Portland Business Journal reporter Matthew Kish writes what it’s like to be a Knight-Bagehot fellow at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Kish writes, “The backbone of the program is a rigorous course of study. Bagehots basically get carte blanche at the registrar’s office. They can take classes in business, journalism, law or public policy, whatever is most beneficial.
“Most fellows focus on business classes. Bagehots are essentially treated like first-year MBA students — complete with the zany orientation week, immersion in a ‘cluster’ and nonstop invitations to social events.
“I took accounting, finance, macroeconomics, private equity and management at the business school. I found each incredibly challenging and intellectually satisfying.
“The accounting midterm and finals were the most difficult tests I have ever taken. Students get four hours to make sense of a spaghetti of financial transactions and journal entries. By the time the proctor calls ‘pencils down,’ students need to have produced a balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement.
“Adding to the stress, Columbia Business School grades students on a curve. Many of my classmates worked in finance and consulting before enrolling at Columbia, meaning my assignments were graded, literally, alongside work from a former Goldman Sachs trader and a former JPMorgan investment banker.”
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