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Your Homemade MBAs?

I know I’m not the only person out there trying to make my own MBA.


As you can see, Coursera has been my tool of choice for my Homemade MBA, but it’s certainly not the only way to go.  I’m curious to hear what everyone else out there is doing.


If you are making your own MBA as well, please leave a comment explaining how you are making your own MBA!



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    • Craig on December 2, 2013 at 5:43 am
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    Love the fact that you are documenting and publicising your approach. I remember a looking at MBAs a long while ago and not finding much online. There is so much more available now. I must admit I am a little Coursera addict – up to 10-11 courses, though only signed up to one or two of those for later viewing.

    A couple of others that were interesting:
    Grow to Greatness (Darden). Pretty easy, not rocket science, but goes through some good points regarding growth strategies. Part II of the course is all on the internal people side of things, and was very interesting (particularly while working in a company experiencing massive growth).
    Competitive Strategy (LMU). Interesting introduction to game theory in a business context. Pretty light load, and quite interesting with a good lecturer.

    Good luck with the rest of your homemade MBA!


    1. Thanks, Craig! I’ll have to take a look at those classes and maybe add them to my wait-list!

    • Mode on December 2, 2013 at 6:56 am
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    Great stuff…will be looking at more of your posts..

    1. Thanks, Mode. Let me know if you have any questions.

    • Ian on December 2, 2013 at 9:56 am
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    nice page you have put together. I have been doing similar courses like you including the entrepreneurship course, finance and marketing. And we will meet in the IE course for sure. I found another interesting course offered by IESE which is a top B-School here in Europe: Globalization of Business Enterprise.
    I would also recommend to adds some more economics to your list. I found the microeconomics course offered by the university of Illinois to be very good. That course really helped me to have the right mind set and put the economic glasses on.
    I will follow your blog and just joined your linkedIn page. I am so curios to see how this MOOC world evolves.
    My opinion is that going to top B-School gives you a big opportunity to enter certain job positions. But once you are working is all about the right skills. So I do think you could reach far by learning through MOOCS and applying your knowledge in your work. Networking will be missing but you can work on that in other ways…

    Good luck

    1. Thanks, Ian! It’s always nice to hear from fellow classmates doing similar homemade MBA projects.

      Thanks for the course recommendations – I’ll look into the courses you mentioned, and I agree that some economics courses should probably be added to the Homemade MBA Curriculum.

      I’m also really curious to see how the MOOC world evolves. I think we’re on the leading edge! Once I’m done with the courses on my proposed curriculum, I’m going to think more about if/how we can incorporate Networking into our homemade MBAs. That’s a challenging one, though. I’d love to hear your thoughts/opinions on this as well.

      Looking forward to seeing you again in Critical Perspectives on Management next year. Take care!

    • Ian on December 2, 2013 at 9:58 am
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    Sorry I forgot to mention another interesting course from an European top B-School: École Centrale Paris

    On Strategy : What Managers Can Learn from Great Philosophers

    I think expanding your horizon for doing business is great so I am very curios to have a look on this course….

    1. Sounds very interesting. I totally agree – I love the breadth of material available through Coursera (and other MOOC platforms).

  1. Following your steps, doing same courses 😉 Congratulations for both projects, the “homemade MBA”& the blog’s idea. I hope I can contribute to “the cause” in a near future! See you at IE classes

    1. Thanks, Sandra. See you in class in January!

    • Bulldog on December 19, 2013 at 5:11 pm
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    Completed from Coursera (June-December 2013):
    Competitive Strategy
    Microeconomics Principles
    Foundations of Business Strategy
    The Power of Macroeconomics: Economic Principles in the Real World
    The Power of Microeconomics: Economic Principles in the Real World
    Organizational Analysis
    Computing for Data Analysis
    An Introduction to Operations Management
    The Role of the Renminbi in the International Monetary System
    International Organizations Management
    Model Thinking
    Law and the Entrepreneur
    An Introduction to Corporate Finance
    Markets with Frictions
    An Introduction to Marketing
    and a few other courses from social sciences, philosophy, physics etc.

    1. Wow, Bulldog – that’s an impressive list! Why did you choose these specific courses?

    • Kim on January 20, 2014 at 10:03 pm
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    Hi Homemade MBA,

    I just posted this on the Coursera discussion, but thought I’d post here as well. What a TERRIFIC idea!

    For the better part of the past year, I have been doing what I call my “Mobile MBA.” Often while running I listen to podcasts (many from Harvard Business Review Idea Cast also Knowledge@Wharton), and while driving I listen to audio books. Most of my audio readings are business related (e.g. Clayton Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma, Chip and Dan Heath’s Switch, Eric Ries, The Lean Startup). I am more than happy to share my evolving reading list.

