Master's in E-Business Helps Reinvent a Marketer
When Lauren Monitz graduated from college with an undergraduate degree in advertising, she probably didn't picture herself assisting companies to do business in a new realm. But that's what she has ended up doing. While trying to convince executives at a traditional company to conduct marketing on the Internet, she decided that pursuing a Master's in E-Business would help her cause. It's all been online strategy since then.
"This was a very traditional corporation who had no idea what something like Twitter was," Monitz said. "Having the education to be able to explain how it would benefit their business and be able to justify it with case studies of other companies who had implemented a similar strategy was invaluable to begin to move beyond a traditional print marketing mindset."
Thus, Monitz joined the ranks of those pursuing master's degrees in e-business or MBA programs with concentrations in e-business. While traditional MBA programs train students to run companies, a Master's or MBA concentration in e-business prepares students to develop strategies to successfully conduct business online. Although many of the students who enroll in these programs have IT programming backgrounds, Monitz went ahead to business school as planned.
"I was getting frustrated with always having to outsource the actual development work to freelancers and wanted to understand the process better so I could get an overall sense of how much projects would cost and what was involved," Monitz said. "This was something that complemented my career and would make my resume stand out. It's cutting edge in a high demand field."
The inner workings of MBA programs in E-Business
The format of the particular Master's in E-Business that Monitz pursued at the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business of DePaul University in Chicago depended on the student. Although she did the program offline to complete projects with her fellow students, online classes were available at the business school. And even though she could have completed the program faster, she finished it in three years taking one class at a time during week nights as she worked full-time.
Monitz's Master's in E-business required students to take 12 classes, but now there is an 18-class MBA concentration in E-business at DePaul's business school. The program combines business courses with IT, marketing, and management electives. However, Montiz learned extensively through the classes required for her degree. In "Change Management", Monitz learned how to be a change agent in a traditional organization. In "Internet marketing", she participated in the Google AdWords Challenge, a national competition to see which team could stretch $200 the furthest for a local business. "IT project management", meanwhile, required the use of so-called GANTT charts to organize timelines, budgets and requirements.
Just as in regular MBA programs, Master's or MBA programs in E-Business sponsor a series of organizations and extracurricular activities. Due to its interdisciplinary nature, Monitz's Master's in E-Business program brought together members of organizations in the business and computer science schools. She was in charge of e-marketing at the MBA Association.
Some of the possible career paths for graduates of Master's or MBA programs in E-Business include Chief technology Officer, Chief marketing Officer, or IT/Management Consultant. These are the individuals that determine why a company should invest in technology and how these technologies should be implemented, Monitz said.
Tying it all together: From MBA programs to e-businesses
Today, Monitz is the online marketing manager for iexplore.com. When she started at the company, she explained, it was an online travel agency, making money from booking and selling trips. She ran campaigns to get leads. Within a few months, company executives changed strategic direction. They focused on ad revenue from their destination guides. Monitz manages website content; she makes sure it's engaging to sustain advertising campaigns. She invests her budget in attracting qualified visitors.
Meanwhile, Monitz said, the Master's in E-Business was worth it because it set her apart from the competition. However, she asserted that the learning doesn't stop there just because she graduated from business school. Instead, she reads everything she can since technology is always changing.
"This career didn't exist 10 years ago and I'm certain it will look completely different five years from now," she said. "In this day and age, you have to wear multiple hats because talent is so replaceable and easy to outsource. Set yourself apart by being more than a one-trick pony; aspire to be a triple threat and indispensable."