Pre-MBA Math: Boosting Quant Skills With Online Courses
By: Divinity Matovu // I've been a huge advocate for supplemental math courses for MBA applicants with little to no quantitative backgrounds. In a previous post "Advice for Pre-MBAs from Non-Quantitative Backgrounds," I shared a video blog about my personal experience taking Calculus and Statistics courses at UCLA Extension. Taking pre-MBA math courses is a great way for non-quant applicants to demonstrate self-awareness and a pro-active attitude towards addressing a professional growth area. 
Although I've taken two courses in the past year, I am continuing my preparation for Wharton's core curriculum by taking two online courses: "Math For Business" and "Accounting." The courses are provided by Wharton. The material is not difficult and I surprised myself by actually enjoying the challenge of mastering the quizzes and end-of-module practice sets. Initially, I did not think I had the discipline for online courses. I felt I needed to actually go to a real, live classroom and have the opportunity to learn from, and interact with, a real professor. The online courses I am taking this summer have opened my eyes to the benefits of e-learning and I see no evidence that my learning outcomes will be different.
Here are the top 3 things I love about online courses.
  1. Flexibility: I can open my laptop whenever I feel like it to complete learning modules. My daughter's naptime, bedtime and early mornings before she wakes up are optimal times for me to complete online lessons. 
  2. Self-Paced: If I feel like completing three hours - or only 30 minutes - of lessons, I can. July 25th is my deadline to complete my online courses, but I have the power to pace my self over the next 4 weeks to complete my work. 
  3. Permanent Content: Students have the ability to re-watch and re-visit online lessons with permanent content. Live, in-class learning can sometimes move at a rapid pace leaving students dumbfounded as the professors zip through complex topics. Online learning gives students the opportunity to review information at a slower pace and go back and re-watch lessons they may be struggling with. 
For moms, I definitely think the flexibility, self-pacing and permanent content availability advantages of online learning cannot be overstated, especially as we see more and more women with children opting not only for supplemental online courses but fully integrated online MBAs. For me, the networking, job recruiting, personal development, and leadership opportunities that come with a full-time MBA outweigh the flexibility of an online MBA; however, it is a feasible choice for some women. As education costs continue to soar, online learning is becoming a more cost-effective option for thousands of people at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Ultimately, you should make the decision that works best for your family and we hope this content has been helpful. 
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