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What a week! I just wrapped up my first round of midterms for I-Core (Carlson's Immersion Core that most students take in the spring of their sophomore year). I-Core is comprised of four classes--marketing, finance, operations management, and strategic management. The goal of the curriculum is to integrate these four strong business principles across all disciplines. I-Core is intensive in both individual work and team projects.

What I love most about I-Core is how easily you can see the importance that different areas of business have in running a successful business plan. We have the opportunity to do a lot of hands-on applications to reinforce this. For example, in marketing, we are applying the principles we learn in class to a series of papers on Amazon's Kindle. The paper is not just limited to marketing concepts. It includes details about the financing of Kindle, its production, and the strategy behind the product. My favorite I-Core project is an intensive, semester-long case study of an industry comparison of Barnes and Noble and Amazon for my strategic management class.

Another great thing about I-Core is that it gives students the chance to explore different areas of business before declaring a major. By the time students are expected to declare a major, they have already taken classes in management, marketing, finance, accounting, and operations management. I was fairly certain I was going to be a marketing major before starting I-Core, and the enjoyment I have gotten out of my marketing class has strongly confirmed my interests.

Academics aside, I-Core has also given me the chance to meet lots of new students. Being with the same group of students for all four classes allows not only for easy scheduling for class projects, but also for the opportunity to get to know your classmates well. The in-class activities and group projects have led to after-class lunches and between-class trips to Starbucks with new friends. To me, this is just the beginning to lasting friendships that are one of the great things about college!


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