volume and/or unstructured data. By combining this data with advanced analytical models, new business opportunities can be realised which improve process efficiencies, increase risk management, allow better targeting and personalisation, improve customer experience, etc. Today, a good understanding of these artificial intelligence solutions is important for a manager to detect these opportunities and recognize its limitations. This course will demystify Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. You will receive an overview of big data technology that is required to store and process new high volume and/or unstructured data sources. You will also learn advanced analytical techniques in a hands-on way, such as neural networks, deep learning and natural language processing, which enable the development of artificial intelligence business solutions.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify artificial intelligence opportunities for a business;
  • Develop a basic artificial intelligence solution;
  • Collaborate better with data scientists in their organisation.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By developing a small AI solution using recent technology available on the market.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Philippe Baecke

Business Development & Sales (G)


Why you need this course:


Creating sustainable competitive advantage can only be achieved by having a business development perspective, mapping out the strategic path and sales delivering the results. However, due to globalization, it is not easy to identify how and where to grow business. Customers are also becoming more experience-oriented, looking for more than products or services. This shift is noticeable in B2C and B2B marketplaces, making them increasingly complex and multi-facetted.

This course covers professional selling from a business development perspective in major accounts under hypercompetitive business conditions. You will work on a real-life challenge in a business development and sales setting, and learn several competencies to help you come across as a value creator and problem solver. Speaking to professional buyers is key to your sales-driven business development activities. Thus, systematic planning will be the driving force guiding your new sales venture. You will focus on professional business-to-business settings, but examples will also come from B2C.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Combine the growth options with specific seller types;
  • Evaluate customer experience creation in the sales context;
  • Critically appraise communication and sales interaction skills;
  • Create a solution in the sales process.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By building on the negotiation skills that you already acquired, which you will harness and apply into the sales situation;
  • Through the combination of lectures, case studies, group and class discussions;
  • Through role-play activities, and teamwork.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Fred Lemke

Data-driven Project Management (L)


Why you need this course:


Managing projects is key to the success of many businesses. Good project management practice requires careful analysis of all potential risks to the project, quantifying these, developing a mitigation plan against them as well as a contingency plan should any of the risks materialize. When proper oversight and project control is in place, it helps project managers to make better decisions when solving problems. The earlier one can spot project deviations, the easier it is to bring the project back on track.

You will gain an understanding of key issues in data-driven project management. This highly interactive elective provides the essentials you should have as a project manager when faced with preparations to manage and control projects in progress. The module is organized in 5 case study sessions in which both you as well as the teacher will go in dialogue to solve challenging project problems with data.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Comprehend the features of data-driven planning and control techniques;
  • Understand the relation between planning and project control;
  • Formulate a critical view on current data-driven project management methods, and suggest improvements;
  • Recognise the impact of changes in activity time/cost estimates on the project objectives, and apply risk analyses to predict the project outcome.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By solving different integrative case studies in small groups;
  • By comparing alternative project management methods for different projects;
  • Through data analysis and discussions with team members;
  • Through the analysis of real projects (e.g. tennis stadium construction, redesign of IT platform, city-wide internet of things, automated drone development).

Course holder:
Prof Dr Mario Vanhoucke

Digital Innovation & Entrepreneurship (L)


Why you need this course:


The prevalence of information technology and the central position it has taken in our business models is obvious. The most innovative companies of the world today are the ones that have managed to use IT to their competitive advantage. Yet, the number of business professionals who understand the building blocks of these technologies and how they work is not proportionate to the speed IT is still developing.

