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Carthage’s BDI program offers valuable degree in just 10 months


Madeline Gronset ’17

February 11, 2020

Seniors, looking for your next step after graduation? Consider staying at Carthage for just one more year and earning your master’s degree. The Business Design and Innovation (BDI) program offers a unique opportunity for you to obtain a valuable master’s degree in less than one year, giving you a competitive advantage as you enter the workforce.   

What makes Carthage’s BDI program distinctive?


The program is more focused than a traditional MBA and can be completed in as little as 10 months, allowing graduates to enter the workforce sooner with skills and strategies that can be applied to just about any field.


Modeled after award-winning programs at universities such as Gothenburg (Sweden), Aix-Marseille (France), North Carolina State, and Case Western Reserve (Cleveland), the Master of Science in Business challenges students to step out of their comfort zones to become innovative design thinkers.


Professor Jennifer Madden, director of BDI at Carthage says design thinking takes a creative approach to problem-solving, a skill that is becoming increasingly valued by employers — in any field, not just business.


BDI is offered cohort style with students working together as a group — versus individually — toward their degree, taking classes in the areas of non-profit, finance, and innovation, among others.  

Maham Ali ’19 a student in the 2020 cohort says, “The MBDI program reflects a world that is ever-changing and requires multidisciplinary approaches that encourage students to think critically about the issues.” 

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Professor Jennifer Madden“This program trains the students to be solution finders and gives them the skills to be able to solve complex problems that may not even exist yet while becoming innovative leaders in their field,” says Prof. Madden.


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International Study

Carthage is ranked #3 in the country for short-term study abroad opportunities. Students in the BDI program travel abroad for their capstone project working with international clients to help create business plans for startup companies.


Carthage is based in Kenosha, Wisconsin, midway between Chicago and Milwaukee, which gives students access to a cross-section of industries and organization types year-round. Past students have had internships with the Minnesota Wild and Jockey International.


Students will learn from visiting scholars and guest lecturers including Carthage faculty and other prominent experts across sectors and industries who are at the top of their fields in design, innovation, and sustainability.

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Nearly 100 percent of alumni of the BDI program has had success in obtaining a full-time career. Program alumna Leanne Jamora ’18, M.Sc. ’19 says, “The BDI program at Carthage is a necessary checkpoint in your journey toward an innovative, fulfilling career!” 


Carthage is a top producer of Fulbright U.S. Students, including Elanta Slowek ’18, M.Sc. ’19 who graduated with the 2019 cohort. Other recent graduates have obtained positions at companies such as Facebook and Protiviti. 

Shortly after graduating from the BDI program, Amanda Coca ’13, M.Sc. ’18 started a new position at Collins Aerospace as a program quality manager.

“My employer finds value in the human-centered design skills and innovation that I learned in the Carthage BDI program,” says Ms. Coca. “I have caught the eye of the executives and senior leadership at my company, and they are interested in my ideas and have started including me in their projects and strategic improvement initiatives! This is so surreal, and I still can’t believe that I have such an exciting career in an innovative industry!”

Classes are held on evenings and weekends making this program accessible for those who work during the day. Recent and past graduates of all ages, including Carthage faculty and staff, who are interested in becoming leaders in their field are encouraged to apply.

Learn more about Carthage’s educational benefits for employees.

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“The program is extremely transformational,” says Prof. Madden. “Students come into the program excited about the skillset and they leave the program ready to change the world.”

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