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"Rigorous curriculum"...really?

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"Rigorous curriculum"...really? [#permalink] New post 01 Feb 2008, 21:10
How hard is b-school? I mean really. I noticed most schools these days are using words like "rigorous curriculum" all over their websites. But how hard are the actual classes? Really quant heavy? I guess it depends on the school really...but any input here?
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Re: "Rigorous curriculum"...really? [#permalink] New post 01 Feb 2008, 21:38
There's a lot of time management issues. You do need to prepare appropriately for classes and that means spending time preparing for classes. Juggling that with all the other components of the experience (jobs, networking, socializing, organizing stuff, clubs, etc.) is the hardest part.

IMHO, though, the curriculum per se is not rocket science. No matter how hard it may look, what you'll need to know about Black-Scholes (which is different from what they had to invent back in the day) isn't as tough as other courses I've taken in undergrad. The caveat: I'm an engineer so I don't struggle as much as others with the quant stuff.

However, I believe that if you dedicate appropriate time to learning you should understand what's going on, regardless of your background. The catch is that appropriate time may involve tutoring from 2nd years, learning teams, reading additional materials, etc. It all depends on how fast you can understand new stuff and how much you know going on (specially for the 1st semester).

L.
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Re: "Rigorous curriculum"...really? [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2008, 11:31
My class has a reputation across the school for being very studious and academic. The year before us are generally perceived as overly focussed on getting jobs. It reflects in a lot of ways. Some classes will be super-competitive. That is the way it is (some rely on the grades).

That said, we had a professor who told us to get a C in his class we would have to turn in no assignments and write "**** you (insert name here)" on the term papers. "And that would be a C+, because - you know - you wrote something".

The curve is always present, and some people seek to play it, others seek to get the grades. Depending upon what you want from it depends on the difficulty. The learning itself isn't that tricky, but high-achieving certainly will be.
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Re: "Rigorous curriculum"...really? [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2008, 11:34
I am assuming Stern doesn't have a GND policy as part of its MBA curriculum. I wonder if what 3underscore said below would also apply across the board to schools with an active GND policy, or whether the academics there would be more similar to the traditional college experience us liberal arts grads had. :-D

3underscore wrote:
My class has a reputation across the school for being very studious and academic. The year before us are generally perceived as overly focussed on getting jobs. It reflects in a lot of ways. Some classes will be super-competitive. That is the way it is (some rely on the grades).

That said, we had a professor who told us to get a C in his class we would have to turn in no assignments and write "**** you (insert name here)" on the term papers. "And that would be a C+, because - you know - you wrote something".

The curve is always present, and some people seek to play it, others seek to get the grades. Depending upon what you want from it depends on the difficulty. The learning itself isn't that tricky, but high-achieving certainly will be.
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Re: "Rigorous curriculum"...really? [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2008, 11:44
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We don't have a student enforced GND. The school will never release your scores, but the student has the right to disclose grades should they choose to. This basically means that Accountancy and Finance (core first semester courses) are extremely competitive as the IB and Consulting people want the grades. And it is a forced curve, so not all are going to get them.

I am not certain how much the GND effect has - if they want to prove your knowledge, there is more than adequate time to scrutinize someones learning on core subjects in an interview (some tricky cashflow questions, a good chase around duration and convexity) to see how they did, but people like to be able to say "I got an A". Beyond that, it is actually pretty competitive anyway, in a good way. Damodaran's class isn't going to count for much, but there is going to be a good fight on to do well in that class. All it does is raise the bar, and everyone should benefit by having to learn.
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Re: "Rigorous curriculum"...really? [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2008, 13:42
Academics + recruiting = hard.

Theres a lot to do. I sleep an average of 6 hours a night. Never more than 7. Often 5 or 4. I haven't had a day off since Jan 4th - I've literally spent every single weekend and every single day on campus interviewing, completing cover letters, practicing fit interviews or doing something else related to school. It's saturday now, I've been here since 7.30. I went to a make up lecture at 9am, finished at noon, ate lunch at Chiptole, came back and I've just been doing homework and cover letters since. I might stop around 5. I'm probably not going out tonight because I have to get up by 8am tomorrow to finish some other things. I'm starting to crack a little bit.
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Re: "Rigorous curriculum"...really? [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2008, 13:52
Rhyme,

Would you say your experience is representative of the average student at the GSB? Or are you in an extraordinary situation because you're..umm.. simultaneously pursuing a few more openings than the average b-school student would?


I didn't want to use the word "gunner".


:)
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Re: "Rigorous curriculum"...really? [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2008, 15:20
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each student will be different depending on their priorities.

One guy i know who graduated recently said it was tough at times but he always found time to relax by the beach. (he studied in Australia), it also mentioned that some people were working non-stop and people with families set time aside to spend time with them. It`s just a matter of how you balance your own time based on your own priorities.
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Re: "Rigorous curriculum"...really? [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2008, 15:29
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solaris1 wrote:
Rhyme,

Would you say your experience is representative of the average student at the GSB? Or are you in an extraordinary situation because you're..umm.. simultaneously pursuing a few more openings than the average b-school student would?


I didn't want to use the word "gunner".


