Ross First-Year Core Classes: The Review

After 21 weeks and nine courses, my MBA class is finished with the Ross core curriculum first-year class set. These are the wide-ranging classes we all have to take before branching out in our second year into electives. There are a few slots for electives in the first year too, but most of the time is spent on dropping core bid-nass knowledge so we can all be well-rounded corporate leadaz of tomorrow.

So I’m turning tables up in this and giving each core class a grade, all using the non-lettered and happily-impossible-for-GPA-calculation Ross scoring system. (Excellent > Good > Pass > Low Pass > Fail). All you potential Ross School of Badass hustlaz can read up here for the info. This takes into account my background, which is that of a non-business dude, so people with financial or accounting experience probably had a much different set of opinions. I won’t be going into detail on the particular profs for each; I save that for my UMich course evaluations. I’ll also warn you that the particular makeup of your section will determine a lot of your class experience; fortunately, Section Six represents to the fullest.

And finally, if anyone stumbles on this and dislikes it, remember that grades don’t matter at Ross anyway. (A truly awesome fact during recruiting!)


ACC 502: Principles of Financial Accounting
Grading the Course: Pass

I think this grade had a lot to do with my professor, who was a super cool and chilled out guy but used a Socratic teaching method that took a lot of adjustment before we really got things. There’s some room for debate in accounting, but this class is based around reading and creating balance sheets and income statements, so it could have used a little more how and a little less why.

BE 502: Applied Microeconomics
Grading the Course: Pass

Again, nice professor, but the course material is exactly the same as an undergraduate microeconomics course. I don’t know why this is a 500-level graduate class. Still, it was a useful refresher, and I sucked at undergraduate econ. (My grade in this may or may not have been much of an improvement.)

STRATEGY 502: Corporate Strategy
Grading the Course: Excellent

There were plenty of times I hated this course, like when the professor called on me two times in one class and twice rebuked me with, “So it’s exactly the opposite of what Patrick said.” But I give it an excellent because this is a good hard-assed course that makes you back up your opinions with solid business thinking. Both professors love to cold call and get in your face on your answer, often reacting dismissively, but that just makes it more of a challenge. So this one is good. It’s also good for identifying the gunners in your section, because they can’t resist the sound of their own voice.

OMS 502: Applied Business Statistics
Grading the Course: Good

A lot like the statistics class you took in undergrad, but extremely well-organized with two very likeable professors. Seriously, the handouts, quizzes and material were perfectly structured. The final, however, was a total brain-melter. We got sucker-punched by that one.


FIN 502: Financial Management
Grading the Course: Excellent

This was a weird grade: while our prof for this class was pretty bad, the material was really interesting and useful. I think I may have gotten more out of this class than any of the others, and that was even with The Count. (Long story.) Good stuff for a non-numbers man like myself.

MKT 503: Marketing Management
Grading the Course: Good

Marketing seems like a gooey subject, but this class is all about a structured approach to the topic. It does a good job of it, too: we do have a marketing-school reputation to maintain. I gave it a good because it’s still tough to put a structure on a subjective thing, but I did like the approach.

MO 503: Human Behavior and Organization
Grading the Course: Low Pass

I had to give it the dreaded LP. This was by far the least-favorite course across the MBA 1 class. Every day brought new complaints about this one from my classmates, and we in fact bonded over it. The gist of my complaint: It’s a good idea to teach future managers how to handle difficult interpersonal situations, but it would be a much better approach to teach us tactics for handling those situations instead of creating “awareness” that situations exist. Frankly, we all know that already.


ACC 552: Managerial Accounting
Grading the Course: Good

I had a tough time grasping a lot of the concepts here, but plenty of people have pointed out how useful it is. And I agree: the big point here is cost allocation, and that’s certainly going to drive a lot of management decisions. Hopefully I can get things straight by the time I have to use it.

OMS 552: Operations Management
Grading the Course: Good

I liked this course a lot, and Ross is apparently ranked No. 1 for operations instruction. (That being production efficiency and such.) While the course is really cool and both profs are great, I wonder how much I will use process flow and design. I hope I do, though tech and media are a little less obvious in their need for ops calculations and explorations.

So there you go, readaz: your guide to the Ross core curriculum. The worst part of being done is that I won’t get to take classes anymore where all of my section is in attendance. Bummer.

Come this May I’ll be able to grade MAP as well, but I’m working on that one.


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One Response to “Ross First-Year Core Classes: The Review”

  1. Thanks Patrick for this information!
    It is really helpful in order to grasp a view of whats in the 1st year…

    What about the MAP? any change of a short review of it or of other courses?


    P.S. GrooveShark is truly awesome! I’ve got also friends at work using it!

    Posted by MAP Review | October 28th, 2009 at 3:46 pm

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