A man stands at the front of a classroom with students in the foreground
Egbert R. Beall/Beall's Department Stores, Inc. Faculty Fellow Dr. Alan Cooke in class with UF MBA students. Dr. Cooke teaches Consumer Relationship Management, a top UF MBA elective.

These are the top 4 electives UF MBA students choose to take

Outside of the core courses UF MBA includes in its curriculum, students have multiple options for elective courses. We looked at the top elective courses by enrollment in the 2018-2019 academic year to determine this list of UF MBA class favorites. Hear from four Full-Time UF MBA alumni about why they enjoyed each class, what their biggest takeaway was and if they think you should take the class, too. See what they had to say about the top UF MBA elective courses below. 

Ilona Day

Economics of Organizations and Markets (FIN 6930)

Instructor: Christopher James, William H. Dial/SunTrust Eminent Scholar Chair

“I greatly enjoyed this class. Dr. James provides a comprehensive and detailed overview of organizational structure, compensation, employee motivation and organizational strategy. Dr. James brings extensive consulting experience and financial expertise to his lectures as well as a unique perspective that makes his presentations that much more interesting. Dr. James sets high standards and has high expectations. Case studies are the most exciting and at the same time the most challenging part of the class. Dr. James’s expert knowledge transpires throughout the entire course of the class.

The biggest takeaway I had from this class was learning about the importance of employee motivation and appropriate incentive compensation for a long-term success of a business. Uncertainty, however, changes perspective. Changes in corporate governance, financial structure, and organizational structure due to leveraged buyouts and management buyouts.

I would definitely recommend this class to other MBA students. Moreover, I would suggest this class be required for all MBA students. As I see it, there is the perspective regarding organizations and markets we gain based on our professional experience and/or education in general, and then there is Christopher James’s perspective. In other words, before James / after James. This class was definitely one of the best classes I have taken throughout my college career.”

– Ilona Day, MBA ’19

Rama Goud

Measuring and Managing Value (FIN 6427)

Instructor: Joel Houston, Eugene F. Brigham Chair in Finance

“Joel Houston is arguably one of the best professors we have in Finance at the Warrington College of Business. I loved his class Measuring and Managing Value, which is the first of a four-course series recommended for students wanting to pursue a track in Corporate Finance. For starters, Dr. Houston is an excellent presenter and communicator. He has a unique talent of presenting very complex financial concepts and ideas in a way that is easy to follow and understand, which greatly facilitates learning. Secondly, Dr. Houston has done a fantastic job structuring the course with highly relevant subject matter and meaningful transitions from one topic to another, not only building and reinforcing the concepts learnt previously but also introducing progressively more complex financial concepts which one needs to familiarize oneself in order to gain competency in the area. Lastly, Dr. Houston is a very affable and approachable professor who cares about your learning. He keeps a close tab on the progress and understanding of students in his class, slowing down and explaining key concepts again wherever necessary. 

The biggest take away for me is learning the concept of EVA or Economic Value Added. EVA is a crucial learning as several companies have started to use this metric to value projects and performances of managers. Simply put, a capital charge component is subtracted from profit to ascertain whether a project is value accretive or not. This nuance is important to understand as seemingly profitable projects and strategies may be destroying shareholder value if the capital charge component is not accounted for. EVA is an important metric and is used extensively at my current workplace, a large CPG company, and thanks to the learning from this course I am better positioned its importance and application.

I highly recommend taking Measuring and Managing Value to all MBA students regardless of concentration. Understanding the true metrics profitability is a key skill for successful managers. Measuring and Managing value equips students with key financial concepts to ascertain if projects and strategies are truly creating value or not.”

– Rama Goud, MBA ’19

Chad Murray

Mergers & Acquisitions (FIN 6496)

Instructor: Jim Parrino, James G. Richardson Lecturer

“Mergers and Acquisitions was my favorite class that I took while earning an MBA. I liked that the material was practical and relevant to the business environment today. Most notably, I liked that Dr. Parrino’s lectures were always extremely interesting and engaging. I never once felt myself zoning out during his lectures; I came to every class feeling eager to learn, and I left every class feeling like I learned a lot of very useful information.

My biggest takeaway from this class was that the post-merger integration process is just as important as the economic rationale behind a deal. Many deals have made perfect sense economically, yet have still failed because they didn’t have a clear integration strategy once the merger was completed. Post-merger integration is a critical element to the success of any deal, and must be given proper consideration when a company is evaluating its potential targets.

I strongly recommend that every student take Mergers & Acquisitions if they have the opportunity to do so. On the surface it may sound like another intimidating finance class, but in actuality it’s more of a finance/strategy hybrid that includes key aspects from HR, and marketing as well. Dr. Parrino makes complex concepts simple and easy to understand and is just a phenomenal teacher all around. I believe that every student will find this class to be valuable, regardless of their concentration.”

– Chad Murray, MBA ’19

Nick Ramos

Customer Relationship Management (MAR 6861)

Instructor: Alan Cooke, Egbert R. Beall/Beall’s Department Stores Faculty Fellow

“I enjoyed [Dr. Cooke’s] class because I learned a lot of real-world lessons that I’m sure I’ll be able to apply once I start my new job in brand management. Dr. Cooke does a great job of presenting the material in a way that’s pragmatic and applied, rather than purely theory. Furthermore, some of the assignments involve using actual analytical software to examine customer data to look at factors like profitability and lifetime value. 

The biggest takeaway I had from the class was the importance of segmenting customers when looking at customer lifetime value. Because different customers have different habits, attitudes, and behaviors, meaningful segmentation will take all this into account in order to properly target in your marketing strategy.

I would recommend this class to any MBA students looking to learn some real-world tools used by marketing professionals. Dr. Cooke is an awesome professor who is both a brilliant lecturer and a funny, amiable professor.”

– Nick Ramos, MBA ’19

Want to learn more about the classes you can take as a UF MBA student? Request information about the UF MBA program today.