Real Companies, Real Problems
Many students will encounter case studies for the first time in the Girard School’s new Master of Science in Management program.
Reading and analyzing actual experiences of organizations helps students apply what the MSMgt program teaches them as they advance in the business world.
When John Massey ’12, a fifth-year business student, recommends the MSMgt program to friends, he explains how it’s structured differently from undergraduate programs.
“It involves fewer exams and a lot more case studies. It’s actually kind of fun. It is more engaging than undergraduate work,” said Massey.
Case studies appear in MSMgt courses ranging from Financial Measurement, Analysis & Reporting to Global Economy to Leading Creativity and Innovation in Organizations and Effective Managerial Communication.
“ I particularly enjoyed one that placed us in the role of a marketing manager for CCM hockey and challenged us with the issue of positioning and marketing their newest skate,” said Massey. “The last skate they had developed hadn’t done very well, and we were responsible for coming up with an appropriate strategy to improve their results.”
“We are evaluated on both our ideas and our ability to present them well. It’s made me much better at giving presentations and has really opened up my mind to more innovative and creative thinking.’’
Adding case studies as the Girard faculty developed the MSMgt curriculum was intentional, said Dean Mark Cordano.
“I had never even heard of case studies before entering this program,” said Carla Grieco ’12, who majored in Italian studies at Merrimack and seeks an accounting or finance career. “I have actually grown to love them.”
As someone interested in technology, especially cell phones, Grieco was excited at a case study of smartphone vendor HTC Corp. While not well-known, HTC “does have an amazing product,” Grieco said.
“My group came up with a five-step process to help HTC differentiate itself from its competitors in the Android market and become the leading Android smartphone.”
The Girard School seeks to develop skills for young managers in finance, market analysis, project management and global economics. To refine these skills that will help them succeed in a competitive global marketplace, MSM students utilize reports, research projects and case studies.
“I love that we are given a real company and a real problem that they have had. It interesting to first come up with a decision of what you think the company should do, then see what they actually did,” Grieco said about case studies. “It’s great to see how we all approach a problem differently and come up with recommendations that are all reasonable answers.”
Girard School Alum Returns to Merrimack to Share His Expertise, both Teach and Mentor Students, and Be a Judge in the Graduate Case Competition“The competition was a terrific learning experience”
Two students in Merrimack’s Girard School of Business recently won a marketing case competition focused on solving JCPenney’s retail woes. The competition was part of an assignment for the Marketing Analysis & Decision Making course in the school’s graduate program.