MBA Students Hit Campus Early to Brush Up Skills, Network

While classes may not officially start for weeks, a new article in the Wall Street Journal reports that more and more MBA students are coming to campus early to participate in the crash quant courses traditionally offered to bring candidates from non-finance backgrounds up to speed before school starts.

The reason? Many students—even those with a finance background—have realised these early weeks on campus provide a valuable opportunity to network and bond with their future classmates before the rush of  classes and recruiting hit in the fall.

In response, business schools have expanded beyond statistics or math courses for these early birds. At Kenan-Flagler Business School, first-year MBAs can also participate in career workshops, resume reviews, and receive coaching on presentation skills, the WSJ reveals.

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Meanwhile, summer program enrollment is up 30% over last year at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, which told the WSJ that about 300 of the incoming class of 850 arrived on campus early for refresher classes and to take exams that might allow them to place out of required courses.

Pre-term coursework functions a bit differently at NYU Stern School of Business, which allows some students to start in July in order to lighten their course load during the school year. Isser Gallogly, assistant dean of MBA admissions at Stern, told the WSJ the school has seen a jump in requests for these spots, which allow students to “get to know each other quite well” and form close bonds.

It’s interesting to note that Harvard Business School is not providing summer courses this year to bring new students up to speed. Instead, WSJ reports that the school has offered members of the HBS Class of 2017 its online learning program known as HBX CORe (Credential of Readiness) at a slightly reduced rate: incoming first-years pay $1,500 for the program rather than the full price of $1,800.

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Image credit: Flickr user Richard Foster  (CC BY-SA 2.0)
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