Albers School of Business and Economics
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Bridge MBA Blog Post

  • What is a Cohort Anyway?

    I remember when I first discovered that the Bridge MBA program operated in a cohort style and thinking to myself, “I’m pretty sure I know what a cohort is, but let’s look it up just to be sure.” So I looked it up and lo and behold, I was correct in my thinking and thus a genius. Okay not actually… but my gut matched the definition of: people banded together or treated as a group. This in an academic setting implies a group of students who follow the exact same curriculum (attending the same lectures and registering for the same courses each quarter) through the entire completion of their degrees. This also implies a smaller class setting ranging anywhere from three to thirty students depending on the size of the cohort. These implications and more have come to fruition through my time in the Bridge MBA program and I am here to tell you that cohorts—specifically this cohort—is awesome. 

    The 2013-2014 Bridge MBA cohort consists of 17 students who all know each other, and know each other well. This is one of my favorite experiences thus far in the program. I have mentioned in earlier blogs about the pre-program retreat where the cohort got a chance to break the ice and get to know one another over the course of a weekend. I must say, it has been about five months since that retreat, and it is remarkable how well we know each other and get along with one another. Many of us have developed friendships which extend beyond the classroom and have even networked with each other to obtain work/internship opportunities. In my opinion, the best part about us getting along so well together is how it affects the classroom experience.

    This quarter it was fun to see our professors first react when they saw how comfortable we are with one another. We’re not afraid to speak in class, when it comes to class participation, and we are also not afraid to make the occasional joke (okay, I shouldn’t speak on behalf of everybody, but some of us do enjoy making everyone smile). It makes for a great class environment in which laughing is a consistent occurrence that inevitably enhances our enjoyment in class.

    So what is a cohort anyway? Originally I thought it was simply small class sizes where every student takes the same classes. However, a cohort is much more than that. A cohort is a family. A family with the same goal who works together to achieve these same goals, which in this case, is to graduate with a master’s degree in Business Administration from one of the most prestigious schools in Washington. Getting to know my classmates has been one of the most enriching experiences about this program. I will be forever networked with these individuals, and, much like I can rely on them now, I know I will be able to rely on them in the future. I now know truly what a cohort is in academia and, I must say, I have an amazing family.

    By: Roger Pierce, 2014 Bridge MBA candidate

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