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HBX Business Blog


Posted by Julian Tan on June 4, 2015 at 2:34 PM

CORe has been a nice addition to my holiday schedule, giving me a sense of purpose while I enjoy some time off before beginning work at the Boston Consulting Group in September. But the past couple of weeks have been somewhat more frenetic than usual.

I started CORe within a week of completing my PhD, and last week saw me officially graduate from Cambridge (finally!). It was a wonderful commencement ceremony and I had my family over from Malaysia with me, which meant that I had a busier than normal few weeks showing them around the UK to savor sights such as the ancient Roman baths in the historic city of Bath and the white cliffs of Dover. In addition, the academic papers I had submitted for journal publication had been reviewed and so there were a few things I needed to finalize as well. Therefore, I really did need to plan my HBX CORe time carefully around these activities and indeed ahead of these activities to ensure that I didn’t fall behind.

I found myself staying up a little later every night and even sneaking in some library time while I was back at Cambridge for my graduation to catch up on CORe. Here’s some photographic evidence:


Cambridge University Library

It was a rather intense couple of weeks that made me realize that this course really does require a certain level of commitment and perhaps equally importantly, stamina. The course content gets progressively more complex and difficult, and true commitment from the very beginning is imperative. Much of the rest of my cohort is taking CORe whilst being in full-time employment. Some even have the added responsibility of raising a family, being young parents themselves. I can only imagine how busy life must be for them. My cohort is probably superhuman.

However, it has been an incredibly rewarding experience so far. I measure my progress not by the quiz scores I score every week, but by the true practical value CORe aims to deliver - how well-versed am I in the language of business?

And I have quite literally been astounded by the results. Earlier this week, I came across the news that Deutsche Bank had settled allegations from the Securities and Exchange Commission over an accounting scandal that the bank was involved in at the height of the 2008 financial crisis:

Prior to CORe I probably would not have understood the details of the scandal, but now, I completely understood how Deutsche Bank violated the accounting principles of conservatism, materiality and consistency by omitting a risk called gap risk from their financial statements, which led to their penalization.

Another relevant example is a recent viral article making the rounds on the Internet on how a German scientist fooled millions into thinking that eating chocolate helps weight loss. Among the myriad of techniques to produce the hoax was “p-hacking”, which thanks to the Business Analytics course on hypothesis testing and false positives, I completely understood.

It has been a really fun few weeks and I am enjoying every minute of my summer holiday. I will sign off for now with some pictures from my week. Enjoy!


The Roman Baths, Bath


Dover Castle (on the left) and The White Cliffs of Dover (on the right)


PhD Graduation, Cambridge University

Topics: HBX CORe, Student Bloggers