MBA Boot Camp at Columbia Business School
On January 5 and 6, 2008 we were busy at our 2-day course MBA Boot Camp – Communication and Culture held in conjuction with Columbia University’s Chazen Institute International Orientation. Manhattan Review instructors John Beer and Susan Civale taught a diverse group of non-native English speaking Columbia MBA students. The course covered an array of what we call Smart Business Talk topics, such as:
- Accent Reduction
- Grammar Specifics
- Effective Writing
- Cultural Etiquette
- Useful Common Idioms
- Sports-Related Expressions
- Presentational Skills
Coffee and breakfast were provided in the mornings, which jump-started full days of learning and interaction. The classroom was a good size, tiered, and half-circle shaped, which facilitated interaction between instructor and students. Each student received personalized instruction especially on the accent reduction sections. They enjoyed the interaction and enthusiasm from our instructors.
Students were intrigued by the lessons covering sports-related expressions. They learned about phrases such as “the ball’s in one’s court” and when to appropriately use them. They also learned origins of idioms and common uses. For example, Winston Churchill coined the phrase “blood, sweat and tears” in his first speech as prime minister.
One of the favorite components of the seminar was when students could work together on group presentations. During this section, students were put into small groups and given a topic that needed to be applied to their various cultures. For example, one group had to present on common practices, regulations, and codes in high schools from their own cultures. Students were eager to learn about each other’s cultural practices and norms.
Students found the individual presentation section to be the most challenging yet rewarding experience. Unlike the group presentations, this section involved no preparation time. Each student was given a topic and then had to address the audience with a short presentation. Prior to the students’ performances, they reviewed presentational skills about both verbal and non-verbal communication. Impromptu presentations, although challenging, are common in both B-school classes and the work place. These kinds of presentation skills are essential for the field.
We work hard to ensure that students who seek to attend B-school can achieve their goals whether they wish to pursue their degree in their native country or travel aboard. This is why we offer TOEFL, Career Training, and Advanced English courses in addition to GMAT courses. We take pride in the positive feedback received from students and in our relationships with various highly regarded B-schools.
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