## MBA Math Testimonial for Wash U (Olin)

Here is a testimonial from Jessica Grote, who recently completed her first year at Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis and is a member of the MBA Math Board of Advisors, about her pre-MBA use of the MBA Math online quantitative preparation course:

I am a second year MBA student at Washington University’s Olin Business School. I graduated with a degree in Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where I served as President of the Women in Architecture organization and studied abroad in Rome, Italy. Before returning to graduate school, I worked at an engineering firm and was highly involved in my community as a volunteer for the American Red Cross and United Way. Now at Olin, I am concentrating in Brand Management and Marketing Consulting/Strategy while serving as President of the Olin Marketing Association.

As an MBA student with a non-business background, I found MBA Math to be particularly helpful. The lessons gave me a comprehensive overview of the quantitative work that would be performed during the core curriculum of the program. MBA Math is unique in that it provides the flexibility to work at one’s own pace to meet personal objectives. It’s a great transition to graduate school.

## MBA Math Workshop at Forté NYC Event June 27

I'll be teaching a morning quantitative skills workshop at the Forté Foundation MBA Women's Conference in New York on June 27. Students admitted to Forté Sponsor schools are welcome to attend. As of yesterday, approximately 140 women are pre-registered for the workshop.

Here's a workshop description:

This two-hour workshop will build on the pre-work coverage of finance and accounting basics to develop insight into the ongoing credit market crisis. Rather than do a broad but shallow survey of quant skills needed in the MBA first year, I've picked a few tools and a relevant topic from the current business press. We'll dig into the basics of bond valuation and balance sheet leverage with two goals in mind:

Whet your appetite for your upcoming MBA coursework Provide a status check on your quantitative proficiency.

To learn more about the broader conference and to register, visit the Forté conference site.

To learn more about the workshop or to take a look at the pre-work material on finance and accounting as an example of the MBA Math lecture material, visit the MBA Math workshop site.

## Arkansas Clinton School Chooses MBA Math

The Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas purchased MBA Math subscriptions for all incoming Masters program students.

## Oregon (Lundquist) Chooses MBA Math

University of Oregon's Lundquist College of Business purchased MBA Math subscriptions for all incoming Oregon MBA program students as part of the revised curriculum.

## Georgia State (Robinson) Chooses MBA Math

Georgia State's Robinson College of Business recommends, and in some cases requires, MBA Math for admitted students who need quantitative skills preparation.

## Georgetown (McDonough) Chooses MBA Math

Georgetown's McDonough School of Business purchased MBA Math subscriptions for all incoming students in the full-time, evening, and executive MBA programs. This is the third year for the full-time and evening programs, the second year for the international executive program, and the first year for the Georgetown-ESADE executive program.

## Calculators only for some exams at Columbia

Xiaoming-Alex Yang, a second year student in Columbia's accelerated program, comments:

At Columbia, financial calculators are always allowed if you want. However, most professors do have laptop off policy at classes while some exams only allow you to use financial calculators.

## Excel or calculator usually OK for exams at Kelley

David Landers, who recently completed his MBA at Indiana's Kelley School, reports:

At Kelley, the guiding rule is that laptops should remain off during class unless working in Excel. With that said, most of the professors are flexible and have no problems with laptop use as long as they are being used for class materials or taking notes. It's clear from day 1 what each respective professor's policy is and that policy is often determined by the type of material / cases covered.

A blank Excel sheet is usually allowed for exams. Some professors have open book test, however it should be noted that the time available for most seven week course exams is 1.5 hours. Students can use financial calculators if they choose to, but none of the classes that I took spend any time discussing their functions and certainly did not require them.

## Excel or calculator OK for exams at HBS

Peter Park, a second year student at HBS comments:

For class: HBS classes are laptop-down, including finance classes. You can use calculators during the class to follow along with the discussion. For the most part, there is no need for a financial calculator; a regular calculator will probably be enough. I had a financial calculator, but never used it for functions beyond mult/division during class.

For exams: All HBS exams are case-based, usually with a 4-5 hour time limit, and grades are based on a written response/analysis of the case. For FIN 1 & 2 exams, you're required to attach exhibits to support your analysis from an excel model you build during the exam. Everything's open book and open note w/exception of online sources, and you can use calculators and Excel. Since the response requires a lot of excel, I never used a calculator. I'd say the same for most of my classmates.

## Calculus low priority at Anderson

Michael Converse, a first year student at UCLA's Anderson School, offers his perspective on quant skills preparation. Note that the calculus he mentions needing for Managerial Economics is covered in the MBA Math course and requires no more than 30 minutes to understand the concepts and apply the mechanics.

At UCLA Anderson, we needed to know how to take a first derivative for a unit of MANAGERIAL ECONOMICS. I wouldn’t suggest taking an extensive calculus course just to learn how to take a first derivative. I took an INTRO TO CALCULUS course and regret wasting the time. I now know a lot of calculus that I will never apply. My time would have been better spent preparing for school.

In finance, some professors used advanced calculus to show how certain formulas are derived. Knowing calculus makes you feel better while watching or reading a complex derivation, BUT at the end of the day you’re tested on and use the formula…not how it was derived!

Ultimately, I would give calculus low priority in terms of preparation. If you want to get a basic understanding of a subject that you haven’t had any exposure to I would recommend, in addition to mbamath.com:

READING:THE CARTOON GUIDE TO STATISTICS (seriously, this book is great)

ACCOUNTING FOR DUMMIES

TAKING:MATHEMATICS FOR MANAGEMENT (most universities offer them online during the summer)

## No laptops or Excel during exams at McCombs

Jelka Dasent, a first year student at UT Austin's McCombs School, comments:

At McCombs, we do not use Excel in exams, and for Finance we are expected to be able to know how to use the financial calculator to find TVM [Time Value of Money]. The Finance Lectures give you a handout of the functions they want you to be able to use. All Finance exams are closed book, closed notes and no computers.

## Excel is Essential at Wash U's Olin

Jessica Grote, a first year student at Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, reports on Excel at Olin:

Excel is essential for several classes at Olin. Fortunately, Olin offers an excel overview during the 2-week "Gateway Olin" orientation program. This is a great way for Excel beginners to learn the basics or for Excel whizzes to do some fine-tuning before the core program begins. Once classes begin, it is easy to further Excel skills through the help of teammates during group projects. In addition, professors often provide detailed Excel directions and are more than happy to walk through the steps with students who seek one-on-one support.

## Excel or calculator OK for exams at Tuck

Anne Thompson, a first year student at Dartmouth's Tuck School, reports:

At Tuck the policy is "whatever makes life easier in the real business world is what you should learn how to use in school." This means that most of us use excel and there are no classes that require the use of a financial calculator, however, for the students who already use financial calculators they are free to continue to do so. As for exams, most are open notes and laptops/calculators available for exams -- the one exception to this is Capital Markets class, which requires all exams to be taken without any notes.

## No laptop or Excel for exams at MIT Sloan

Chantrelle Nielsen, a second year student at MIT Sloan, reports:

At MIT we don't have Excel or laptops available for exams, but we generally can bring formula sheets, and standard calculators are sufficient for exams in Finance I and II. There may be a few more advanced finance classes where they are helpful, but I doubt it.

## Open book exams with Excel or calculator at Darden

Kate Canale, a first year student at Virginia's Darden School reports:

Same at Darden, everything is take home, open book, open notes etc. I have never used a financial calculator here since Excel does everything for you, but I know some people that prefer to use calculators.