We’ve talked about it before in our entries, the MIM specializations, but we haven’t really gone into much detail on the particulars of what these are. Now, you can get the skinny on what the specializations (sustainability, finance, marketing and supply chain) are from the MIM website or the the MIM information packets, but some of the actual processes pertaining to when you take the classes, or how you can mix up the classes are a little fuzzy. So, though we haven’t started our specialization classes yet, I’d like to share what I know about them so far.
Don’t worry about deciding early: think of your specialization like your major in undergrad… meaning you can probably expect what you want to do to change often. To give a personal example, since first looking at the descriptions of the courses and specializations I have considered each fairly seriously. Except for supply chain – that was the one specialization that I never considered. However, after taking the Operations Management course in the winter term and visiting factories on the Asia Trip, I am dead-set on the supply chain specialization. Your mind will (probably) change, and as you are exposed to different aspects of these specializations, different ones may pique your interest. So, don’t worry about picking your specialization right away – we didn’t have to decide until about a week ago.
Schedule carefully: the summer term is when you get to specialize, and it’s broken up into three, four week “mini-terms,” in which you get to take one class per four week mini-term (plus your last four weeks of language, and the negotiations class, which spans eight weeks). So, if you follow one specialization track to the letter (all marketing or all finance, for example), then you’ll likely take one specialization class per mini-term. However, you can schedule things differently, by taking two classes, from different specializations in one term. Taking my own situation for example, I will be taking a sustainability metrics class (sustainability specialization) and a global sourcing class (supply chain specialization) in the first mini-term, and then the global supply chain and logistics class (supply chain specialization) in the second mini-term. This means that my three specialization courses will be finished before the third mini-term, which means that I have no class for the last four weeks of the summer term. Depending on how you choose to specialize, you can really customize your workload. This brings me to my next point…
Mix it up a little bit: just because you choose a specialization, doesn’t mean that you pigeon-hole yourself into taking all three classes of a particular specialization. As I said above, I’ll be taking two supply chain and one sustainability specialization courses. Don’t think of these specializations in such rigid terms of a “major,” but think of them as an interest area that you want to pursue professionally. Some students this term have worked with the program powers-at-be to customize and tailor their specializations to include courses from three different specializations. Though uncommon, it is feasible to work out a schedule that gets you into exactly the courses that you want to be in.
So there you have it, a little crash-course on specializations. Hopefully this answered some questions about the whole specialization process, and hopefully we’ll be able to answer more questions about the courses themselves once we actually get to take the classes. So, feel free to send questions our way!