New Cornell certificate emphasizes dialogue in DEI

Photo of group dialogue with one young woman facing camera.

In 2020, hiring for diversity, equity and inclusion roles surged. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, three years later – amid recession fears – companies are cutting DEI leadership positions at a rapid and disproportionate rate, leaving practitioners to seek new ways of continuing efforts to create welcoming work environments.

Dialogue for Change, a new online certificate program from Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the Intergroup Dialogue Project (IDP) delivered through eCornell, provides a fresh approach to DEI for team managers and supervisors, executives and all employees interested in building equitable cultures.

“The certificate focuses on four key development areas: human connection, social identity, intergroup communication and strategic change,” said Adi Grabiner-Keinan, executive director for academic DEI education and director of the IDP. “Our goals are to develop participants’ awareness around the four development areas and to strengthen their capacity to make meaningful change at personal, interpersonal and institutional levels.”

Together with Lisa Nishii, vice provost for undergraduate education and professor in the Cornell ILR School, Grabiner-Keinan is co-author of the Dialogue for Change certificate. The duo intends for the program to help professionals promote sustainable institutional change no matter their position on the organizational chart.

In three courses – Counteracting Unconscious Bias, Dialogue Across Difference and Strategic Influence – participants learn and practice skills for intentional connection and communication, and examine ways to impact change in different spheres of influence, including within their teams and organizations. These skills, according to Grabiner-Keinan, are crucial well beyond the field of DEI.

“Skills such as active and generative listening, strategic questioning, purposeful sharing, perspective-taking, withholding judgment and questioning assumptions allow us to lead, communicate and collaborate effectively,” Grabiner-Keinan said. “They enable us to broaden our perspective, learn from a variety of people and situations, bring people together, think creatively and create meaning and vision. Unfortunately, such skills are seldom taught in schools or colleges.”

Dialogue for Change engages students in weekly live sessions. Trained IDP facilitators guide participants through practice conversations within small groups of experts and peers. Each dialogue builds on earlier coursework, enabling the cohort to use new knowledge in real time. Students who complete the program earn professional development credit hours toward human resources and project management certifications.

Each student who earns the Dialogue for Change certificate, Grabiner-Keinan says, will recognize their power to foster inclusion, connection and equity in any role. “An integral part of this program is to identify the agency and responsibility that each of us has. It’s true that leaders and supervisors have more power in institutions, but this program helps people understand that they all have power to make change interpersonally and institutionally within their workplaces.”

The Dialogue for Change certificate program is now enrolling students. Visit the program website to learn more.

Entrepreneurship program emboldens spice startup founder

For Abena Foli, the farm-to-table lifestyle is a birthright. Each day she uses the knowledge she gained from growing up on her father’s farm in Ghana to enrich her career as a food scientist and regulatory affairs leader.

“Working in the food industry, I get to sit in marketing ideation sessions, and research and development meetings. Whenever we talk about innovation in ingredients or products, West Africa is never mentioned,” said Foli, who now lives in Texas. “There was a lack of West African-originated products on shelves. I wanted to leverage my food science background as well as my West African heritage to solve that problem.”

She decided to start small for maximum impact: “When people are new to cuisines,” she said, “they tend to try seasonings first.”

Foli founded POKS Spices in 2016 to bring flavors from West Africa into American home kitchens. In 2021, she became one of the 60,000 women to participate in the certificate program offered by the Bank of America Institute for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Cornell, which is managed by the Cornell Law School and powered by eCornell.

Funding from Bank of America makes it possible for the students to gain the skills and resources to build a successful venture – and earn a business certificate from the university – at no cost.

Read the full story on the Cornell Chronicle Website.

Hospitality executives plan learning “sabbaticals” at Cornell’s Professional Development Program

With the pandemic hindering in-person convening over the last several years, the Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration is excited to be re-opening its doors to hospitality executives from around the globe for its annual Professional Development Program (PDP) this summer in Ithaca, New York.

