Entries in Input Request (12)
Here's a response from Michael Shannon, first year at Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business, to my question about whether the tight recruiting market affects the recommending quantitative skills preparation for incoming students:
I suppose that the tighter recruiting market does affect the level of quant preparation. With more people vying for a limited number of internships and full time jobs, one wrong answer to a quantitive interview question could hurt you. However, I would still advise to anyone that any job opportunity is a result of the effort you put into it. If you work hard enough to gain the network, you will get the interview or offer.
Here's a response from Michael Shannon, a first year at Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business, to my question about what students wish they had known in the spring before starting b-school about how best to use the time between admission and arrival on campus:
One thing I wish I had known in the spring before I started the MBA program was how important some of the basic classes are to your success within your respective program. Finance, Economics, Accounting, and Marketing cover some extremely important topics that will be used in many of the other classes taken later in your program. I think it is vitally important to gain mastery of such terms as discounted cash flows, price elasticity, present value, breakeven, contribution margin, etc.
The preparation that I found most useful was to try to gain familiarity with Excel before you start if you do not have this already. Having this knowledge will allow you to have an edge in the classroom because you will not have to spend as much time just trying to figure out the computer program, as opposed to trying to figure out the solution to the problem or case.
Here's a response, from a student at a top MBA program who wishes to remain anonymous, to my question about whether the tight recruiting market affects the recommending quantitative skills preparation for incoming students:
Speaking as a marketer, I do not believe that additional quantitative preparation is necessary in the current recruiting market. Analytical and quantitative skills are critical, but can all be acquired during the first year of business school.
I am interested in current student input on the following question:
Does the tighter recruiting market, which is likely to persist, affect the level of quantitative preparation you would advise for incoming students?
Is your answer different for those interested in finance vs. other fields?
Here's a response, from a student at a top MBA program who wishes to remain anonymous, to my question about what students wish they had known in the spring before starting b-school about how best to use the time between admission and arrival on campus:
Admitted students should spend their time before beginning b-school enjoying their summer and familiarizing themselves with basic economics and finance terminology and timely issues in business. This can be accomplished through MBA Math and supplemented by articles in the Wall Street Journal.
All the students that I know that took summer classes prior to b-school would not recommend the choice to others. They all seem to feel that the curriculums rarely address the same set of topics that will later be seen in business school.
As well as preparing for classes, and taking time for yourself, I recommend making sure you block off plenty of time to get settled at your new school because once classes start it will be incredibly difficult to work in personal time to finish unpacking, take care of administrative needs, etc.
I am interested in current student input on the following question:
What do you wish you had known in the spring before starting b-school about how best to use the time between admission and arrival on campus?
Obviously, I'm curious about quant prep but I welcome responses that put such efforts in the context of the other pre-MBA challenges of exiting work, moving, and perhaps taking a break to clear your head.
Recently admitted students receive a lot of information and suggestions from various sources. To hit the ground running at your program, what preparation would you categorize as most and least useful?
MBA programs differ in the Excel skills that students need and what mix of pre-enrollment, classroom, and student-to-student learning develops the required skills. I will post responses from current students about their programs.
The MBA Math course provides an introductory Excel lesson coupled with coverage of Excel spreadsheet design and major functions (general purpose arithmetic implementation of formulas and also equivalent built-in functions) integrated into the finance, statistics, and economics lessons.
I hear this question a lot. So I put the questions below to some current MBA students at various top programs. I'll post their responses in a series of posts.
- Does your program suggest brushing up calculus skills before starting the first year?
- Does your program provide any calculus pre-term teaching? If yes, is it done on campus?
- Have you used calculus in your MBA studies? If yes, in what classes?
- If yes to some of the above, would you recommend that prospective students interested in your program brush up on calculus before starting or just refresh their memories on the fly during their coursework? If you suggest advance prep, would you give it low, medium, or high priority relative to other pre-MBA preparation needs (e.g., spreadsheets, accounting, finance basics).
I welcome additional input from administrators, faculty, or current students.
How do students with less quant experience relative to their student peers balance their time in the first year, both in their individual study time and their study group meetings?
The relatively less quant experience would tend to suggest that such students need to devote more time to their quant courses, at the expense of their other classes. But, how do students draw the line in their time management to avoid getting so sucked into quant coursework that they keep stealing time from their non-quant courses and don't get the qualitative and strategic expanding of their horizons that presumably is one of the big attractions of b-school in the first place?
Is this a real issue for you and your fellow students? How do you do it? What lessons can you hand back to prospective students about managing this tension and achieving your broader MBA learning goals?
I welcome any general comments or specific anecdotes about this quantitative/qualitative tension.
Most programs have quant prep information on incoming first-year class website pages but such pages are not always easy to navigate to from MBA program websites. I'll be reaching out to MBA program offices to gather summary information but I would welcome comments or e-mails directing me to such information. Raw information is fine; I'll organize and summarize.
I'll be excerpting posts from existing MBA student blogs, highlighting material about pre-MBA quant prep (e.g., on-campus math camps) and first-year quantitative demands. I welcome comments or e-mails directing me to such material.
I've started the blog with my thoughts on the quantitative demands of the MBA first-year curriculum. Now I'll be extending invitations to student, administrator, and faculty bloggers to join the conversation and offer their perspectives. With modest contributions from each of a group of individuals out there living the MBA experience, prospective students should be better informed about what to expect.
Readers are welcome to post their perspectives on the quantitative demands of the MBA first year. You can do so in the comments section or you can click the e-mail link and send it directly to the blog if that is more convenient. I'll post excerpts or entire messages.