Frequently Asked Questions About

 The MBA Overview Course



How does the MBA Overview Course teach MBA skills faster than traditional, full MBA programs?
We focus on key topics and skills, utilizing the benefit of experience and many years’ hindsight on the MBA core curriculum, then adapted to today’s business environment.  We emphasize quality and substance over voluminous detail.

What will I learn in this course?
This course covers many of the basics and key skills you would learn in a full MBA program.  You should be fluent with many MBA topics by the time you complete this course, and you will be well on your way in building your full professional “skill set”.  If gaining this familiarity in just 10 weeks, 1 evening per week—  rather than in 2 years full time—  sounds good to you, then this course is definitely for you!

What are the minimum requirements (prerequisites) to be eligible to take this course?
There are no specific degrees or exam scores required. At least some college education and business experience is recommended, but neither is specifically required.  Top students are college graduates with significant business experience and are potential MBA applicants already.  A minimum of high school or college-level reading, speaking, and arithmetic skills are strongly recommended.

What are the course requirements to earn the "Certificate of Completion"?
The "Certificate of Completion for the MBA Overview Course at the California Institute of Strategic Management" is awarded on the basis of a student's class attendance, quality of class participation, and quality of student business project completed.

Are Honors awarded for excellent student performance in this course?
Individual "Letters of Commendation" may be written, at the course instructor's sole decision, based specifically upon excellent student project work demonstrating application of the principles covered in this course. Students may utilize this letter for job search or MBA business school application purposes, etc., as chosen by the student.

The highest ethical standards are applied by the California Institute of Strategic Management, and the highest ethical standards are expected of all students and course graduates.

Excellent student project work for this course is duly noted.

What options will be available after this course?
The MBA Overview Course will help you identify a range of options based on your individual business and career interests.


How long has this program been around?
This is a new program, offering a greater opportunity that hasn’t been widely available before.  At present, this course is being offered at a very low cost, which is likely to rise in the near future.  It may well be to your advantage to enroll now, while the prices are still very low.

Who are the instructors for this course?
Instructors have a full MBA degree from a top-tier school, as ranked by national surveys such as Business Week, Barron’s, US News & World Report, etc.

Instructors also have several years of post-MBA business experience in a variety of industries, and are highly familiar with real-world skills and business demands vis-à-vis more academic endeavors at graduate schools.  Additionally, varying with availability, there may be special guest speakers on selected business topics of interest from time to time.


What other fees, purchases, etc., are required when I take this course?
Some books and other materials are suggested, but not required.  Generally, they may cost in the neighborhood of $20 each (as opposed to $100+ texts often required in full MBA programs).  You are free to make your own selections.  Additionally, in some course locations, there may be some minor parking expenses, but usually we are able to hold these costs down to a minimum as well.

Is financial aid available for this course?
We strive to make this course highly affordable so that you will not need financial aid or increased debt, etc.  Most motivated students will be able to afford this course.  Further, excellent discounts are available for early enrollment.  So for your most cost-effective, greatest value, enroll in this course at least a month early.

Is this course a good investment of my money and time?
Standard enrollment for this course costs $495, plus some suggested— but not required— additional minor purchases of books, etc.  The course also takes 10 × 90 minutes = 15 hours.  Additional study/discussion/reading/projects, etc. may take another 15 hours, for approximately  30 hours total.

In contrast, typical top MBA programs can cost $50,000 per year and require a dozen purchases of $100-textbooks per year, plus other student fees, etc.  Additionally, many MBA programs take 2 years × 32 weeks × 40 hours per week minimum = 2,560 hours minimum.

The MBA Overview course thus provides you a potential 99% savingsand if you do choose to embark on a full-time MBA afterward, it will be much better targeted for you toward your more clearly-focused goals and needs at that time.

Further, the strategic insight you develop in the MBA Overview Course may be invaluable for your further career growth. 


How much homework is required in this course?
It is suggested that you spend an equal amount of time pursuing projects, additional research, etc., outside the course as you do in the class itself:  so approximately another 2  hours per week, varying with your interests.

Can I enroll late for this course?
Yes, you may.  “Late registration” is more expensive, so cost-conscious students are encouraged to enroll early.  However, some students naturally will hear about this course later than others, and may want to get started right away.  Since “time is money”, it may be worth it for you to enroll right away, rather than wait months for the next course to begin.



