Harvard Business School’s “HBX,” provider of “HBX CORe” is now Harvard Business School Online

As many of you may already know, Harvard Business School Online is an online learning platform that provides engaging, immersive courses that can help MBA applicants get up to speed before applying to business school and professionals of all levels advance in their careers. Formerly HBX, Harvard Business School Online has recently rebranded as they continue to expand their course offering, providing more opportunities for those who want to learn and grow in business.

Recently, our fearless leader, Kaneisha Grayson sat down with Patrick Mullane, Executive Director of Harvard Business School Online to talk about this name change and what else is new for HBS Online. Below, we’ll cover what Mullane had to say about the rebrand and what the program offers as well some insight into how HBS Online can help pre-MBA students as they prepare to apply to a rigorous MBA program.

Watch the video interview between Kaneisha and Patrick Mullane below or continue reading to learn:

What’s in a Name? Harvard Business School Online Rebrands

HBX announced in January 2019 that it was rebranding to Harvard Business School Online as a way to raise awareness for how the program extends Harvard’s reach through online courses. According to Mullane, when the program was first launched as HBX in 2014, many online education providers at the time were including an “X” to indicate that they were online.

As the program grew, they wanted to differentiate Harvard’s online program from other massive open online courses (MOOCs). They also felt like it wasn’t clear that this program was a part of Harvard Business School.  They wanted to identify more closely with the institution, so they removed the X and renamed it – Harvard Business School Online.

With the name change, some MBA applicants and other Harvard Business School Online alum may be curious as to how they should list this on their resume. Though HBS Online will not be reissuing the paper certificates they send out upon completion, those who have completed CORe or any other HBS Online classes should refer to it as Harvard Business School Online in places like their resume or on LinkedIn.

Let’s Talk About Harvard Business School CORe (Credential of Readiness)

If you’re applying to business school, you may have heard Kaneisha talk about Harvard Business School Online’s CORe courses. These three courses – Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, Financial Accounting – are taught by HBS faculty through the HBS Online platform. These courses provide a solid foundation for pre-MBA students who want to know the basics before starting to apply to business school.

Though the CORe courses used to be offered only as a bundle, you can now take them unbundled. In addition to these three courses, HBS Online is also offering additional course options on a variety of other business topics like Sustainable Business Strategy and Negotiation Mastery. HBS Online plans to continue to expand their course offering as they find available faculty. They’ll also be working more with other schools to provide classes that span multiple disciplines.

Kaneisha offers this advice, “I recommend the entire [HBS CORe] bundle for your application. But if for some reason you just crushed one of those classes and you know you don’t need to retake it, it is available unbundled so you can take just one of the three courses.”

Patrick Mullane agrees, saying, “If you’re applying to [business] school, I think CORe is great. If you’ve already taken something like that or you’re a business undergrad, I don’t think it hurts to take some of the other disciplines. I always say when people ask me about applying to business school that showing an interest, aptitude, and motivation to take extra courses before you apply… I think can be very helpful.”

Though you should take any course that you will find helpful or that you’re interested in, Kaneisha warns applicants that there is a diminishing return. Taking all 11 courses does not necessarily give you an edge during the application process.

HBS Online vs. MOOCs

A question we often get from MBA applicants at The Art of Applying is why HBS Online? Why should I pay for HBS Online courses when I can take other course for free or a lesser price?

One major way that HBS Online differs from other MOOCs is in their learning platform. HBS Online designed their own software to create the online learning platform, which gives them better control over the student’s learning experience. Mullane says, “We hear from people all the time who have taken HBS Online courses and other MOOCs that HBS Online is much more seamless and integrated – a better learning experience.

The difference between HBS Online and other MOOCs is about more than just technology. Harvard Business School is very much about the case method of study. The case method of study is learning effectively through storytelling. They present to you a real manager with a real problem with a real company. Then, they ask you to step into their shoes and contemplate what you would do in that situation.

At HBS, you follow this method of study with a community of online learners. The courses are not on-demand so you are taking them with a cohort who is working on the material alongside you. It’s not a lecture. The faculty is just a guide. The importance of this is that you come to the conclusion yourself. You’re not just absorbing information, but you’re thinking through the problem yourself. This sticks with students so much more than a lecture.

Harvard Business School Online provides the closest experience that you will get to taking case-based courses on the Harvard campus. Not only are you taking courses guided by tenured Harvard Business School professors, but you’re going through each course with a cohort, working on the same types of cases as HBS students.

HBS Online Celebrates Success

When Kaneisha asked Patrick Mullane what HBS Online was celebrating lately, student success was at the top of the list. Recently, HBS Online surveyed about 1,000 previous course participants, and the results are clear:

  • 1 in 4 said that HBS Online courses helped them get a promotion.
  • 1 in 3 said the courses helped them launch a new career.
  • About 50% of respondents got increased attention from recruiters after taking the courses.

What’s more is that over 90% of respondents said that the courses increased their confidence. HBS Online courses allow students and professionals to better to understand the language of business and be able to participate in the conversation while making positive impacts at their organization.

For more information on Harvard Business School Online, visit https://online.hbs.edu/.

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