October 24, 2000

New E-Business Course Created

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Faculty, administration and multimillion dollar corporations worked together to address the demands of Cornellians by creating a new e-business course at the Johnson Graduate School of Management (JGSM) to be offered in the Spring 2001.

When MBA students requested an in-depth course on Internet commerce last year, faculty responded with just that, the E-business Immersion: a 15 credit, intensive course on electronic business.

While professors clamored to quickly develop the class curriculum over the year, businesses stepped in to help make it possible.

With funding from a million-dollar September grant from Corning Inc. and a $200,000 donation from the Intel corporation, the business immersion class was created, according to Richard Conway, Emerson Electric Co. Professor of Manufacturing and Management.

Many students were impressed with these rapid responses from the JGSM administration in meeting the needs of students.

“We were really excited the administration was so receptive and heard our demands,” said Caitlin Krier, grad, an integral promoter of the e-business immersion.

Krier explained that the reason MBA students expressed interest in such a course last year was because of the four regular immersion courses: investment banking, brand management, manufacturing, and managerial finance, none explored the full business potential and possibilities of the world wide web.

Krier surveyed students on their interest in an e-commerce based class the second week of school in 1999, and passed the positive results along to the administration.

“They listened to what the responses were,” Krier said.

Many students tried to bid for the pilot e-business immersion in Spring 2000, an exploratory test of what the class would be able to do when formally organized.

“It became one of the hottest immersions,” said Jimmy Chen, grad.

The e-business immersion allows graduate students to concentrate on electronic commerce through real-world experience at Internet-based companies, participate in conferences, and meet executives in the field, according to program coordinator, Conway.

Students will study Corning Inc.’s Internet business first-hand, most of which consists of selling telecommunication equipment to phone companies, said Corning representative Johanna R. Gigliotti.

“These students will get to see if their idea succeeds in the work place,” Gigliotti said, explaining that Cornellians will be able to test some of their theories about electronic commerce at Corning.

Corning will also benefit from the strategies students practice at the company, and be able to “tap into Cornell’s theories of e-business,” Gigliotti added.

Krier added that the content of the e-business program, enhanced for this spring, consisted of looking at Internet start-up companies, analyzing case studies, and designing prototypes for businesses.

With his group, Chen was able to design an online site for short foreign films that will help budding directors, promote obscure films and allow downloads of the work.

Archived article by Lizzie Andrews