So, have you heard that Booth has a flexible curriculum? When I was initially doing research into business schools I felt this feature came across loud and clear every time I looked at Booth, but I didn’t really understand why it was significant. Maybe it was just my background in economics, but it seemed to me that if I was going to make a significant investment in business school, I should have the freedom to choose what classes I wanted to take and when. Since then I have realized that this is a truly unique aspect of Booth, and have found that it has been extremely helpful for me in three major aspects of my B-school experience:
Recruiting: As a potential career switcher coming into school, I realized right away that there were several holes in my resume (namely operations) that I wanted to be able to fill in with coursework so I could differentiate myself to recruiters. Since I didn’t have to wait until a specific time in the core curriculum to get to these subjects I was able to take them right away. Once companies started interviewing on campus I found it incredibly helpful to be able to speak intelligently about the areas where I didn’t have any career experience, but had taken a class in order to fill in the gap.
Tailored Curriculum: Since each class at business school is a huge investment of both your time and efforts, it’s important that you are able to make each class count. At Booth you only get 20 chances to take the courses from the professors that you want, so it’s important that you’re able to maximize which classes you’re able to take. In this regard, the flexible curriculum is a huge benefit in that you are not forced to take the basic courses in each functional area (e.g. finance, marketing, economics, etc.) but can instead shift to more or less advanced coursework depending on your previous schooling and professional experience. For me this meant taking advantage of some great beginning-level marketing and accounting courses, while skipping ahead to some challenging but incredibly rewarding economics and statistics classes. Booth truly offers you the opportunity to take advantage of curriculum that is not only just flexible across subject areas, but also in the depth to which you can start diving into these areas!
Free Time: A final advantage of the flexible curriculum is that you have a lot of freedom to schedule your classes when you want. Lots of people prefer not to take Friday morning classes (after social activities on Thursday nights), or even sometimes schedule themselves a 5 day weekend. For me, this flexibility in scheduling has been a huge benefit towards affording me time to spend with my family. B-school can get pretty hectic, but this quarter I was able to structure my schedule so that I can walk my oldest daughter to pre-school almost every morning. The flexibility that Booth’s curriculum offers has allowed me to effectively manage and schedule around priorities such as my family, and has gone a long way towards helping me maintain balance during school.
You could probably ask any Boothie what they like about the flexible curriculum and get a different answer, but for me these have definitely had the biggest impact on my experience. Overall, I think all of us have come to appreciate how advantageous it is to have this flexibility.