When I got my acceptance letter for HBX CORe, I did not know what to expect from the program. Aside from significantly enhancing my knowledge about the fundamentals of business, CORe also grew my personal network. Don't underestimate how powerful this is! Here are some ways I was able to meet new people thanks to CORe:
1. Getting social
After you get accepted into CORe, you have the opportunity to join your cohort's Facebook group. Not only do you get to share knowledge with your peers, but you also get to know your classmates from all around the world on a personal level. You will learn how everyone lives and works all over the world, what opinions they have, and they will definitely make you laugh from time to time!
2. On the course platform
Facebook isn't the only way to reach out to your peers; the CORe platform is set up in such a way that everyone fills out a profile with professional and educational details. You can also include social media handles as well as personal information - everyone is free to choose how much they want to share. Apart from that, there is significant interaction on the course platform with fellow students - you're even graded on your participation! You quickly get a sense for what others are good at and how they can help you, and vice versa.
3. Face-to-face meetings
I had the wonderful opportunity to travel all the way from Amsterdam in the Netherlands to Harvard Business School for HBX ConneXt - an event with past HBX participants as well as the HBX faculty and staff. Meeting fellow HBX students face-to-face helped me to make better connections with my peers as well as to grow my network even more.
There weren't many students from my cohort in the Netherlands, so I hadn't had the opportunity to have any face-to-face meetings with my peers prior to coming to ConneXt. However, if there are HBX peers in your area, make sure you meet them. People who are part of HBX CORe are intelligent and have incredibly interesting backgrounds that you might only get to know about if you meet up in person.
4. Reaching out after the course
Even though I took CORe a year ago, I am still in touch with the friends I met through the program and am still growing my network. After working intensively together for months online, we are still just a click away if we want ask our cohort for help or just share a nice experience or success.
5. Past and future students
My network has continued to grow in the past year as I have connected with more and more people who took, are taking, or will take part in an HBX course. HBX offers multiple cohorts every year, and I've heard from a number of past participants and prospective students who want to know more about my experiences, share knowledge, or set up partnerships.
There are plenty of informal groups that have formed in order to connect with participants across different cohorts of CORe and I've even heard from some companies who saw my connection with HBX and wanted to share professional opportunities with me.
When you take CORe, you show that you are taking an extra step beyond your busy job, school work, and life to expand your knowledge or help make a decision about your future. People see that and connect with you. I am happy to tell everyone who asks that HBX CORe is not just another online course, but a great one that simulates a real-life class experience online!