During this elective, you will learn the what, why and how of the critical technologies that form the building blocks of the most successful business models today, namely Artificial Intelligence (AI), Advanced Analytics, Internet of Things, Mobile Devices and Applications, as well as Cloud Computing. You will also cover cyber security and data privacy issues surrounding the application of such technologies.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Recognize and differentiate emerging vs disruptive information technologies;
  • Illustrate how emerging and/or disruptive technologies can provide a competitive advantage;
  • Discuss the benefits and challenges associated with using emerging and/or disruptive technologies as a critical element in your business model;
  • Design the main IT functionalities and basic requirements of a new venture proposal.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through working with entrepreneurs who have created a business model with technologies discussed in class, such as Sensolus (IoT), Data Minded (analytics) or Ontoforce (big data and cloud);
  • Through working with consultants who interact with multiple companies, large and small, and struggle with these technologies, such as the internationally renowned IT research and consulting company Gartner and the cybersecurity advisor NViso;
  • By exposure to critical decisions regarding the use of IT for your new venture ideas, through defending your functional requirements and infrastructural choices that will enable the business idea to come to life.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Öykü Işık

Digital Strategy (B)


Why you need this course:


Digitalization has a significant impact on how organizations work, their interactions with external stakeholders, their products and services, and their business models. In response, firms need to develop a digital strategy so that digital technologies are used to enhance performance, in support of a firm’s strategic priorities.

In this course, you will be equipped with decision-making frameworks that put digital strategy in perspective. In addition, you will apply these frameworks on real-life, real-time assignments of specific firms in different industries and you will be asked to identify and develop digital initiatives that will spur this firm’s growth. You will also help make it manageable, while being extensively briefed by representatives of the firm and coached by Accenture senior managers.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand how different factors impact a firm’s digital strategy;
  • Create valuable digital customer experiences;
  • Apply a framework for digitizing products and services;
  • Develop data-driven business models.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through the course being set up as a Digital Design Sprint every day;
  • Through representatives from a firm and from Accenture introducing you daily to a real-life, real-time assignment related to digital strategy (previous assignments have come from companies in financial services (BNP Paribas Fortis, AXA), retail (Veepee) and utilities (ORES));
  • By working on the assignment in teams while being offered support by Vlerick faculty, Accenture senior managers, and company representatives;

Course holder:
Prof Prof Dr Arne Buchwald

Financing your Start-up (L)


Why you need this course:


Uber went public at a valuation of around $90 billion dollar, after $25 billion dollar had been invested since it was founded 10 years earlier. This is the exponential case of an entrepreneurial company with growth ambitions that typically need a lot of money to grow, but for whom traditional bank funding is not an option. Alternative sources of funding are more relevant for these companies, such as crowdfunding, business angel funding, venture capital or corporate investors.

This course provides you with an insight into how these alternative investors work, what drives the valuation of an entrepreneurial venture, how investors balance their risk through tailor-made contracts, and how they exit their investments.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Calculate the financing needs of a start-up;
  • Apply appropriate valuation techniques for valuing entrepreneurial ventures;
  • Analyse liquidation and anti-dilution preferences in investor term sheets;
  • Develop a financing strategy for an entrepreneurial company.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By analysing and discussing real cases;
  • Through the development of a financing strategy for your own start-up;
  • By interviewing entrepreneurs on their financing strategy.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Sophie Manigart

Leadership Skills in an Agile World (G)


Why you need this course:


The more disruptive the modern business world becomes, the less plannable and controllable organizational operation becomes. Leadership, the skill to connect employees for rapid adaptation and exploitation of the unexpected, becomes paramount. This elective prepares you to connect with employees and managers in the most impactful way and to connect others from reaching a common goal. You will collect hands-on experience on how you are as both, a leader and a follower, and how to respond properly to disruption, surprise and ambiguity. Core element of this elective will be an organizational simulation. You’ll become part of a company that undergoes structural change, requiring you to apply appropriate behaviour. Based on that, essential skills in connectivity, agility, safety provision and goal orientation are trained in a playful, experience-based way.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Assess your leadership and followership skills realistically;
  • Recognize dysfunctional organizational dynamics and how to turn them around;
  • Implement effective behavioural strategies to exploit surprise and discontinuity as a source of business and individual growth.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through the skill and mindset of Applied Business Improvisation, the highly powerful core skill set for agile leaders;
  • Through striking insights by agile leaders, who practise the course content successfully, and who will not only come and speak, but also work with you during the course.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Ralf Wetzel

Managing in the Family Business (G)


Why you need this course:


