Full Article

May 14, 2020

Three New Summer Online Courses Offered

Courses Explore Pandemic Effects, Strengths-Based Leadership
Three New Summer Online Courses Offered
Three summer online courses explore the pandemic's effect on supply chains, the future of work and strengths-based leadership.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business offers three online summer courses exploring the pandemic’s effect on the supply chain and the future of work, as well as strengths-based leadership. Students of any major can enroll in the courses through MyRed and no prerequisites are required.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all. Our faculty used their experience to create new courses that address subjects and challenges associated with the pandemic. As a strengths-based business school, we also wanted to offer a special session of the Building a Life for Impact class for students of any major to explore their personal strengths for growth and impacting organizations,” said Dr. Donna Dudney, associate dean of undergraduate curriculum and programs. “This summer, students will navigate issues like the future of supply chains, the workplace, and remote working and coaching alongside faculty members who are experts in these areas.”

The first five-week summer session begins Monday, June 8, and the second five-week session begins Monday, July 13. The last day to add a class for each session is two days after the class starts.

Special summer course offerings include:

Supply Chain Challenges in 2020 and Future Implications (SCMA 391)
Offered in the first five-week session, the course explores the supply chain structure of popular and necessary products that experienced shortages and stock-outs, the impact of the pandemic on food supply chains, and the role of government policies in promoting supply chain responsiveness. Students will discuss lessons learned, particularly strategies for building resilient supply chains and the role of emerging innovations and technology, to address supply chain needs in the future.

“The fragility of the supply chain has been on display with the pandemic, and I think students will enjoy learning about markets and products that impact their everyday life. We’ll work together on building skills – like critical thinking and problem solving – that will help them in their future endeavors after college,” said Shawntell Kroese, who will leverage her executive-level experience at a Fortune 500 company and a strong supply chain management background in the corporate world with diverse industries.

Each week, students will do a deep-dive on a particular market and will utilize current articles, case studies and interviews with experts in these markets. The format of the class provides flexibility while learning remotely.

“You can work on your own pace, and each week culminates in a project, such as a short paper, executive summary or presentation. There will not be a required meeting time, but I will have zoom calls and office hours so we can provide feedback as we work together on these topics,” said Kroese, lecturer in supply chain management and analytics.

The Future of Work (MNGT 398)
In The Future of Work course, students dive into recent trends and issues impacting the workplace, including organizational responses to COVID-19, remote working, the gig economy, coaching, and the changing social contract between employers and employees. Offered in the second five-week session, the course draws from the fields of behavioral economics and positive psychology.

“We are going through a time of incredible disruption and change. Today’s students are going to enter a world of work that is very different than even just a few months ago. While that can be scary, I think it creates an incredible opportunity as well. I’m committed to leading this class so that students finish the summer feeling more prepared for and confident about their future,” said Dr. Tim Hodges, executive director of the Clifton Strengths Institute and assistant professor of practice in management.

This course will be delivered in a flexible format, understanding that student schedules this summer are somewhat unpredictable. Weekly class meetings will be recorded for those unable to attend live. In addition to the course textbook, students will listen to selected podcasts and TED talks.

“The way we think drives the way we act and make decisions. This course is going to explore some very interesting discoveries we can apply to how we lead our lives. It’s a class I wish I would have been able to take as a student. I have loved reviewing the research and thinking about what can be most helpful for students to know now,” said Hodges.

Building a Life for Impact (MNGT 324B)
According to Hodges, students can succeed by leveraging their strengths, especially in challenging times. In the first five-week summer session, the College of Business offers the Building a Life for Impact course to all students at the university. This course is normally offered exclusively to those in the Clifton Builders Program, a cohort-based program for students who want to change the world by building new businesses, teams or communities. Hodges will lead students enrolled in the summer course through an exploration of their personal strengths and will help them develop expertise in strengths-based leadership, well-being and employee engagement.

“These three topics are foundational components of the Clifton Builders program, but the topics are valuable for everyone! We’ve decided to remove the prerequisites for this one-time offering of the course for any student who is interested,” said Hodges.

Students are not required to have previously taken the CliftonStrengths® assessment as they will receive a code to take it within the first few days of class. Trained student strengths coaches will also be a part of the class.

“This course is going to get personal. We’ll dig into individual student strengths and well-being, and consider strategies for how to grow personally in both areas,” said Hodges. “This course is very application-oriented. We’re not just going to read about or talk about these concepts – we’re going to do something about it!”

Students can learn more about the courses by emailing the professors (Hodges: hodges@unl.edu and Kroese: skroese2@unl.edu) and get advising questions answered by emailing businessundergrad@unl.edu.