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It is with some trepidation that I bring up this topic. I am wondering how my religious faith will play out at a top school that I will be attending this fall. Is it anything like the workplace, where religion is not discussed at all, or are you encouraged to explore it in terms of how it relates to business? There is a student club at the school that has a general focus on my faith, but I don't know how active they are or what kind of activities they organize. The school has a reputation for being pretty liberal, so my guess is that the majority of the student body will not share my religious views. I would be very interested in hearing about the experiences of other people with respect to their faith at business schools. Would you be ostracized if you publically mention your faith? I want to be able to freely express my faith, but I wouldn't want to offend people in the process if I can help it. I mean I don't go around evangelizing or anything, but on the other hand, I also don't want to purposely hide my religious faith in fear that it might offend people. I guess it's a tight rope to be walking, but I think this is something I'm going to be dealing with nonetheless. Anyway, I'm probably rambling here, but I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Thank you.
I know quite a few religious people at Tuck and it's not an issue. We also have clubs for the various religions. The Tuck Christian club holds various events which tend to be well attended by the religious and non-religious. It seems to me that most people are pretty accepting of those with religious beliefs, even if they don't share them. I've never heard of anything negative happening.
I guess if you're not an idiot and don't go around telling people that they're going to hell - nobody is really going to bother with what you believe in. Religion is a personal issue and most people will probably respect that. To each his own.
I'm surprised you've ever had problems unless you're vocal about your beliefs. Most people in this country still associate with the christian faith (even liberals) and most international students will likely have some religious affiliation as well (even though it probably won't match yours). Some discussions religion could naturally fit into, but to be honest, I don't want someone up on their soapbox in every single class discussion. If it makes sense to bring up then fine, but it's not the time to be trying to change someone's mind about social issues. _________________
"Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity." - Frank Leahy
i can see where he's coming from. i live in a decidedly blue state, and I find that most b-school ppl are very liberal and have preconceived notions about Christians, even if a person does not evangelize. i know when ppl ask me my religion and I reply, I always get an oh, followed by a look. Many people just assume that Christians will start trying to convert you or hate gays or whatever. _________________
i can see where he's coming from. i live in a decidedly blue state, and I find that most b-school ppl are very liberal and have preconceived notions about Christians, even if a person does not evangelize. i know when ppl ask me my religion and I reply, I always get an oh, followed by a look. Many people just assume that Christians will start trying to convert you or hate gays or whatever.
A few points:
1. B-school people tend to be pretty liberal in the social sense (has a lot to do with being young), but I was surprised by how conservative they are on a lot of issues. Most of the tend to be very pro-business (not surprising). You're not too likely to find to many anti-capitalist left-wingers at b-school.
2. I found the cross-section of political beliefs to be pretty much the same as I found at work. A few hardcore left and right-wingers and the vast majority somewhere in between.
3. If you identify yourself as a Christian you'll get a few people that will judge you based on that, but not many. I'm pretty much of the libertarian mindset and one of my very good friends is very far left. We give each other crap all the time, have some lively debates, but it never comes between us. You'll find most people are like that.
4. Get used to it! You can be gay, straight, left-wing, right-wing, like chocolate or like vanilla ice-cream and somebody will have a problem with it. Stand-up for yourself in a respectful way and don't give it much thought. There are much more important things to focus on.
I'd agree with what refurb said. There are people from just about every major religion at school and that doesn't really affect how we work with each other or the friendships that are made. Like the general population, there's a range of how religious people are, but like an earlier poster said unless you go around trying to convert non-believers or saying your religion is better than others, it's really going to be a non-issue.
In terms of exploring how business relates to your religious views, that's probably something more in line with where the clubs come in rather than in class discussions. I can't think of any situation in the classroom where religion came into the discussion, nor when it would have been appropriate to bring it into the conversation. _________________
Don't see why this is even a big deal. You've gotten this far in life with your 'faith' and people knowing about it, what's the issue with business school?
As others said above, don't preach, don't tell me about how Jesus applies to investment banking, and I won't tell you whether to buy a steel frame or a carbon fiber frame for your racing bike, unless you want me to.
why would you be "publicly mentioning"/"expressing" your faith at school in the first place? You sound as if you're sure you're going to be a victim. And why on earth would you consider it possible for someone to be "ostracized" for their relatively mainstream religious beliefs in college? Sounds like you've had some major issues in the past.
Re: Religion in business school
05 Sep 2010, 18:15