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HBX Business Blog

Ivan Seah

Ivan is a third year undergraduate medical student pursuing an M.B.B.S., Bachelor of Surgery from the National University of Singapore Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. He is currently enrolled in HBX CORe and is blogging about his experiences in the program. Learn more about Ivan at http://www.abouthbx.com/student-profiles/ivan

Recent Posts

CORe - A Mindset Shift

Posted by Ivan Seah on June 9, 2015 at 2:00 PM

I was filled with excitement when I first heard about HBX CORe. With a curriculum designed by Harvard Business School, I knew that it will be the best form of introduction for me into the business world. After experiencing almost half of the course, my opinion has not changed one bit.

Constantly delivering high quality material and useful knowledge, HBX CORe has made my learning experience extremely fruitful. Here are some of the positives that I have been really impressed with as well as some of the challenges that I met in my journey.

Realistic Case Studies

Just like the heart of the Harvard Business School MBA, HBX CORe also utilises the signature case-based learning model. For every module, we have a real life scenario that teaches us the concepts we are required to learn. These real life scenarios often involve many successful businesses of today.

For instance, as part of the Business Analytics module, we learnt how Amazon utilises hypothesis testing to decide on their webpage features. While in Economics for Managers, we learnt about how The New York Times determines the price of its offerings by conducting conjoint analysis. These are just a few of the many examples available. Learning using realistic case studies excites me to apply the concepts I have learnt to other businesses as well, making the learning journey never ending.

Peer Help

Unlike many other online courses around, HBX CORe has developed a platform to facilitate interaction in the online classroom. Known as Peer Help, it allows participants of the course to exchange questions and answers about the module. Quite often, Peer Help is what I turn to when I have problems understanding the course material after reading multiple times. In fact, because of the high rate of participation in Peer Help, I often see my questions answered within a couple of minutes.

Aside from asking questions about the module, sometimes I see questions asked by other participants about real life applications of the concepts we have learnt. Other times, participants with prior business experience will also explore the concepts to a greater detail. These questions challenge me constantly as an HBX CORe student and will definitely benefit me in the long run.

Challenges of Time Management

One of the trickiest things when it comes to HBX is time management. With all the well-created, quality material, it definitely takes up a lot of time to go through it in detail. Furthermore, as I am currently working in the day, that means I only have night time to work on my modules. Juggling this over the past few weeks has been very challenging.

Sometimes I wish that I had dedicated a couple of weeks only for HBX CORe. This way I would not have to rush through the course content, making me a much better learner. Hence, I strongly recommend those who are interested in HBX CORe to take a few weeks off to do it, unless you are great at multi-tasking.

Changing Mindsets

Of course as a medical student, our daily knowledge staple revolves around how the body works. As such, many of HBX CORe’s content is completely new to me. In fact, it requires a whole change of mindset to understand the significance of what I am learning in HBX CORe. Initially, for my modules, my focus was on getting the concepts right and answering the quiz questions. However, as I proceeded, I realised that knowing how to apply such concepts to explain business phenomenon will be a much more effective way to learn.

Fortunately, HBX CORe is great at induction learning. It is designed in such a way that it encourages you to think about phenomenon rather than memorize concepts. In fact it is starting to become a habit, as these days I usually begin the day by reading the Wall Street Journal. Doing so helps me assess two things. Firstly, whether I can understand the business jargon that the articles contain. Secondly, whether I can spot any concepts that I had previously learnt in HBX CORe. Adopting this method of learning has definitely made my transition a lot smoother. 

CORe has been great so far and I cannot wait to see what each week has installed for us!

Topics: HBX CORe, Student Bloggers