Student Profile

John Buns
Class of '10

John Buns was in the inaugural cohort of the Illinois PSM students, earning his M.S. degree in Bioenergy in 2010.  His educational background was in molecular and cellular biology, earning his undergraduate degree from Northern Arizona University.  John chose the Illinois PSM because he “really enjoyed practical application rather than theory during his undergraduate experience and wanted to enter a more industry focused program.” His internship centered on biomass densification (pellets) with the Dudley Smith Farm and the Agricultural and Biological Engineering department at Illinois.  He highly recommends that students “take advantage of the program and everything Illinois has to offer, from the student organizations to the prestigious professors.”  John now works in Technical Sales for DuPont Industrial Biosciences and serves on the Illinois PSM Advisory Board.

Business Curriculum

The Illinois PSM business curriculum addresses essential knowledge and skills for managerial and leadership roles. Business courses – combined with the PSM seminar series and the internship – differentiate the Illinois PSM from other research-focused M.S. degree programs. 

The business curriculum is delivered in partnership with the University of Illinois’ Gies College of Business.

Five principal themes define the Illinois PSM business curriculum:

  • business fundamentals – marketing, strategy, and entrepreneurship;
  • financial – accounting and finance;
  • project and process management,
  • workplace dynamics – leadership, teams, and organizational behavior; and
  • law and regulation.

Students complete one to two business courses each semester. Courses are typically two credit-hours, each meeting for one-half of the semester. Courses within a semester are taken sequentially, i.e., only one is taken at a time.

The specific courses vary by term and are announced in advance. To ensure the relevance and timeliness of the business curriculum, courses may be changed and new courses may be added.

For more information or to discuss the Illinois PSM business curriculum, contact Natalie Bosecker, Illinois PSM director, at PSMdegree@illinois.edu or (217) 265-5363.

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