A significant proportion of Vlerick Master students come from a family business background. If you are too, you may face a choice whether to join the family business or go your own way, and whether to do so soon or after significant outside experience. Joining as a second or later generation member brings with it several unique challenges and rewards. These involve not only the business, but also the relationships in the family, across generations and within one’s own generation. If you don’t join, you may still have the opportunity, but also the responsibility, of becoming a shareholder. If not this either, then you are still part of a business family. On this course, you will receive insights and tools to examine and reflect on your own business family and family business context. You will identify key issues to address and open up communication with other family members regarding these.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify and understand the challenges facing family businesses, as both family and business evolve through different stages;
  • Examine the various approaches and tools one can use to adapt to these challenges;
  • Translate this to the circumstances of one’s own family business and personal situation;
  • Develop a set of priorities and action plan in preparing to join the family business, or to contribute to its development.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through a combination of mini-cases and personal situation sharing, during which you will address the business, ownership and family perspective;
  • By examining the specific issues next generation members face when entering the family business in any of three stages: joining the founding parent in an owner-managed business, running a business as a sibling partnership of brothers and sisters, continuing a business in a cousin collaboration.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Philippe Haspeslagh

Managing Risk to Maximise Opportunity (B)


Why you need this course:


Risk and uncertainty are present in all organisations and the economic, social and political environments they operate in. Successful organisations manage these exposures to achieve business objectives, exploiting profitable opportunities and mitigating threats that disrupt their operations or cash flows.

On this course, you will look at how risk management can be used to protect and create value in organisations. You will learn about the formal and informal tools that organisations use to identify, assess, mitigate and exploit risk and uncertainty. You will also explore how organisations can choose the ‘right’ types and levels of exposure, using the concepts of risk appetite and risk tolerance.

This course will be useful to future business leaders and managers responsible for the performance of a company or business unit. It will also help consultants and entrepreneurs in designing risk management structures and systems to support value creation under risk and uncertainty.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Explain how risk management can be used to create and protect value in organisations;
  • Apply corporate strategy and finance theory to the management of risk in organisations;
  • Analyse the effectiveness of different risk management objectives, tools and techniques using real world cases;
  • Develop strategies for creating resilient organisations.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through course leaders who combine practical and research expertise in risk management;
  • By analysing real-world case studies of risk management practice in small, medium and large organisations spanning the public and private sectors;
  • Trough in-class discussions and team exercises;
  • Through a guest lecture from a senior risk management professional;
  • By completing a practical assignment in which you will evaluate and re-design the risk management strategy of a real-world organisation, using the information reported in its annual report and accounts.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Simon Ashby
Prof Dr David Veredas

Mergers and Acquisitions (G)


Why you need this course:


Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) play a strong role in today’s global and competitive economic environment. M&A transactions are among the biggest investments a company can make, and hence, have a crucial impact on value creation for various stakeholders. It is however not an easy task and raises a lot of questions: how to identify the right company, how to determine the right offer price, how to financially structure a deal once a price has been agreed upon, how to successfully integrate two cultures, etc. This five-day elective provides you with a comprehensive overview and in-depth analysis of the topic of mergers and acquisitions. It also offers you an opportunity for integration, an occasion to break out of disciplinary silos and apply various managerial skills.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify various drivers behind M&A transactions;
  • Classify different types of integration methods;
  • Execute a valuation exercise of takeover targets;
  • Implement and critically assess payment and financing structures;
  • Identify value creation potential in buyout transactions.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through interactive lectures that will combine a discussion of theory with the use of problems and real-life examples;
  • Through a business simulation during which you will work on the different steps in an M&A process.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Mathieu Luypaert

Social Entrepreneurship (L)


Why you need this course:


