Customer Experience Design

The World’s First MBA Course on the Subject


According to Salesforce's 2018 "State of Marketing" Report, the customer experience is not just a focus of marketers but has become their central emphasis. Enrol in this MBA course, the first of its kind in the world, to excel in this new paradigm. Learn the key elements of effective customer experience design and delivery and how to create a captivating customer experience that is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

What Students Say

This course has completely transformed my approach to marketing.
— Jacqueline Tsekouras (CED 2015), Snap Inc.


About the Course

MKTG 6800: Customer Experience Design is the world's first MBA course on the subject, designed by Schulich marketing professor Markus Giesler. It is exclusive to students enrolled in Schulich's MBA program and constantly updated in close dialogue with Big Design Lab member organizations that frequently hire from the course.


Since 2015, the American Marketing Association has been featuring the course in a weekly MBA student insight column that has reached tens of thousands of marketing executives and researchers globally. The course has also been featured by Poets & Quants, Marketing Mag, Huff Post, FT, Financial Post and many other media outlets.


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Frequently Asked Questions


What sets this course apart?

One aspect that sets this course apart is a methodological core innovation called Venture. Developed specifically for this course, Venture is a proprietary methodology that requires students to team up with companies, policy makers, and media journalists to solve a real world customer experience design problem. Your venture ties your course experience to the real world.

The course also integrates traditional approaches to customer experience design such as journey mapping with more recent culturally and managerially oriented approaches to customer experience design. The latter portion is proprietary to this course and is rooted in recent scholarship as well as applied research conducted through a think tank called the Big Design Lab.

Lastly, the course frequently partners with a number of media platforms including Marketing Magazine, the American Marketing Association, and Apple News to offer student teams an opportunity to share their ideas and insights with the profession.

Where have students placed?

MKTG6800: Customer Experience Design has proven effective in placing course alumni in a broad range of senior marketing and business development roles. For a detailed industry breakdown, please contact Sarah McNeil. Today, course alumni can be found in automotive (BMW, Tesla, Toyota), banking and financial services (Bank of America, BMO, CIBC, Deutsche, RBC, TD), CPG (J&J, Kraft Heinz, Nestle, L’Oreal, Pepsico, Unilever), consulting (BCG, McKinsey, Accenture), healthcare (3M, Allergan, Bayer, Novartis, Pfizer, Sick Kids), hospitality and transportation (Airbnb, Hyatt, Trivago, Uber), industrial manufacturing (ABB, Bosch, Siemens, Tata), market research (GfK, Hotspex, Ipsos, Nielsen), retail (BestBuy, Home Depot, Loblaws, Lowes, Walmart), tech (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Hubspot, IBM, Instagram, Microsoft, Rogers, Salesforce, SAP, Twitter, Snap), and on the agency side (Leo Burnett, McCann, Ogilvy). A notable number of alumni have also placed in NGOs or founded successful businesses of their own in industries such as fashion, financial services, and consulting.

How do I get into the course?

Based on recent enrolment data, Customer Experience Design is currently Schulich’s most sought-after MBA elective course. Every year, 90 MBA students are admitted in two sections in the fall. In the past, the wait lists for each section have been up to three times that size. In order to score a seat, it is recommended that you register as early as possible.

What does a typical session look like?

There is no such thing as a “typical session” in this course. Every session is uniquely built around one or two central case studies as well as a number of design and theory exercises, simulations, and group challenges. The case studies are proprietary to the course and cover challenges and issues faced by Big Design Lab member companies. Protagonist executives may be present in the session.

Will I have access to Big Design Lab member companies?

Each year, three students will be awarded a Big Design Lab Fellowship. Fellowships enable students to present their ideas and insights to member executives at the Big Design Lab Roundtable in Davos, Switzerland. In addition, all Big Design Lab member companies have exclusive access to students and frequently hire from the course. Through the lab, the course serves as a matchmaker between industry and students.

An EMBA version, originally developed for the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA program, exists. If you are interested in learning more about this version, please send me an email. There is also a one-day in-depth masterclass offered twice a year in New York City. If you are interested in this format, please see here.

Does an EMBA or open enrolment version of this course exist?

Can I audit this course?

Yes, it is possible to audit this course if seats are available. Please contact Sarah McNeil

Can I teach your course at my university?

If you are interested in developing your own Customer Experience Design course at your business school or university, please do get in touch with me. I am always happy to help, share some course materials, and provide feedback and suggestions. What is disheartening, however, is discovering when the entire course has been put on the books at another university without permission or giving any attribution, as was recently the case twice. So for this reason, please note that the Customer Experience Design syllabus, the Venture Methodology, and all course materials including case studies, case notes, assignment briefs, and slide sets for both the MBA and EMBA version of Customer Experience Design are property of Markus Giesler. Please do not use or share any of these proprietary materials without my written permission and the proper attribution.