At some point throughout their academic career, every student has encountered a class or two that they’ve found really difficult. As a business school that prides itself on a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum, these classes might come a bit more often at Michigan Ross. I asked three Ross BBAs what their hardest class was so far as an undergrad, and how they were able to succeed in a challenging environment. Here’s what they revealed.
“In my experience at Ross so far, my hardest class has been Accounting 300. Usually, I am very good with quantitative material, but accounting applications were not something I was used to. The toughest part was using what we had learned in lecture and applying it to different scenarios. The class itself, although very challenging, was very well taught. My professor was very engaging in class and provided plenty of office hour opportunities for students to succeed in her class.
There were many ways I succeeded in the class. Many people were intimidated and too busy to go to the office hours, but I would make sure to work them into my schedule at least once a week. I had a lot of one-on-one time with the GSIs (Graduate Student Instructors). The GSIs are a very valuable resource, so I would definitely recommend going to (their) office hours as much as possible. Additionally, doing all the practice problems was also very helpful!”
“The hardest class at Ross was actually my introductory class, BA 200, Businesses and Leaders: The Positive Differences. What made this class so hard for me was the fact that I was new to the format of the class and the fact that the material tended to be more theoretical. We often had to base our material on real life problems, and often, real life problems tend to have multiple answers. As a result, our own problems in class tended to also have multiple ‘right’ answers. Specifically, I remember one problem on an exam based on a negotiation case study and exercise we had. We had brainstormed so many different ways to solve the problem in class that the right answer to the question became very muddled.
I mainly got through the class by taking it day-by-day. Basically, I tried my best on each assignment, then — based on my grade — decided what to do on future assignments. I didn’t exactly get the best grade in the class, but I did learn some lessons along the way. The biggest and most useful lesson I learned is how to think about things from an analytical business perspective. This is a skill that is constantly being honed throughout the Ross curriculum.”
“Business school is not exactly a walk in the park. I knew this when I signed up to attend one of the top-ranked undergraduate business schools in America. My first year as a business student, however, I breezed through the classes and found them super intriguing. Then, the fall of my second year as a business student, I was required to take a class titled Technology & Operations 313 and I was finally able to confirm all of the rumors about the rigor of the program. The class is designed to teach students about operations management. The concepts taught in the classroom such as ‘six sigma’ and ‘just in time manufacturing’ seemed easy enough, but when applied to homework problems that focused on real-world scenarios, it seemed impossible.
This was a really good lesson in order to learn the complexity of the landscape businesses must make decisions in. As I was struggling with the out-of-lecture work for this course, I knew I needed to seek help so I reached out to the professor and became a regular at her office hours. The biggest lesson I learned from this experience is that if you are struggling, the best thing you can do is ask for help. It’s not ‘failure’ to admit that you don’t understand something. The only time you can truly fail is if you fail to seek help when it is needed. With the guidance of my professor, I was able not only to achieve a grade in the class that I was proud of, but I gained more confidence in asking for the help needed to be successful in difficult endeavors.”
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