For more than 90 years, PDP has provided professionals with a respite from their daily work lives and immersed them in an educational experience like no other—providing a personal recharge and a strategic refocus. This year, the program is offered June 13-16 and participants select one of five focused tracks, including:

· Hospitality Management Essentials
· Hospitality Strategic Marketing and Brand Innovation
· Hotel Real Estate Investment Management
· Hotel Revenue Management and Pricing Optimization
· Strategic Hospitality Leadership

“The hospitality industry is facing an unprecedented era of innovation, especially post-pandemic,” said Kate Walsh, dean of the Cornell Nolan School. “This program will equip today’s leaders with the skills, context and research-driven concepts to leverage the opportunity inherent in transformational change. The PDP program is an amazing opportunity to come together with other industry colleagues and engage in meaningful learning by our world-class faculty.”

The program is designed to serve a variety of hospitality professionals, from front line-level managers to senior executives. Attendees have the opportunity to engage with over 100 peers in formal and informal networking sessions to build relationships and exchange ideas. The program is entirely taught by Cornell Nolan School’s faculty, leading research-based experts who hold deep hospitality industry knowledge and are award-winning instructors.

“It’s all about sharing and networking,” said Florent Avella, founder and managing director of Silveroaks Asset Management and a two-time attendee of the program. “While there are many things that participants would not share with competitors, when we are at Cornell, we are on neutral ground and it’s the time to share with others.”
While some professionals attend the program nearly every year to refresh their points of view, others return to the program to sharpen their skills as their careers advance and their responsibilities evolve.

“Being here is almost like a sabbatical; you are able to completely immerse yourself in learning,” shared Gary Hoffert, regional vice president at Canalta Hotels in Canada who has attended the program multiple times. “You can assess the thought process of your business—it allows you to tear it down and rebuild it with some new ideas; and networking with professionals from all around the world gives me the opportunity to see what is happening in the industry and what others are doing.”

For more information, visit the PDP program Frequently Asked Questions.

At the Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration, we’ve been pioneering, reimagining, and perfecting hospitality education for a century. We push boundaries in the pursuit of excellence and define the future of our industry. The Cornell Nolan School experience combines world-class classroom instruction with hands-on experiential learning and is the only Ivy League program of its kind.

Johnson offers a new degree via eCornell: the Master of Science in Business Analytics

The Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, in collaboration with eCornell, is launching a new, online, STEM-certified degree program, the Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA).

Johnson’s MSBA is designed for working professionals who seek to build a career in analytics with the skills employers say they desire most: a comprehensive understanding of the language and concepts of business, strong communication and teamwork skills, and the ability to apply the tools of data science to real problems and real data. In this hands-on program, students will collaborate in diverse teams and build a portfolio of data analytics projects as they learn to use essential analytics tools like Excel, Python, R, SQL, and Tableau to collect, visualize, and analyze data to optimize business decisions and evaluate results.

“Success in business analytics requires technical skills, creativity, and critical thinking,” says MSBA program director Vishal Gaur, Emerson Professor of Manufacturing Management, professor of operations, technology and information management. “Our first goal for students in the MSBA program is to excel at these skills by learning from their Cornell University professors who have deep expertise across a wide range of fields. Working with data also poses new challenges and requires awareness of its limitations with regard to bias, fairness, privacy, and ethics. So our second goal for our students is to become careful about the implications of analytics for society and to be aware of the incredibly transformative power of data, so that they can be responsible and effective problem solvers.”

The MSBA degree program offers students a flexible curriculum that allows them to specialize in a concentration aligned with their professional goals. The four concentrations include:

● Marketing Analytics—designed for students seeking careers in fields such as digital marketing, marketing analytics for consumer and business-to-business products, and product marketing.

● Finance Analytics—designed for students seeking careers in fields such as corporate finance, fintech, lending and credit analytics, banking and investment analytics, and fraud detection.

● Operations and Supply Chain Analytics—designed for students seeking careers in fields such as retailing operations, supply chain analytics, revenue management, manufacturing, and digital businesses including marketplaces and gig economy firms.

● Business Analytics—designed for students seeking careers in fields such as healthcare, human resources, and education.

