What is HBX CORe?
I had the opportunity to be a part of the February 2017 HBX Credential of Readiness (CORe) cohort. This online learning platform provides the benefit of experiencing Harvard courses on fundamentals of business thinking at your comfort and convenience. The courses
take an estimated ~150 hours. I spent time from February to June to cover the material.
The platform offers three courses – Financial Accounting, Economics for Managers, and Business Analytics taught by professor V.G. Narayan, Bharat Anand, and Janice Hammond respectively. Financial Accounting includes concepts on accounting equations, transactions, financial statements, journal entries, and cash flows. Economics for Managers covers supply, demand, markets, competition, and differentiation. Business Analytics dwells on summarizing data, sampling and estimation, hypothesis testing, and regression.
Why is it different from other online courses?
- One thing that stood out and was the most valuable feature to me was the ability to interact with other participants. Since your online classmates come from various parts of the globe, reading and responding to their perspectives greatly enriches the learning experience.
- HBX CORe offers real-world examples shared by company executives throughout the courses and thus helps to directly apply the concepts that are introduced.
What are some of the great features?
- Irrespective of your background, these courses are for everyone. The courses explain core concepts clearly with the underlying assumption that the material is new territory for you.
- It offers many options to pick for start dates and provides flexibility to complete modules at your own time and pace if you have other commitments such as a full-time job. These options also cover the material over 8 to 18 weeks, providing further flexibility to pick the pace that suits you best.
- Short video format along with interactive assignments help understand concepts.
- Weekly deliverables ensure that you spend the required time on each module for better material retention instead of rushing through it all at once.
- Peer feedback is encouraged consistently throughout the course since you are also graded for enhanced participation. More than often, your classmates help you understand the concept better by explaining their thought process or by helping in improving your response.
- HBX CORe also offers financial aid. Further information can be found here.
- Harvard has an unparalleled brand name. Upon completion, you receive a certificate from Harvard business school and HBX (except for pre-MBA HBS students). Through the undergraduate credit option, you receive eight undergraduate credits from Harvard extension school and Harvard summer school.
- Right off the bat, one notices the detailed attention paid to the user experience. As a computer engineer and artist, I appreciate the UI design. The platform is intuitive to use and consists of many “cool” features such as an interactive map where you can see which part of the world your active virtual classmates are from. The platform enables you to interact through comments, answer “cold calls”, have discussions, take part in team assignments, and experience a virtual case study classroom.
- Besides, you could also try it for and request a refund within 10 days if it isn’t a good fit (except if the courses are company sponsored)
Who is it for?
Irrespective of your background, if you are interested in learning and honing your business acumen, the CORe courses offer a balance of macro and microscopic view to build a great foundation.
- Though not a replacement for an MBA degree, CORe serves as a great refresher pre-matriculation.
- As a business owner from a non-business background, CORe courses are invaluable.
- For those debating whether to pursue an MBA, CORe serves as a great primer to test if an MBA is for you or not. The HBS MBA application asks for your grades in HBX CORe courses and good grades could be a nice add-on in the application. However, MBA applicants are judged holistically and enrolling in CORe alone will not guarantee admission to HBS.
As always, opportunity is what you make of it and if you put in the work, you will find HBX CORe courses practical, clear, and interactive. I personally found the course material quite challenging and hence, engaging and beneficial especially since I have had no prior business education. With opportunities to connect and make lasting connections with other like-minded participants and to gain real-world applicable knowledge, HBX has a lot to offer.
I hope this article helps you in learning more about HBX CORe and in making the decision whether it is right for you or not.
Tulika Gupta (MBA ’19) has worked as a Production Planner at Suncor Energy Inc, Canada’s largest integrated energy company and has 5 years of experience in the Canadian oil sands industry. Tulika was recognized as one of Alberta Oil Magazine’s 2016 “Top 35 under 35” in Canada’s energy sector and was awarded the “Young Women in Energy” award in 2015. This year, she was acknowledged as one of the 2017 Oilweek magazine’s “Rising star. She holds her B.A.Sc Honors in computer engineering from the University of Toronto and is a member of Harvard Business School, Class of 2019. Outside of work, Tulika has lived in 10 cities, is the 2016 Miss India Canada Second Runner-up, and a certified Reiki master. She is also passionate about encouraging women to pursue unconventional careers and emphasizing the importance of continuous learning in life.