While core curriculum is often a dreaded topic and subject of debate across America, Fordham has reinvented the core for business students into what Gabelli calls the Integrated Business Core. Completed mostly in your sophomore year, the integrated business core turns seven of your foundation business classes into fourteen split-semester classes that you take in a cohort each semester. While that sounds like a lot, let me simplify it for you. Instead of taking Intro to Management first semester and Intro to Strategy second semester, Gabelli splits up the classes into segmented classes Management 1 and Management 2, and Strategy 1 and Strategy 2. This way it allows you to integrate what you're learning in management with what you're learning in strategy, because in the real world all functions of business co-exist at once, so why shouldn't it be taught that way? And while on paper this sounds academically strenuous, the bulk of these classes only meet once a week as opposed to two or three times a week like a traditional class.
I also just mentioned how everything is taken in a cohort. For those of you that don't know, the cohort is your group of classes that you have in common with about 25 other students. So yes, just like in grade school, you'll have every class with the same 25 students in each and every class. While this sounds a bit boring and overwhelming, many of my friends, and myself included, love it. The community feeling you get from taking a cohorted schedule doesn't compare to anything else you'll ever experience in college.
|My dysfunctional IP Team trying to take a photo (I'm in the vest)|
Lastly, the biggest component of the cohort and the integrated core is the integrated project, or IP. The integrated project first semester sophomore year teaches you to work as a team, which is a prevalent setting in the business world. At the start of the semester, before classes even begin, there's a huge kick-off where everyone in your cohort is assigned and Integrated Project team and a Fortune-500 company. This sets the tone for the following semester, as your IP team will have to work together by integrating everything learned in your business classes to identify and create a solution for a problem or opportunity within the company you're researching. To make this more exciting, it's all a competition and the top teams at the end of the semester compete against each other in the "Core Bowl", and the winners take home $1,000 as a reward for conquering the integrated core. The IP and the cohort really emphasize teamwork and looking at a problem from every perspective of business, all part of what makes Gabelli graduates stand out from the rest of the crowd!