“Data-driven problem solving is at the heart of the Cornell MSBA,” says Mark Nelson, Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean of Johnson. “Our program features an extensive business core, a choice of specialized concentrations, an emphasis on communications and collaboration, and an applied, hands-on curriculum to instill creative and resourceful problem solving. We designed the program this way because our research with practicing business-analytics professionals and employers indicated a pressing need for talent that combines those capabilities.”

All courses will be taught by Johnson faculty and faculty in the broader Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. Faculty and industry practitioners will also serve as mentors for the capstone projects.

Instruction for the first intake of the 16-month MSBA program will begin online on May 16, 2022, and run through August 2023. The degree program includes two one-week, intensive summer residency sessions, the first in Ithaca, New York in summer 2022, and the second in New York City in summer 2023. It also entails a substantial capstone project which will unfold over the duration of the program and culminate in industry-ready final deliverables.

Applications for the program are now open.

Learn more about Cornell’s MSBA

This story first appeared on the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business news site, BusinessFeed.

Cornell Johnson Launches STEM Master In Business Analytics

Cornell Johnson College of Business is the latest US business school to launch a Master in Business Analytics (MSBA) program.

Cornell follows other top US schools like MIT Sloan School of Management and UCLA Anderson School of Business, who offer top-ranked MSBAs.

The STEM-designated program will be taught part-time over 16-months and will be predominantly online.

Cornell Johnson MSBA: The curriculum
Demand for data analytics skills is growing. According to the GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey, 37% of recruiters hired MSBA grads in 2018, compared with a projected figure of 62% in 2021.

This increase means MSBA grads are likely to be able to land roles across a wide range of industries, with the vast majority of companies implementing data into their business models.

“The need for data analytics in organizations and society is increasing rapidly,” says Vishal Gaur (pictured), program director for the new MSBA. “We have been working towards this program for the last two years, meeting with alumni and recruiters to assess the requirements from business analytics professionals.”

Cornell’s new MSBA looks to capitalize on this trend, offering students the chance to develop their analytics skills and knowledge of analytical tools.

The program is scheduled to begin in May 2022, and will run until August 2023. It will be delivered through Cornell’s award-winning online learning platform eCornell.

Teaching will be delivered asynchronously, giving students the flexibility to view online sessions at a time that suits them. But there will be some in-person requirements; Cornell’s MSBA curriculum includes two week-long residency sessions in the summers of 2022 and 2023. These will be held in Ithaca and New York City.

The program is also designed to encourage students to work together, Vishal says.

“It will be run like a residential Johnson program with small cohorts, extensive interaction with faculty and fellow students, and co-curricular activities that allow students to expand their knowledge and network outside of the classroom,” he explains.

The curriculum covers core business elements along with soft skills such as communication and teamwork. This is combined with a focus on analytics skills; students will learn to use tools like Python, SQL, and Tableau to gather, analyze, and visualize data.

Industry-focused specializations
Along with the flexible teaching delivery, the curriculum also features six elective modules covering topics like Machine Learning for Investment and Customer Analytics and Strategy.

During a specialization period, students can choose from one of four different concentrations. These include Marketing Analytics, Finance Analytics, Operations and Supply Chain Analytics, and Business Analytics.

Each specialization is designed for students aiming to launch careers in their chosen field, and so covers a range of analytics functions within that industry. The Finance Analytics specialization, for example, includes teaching on subjects including corporate finance, fintech, and lending and credit analytics.

The program also requires students to work together in teams on a variety of projects. During the program each student will work on a Capstone Project where they will seek to solve a real-world issue using a large data set and analytics tools. They’ll present their findings to MSBA faculty members.

Applications for the Cornell MSBA are now open. If you’d like to enroll in this cutting-edge program, Cornell estimates tuition will amount to around $78,000.

Industry voices come to second Rethinking Retail and Brands conference

The past 15 months have been a wild ride for the retail and consumer brands industry, with new formats, products, and purchase patterns sprouting overnight. Now, companies are looking ahead to a post-pandemic world. To help them navigate the “new normal,” Cornell is providing professionals unprecedented access to leading industry experts at its second annual Rethinking Retail and Brands live virtual conference, taking place June 15 to 18.

