biz ladiesLife & Business

biz ladies: continuing education courses

by Stephanie

while we try to give you bits of valuable business information in our weekly biz ladies posts, sometimes a little more in-depth training is required.  so today we have asked biz lady regular, meg touborg, to discuss some traditional university level courses that can help you develop strong successful businesses.  thank you meg for sharing this useful advice!–stephanie

CLICK HERE for the full post after the jump!

Dear Readers,

All of you are design entrepreneurs – most likely with a substantial amount of confidence in your creativity.  One of the toughest parts of owning and running your design firm is the business decisions needed on a daily basis to ensure short term success, and the strategic decisions needed to apply to  long  term success. To help you along , today’s post could be subtitled ‘When the Internet isn’t  Enough” as it covers actual types of educational courses you can take to augment the advice of your mentors, the pages of your biz books, and the results of your electronic research.

While we know that you live all over the country (and even outside the US!)  in the interest of brevity, I have concentrated on course offerings from two schools in New York City and in Los Angeles in these disciplines:  financial planning, marketing and its related subjects,  general management best practices and a few in organizational design for those of you with teams and staff. These course examples provided are representative of what I think would be most valuable and practical to design entrepreneurs. Even if these locations are not relevant for you, I hope that you are inspired to find similar offerings at your local design schools or universities. Read through the posts and see what strikes you as the type of knowledge and practical learning you may be missing to make your biz  more viable and vital in your market, then Google your local schools and see what you find!

During my career as a Biz Lady, I have also taken auxiliary courses along the way in some of these subjects.  From my experiences, I found that not only is the actual content of the sessions invaluable in enhancing my knowledge, but the sheer discipline of a formal learning process can be stimulating in ways beyond the specific topic under dissection.  In other words, if you are studying about copyrights –not only will you now understand this legal mechanism and its protections, but you may find yourself motivated to considered new creative ways to present your collateral materials.  As you learn exactly what a “profit and loss statement is,” your mind may be inspired to think of alternate ways to allocate your budgets, or new potential sources of revenue. And finally, by taking outside courses, you may meet other like-minded design entrepreneurs, as well as experienced and engaged faculty, to add to your ongoing Biz Lady network. Read on and be inspired to “learn while you earn…”

New School Courses
New York, NY
212 229 5108

NMGT2100 Introduction to Business Management CRN: 3245

A 15 weeks. Online, beg. 8/30/2010

Richard Walton

This is a skill-building course for people whose job responsibilities or career interests require knowledge of basic management principles. We study concepts of business organization, communication, decision-making, planning, motivating, controlling, group dynamics, leadership, and change. Examples of common day-to-day management and supervisory problems provide realistic case studies. 3 credits

NMGT2115 Introduction to Marketing CRN: 3716

A 15 sessions. Tuesdays, beg. 8/31/2010 6:00pm–7:50pm

Maureen McAllister

This course is for students interested in acquiring a working knowledge of the terminologies, processes, and practices needed to manage marketing in for-profit and not-for-profit companies. Learn fundamental concepts and models such as the “four Ps,” segmentation, consumer behavior, and branding, and explore marketing‘s interdisciplinary roots in anthropology, sociology, economics, and psychology. Students are encouraged to consider target markets as subcultures, products as cultural artifacts, and consumer decisions as behavioral choices. Current trends and hot-button issues, including ambush marketing, corporate social responsibility, and green marketing, are examined. Cases and guest speakers help students apply theory to a range of industries and products, including NGOs, art and design, packaged goods, and services. 3 credits

NMGT2133 Introductory Finance for Business CRN: 6880

A 15 sessions. Mondays, beg. 8/30/2010 4:00-5:50pm

David Rudofsky

This course provides an understanding of financial statements and concepts for students with no prior knowledge of the subject. We look at how statements (profit and loss, balance sheet, cash flow, etc.) are used in business operations, how businesses of various sizes finance their growth, and how governance practices affect financial health. Case studies from financial and business news enable students to grapple with issues such as profit delivery, return on investment, and the stock and bond markets. Humorous and dramatic excerpts from television and film enliven our discussion of these topics. 3 credits

NEW NMGT2200 How to Convince with Numbers CRN: 6132

A 15 sessions. Mondays, beg. 8/30/2010 6:00pm–7:50pm

Instructor to be announced

The internet, as well as libraries and government documents, can provide you with the data you need to convince: propose a new project or method at your job, pitch your startup company to potential investors, select the best use of your nonprofit‘s funding, and support your research findings. Drawing on elements of statistics and research methods, students learn to (1) identify the situations in which numbers can strengthen a case, (2) find the best sources for reliable data, and (3) organize, graph, and present information in the most compelling way. This course is for anyone who wants to sharpen their skills with numbers and develop visual and graphical presentation skills using programs such as Excel. 3 credits

