Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday FAQ: Flexible Curriculum & Networking

The Chicago GSB has an approach to curriculum that is different from other MBA programs. There is only one truly required class, LEAD, the leadership class for first year students. In addition, LEAD is the only class with a structured cohort and learning team system. Other than that, the Chicago GSB curriculum is very flexible and highly customizable. There are many benefits to this system, but people often wonder about the trade-off. A question that comes up frequently is,
"If the cohorts exist for only one class and for only one quarter, are you still able to create a diverse network of friends at the GSB?"
The answer is yes. In fact, many of us feel that the flexibility of the curriculum actually enables us to interact and form friendships with even more people than we would under a more extensive and structured cohort system. Rather than taking core classes with the same group of first years, you may end up in an elective class with a mix of first and second years as early as your very first quarter on campus. Each class is a different set of people, and you can form study groups with different people. In fact, over the course of your 20 classes at the GSB, you could theoretically have 20 unique study groups with no repeats.

Beyond classes, there are many ways to meet people. Connections can start before classes do via Random Walks. Other connections are made through student groups, social events like LPF and TNDC, the GBC mentor program, ski trip, spring break trips, and job treks (Bank Week, Brand Week, and West Quest). Or just spend the lunch hour in the Winter Garden at HPC (pictured at right), which is the social hub of the GSB.

And of course, there are always the friends you make in your LEAD cohort and learning team.

Want to discuss this topic some more? Head on over to the Chicago GSB Discussion Forums