This year, a new conference format brings leading industry voices to the table as well as those of Cornell’s business and food retail experts. Also, session themes were designed to impact a broader range of industry professionals: from retailers and wholesalers, manufacturers, entrepreneurs, consultants, and store managers; to those working in consumer packaging, supply chain, logistics, and design. And at the end of each day, attendees can now interact with faculty, experts, and peers in a virtual “conference hall.”

“The focus is on the future,” says program co-director Dan Hooker, senior lecturer in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. “Retail is a very fast-moving, rapidly evolving industry. We’re creating a dynamic space for conversation with industry experts, focusing on the most relevant topics driving today’s retail sector.”

Those topics cross four major themes: the Future of Retail, Operations and Supply Chain, Brands, and Big Thinking. Ira Kalish, Deloitte’s chief global economist, will open the conference with an overview of the “new rules” of today’s new economy. Leaders in that evolving landscape then dive deeper into specifics. Trung Nguyen, SVP of Operations at innovative delivery service Shipt, will explain the importance of refining “last-mile delivery” to create different product experiences. And Brian Choi, CEO of The Food Institute, will discuss the rise of alternatives in cuisine, dining format, and menu design with Lilly Jan—Cornell lecturer, former chef, and expert in food and beverage management.

Several Cornell alumni also will bring their expertise back to campus for the Rethinking Retail and Brands conference. Amy Oates Fitzgerald of Numerator will explore post-COVID changes in consumer behavior and trends; Kerrie Lopez, head of merchandising marketing for online retailer Thrive Market, will discuss how to make data-driven decisions in a complex, omnichannel retail environment; and Jason English from Goldman Sachs will provide Wall Street’s perspective on today’s food sector.

The final day of the conference is dedicated to providing attendees with a bigger picture of the emerging retail landscape. It culminates in a closing session with Bill Strassburg, VP of Strategic Initiatives at Wegmans. When Strassburg began his career at Wegmans in 1977, he says there were few MBAs who would consider a job in retail because there was little innovation and few opportunities for advancement. In this session, Strassburg invites attendees to share his progressive perspective on what’s in store for retail over the next 10 to 15 years.

Registration link: eCornell.

Why Python is the programming language to learn

Python is arguably today’s most popular and fastest-growing programming language. Boasting a 27% year over year growth rate, Python has quickly become the preferred language of programmers, serving trending applications such as machine learning and data science.

Why is Python so high in demand compared to other languages? Unlike C++ or Java, there’s less complex syntax to navigate or compiling issues to resolve. Python uses English keywords, and as a result is simple, readable, and maintainable. It’s easily integrated with other programming languages, and supports functional and structure programming, as well as Object Oriented Programing (OOP). Not to mention there is a thriving ecosystem: open source libraries, frameworks and expert community make any problem a temporary one.

Also working in Python’s favor is the versatility of the language. Sometimes dubbed the “Swiss-Army Knife” of programming, Python isn’t tied to just one discipline, but can support many, including data analysis, web applications, gaming and automation. Many of today’s major tech platforms are powered by Python: Instagram, YouTube, Dropbox, Spotify, Reddit, Pinterest and Instacart, to name a few. Netflix’s ability to predict what content a user is interested in is based on Python. 21% of Facebook’s infrastructure is Python. Some of the very earliest Google engineers are quoted as having the motto, “Python where we can, C++ where we must.” 

Given today’s exponentially increasing trend toward smart devices, connectivity and artificial intelligence, the need for Python experts is also exploding. In 2018, LinkedIn reported a shortage of more than 150,000 professionals in the areas of data science, software development and machine learning. Today, demand continues to outweigh the supply, resulting in Python developers becoming one of the highest paid technology jobs available. Additionally, for entrepreneurs and others seeking to learn programming, Python remains the optimal skill to obtain. With a simple, easy-to-understand structure and broad applications, it is considered the best and most versatile beginner language.

Becoming proficient in Python is enabling many professionals to further develop their careers — or launch them. Recognized as one of the most essential languages to master, and with the added benefit of compatibility with existing languages, Python is the skill every programmer or analyst shouldn’t hesitate to add to their resume. 

