Liz Russell ’17 on the community at Columbia Business School.

Community building begins right at the start of the MBA program, as admitted students are assigned to clusters of 65 to 70 fellow students who take all of the first-year core classes together. As diverse as the class itself, each cluster is made up of people from all over the world, with a wealth of different skills, ideas, leadership styles, and backgrounds. By sharing so much of the academic experience together, clusters become especially close, and this closeness invites a richer learning environment, one where students are more comfortable challenging ideas — and each other — while working together to become transformative business leaders.

Learning Teams

Each cluster is further divided into learning teams, groups of about five students from diverse professional and personal backgrounds who complete assignments for most core courses as a team. Not only do learning teams offer insights into other areas of expertise and styles of learning, working intimately with the same people across a range of subjects helps students connect the dots between the different areas of study in the core, creating a more holistic, real-world, and lasting education.