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Muma College of Business to Offer Free Certificate Program in 'Post-Crisis Leadership'

By Keith Morelli

TAMPA (May 6, 2020) -- The world of business is largely locked down right now to stem the spread of COVID-19. Small businesses along with larger corporations are eager to jump back into the game and get revenues moving again.

Commerce may be stalled at the moment, but it will quickly rebound once safety has been re-established. And that’s when new business opportunities will open, presenting new challenges to business professionals who will be called upon to navigate the re-opening of the economy. The USF Muma College of Business is ready to assist.

The college is now offering a certificate – free of charge – for professionals to help them enter this time of uncertainty with confidence. The “Post-Crisis Leadership” certificate is the college’s way of giving back to its business partners who have suffered over the past month-and-a-half for the benefit of the overall community.

“The Muma College of Business has established a solid network with our outside business partners,” said Dean Moez Limayem. “The college relies on our partners to provide real-world business perspectives to our students in the form of internships, guest lectures, mentors and more. Our partners reap the benefit of young talent with fresh ideas being infused into their organizations.

“Now, our partners are in distress,” he said. “Many professionals in our community may be working remotely, undertaking different, uncomfortable roles or even been laid off. By offering this relevant, innovative certification, we can boost the prospects of post-crisis professional careers during the approaching recovery. Our vibrant partners deserve a vibrant college of business to help support their efforts, in good times and in bad times.

“This certification will not only strengthen the partnerships we have forged over the years and reinforce the fabric that binds the outside business community with the Muma College of Business,” Limayem said, “but it will also provide the tools our business communities need to emerge from this crisis ready to push ahead and focus on success.

Loran Jarrett, an instructor in the Marketing Department, is helping to lead the “Post-Crisis Leadership” certificate offering.

“The college recognizes that unemployment levels are the highest since the Great Depression,” she said, “and this free certificate from an accredited university is for all individuals interested in upskilling, preparing for the ‘new normal,’ résumé  building and being more indispensable within their careers.”

This 100 percent online offering is currently open for enrollment. For more information and to register, click here. Within 40 minutes of the announcement, the course was filled to capacity and a waiting list grew to more than 1,200. Since then, the capacity was increased and additional space is available. Registration closes on May 18. 

The program will focus on the most relevant topics in business to serve the needs of professionals ready to make immediate changes in their organizations. It will position participants to capitalize on the opportunities presented in every crisis and its aftermath and serve the employees, suppliers, customers and shareholders in new, innovative ways while ensuring the financial security and solid foundation their respective organizations were built upon.

The curriculum is designed to teach students how to navigate the transition from the crisis to the new normal and how to recruit, organize, evaluate and lead a resilient team. Modules will include instruction on leveraging key data, analytics and visualization as well as how to assess risk and security during business continuity and recovery. Instruction also will stress the importance of effective supply chain communication and coordination and how to seize opportunities to give competitive advantages.

This type of certification normally costs about $3,000 or more, but in the spirit of providing additional value to the community during the COVID-19 crisis, the college is offering the instruction at no cost to help businesses and individuals within the community.

“Business and corporate leaders are facing the major challenges of managing through a global crisis,” Jarrett said. “Moving forward, they will need to address the larger post-crisis difficulties of recovering their business footing with customers, suppliers, employees and more.

“It will be essential to capitalize on growing the business, increasing competitive advantage, and building the business for future success after such a crisis,” she said. “We want to support the visionary leaders who are prepared to take immediate action. This certificate builds the awareness and capacity for the participant to provide successful leadership in the post-crisis economy.”

The Muma College of Business world-class faculty, who have volunteered to teach the modules, have designed the curriculum to serve the needs of business professionals who are eager to provide proactive expertise after the pandemic subsides.

The certificate consists of 14 hours across seven sessions. Each of the seven two-hour sessions is self-contained and may build upon select pre-work, readings and references to create an online interactive synchronous learning experience. Students can expect to interact with faculty and peers in a productive, adult learning environment. It is being hosted on the DCE Productions platform.

“When Dean Limayem reached out with the concept for this program a few weeks ago, we committed without hesitation,” said Paul Harris, CEO of DCE Productions. “The passion and commitment of the Muma College of Business faculty and synergy with our staff has caused tremendous innovation to flourish, shaping how virtual events like this will look going forward.”

The University of South Florida is recognized as a world-class interdisciplinary research university and a leader in student success development. The business college, which has formed advisory partnerships with some of the largest employers in Tampa Bay to ensure that its programs remain on the cutting edge of current business needs, is a proven resource to the business community.