Top School vs Workload : The B-School Application
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Manager
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16 Feb 2007, 22:27
Certainly, MBA is not a place to play, but it's still a palce to live and enjoy 2 years with great moments! I don't want to spend 80+ hours per week to assimilate books, lectures and case studies...etc. Simple, we are human beings.
Let's discuss top school's workload: Wharton, Kellogg, Chicago, Columbia, Duke, Tuck, Darden..etc
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17 Feb 2007, 06:47
Did my other thread inspire this?

So, from what I've heard from Kellogg PTers - Kellogg FTers do nothing but party all the time. They don't really study because many finals are take home and quizzes are usually just based on the homework. However, I once read a Kellogg blog about how the guy was suprised to be up at 3am still working on stuff. I somehow get the feeling that the PTers figure the FTers are doing little more than screwing round for 2 years, but it's probably not that easy in the FT program.

I dont believe Kellogg has any sort of forced rank policy around grades, whereas GSB does. Professors are forced to maintain a certain average GPA for their class - so they have to have a bell - I'll try to find the link that discusses it. The GSB students all say "Yea its a lot of work, but its manageable". I'm still trying to get an idea for just what that really means.

There is something to be said for the GSB though - it has a GND, which "
The grade disclosure issue continued to come up at Chicago in part because the GSB is the only elite business school with both a relatively low forced curve as well as full grade disclosure. Some students feel that this puts them at a disadvantage during recruiting insomuch as all companies may not be aware of the different grading policies at competing schools.
The aim of the policy, in the eyes of many students who voted for it, is to improve the spirit of community within the GSB by removing much of the competition for grades that results from having a 3.25 forced curve in every class. They also felt that with alleviation of grade pressure would come more participation of students in GSB extracurricular and social activities."

http://www.chibus.com/home/index.cfm?ev ... f0ce5fa32b

Also interesting is this: "Others on the faculty and in the administration like to equate academic rigor with hours studied. They point to the statistic that self-reported hours studied in Foundation classes have decreased 16% since non-disclosure began." (From chibus, 2003) -- So maybe it is not that bad. But, its interesting, that you can't get just get C's and pass. In fact, it looks like a C is basically a failing grade. That's harsh in my mind. Very harsh. Scary harsh.

Directly from the 06-07 handbook under "MBA Degree requirements":

"A cumulative grade point average of at least C+
(2.33) in all courses counted toward the MBA
degree for students who matriculate in autumn
2006 or subsequent quarters. A cumulative grade
point average of at least C (2.0) in all courses
counted toward the MBA degree for students who
matriculated prior to autumn 2006."

And here's the real bitch:

that a faculty member may not exceed a maximum
grade point average of 3.33 for each course taught in
a quarter. If a faculty member teaches more than one
section of a course, the 3.33 average is calculated
using all sections. Excluded from this policy are PhD
courses, â€œlabâ€
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17 Feb 2007, 07:21
I'm the sort of person who's grades are always going to be somewhere in the middle of pack - regardless of whether I'm studying at HBS or third tier school. I'm not worried about failing but I don't have the mentality to get that really high GPA. Thats why grade non-disclosure is very attractive to me.
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17 Feb 2007, 07:39
Here is a thread on the most rigorous b-schools from a few days ago:

http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=42162
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17 Feb 2007, 08:14
rhyme wrote:
So, from what I've heard from Kellogg PTers - Kellogg FTers do nothing but party all the time. They don't really study because many finals are take home and quizzes are usually just based on the homework. However, I once read a Kellogg blog about how the guy was suprised to be up at 3am still working on stuff. I somehow get the feeling that the PTers figure the FTers are doing little more than screwing round for 2 years, but it's probably not that easy in the FT program.

Yeah, there's a lot of rivalry between FT and PT students - when you have to balance full-time work and classes, it makes the life of a full time student look much easier. But that's part of what you guys pay for when you sacrifice your salaries for two years - you should get that benefit!

In terms of workload at top schools - I'm sure it varies to some extent. I do believe that they try to maintain at least a certain level of rigor. I think a lot of it comes down to the individual and his/her strengths and weaknesses. For example, I know I'm a very fast reader and a relatively good writer. My perception of the workload in a heavy reading/writing class would be very different than someone who struggles with those tasks. On the other hand, I would find the workload in a quant-heavy class much greater than someone who can breeze through problem sets. There's also the element of things outside the classroom - activities and recruiting. The workload is, to some extent, what you make it.
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17 Feb 2007, 09:51
klong009 wrote:
rhyme wrote:
So, from what I've heard from Kellogg PTers - Kellogg FTers do nothing but party all the time. They don't really study because many finals are take home and quizzes are usually just based on the homework. However, I once read a Kellogg blog about how the guy was suprised to be up at 3am still working on stuff. I somehow get the feeling that the PTers figure the FTers are doing little more than screwing round for 2 years, but it's probably not that easy in the FT program.

Yeah, there's a lot of rivalry between FT and PT students - when you have to balance full-time work and classes, it makes the life of a full time student look much easier. But that's part of what you guys pay for when you sacrifice your salaries for two years - you should get that benefit!