Social entrepreneurs aim to create social value and stimulate social change by solving persistent social problems, such as the illiteracy of adults, the chronic undernutrition of children under five and not having access to safe water or improved sanitation. It is becoming clear that social ventures can not only be financially sustainable, they can also be profitable. Doing well by doing good. During this elective, you will explore some of the special features and challenges of social entrepreneurship. You will focus on what sets it apart from more traditional forms of entrepreneurship, and pay specific attention to critical success factors for social entrepreneurs, such as how to mobilize resources and how to measure the performance of a social venture. Finally, you will explore some tools that will help you assess and increase a social venture’s growth potential.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the concepts, challenges and opportunities of social entrepreneurship;
  • Describe the different kinds of funding models social entrepreneurs can rely on, as well as their advantages and disadvantages;
  • Design a funding strategy for social entrepreneurs, and develop an impact measurement strategy for social ventures;
  • Assess to what extent a social venture is ready to scale and, if so, how to identify the key drivers for its scaling success.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By discussing real-life examples and cases;
  • Through a brainstorming challenge helping real social entrepreneurs;
  • Through in-class stories of actual social entrepreneurs (e.g. Mobile Schools, ArmenTekort).

Course holder:
Prof Dr Veroniek Collewaert

Strategy Beyond Markets (L)


Why you need this course:


CEOs consistently rank reputation and regulatory issues in their top 3 of business risks. However, these are often pushed to corporate communications, public relations, public affairs, and regulatory affairs teams, so that the rest of the organization can focus on the core business. Companies often learn the hard way that proactively engaging with government, activists, and other actors in their environment is as strategic and core business as their positioning in the market.

During this elective, you will use cases and frameworks to discuss the following key questions: How to anticipate and prioritize issues? How to map the environment for an issue? How to come up with an innovative strategic response? How to mobilize other actors on your side? In which government or media arenas should you make your move? How to communicate effectively? How to manage a public relations crisis? How to become more proactive in shaping your environment?

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Map and prioritize regulatory and reputation issues;
  • Analyse the environment for an issue;
  • Design an innovative strategy to respond to an issue;
  • Spot opportunities and shape your environment.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By using cases from different industries;
  • By using a strategy tool, turned into a professional game;
  • Through interaction with professionals via testimonials or a company visit.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Leonardo Meeus

Strategy Implementation and Change (G)


Why you need this course:


Many firms struggle to achieve sustained good performance. One of the main reasons is that firms accomplish superior performance only when well-formulated strategies are successfully implemented. Although there is broad agreement that execution is critical, there is far less agreement on the approach to achieve it.

In this elective, you will learn to work with a comprehensive strategy implementation framework that can be used for implementing various strategies. As future managers, you need to master both the strategy formulation and implementation process, and understand how to use effective change management practices to turn strategy into results. You will learn how strategy helps an organization to perform better and to identify what the building blocks of successful strategy implementation are. You will work with the most recent insights on change management to get the best results.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Formulate a clear, winning strategy for a company;
  • Identify crucial actions that help to implement the specified strategy;
  • Address the emotional side of strategy implementation;
  • Build a plan to get all people involved to work on the strategy implementation challenge.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By working on a real-life case;
  • By discussing other case studies and many business examples;
  • Through using relevant worksheets and documents used in consulting practices;
  • Through group work during which you apply theory to practice.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Kurt Verweire

Technology Disruption and Strategy (L)


Why you need this course:


The elective explores the unique strategic aspects of fast-moving technology-intensive industries. Many industries are approaching, or find themselves in the midst of, dramatic structural changes. While corporate strategy teams and innovation departments work hard to find responses to technological shifts, focus is oftentimes laid on developing responses, while falling short in understanding the underlying dynamics of technological change. At the same time, technology-driven change in industries follows well-established patterns, which can offer a more productive source for strategic insight and guidance.

