Entries in Indiana (3)
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.
Here is a testimonial from David Landers, a first-year student at Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and member of the MBA Math Board of Advisors, about his pre-MBA use of the MBA Math online quantitative preparation course:
With the GMAT and admission processes behind me, I turned my focus to preparing for the first semester of B-school. Most blogs I came across from current students at top schools stressed tuning up quantitative skills.
Reading the BusinessWeek forum regularly, I came across several recommendations for a comprehensive solution: mbamath.com. Given that my work experiences as a dental hygienist were considered very non-traditional I knew the difficulty in accurately performing a self assessment.
I signed up for mbamath.com hoping that I could identify my weaknesses and find a few key takeaways from the web-based lessons. I started immediately and was pleased with the experience. The lessons were easy to understand, well organized, and very relevant.
Having just recently completed my first semester of B-school I can say that mbamath.com was an excellent preparation tool and an outstanding value. If you’re looking for an edge you won’t find a more efficient option.
I received the following response from a first year at Indiana's Kelley School:
1. Does your program suggest brushing up calculus skills before starting the first year?
The official answer: While calculus is not required for admission, we've found that an understanding of analytical thinking and quantitative tools has a significant influence on success in the program. While we expect students to be competent in algebra, comfortable with the use of spreadsheets, and have basic knowledge of statistics, there are no prerequisites. Students from all academic backgrounds are welcome to apply.
2. Does your program provide any calculus pre-term teaching? If yes, is it done on campus?
Not that I'm aware of.
3. Have you used calculus in your MBA studies? If yes, in what classes?
No, I thought we might see it in economics; however Kelley's perspective is to teach the class more from a managerial economics perspective. When I visited UNC they used calculus in their economics core class.
4. 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 took a business calculus course the semester immediately prior to graduate school and I found it be very helpful. A solid accounting and finance foundation is far more important; however I would take a calculus course if you have time to do so (medium low priority). My advice regarding spreadsheet preparation is to increase your speed and familiarity through use of shortcut keys / techniques. Many of the professors move quickly and you don't want to fall behind during class.