In terms of workload at top schools - I'm sure it varies to some extent. I do believe that they try to maintain at least a certain level of rigor. I think a lot of it comes down to the individual and his/her strengths and weaknesses. For example, I know I'm a very fast reader and a relatively good writer. My perception of the workload in a heavy reading/writing class would be very different than someone who struggles with those tasks. On the other hand, I would find the workload in a quant-heavy class much greater than someone who can breeze through problem sets. There's also the element of things outside the classroom - activities and recruiting. The workload is, to some extent, what you make it.

That pretty much describes me.... A class based on case studies, class participation, group projects, sounds like an easy A to me. A class based on midterms and finals related to, say, statistics, will likely be much harder for me.
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17 Feb 2007, 10:11
I haven't sampled the B-school life, yet, but I have had the chance to discuss this issue with several alumni from different schools.

1) Stanford alumnus (which happened to go to undergrad with me, so really a comparable bar): I did study hard, but no way did I study as much as I did for undergrad (and he graduated top 15 - 20%, not your typical nerdy guy with a 4.0). He was there with his wife and they both had a great time.

2) HBS alumnus: everybody is so freaked out when classes begin. People dread their first cold call and every body is so nervous. After some time, though, you calm down and study (of course), read all the cases (of course), some in greater depth, some just to complement what you heard in your study group. I was there with my wife and 2 kids, so I would not want to jeopardize my family. And I did not have to, luckily.

3) Kellogg FT alumnus: I asked him: What surprised you the most about Kellogg? He answered: the amount of effort and dedication that everyone is willing to put into the experience. And I say so in a good sense, everyone is giving their best so the community kind of pushes everyone to give their best. The main issue is time management. Between recruiting, clubs, classes, projects, etc. you need to balance time very carefully.

4) Wharton current student (married): the single guys are having the time of their lives. I mean pub-crawls, outing, etc. And they still study a lot to keep up. They are basically sleeping 4 hours a day between the partying and the courses. I dunno how they manage the rhythm.

5) Kellogg FT student: I regret studying too much. I mean I could have balanced my time differently, maybe gotten some Bs instead of As in some courses and I would have been able to enjoy more extracurricular activities. In the end, the whole experience is important, not just the courses.

Hope it helps. L.
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17 Feb 2007, 14:47
[quote="rhyme"]

And here's the real bitch:

that a faculty member may not exceed a maximum
grade point average of 3.33 for each course taught in
a quarter. If a faculty member teaches more than one
section of a course, the 3.33 average is calculated
using all sections. Excluded from this policy are PhD
courses, â€œlabâ€
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17 Feb 2007, 19:57
The grade curve at Chicago is actually pretty forgiving- especially compared to those of other professional schools. A professor can easily remain in compliance by giving a lot of B grades, a moderate number of A grades, and a few lower grades.
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18 Feb 2007, 06:08
Hjort wrote:
The grade curve at Chicago is actually pretty forgiving- especially compared to those of other professional schools. A professor can easily remain in compliance by giving a lot of B grades, a moderate number of A grades, and a few lower grades.

That was my thought too when I read that policy. It sounds like as along as you show up for class and do the required work you'll be fine.
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18 Feb 2007, 07:16
Personally, we have worked so hard to reach at this stage.. that B-School course workload won't be tough. yes time management with recruiting, extra curricular activities etc has to be good...

But now I feel that worrying about coursework is small compared to worrying of whether you will get in
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18 Feb 2007, 07:58
willget800 wrote:
Personally, we have worked so hard to reach at this stage.. that B-School course workload won't be tough. yes time management with recruiting, extra curricular activities etc has to be good...

But now I feel that worrying about coursework is small compared to worrying of whether you will get in

They do say the hardest part is getting in.
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18 Feb 2007, 09:50
I remember reading that maybe 1% do not end up graduating, and I would imagine that some of those are affected by personal or medical problems and things like that. And at a place like Chicago, just being on course to graduate should be enough to put you in contention for the best jobs. There's nothing to worry about academically, though those of you with significant others might need to find a way to balance that.
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18 Feb 2007, 10:06
pelihu wrote:
I remember reading that maybe 1% do not end up graduating, and I would imagine that some of those are affected by personal or medical problems and things like that. And at a place like Chicago, just being on course to graduate should be enough to put you in contention for the best jobs. There's nothing to worry about academically, though those of you with significant others might need to find a way to balance that.

Itll be interesting - I'm not sure she really knows what it's going to be like.
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18 Feb 2007, 10:55
rhyme wrote:
pelihu wrote:
I remember reading that maybe 1% do not end up graduating, and I would imagine that some of those are affected by personal or medical problems and things like that. And at a place like Chicago, just being on course to graduate should be enough to put you in contention for the best jobs. There's nothing to worry about academically, though those of you with significant others might need to find a way to balance that.

Itll be interesting - I'm not sure she really knows what it's going to be like.

well spend the next few months keeping her real happy
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18 Feb 2007, 16:00
Here's what I've heard based on talking to students:

UNC: I played golf everyday.

Virginia: Things are insane here.

Stanford: Things are pretty laid back here.

Cal: We work harder than Stanford.

USC: We work harder than Stanford and Cal.

MIT: First semester is scary, then things calm down.

NYU: I work hard, but it's more due to networking and other job stuff than classroom assignments.

Chicago: Depends on what you want to do--some of the advanced electives are brutal, but you don't have to take those classes.
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20 Feb 2007, 10:49
if etc.. includes rest of the world and top schools there - INSEAD is supposed to be very intense (and lot of parties). And I heard so is IMD.
20 Feb 2007, 10:49
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