Finance, management, marketing and operations and management are the four areas of study comprising the integrated core courses that many students at the Feliciano School of Business have to take. Business students, within the later portion of their junior year or within their final year of undergraduate studies, will be eligible to take these integrated core classes. Being that these courses are integrated, the implication is that they must be taken simultaneously.
Now, students might wonder why they should be denied the freedom of choice to pick their own classes. This is an understandable sentiment, but, upon partaking in the experience of these interconnected classes, one quickly understands why they must be taken together. These courses provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the various fundamental aspects of business.
Through the integrated finance class, students acquire an appreciation of the monetary aspects of business as well as their application in organizations. Through operations management, students achieve an understanding of the mechanisms that transform inputs to outputs. Through management courses, students gain insight into a wide array of concepts that enable managers to be successful in their positions. Through the marketing courses, numerous concepts, theories and processes specific to the courses subject are conveyed in a manner that is both enlightening and engaging.
Not only are the integrated courses comprehensive in the content that is covered, but they also educate in an immersive manner. In order to facilitate a comprehensive understanding of business and highlight how the various functions of business are interconnected, there is a case study around which concepts learned from each of the integrated classes are tied together.
The contents of the case are centered around Whole Foods Market Inc., which is an organization that specializes in providing consumers with organic products that conform to federal regulations. The case study delves into all relevant factors pertaining to Whole Foods and the industry within which it operates. The case discusses the competitors of the organization, gives a brief history of the word “organic” on the federal level and discusses the organization’s human resource processes.
It also incorporates numerous charts, graphs and comparative financial statements that give its readers a sense of where the organization has been in the past and where it may be going in the future.
The Whole Foods case study was produced by John R. Wells and Travis Haglock, affiliates of the Harvard University Business School. At Montclair State, its use gives students an opportunity to utilize concepts learned in each of the integrated classes to analyze effectively the operations of the organization from multiple professional perspectives. In each integrated core class, an assignment pertaining to Whole Foods is issued to students to further facilitate application of concepts taught through the study of an actual business such as Whole Foods.
As a student currently taking the integrated core classes, I believe that it makes sense for the four courses to be taken simultaneously. The core courses are comprehensive and effective in fulfilling their purposes only by being taken together. Given the inclusion of a case study that links the four courses together, there is also much to be appreciated about the immersive manner in which the content is conveyed.