Apr 22

“Nestled in the catalog of finance, marketing, and operations management studies, this absolute gem of a class may not initially stand out as a must take. However, anyone interested in starting their own business or helping their current employer remain relevant should view this class as absolutely essential in their academic journey.” – Former SMTI Class Member

The word is getting out that something special happens at Laura B. Cardinal’s class, Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation, more commonly known as SMTI. The Darla Moore School of Business offers this “gem” of a strategy class as part of its Professional MBA (PMBA) program. This spring, 24 students enrolled in Cardinal’s class and were enthralled.

One of the students was Chang Luh, a product manager with Horizon Scientific. He chose the class based on its focus: advancing the understanding and management of innovation and delivering new capabilities to corporate and individual entrepreneurs.

“As a product manager, I look for ways to research markets and innovate products to stay ahead of my company’s competitors. Dr. Cardinal’s class brought out the entrepreneur in me and gave me the tools to achieve my goal of being a better innovation manager,” Luh said.

In addition to Horizon Scientific, SMTI attracted students from BASF, EY Advisory, Honeywell, Milliken, and Savannah River Nuclear Solutions. While most are PMBA students, the class also had a PhD candidate in Mass Communications and a Master of Science candidate in Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurial Engineering. While the majority of students were based in South Carolina, several commuted from Charlotte, N.C., and Atlanta.

Luh is not surprised by the popularity of Cardinal and SMTI. “Her class is exactly what an MBA program aims to deliver. It provides an overview of innovation within various industries and gives students chances to share their work experiences and how they would apply to the class material. Dr. Cardinal’s positive and engaging personality motivates her students; she makes the classes fun. As for me, her knowledge deeply influences on me.”  

The next offering of the Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation PMBA class taught by Laura B. Cardinal, the SmartState Endowed Chair for Innovation + Commercialization, is Fall 2019.