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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Stephen W Montgomery
IND E 581
Seattle Campus

Navigating the Business Environment

Covers the fundamentals of finance and accounting, marketing, strategy, and business communication as well as the skill of identifying and influencing the key decision maker. Offered: A.

Class description

In your careers, you will learn there is no distinction between an engineering decision and a business decision. Therefore, you should be prepared to do both. In this class, we cover the fundamentals of business - basics of accounting and finance, incentive creation, marketing, and most importantly: business strategy.

Student learning goals

Understand how to interpret financial statements (like balance sheets and income statements) and how these affect corporate decision making

Understand how to reach customers and craft messages that result in your target audience taking action on your messaging

Understand that people respond to incentives and that sometimes the wrong incentives can have catostrophic effects on the environment and the economy

Learn how discounted cash flows can help you choose which projects to invest

Understand business strategy, and use some basic concepts to predict a firm's behavior.

General method of instruction

This is a Socratic method class; lectures are material selected beforehand and augmented by discussion. We learn by lecture and with case studies of real companies. What would you have done when faced with the data and scenarios the actors in the cases were?

Recommended preparation

No background needed other than an ability to grasp the big picture and an open mind. Although skills in Excel, Powerpoint and communication are also good things to have.

Class assignments and grading

Assignments are generally given weekly to bi-weekly and are intended to be used to stimulate discussion in class. Typically you'll read a case and come to class prepared to answer some questions I pose. You will have basic problems in accounting and finance that will require the use of a spreadsheet (Excel is preferred). You will also design a marketing campaign for a minor league baseball team and as a project, perform an in-depth strategic analysis of a company of your choice.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Stephen W Montgomery
Date: 08/23/2011