This HBS Program May Be The Best Way To Prep For Your MBA

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One critique of CORe leveled by its graduate on Reddit is that the content has changed little since the program was launched in 2014. Patrick Mullane addresses this point directly. Change is coming, he says.

“We’re currently going through a review process to figure out what sort of updates we want to make to it, to have any new cases in there, to update any concepts we feel could be explained better,” Mullane says. “Or again, some concepts are going through a review process now that I think over the next year to two years we’ll be rolling out, along with some updates to the courses in order to make sure we don’t fall behind.”

Additionally, he says, HBS Online is unveiling standalone courses that students can add to CORe to make their own flexible curriculum.

“There are other courses outside of CORe that focus on any particular topics, and we have one coming out next year, and this is on alternative investments,” Mullane says. “We recently had a leadership course come out. There’s the second leadership course we’re going to do that’ll be coming up next year as well. So we continue to make those standalone courses that students also can bundle together and make your own curriculum as we grow our portfolio.”


Lexi Whelan is growing her portfolio, too. After business school, she says, she expects to leave advertising.

“I’m really focused and interested in taking the experiences that I’ve had from advertising,” she says. “The beautiful thing about working in advertising is that you get to touch so many different companies and verticals and you’re exposed to so much in a really short amount of time, and you get to be an expert really quickly. And for me, I think, marketing is a slice of the pie, of a really big interesting pie, and my goal is to pivot into more of a business development role in strategic partnerships, with the goal of being able to blend my marketing knowledge with how a business can grow, and create those opportunities to have a more cohesive identity and brand experience for the end consumer.”

No matter where she goes to school next year, she credits CORe with being a springboard to a new career.

“The way that CORe is set up for you to learn, I found to be immensely wonderful and helpful for my style of learning,” Whelan says. “I don’t do well with, ‘Here’s the textbook, read it, here’s a quiz.’ I don’t know if anyone really does, but I certainly don’t. And I just found that the way they have these teachers talking to the camera and teaching you these concepts, it feels like you’re talking with them, even though you’re not in a live classroom. And then the added elements throughout the course as you’re learning: the fact that there are short-answer questions, there’s cold-call drills — you’re actually tested on your knowledge throughout in different ways, all the different ways that people learn. For me, I was able to really retain the information much more. And since it’s being taught through the case study method, you’re recognizing these big names and you’re understanding the debacles that they went through and what the results were.

“And I actually will say one more thing. I just really loved the sense of community that I found out of it. I was in the November cohort, and we had a Facebook group with all the same people who were taking it at the same time. And the fact that you’re in this environment with others who are all over the world, and you’re posting questions or you’re posting, ‘Wow, this is really hard,’ and some people are amazing and they’re juggling a full-time job and kids and doing all this stuff with this — but you have that sense of support, that you’re all in it together. It was just really great. There was a really good showing from people in my cohort and I think it just made everyone feel very much a part of the makeup of what HBS Online is trying to do and trying to achieve. So all in all, I really can’t sing its praises enough.”

Connect with Harvard Business School’s Online CORe Program

Click here for an overview of Harvard Business School Online’s CORe program.


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