NMGT2110 Basic Accounting CRN: 6130

A 15 weeks. Online, beg. 8/30/2010

Laurence O‘Connell

This course introduces basic concepts and practices of accounting and double-entry bookkeeping. Journals, ledgers, and various types of accounts are described and discussed. Real business transactions are analyzed, and their proper entry into financial records is demonstrated. Students learn how to determine profit or loss on a cash or accrued basis. Related skills reviewed include how to prepare budgets and how to read basic financial statements. 3 credits

NMGT2140 Entrepreneurship CRN: 3237

A 15 sessions. Wednesdays, beg. 9/1/2010 4:00pm–5:50pm

Alejandro Crawford

Small businesses are the drivers of today’s economy. It takes specific skills and qualities to lead a business to success in this vibrant sector. This hands-on, highly interactive course gives students the knowledge to assess a business idea, find funding, and bring it to the market. We review the concept of entrepreneurship and the practices associated with the successful development and launch of a small enterprise. This is a practical, not theoretical, course that combines textbook study and real-life exercises such as forming an elevator pitch, devising a business plan, and delivering an investor presentation. 3 credits

NMGT2119 All About Advertising CRN: 7024

15 sessions. Mondays, beg. 8/30/2010 8:00pm–9:50pm

Kurt Brokaw

Advertising is changing before our eyes. This course explores how branding, mobile media, social and business networks, user-generated as campaigns, and stealth marketing are opening up new message channels. We look at consumer psychographics, in-your-face appeals, the new marketplace of YouTube and Google, and the effectiveness and ethics of extreme language and imagery. Invited guest speakers: Wendy McHale, U.S. Director of Client Services, Econsultancy; Matt Miller, president of the Association of Independent Commercial Producers; Sarah Wehrli, account director at Green Room Entertainment; and Anna-Kate Roche, interactive copywriter at Crispin Porter + Bogusky. 3 credits

NEW NMGT2117 Successful Internet Marketing CRN: 6131

A 15 sessions. Thursdays, beg. 9/2/2010 8:00pm–9:50pm

Instructor to be announced

Use of the internet as consumers‘ primary source of information has increased the importance of a company‘s online presence. What makes a company‘s website or internet promotion fail or succeed? What principles of marketing explain these successes and failures? Through analysis of real-life case studies such as Zappos, Air France, and Dove, students learn how marketing concepts apply to website management, social media promotions, search strategy, and other internet tools. Assignments may include critiques of websites and online strategies to analyze how effectively they reflect principles such as branding, marketing mix, customer value, and niche marketing. 3 credits

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
Los Angeles, CA

BUAD 1100 | 3 UNITS

Selling Techniques

A course designed to introduce students to the behavioral and motivational techniques used in professional presentations. Students learn to adapt to various audiences and develop content, structure, and goals for successful selling within a range of practical situations.

BUAD 2000 | 3 UNITS

Organizational Behavior & Management

A comprehensive overview of the issues in human relations encountered in business by today’s leaders and managers. Students gain exposures to company objectives, policies and procedures, and employee needs, as well as to the interaction among these elements. This course provides students with problem solving and discussion opportunities which equip them with effective strategies for leading and managing staff and human capital. Prerequisite: BUAD 2100

BUAD 2850 | 3 UNITS


This course explores the students’ persona as both entrepreneur and intrapreneur. Students learn to develop a business plan to start a new retail venture, including identifying opportunities and establishing objectives, matching customer profile to site locations, analyzing competitors’ practices, and developing a competitive marketing mix. Students also learn to prepare the necessary forms and budget projections to secure capital or financing to initiate their business venture.

BUMT 3300A  3 Units

Financial Accounting I

Students study the accounting cycle through financial statements, understanding inventory controls, tangible and intangible assets, and budgets. This course covers the role accounting plays in business forecasting and decision making. It demonstrates and explains the performance of hypothesis testing. The student gains an understanding of assets and liabilities, revenue and expenses, debits and credits, accruals, depreciation, constructing a financial statement, and accounting cycles.

BUMT 3350 | 3 UNITS

Marketing Communications

This course provides a foundation of knowledge necessary to create strategic communications plans that support a product or service in today’s competitive marketplace. Students participate in a learning forum environment whereby original ideas and assignments are presented, discussed and critiqued by the class.

BUMT 3600 | 3 UNITS

Management Theory & Principles

This course presents an introduction to management concepts and strategies used by modern businesses, and is designed to familiarize students with the accepted standards, procedures, and techniques employed by senior, middle and operational managers. It provides students with an understanding of the financial impact of management and how to plan to optimize performance and achieve organizational goals.

BUMT 3650 | 3 UNITS

Human Resource Management

This course explores organizational structure and how it impacts behavior. Students develop an understanding of what it means to be a “leader of change”, and the critical importance to financial performance in doing so. Students review job design, managing career development, the value of performance appraisal, compensation and reward, safety and health laws, and the economics of good organizational management.