If you’re interested in mastering Python, check out eCornell’s Python Programming certificate program, which teaches the core principles of Python and how to apply them.

New certificate program develops key negotiation skills

Negotiation is a powerful tool, and can help people steer their personal and professional lives toward success.

Yet according to a survey by LinkedIn, more than 40% of U.S. employees say they don’t feel confident in their negotiation skills, and 25% say they’ve never negotiated for themselves in the workplace.

Recognizing that a lack of negotiation skills can stifle a career, Cornell has developed a new online certificate program. Negotiation Mastery will help professionals improve negotiation abilities through the introduction of practical tactics and tools, peer exercises and expert instruction.

“The ability to effectively negotiate is critical,” said Allan Filipowicz, co-author of the program and associate dean for executive education at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. “It increases a person’s chance of getting the job or salary they want, making a business deal that benefits them and much more. It’s a lifelong skill.”

“This program will teach you how to advocate for yourself to get better deals, while at the same time enhancing personal or business relationships,” said Tony Simons, program co-author and professor at the School of Hotel Administration.

Available online through eCornell, this program consists of six three-week courses:

  • Introduction to Negotiation
  • Integrative Negotiation
  • Psychology of Negotiation
  • Preparing for a Negotiation
  • Power Dynamics and Ethics in Negotiation
  • Complex Negotiation

Upon completion of the program, participants will earn a Negotiation Mastery certificate and 60 CEUs. To learn more about this program, visit the eCornell website.

Master data science programming in R with new certificate program

In a world run by data, the demand for this skill has never been higher. Data analytics is essential to almost every facet of decision-making across any organization. Glassdoor recently named it the #1 job in America, and in the top 3 must-have skills. Cornell’s new certificate program, Data Analytics in R, is designed to help take a fundamental understanding of analytics to a mastery of programming in R.

Ideal for any professional looking to scale their skills and knowledge, this program will teach techniques for understanding, modeling and visualizing data using R, including predictive and prescriptive analytics, machine learning, the Monte Carlo simulation and optimization methods for making both small and large scale decisions.

“The world has really progressed when it comes to data analytics. Today it is being used across all organizations and verticals, be it financial services or consumer goods or travel, to enable informed decisions on a daily basis,” said Chris Anderson, faculty author and Professor at the School of Hotel Administration within Cornell’s SC Johnson College of Business. “We’re now at a place where these are critical skills for people who want to set themselves apart.”

The program consists of three three-week courses:

  • Predictive Analytics in R
  • Clustering, Classification, and Machine Learning in R
  • Prescriptive Analytics in R

Upon completion, participants will receive a Data Analytics in R certificate from Cornell University. Learn more about this program by visiting the eCornell website.

Certificate program aims to build technology leaders

Technology professionals must be adept at data analysis and problem-solving, but they also need interpersonal and professional skills to manage teams successfully.

To address this gap, Cornell is offering a new Technology Leadership certificate program. Participants will be able to analyze their leadership attributes and decision-making styles; strengthen essential communication, motivation and influencing skills; and ultimately prepare for future growth and success in managing technical and project teams.

“Leadership development happens through learning, practice and reflection,” said faculty author Erica Dawson, professor of practice in the College of Engineering. “The evolution from technology professional to technology leader takes time. This program gives professionals the tools and structure to succeed.”

The program will be useful to both emerging and experienced technology leaders, as well as managers and directors of web services, software development and IT teams. Early to mid-career technology professionals interested in moving to a leadership role, chief technology officers, business leaders who work with technology professionals and graduate students transitioning from academia to industry will also find value in this certificate program, which is available online through eCornell.

The Technology Leadership certificate program consists of six two-week courses:

  • Strengths-Based Technology Leadership
  • Values-Based Technology Leadership
  • Decision-Making Skills for Technology Leaders
  • Collaborative Communication for Technology Leaders
  • Courageous Communication for Technology Leaders
  • Influence and Motivation for Technology Leaders

Upon completion of the program, participants earn a Technology Leadership Certificate from Cornell Engineering, and 60 professional development hours. Visit the eCornell website for more information on this program.