    Since doing this, I have gotten some of my best ideas while in motion!

    For extracurriculars, may I also recommend Udemy ( As I am very interested in Lean methods, I took the “Build, Measure, Learn” course, which was excellent –

    I will surely create a study plan of my own that is inspired by what you’ve created. I look forward to hearing about other recipes for Homemade MBAs out there!


    1. Thanks, Kim. I love your idea – the mobile MBA. I’m also a fan of the Heath brothers’ books; feel free to post a reading list. I’ll check out the Udemy links as well.

      Thanks for sharing, and keep in touch!

    • Rick on January 27, 2014 at 8:22 pm
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    My plan going forward (I have not limited myself to Coursera so these courses are a mix and match of what I find interesting):

    The Entrepreneurial Manager:
    – Innovation in Health Care (Harvard) (Mar-Jun 2014)
    – Grow to greatness: Smart growth for Private Business I & II (University of Virginia: Darden Business School) (Jan-Apr 2014)

    Leadership, Organizational Behaviour, and Corporate Accountability:
    – Critical Perspectives on Management (IE Business School) (Jan – Feb 2014)
    – Organizational Analysis (Stanford) (Sep – Oct 2014)

    Business, Government, and the International Economy:
    – Globalization of Business Enterprises (IESE Business School) (Feb – Mar 2014)

    Finance & Economics
    – Financial Markets (Yale) (Feb – Mar 2014)

    As you will notice I have no operations management courses at all. This is on purpose as I already have a M.Sc. in Operations and Innovation Management. Through that I also have all the basic courses in finance, accounting, marketing so I will be looking for more advanced material when it becomes available – most likely in the autumn.

    Looking forward to feedback from you guys. Especially if you know of some great financial/economic courses.

    Word on the web is that Harvard will launch a massive amount of MOOCs in 2014, so looking forward to that.

    1. Hej, Rick. I like your logical approach. It makes sense not to duplicate coursework that you’ve already done during your Masters. I also think it’s a good idea to look outside of Coursera. Once I’m done with my original homemade MBA plan, I’m going to look outside of Coursera as well.

      Keep in touch with us here throughout your project, and let us know how it goes.

      Looks like we’ll be classmates again in the upcoming Yale Financial Markets class. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts of that one in a bit!

      Also, give us a shout if you hear more about the Harvard classes. I’ll be on the lookout for those as well!

      • Cory on March 25, 2014 at 10:59 pm
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      I recently completed this course on edX:

      CaltechX: Ec1011x Principles of Economics with Calculus

      It is introductory focusing on microeconomics and the content is fairly challenging. What separated this from all of the other economics courses I have taken on Coursera is that this was more math focused – it was a nice way to see how economic comparisons are quantified. The courses on Coursera tended to be more visual and intuition based (I have taken 3 on Coursera: Microeconomics from University of California, Irvine, Microeconomics Principles from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and The Power of Microeconomics: Economic Principles in the Real World from University of California, Irvine).

      The course covers mathematical models for perfectly competitive firms, monopolies and oligopolies, and calculating social surplus and deadweight loss from externalities and government interventions among other topics. While the other economics courses I have taken have been helpful, I think this one really ground in the models due to how challenging it is and by actually working on numbers or variables instead of thinking “okay what happens if I make the slope steeper?”

      The course finished this week but I believe they are doing another run sometime in the future. I am not a big fan of the edX platform, but the course staff is very active on the forums and according to the professor its not a watered down version of the course offered at Cal Tech. If you don’t enjoy math-intensive courses, this might not be for you!

  2. I see you are a kindred spirit in the MOOC MBA world! Just wanted to give you a shout out. Let me know if you ever want to connect.


    The No-Pay MBA

    1. Hi, Laurie. Thanks for getting in touch. I saw the article John Byrne wrote about your MOOC MBA – very cool! I really like your site, and would like to keep in touch.

      I think we’re on the leading edge of the MOOC revolution, and that we can have an impact on how it evolves. I look forward to getting to know you, and best of luck with your no-pay MBA!

  3. Really interesting website. Thoroughly enjoyed browsing through it. My path to an MBA is to first focus of life experience in a variety of fields. I am lucky enough that I have been able to complete an engineering and commerce degree as well as a trade as an electrician. My goal is to start multiple small businesses and map everything out on my website, with all my success and failures. I think the hustle in the business work is half the fun.

    To complement my field work I will also be reading and working through courses online to improve my background and core knowledge.

    Again, excellent site and full of excellent resources

    1. Thanks, Nathan. I would love to check out your site as well – what is the url? If it isn’t up yet, come back and let me know when it is.

      Best of luck!

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