BUMT 3720 | 3 UNITS

Management Strategy

This course is a study and analysis of success and failure in today’s business environment with emphasis on creating value through innovative management techniques techniques. Students practice the strategic management process, building a competitive strategy, and implementing strategic plans.

BUMT 3850 | 3 UNITS

Global Marketing

This course introduces modern business marketing concepts and strategies, and familiarizes students with procedures and techniques in marketing. Studies include market research, pricing strategies, consumer behavior and marketing communications, testing the premise, and qualitative and quantitative research analysis.

BUMT 4100 | 3 UNITS

Small Business Management

A study of how small businesses can manage the unique challenges they face and how they can achieve and maintain a competitive advantage, this course addresses issues of small business ownership and management, strategic planning, financial planning, marketing for competitive advantage, the economics of pricing, and breakeven analysis.

BUMT 4200 | 3 UNITS

Financial Management

This course is an introduction to the concepts of financial analysis, and the understanding and preparation of balance sheets and income statements, with a focus on the needs of the financial manager or the entrepreneur. Students are exposed to financial reporting and analysis, reading and understanding an annual report, accounting information systems, the corporate income statement; understanding the use of accounting information and the financial statements in assessing financial performance.

BUMT 4550 | 3 UNITS

Entrepreneurial Strategy & Tactics

This course examines the economics of entrepreneurship and how to develop and implement the business model. The students consider such areas as market analysis, competition, competitive advantage, marketing strategy, and development and implementation of the business plan. This course examines the critical tasks, pitfalls, and hurdles which must be understood to be successful, the difference between a good idea and a business opportunity, and tools for risk minimization.

BUMT 4600 | 3 UNITS

Marketing Management

This course focuses on the management of the marketing function to achieve a competitive advantage and establish brand equity. Students explore creative strategies for entrepreneurs to develop consumer awareness.

BUMT 4840 | 3 UNITS

Studies in Leadership

Students analyze the theories, principles and methods of entrepreneurship based upon the experiences of those who have sought sustained competitive advantage. Strategies and tactics of management style are explored. Prerequisite: BUMT 3100

BUMT 4910 | 3 UNITS

Creativity in Business

This course explores all of the elements that are necessary to succeed in a business venture. An advanced overview focusing on the business plan, the organization and support team, the marketing plan, process management, cash planning and working capital management, quality, service and ethics.



Meg combines her love of design, fashion and popular culture into her career as “the business side of creative people and entrepreneurs.” Her past roles have spanned from product development, to sales, to operations and marketing and licensing for premium brands such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Coach, Kate spade and Waterworks. She has three children and enjoys involvement in the public schools. In 2007, Meg became an entrepreneur herself and with her business partner, founded Design Investors LLC in Westport, CT.


Design Investors LLC was established with a singular objective: to support the growth and profitability of the design industry’s most promising products, business services, and media companies. The firm partners with founders and management teams of portfolio companies to infuse creativity with capital, and reinforce business plans with an extensive resource network and many years of relevant management experience.  Appreciating the unique vision and opportunities available to each investment, Design Investors works side-by-side with companies to maximize value through building market leadership positions. www.designinvestors.com

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  • Excellent post! I forwarded to some people interested in the design world.

    The interior design business is 5-10% actual design and creativity and the rest is sales, leadership, marketing, finance and accounting, communication, management and lots of the simple math we thought we’d avoid. I’ve met so many great designers who fail because they are poor business people. No career is just the fun stuff.

    Keep up the good work!

  • This truly is a great idea you can learn a lot if you diy everything, but taking courses can really speed things up, bring you in contact with like minded people and it’s fun to learn new stuff!

  • Approximate cost per credit should have been listed.

    Isn’t the school’s name “Parsons The New School”?

    The Fashion Institute of Technology also offers courses. It’s a state school, so the fees are cheaper.

  • Thank you SO much! I recently heard about the courses at FIT and Parsons and am interested in taking some. I’m currently taking a course at 3rd Ward on Business Plan Development, taught by andSprig. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to create a clear blue-print for their business’ future. Thanks Meg, I love your posts!

  • I feel like I’m on the exact opposite side of all of this. I have a degree in business, which included coursework in accounting, marketing, entrepreneurship, organizational theory, etc. But no formal training when it comes to making jewelry. It’s something I started doing for fun, and I just kind of wing it. But, since I decided to flex my entrepreneurial muscles and make some money off of my jewelry, I feel like formal education would benefit me greatly from a design standpoint, and I’m hoping to take some metalsmithing classes in the near future. :-)

  • A quick clarification for the 3rd comment: Parsons is the fashion school within The New School University. There are numerous different schools within the university.
    Also I’d like to praise class offerings at The New School and FIT in New York. I teach and take classes at both places and have found them to be extremely useful and interesting.

    I took an Entrepreneurship class with Geri Stengel at The New School and came out with an excellent business ideas and a complete business plan.
    Great post!

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