How will the MBA Overview Course help me to get a better job?
You will gain new business skills and new insight.  You will become aware of new opportunities.  You will be shown ways to avoid some of the pitfalls and negative opportunities out there.  You will have more solid, inter-disciplinary knowledge to discuss job opportunities and ways you could contribute at business interviews you have.  And finally, you will find more ways to develop and build upon the job(s) you already have or take on.

What kind of certificate will I receive when I complete the course?
“Certificate of Completion:  MBA Overview Course at the California Institute of Strategic Management”.  This course is not yet accredited, but you can list it on your resume and you will have much substantive knowledge and skills to discuss with your next interviewers and/or managers.

Will this certificate guarantee me a job?
Of course not!  But top MBA schools don’t “guarantee” it either.  There are simply too many variables involved, some under your control, with others determined elsewhere.  This MBA Overview course, however, will help you make the most of the business career opportunities available to you.

How will this course help me in my current job?
You will see more of how your job functions interrelate with other necessary job functions around you, both within your own company and in the greater context of your customers, suppliers, competitors, and business environment.  You may find opportunities to grow and/or improve the quality, productivity, and added value of your current activities, and you may find new ways to utilize other resources around you or your firm.  Any or all of these opportunities can help generate fulfilling job, career, and financial growth for you.

How will this course help me in applying to full MBA programs?
First, it will give you the “big picture” of what the MBA world is all about.  This in itself will help you decide:
  • Is an MBA right for you?  Do you even need an MBA?  Note that many successful entrepreneurs and business people do not have MBAs or did not have them when they started out.
  • If you do want a full MBA, what areas of specialty are you considering?  By giving you some key skills in many major areas, this course will provide you a solid foundation for choosing and building your business specialty.  
  • In better knowing what you are looking for and what you will need to be successful in that area, you will gain a better idea as to where you should apply and what to look for in the MBA programs to which you do apply.
Second, should you decide to apply to full MBA programs, and once you have selected the schools to which you will apply, this course will provide you an excellent head start and foresight in handling MBA application interviews and application essays.  By better selecting and describing what it is exactly you want to gain from an MBA program, what you bring to the table, and what you want to develop at MBA school, you will be better able to convince your MBA admissions officers that you will be a successful graduate of their program and that you will in turn help make their school look good—which is a significant consideration in admissions officers’ decisions as to which candidates to accept into their programs.

Third, once you are in at your chosen MBA school, having the head start this course provides will help you target your key subjects and will let you “hit the ground running”.  This advantage will help you do better in and get more out of your MBA program, building for your further success.
What advantages do full MBA programs provide that this course does not provide?
A full-time, 2-year MBA program should provide greater depth and greater resources, though it’s very likely that many of the things you do in an MBA program you will never see again in the business world.  One key reason is that there is so much specialization in the real world that most people simply will not have the time or opportunity to pursue some 90% of topics they may have been exposed to in their MBA program.  At the same time, the 10% they do focus on may be insufficient, and they will need much greater detail in that one area.
The MBA Overview course aims to provide you with the big picture of how different business fields interrelate and impact each other, while guiding you toward the one or few areas in which you will specialize more greatly.  Thus, much of the added detail provided in a full MBA program may be less applicable than may appear at first.
Another opportunity to realize is that after taking your 10-week MBA Overview course, you still have some 90 weeks of time to spend as you wish, compared with a 2-year MBA program.  You are encouraged to attend conferences, tour facilities, research topics, and talk to people in your field, just as you would in many MBA program course projects.  So again, the differences between a full 2-year MBA program and the 10-week MBA Overview course may be less significant than may appear at first.
And then there’s the price:  The MBA Overview course standard enrollment is $495.  Top MBA programs in the Los Angeles area currently (as of this writing in February, 2010) cost in the range of $50,000+ per year.  How’s that for savings?
Of course, after completing the MBA Overview course, you may or may not decide to attend a full MBA program.  You will be in a strong position to make an informed decision at that time.

Course Location:

1901 Avenue of the Stars
Suite 200
Century City, CA  90067
Phone:  (310) 499-1483
405 Freeway
To Santa Monica Blvd,
Then EAST 1 Mile
To Avenue of the Stars




1901 Avenue of the Stars
Suite 200
Century City, CA  90067
Phone:  (310) 499-1483
405 Freeway
To Santa Monica Blvd,
Then EAST 1 Mile
To Avenue of the Stars