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HBX Business Blog

Students Offer Advice to Future CORe Cohorts

Posted by HBX on April 29, 2015 at 4:24 PM

This week, our HBX CORe student bloggers, ElizabethChelseaDan, and Sam, offer advice to incoming CORe participants - and to those thinking of applying to CORe. 

I have had several people reach out to me and ask some questions about CORe.  They are wondering about the learning experience, the material, the other participants, etc., but really what they are asking is, “is CORe worth it?”.

I have jumped on the phone with several of these people and hope that I have been able to offer some insight into CORe:

  • CORe is designed very well. The team is strong, and the program is well executed.
  • One of the strengths of CORe is the international makeup of the cohort and the community aspect of the platform.  I am learning a great deal from my peers in the cohort - from their experiences and from what they know.
  • The faculty are great and articulate their subjects well. 
  • There are many interesting and influential guest speakers in the videos who share insights into their experiences, industries, and companies.
  • CORe is definitely a strong time commitment, and a person has to be interested in actually learning, not just putting an accolade on his/her LinkedIn profile, to make the CORe experience be of value.
  • The course is designed in such a way that it is not really possible to skip ahead, so a semblance of time management is helpful.
  • I have not been in a full time MBA programme, but from what I have heard from those who have is that CORe covers quite a bit of material that is not covered in an MBA programme.  This means that there is added value for those considering or who have an MBA, or for those who are seeking to gain further knowledge in these fields outside of an MBA. 

My main advice for incoming students would be to get involved and focus on your time management.

By get involved, I mean participate in the Facebook group that HBX sets up for your cohort, and more importantly, make sure to participate in the “Peer Help” section on the platform (this bit impacts your grade!).

I’ve found that actively participating has helped me engage with the course in a different way by enhancing my understanding of the material through answering questions and reading through others’ questions and answers, which often have real life applications.

The other important thing I would focus on is keeping on top of the deadlines and working ahead if you possibly can. I have managed to be far enough ahead that I finish what is due a bit ahead of the deadlines, whilst still completing the modules set around the time that many other people in my cohort are completing the module, so there have been lots of opportunities for me to ask and answer questions.

Also, as some modules take more time than others, it’s good to be a bit ahead so that if you are, then completing the lengthier modules won’t be problematic for you

I have really enjoyed the course thus far and feel like I’ve learned a lot… I hope you make the most of your CORe experience! 

 My three tips for incoming students:

 1.  Organization

HBX CORe is an intensive program of limited duration. Therefore, you should organize your time appropriately and seriously during the eleven weeks of the course as well as for the preparation of the final exam.

Personally, I suggest setting aside three hours a day in order to go through the modules and an extra hour per day later in the day to review what you have learned until now in a specific module.

Regarding the exam preparation, use these three hours per day to go through the material again and the extra hour to analyze questions and answers from the quizzes and the peer help. Be rigorous and stick with your schedule because if you miss one or two days of work, you will encounter difficulties to catch up the delay.

  1. Write

Managing your time is one thing. Nevertheless, you should also be highly focused, especially if you do not have a business background. The concepts you learn at CORe will help you to gain basic fluency in essential business concepts and thinking.

I highly encourage taking notes. Get three notebooks (one for each course), make drawings, conceptualize things, and rewrite the notions you have learned with your words. Writing down the material with your own language will force you to understand and increase the odds to remember things you learn in the long run.

  1. Commitment

There are two approaches of commitment in CORe, and you should use both.

The first way is to be engaged in the peer help. Do not hesitate to strike up conversations. Discussions with others will always provide great insights on the concepts you are currently learning.

Using the intelligence of the crowd with help your learning process too. Answering questions from your peers will force you to write the things you have learned with your words, and this is best way to memorize things in a natural way.

The second method is more passive active but very useful too. Try to apply constantly your understanding of the CORe material to real-world articles and events. It is an exercise that will eventually test your ability to use the concepts you have learned but it is also a good way to realize quickly the benefits you can get from CORe!

Greetings from Spain!  This week my sister, who is studying in Paris, is on spring break, and I met her in Lisbon for a weeklong Iberian road trip. It's been a great trip so far, and after traveling across Portugal and Spain, I'll fly out of Barcelona on Sunday.  

Before coming here I considered ways to keep up with CORe work while traveling, but ultimately decided that it would be too difficult to bring my laptop, notebooks, and find time (and wifi!) to do coursework each day.

Instead I faced the daunting task of doing four modules in ten days to front load my work for the trip.  

I took advantage of a one week break in coursework to do future modules in advance. Modules are released several weeks before they are due, so I had no problem accessing the things I needed to work on.

Im very glad that I was essentially able to push my CORe break back by a week, and I can travel without having to work on modules. I was able to upload my weekly assignment from a cyber cafe in Seville, and I'm all up to date!

Tonight I take a high speed train to Barcelona for a weekend with friends. It's very refreshing to take a week off from CORe, and I'm particularly excited to work on the Economics for Managers module on Markets when I return to Boston. Updates to follow, hasta lluego! 

Topics: HBX CORe, Student Bloggers