:)


No I'm just dumber than most.
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Re: "Rigorous curriculum"...really? [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2008, 16:10
What about if youre at an entrepreneurship based school? Like Babson for example. Is there pressure/requirements to go to every recruiting event? I have no interest in finance or IB jobs.
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Re: "Rigorous curriculum"...really? [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2008, 17:53
The eternal question- relative to what?

I think it is fair to say that compared to other professional school programs, the MBA core is less demanding and often more in line with training that students have already received (unless, for example, the student has a limited quant background). For instance, MD and JD programs see themselves as presenting a new way of thinking like one of these career professionals that has no equivalent in the US undergrad system; while undergrad students can study business at many quality US undergrad institutions.

If students wish to finish their MBA studies with a modicum of academic exertion this is possible at many business schools. That said, if students wish to make their two or so years more of an academic challenge, they can explore taking advanced coursework at the doctoral level within the business school and in the general university.
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Re: "Rigorous curriculum"...really? [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2008, 18:00
go to recruiting events you care about. because of my interests, i didn't go to that many. In fact, I probably too narrowly defined my search in the beginning and probably should have gone to a few more - especially GM. But I certainly had no need to go to consulting, ib, brand mgmt, etc.
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Re: "Rigorous curriculum"...really? [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2008, 18:15
Hjort wrote:
If students wish to finish their MBA studies with a modicum of academic exertion this is possible at many business schools. That said, if students wish to make their two or so years more of an academic challenge, they can explore taking advanced coursework at the doctoral level within the business school and in the general university.


I would say you don't necessarily need to go out of the usual MBA classes. If you have a background that uses more soft skills, push yourself into quant courses, and vice versa. I could breeze through b-school taking leadership, communication, and other courses that require more reading and little quantitative analysis. I have quant-head friends who really do struggle through the softer courses.

I think that it comes down to what you did before. The engineers breeze through stats; the liberal arts-y folks breeze through courses that pile on tons and tons of reading. However, I also think that things even out as you go. This semester has been MUCH easier for me than the last one.
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Re: "Rigorous curriculum"...really? [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2008, 23:23
rhyme wrote:
solaris1 wrote:
Rhyme,

Would you say your experience is representative of the average student at the GSB? Or are you in an extraordinary situation because you're..umm.. simultaneously pursuing a few more openings than the average b-school student would?


I didn't want to use the word "gunner".


:)


No I'm just dumber than most.


But, as we all know here, ahead of the curve in the humor dept.. :)

Help!
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Re: "Rigorous curriculum"...really? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2008, 11:54
rhyme is just more of an overachiever than the most of us (in applications, essays, and interviews). We'll all be working for him some day. :P

Hjort! Wow, good to see you. :shock:

But I think time management is the key reason for why the 1st year B-school is so crazy. Outside of that, unless you go to Chicago or MIT and take quant courses and were not an engineer before, none of the classes will be rocket science.

Lots of reading, lots of schmoozing, lot of networking, lots of interviews/job searching, and lots of meeting and making friends with new people. I look forward to it! :)
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Re: "Rigorous curriculum"...really? [#permalink] New post 04 Feb 2008, 06:28
Quote:
There's a lot of time management issues. You do need to prepare appropriately for classes and that means spending time preparing for classes.


I totally agree with this. Unlike undergrad, where you basically just went to class and listened to someone talk at you for an hour, a big part of a lot of bschool classes is class participation. Therefore, I have spent more time preparing for class, even if it's just reading and thinking about questions, than I ever did for undergrad.

And as others have said, it also really depends on your background. For example, if you come from finance, the finance classes probably won't be so hard. However, if you're someone like me, who comes from a totally non-business background, you'll have a little more of an uphill climb because just about everything will be new.
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Re: "Rigorous curriculum"...really? [#permalink] New post 04 Feb 2008, 12:38
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Time management is what an MBA is all about. Its all about tradeoffs.

And yes, being cold called in class means that you have to be ready. Its always ugly when someone is unprepared and they fumble through some question.

Sleep... I want sleep now.

6 more interviews this week.

argh pain

accounting too.

not good.

trouble brewing.

midterms next week.

dont know accounting. @!(#! recievables. You can recieve the iron fist of rhyme up your !(@#! mother !(#@!@ arse. Why the !@# do people actually chose this as a goddamn profession? F** masochistic !(*@#.

more interviews.

sleep.
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Re: "Rigorous curriculum"...really? [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2008, 09:32
I can say with confidence that Darden is certainly rigorous - mix in recruiting and you have a recipe for disaster if you are not good with time management.

Its all relative though, you get used to it over time. If you go into an MBA program understanding the demands that will be placed on you and have a gameplan for how to handle it - I think you will be fine.
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Re: "Rigorous curriculum"...really? [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2008, 09:58
so, what I'm getting from all responses is while it does involve a LOT of work and time management, the material itself is manageable?
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Re: "Rigorous curriculum"...really? [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2008, 10:05
Depends how you choose to stretch yourself. You can make the academics hard if you want to, or make them pretty easy. All about which classes and when, really.
Re: "Rigorous curriculum"...really?   [#permalink] 11 Feb 2008, 10:05
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