In order to be more agile in managing organizations through times of dramatic change, this elective aims to equip future leaders with strategies, frameworks and tools for understanding, anticipating and managing through technological shifts, specifically through developing technology strategy. In so doing, this course lays particular emphasis on two core and timely concepts of technological change: disruption and convergence.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the nature of technology-driven change, analyze and categorize technological trends;
  • Detect drivers and assess implications of disruption;
  • Evaluate cases of success and failure in technology-intensive businesses;
  • Design technology strategies in a corporate environment.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By discussing real-life examples and preparing a selection of case studies;
  • Through interacting with distinguished guest speakers;
  • By developing and defending your own technology strategy assignment.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Fredrik Hacklin

The Leader as Negotiator (G)


Why you need this course:


According to conventional wisdom, leading people requires vision, charisma and palpable self-confidence, while negotiation skills are for use outside the organisation when cutting deals with partners, customers and suppliers. However, this is simply wrong. Leadership frequently does require negotiation as authority has its limits. Good leaders are invariably effective negotiators. Some of the people you will one day lead will be smarter, more talented or more powerful, while you will also often be called to lead people over whom you have no authority, such as your peers. When persuading people to follow your lead, you will need to appeal to their interests, communicate with them effectively and sell your vision.

This elective builds on the Negotiation Skills course and focuses primarily on managing more complex internal negotiations, dealing with conflict and acting as a mediator in disputes between colleagues. The skills learnt will be equally applicable outside your professional life.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Plan, prepare and execute a complex internal negotiation;
  • Apply key mediation techniques to help others resolve their conflicts;
  • Acquire greater confidence to manage conflict.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through planning, preparing and executing a complex negotiation;
  • By acting as an intermediary in an internal dispute;
  • By determing your own conflict style through a questionnaire and receiving feedback about it;
  • Listening to an experienced business leader talk about their hard negotiation lessons.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Barney Jordaan

Vlerick Banking Game (B)


Why you need this course:


Within the global financial system, banks provide essential services for households, corporations and governments. The provision of these services can generate significant profits for banks, but also expose them to a wide range of risks. In this course, you will learn about the strategic and operational decisions that banks have to make in order to balance risk and return.

In a small group, you will have the opportunity to put this learning into practice using the Vlerick banking simulation game. This simulation allows you to make retail, commercial, private and investment banking decisions, including lending decisions, investments in financial markets and deposit taking. In addition, the simulation has a competitive element as you will be competing against rival banks on price, quality and brand image. Do you have what it takes to run a successful bank?

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the strategic and operational decisions that are made by banks and how these decisions can create both risk and return;
  • Apply a knowledge of bank decision-making to four different sectors: retail, commercial, private and investment banking;
  • Examine the effect that regulation and competition can have on bank decision-making;
  • Formulate a strategy to create value within a full service (universal) bank.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • Through a realistic banking simulation game;
  • By working in teams to create a bank for the game;
  • By competing against rival banks to generate a strong financial performance and share price, while at the same time ensuring that you do not take excessive risks;
  • Through a blend of theory and practice during lectures, coupled with time to play the game and presenting your performance at the end;
  • Through sessions by experts who combine an academic knowledge of banking with experience working in banks.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Simon Ashby

Turning Supply Chain Management into a Competitive Advantage (B)


Why you need this course:


Globalization has made supply chain decisions a part of every manager’s strategic, tactical and operational challenges. On this elective, you will be offered the language, concepts, insights, and tools needed to gain competitive advantage through better understanding of supply chains. This course is for those who seek careers outside the supply chain domain yet want a working knowledge of supply chain management and its role in gaining a competitive advantage. There will be four general modules in this course discussing supply chains strategy, structure, collaboration and resilience. Note: There is no content overlap with the supply chain management boot camp, which is desirable for participants who seek a deep knowledge of supply chain fundamentals.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify appropriate supply chain strategies for various types of products or services;
  • Know about the strategic supply chain network design decision process framework;
  • Understand how collaborative actions can increase profit in the entire chain;
  • Evaluate supply chain risks and devise policies to make supply chains resilient;
  • Familiarize with Gartner Top25 supply chains.

You’ll obtain a hands-on learning experience:

  • By discussing and presenting over 12 teaching cases about leading supply chains;
  • Through a simulation-based group work examining the simultaneous impact of various supply chain decisions on risk and profit in the entire network;
  • By analysing the supply chain strategy, structure, collaboration and resilience of your company of choice from the Gartner Top25 Supply Chains.

Course holder:
Prof Dr Behzad Samii

 

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Tel +32 9 210 92 35
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