MS in Commerce Blog

What is the Integrated Core Experience (ICE)?

The Integrated Core Experience (ICE) in the M.S. in Commerce Program offers a unique and interactive approach to learning course concepts through real-world content. The curriculum allows students to directly apply what they have learned between courses, connecting course concepts and promoting a deeper understanding of business subjects.

Caleb Huang M.S. in Commerce '24 discusses the Integrated Core Experience

By Caleb Huang (M.S. in Commerce ’24)

Defining the Integrated Core Experience

ICE stands for Integrated Core Experience. It’s a unique and interactive way of setting up our course curriculum, allowing students to learn course concepts from real-world content. My favorite course is GCOM 7010: Global Strategy and Systems, where each course concept was taught by using real-life businesses and their qualities as examples. Not only do you learn from what is directly going on around you, but each course is set up to let you directly transfer and apply what you know between courses. Every course concept is interconnected and will help you understand more about specific subjects and the overall field of business.

For example, we could integrate course concepts between finance and strategy classes. In global strategy, we discussed the strategies and frameworks that Starbucks had developed, used, and adapted to gain competitive advantages and sustain its success throughout the years. While in finance, we had the opportunity to analyze financial statements and discuss different topics regarding their financial decision-making and success. The opportunity to connect the dots on the same company between classes allows you to think like a real business leader while still in an academic setting.

My classmates and I have already noticed changes: We think more like business-minded individuals, identify course concepts in our daily lives, and work cohesively as teams by communicating effectively.

ICE Curriculum Focuses on Teamwork

One big thing that I would also like to emphasize is how highly our curriculum and our professors value teamwork. There is no shortage of teamwork in this program – sometimes it can even feel a bit exhausting – but the growth we get from it is priceless. There is also a bit of adjustment in terms of block scheduling. There are two sections of students: Section 1 (meets earlier at 8 a.m.), and Section 2 (meets later at 9 a.m. or later), in which class times are staggered. Our cohort of 120-130 students is split between these sections and broken down into teams of four to five to work on assignments together. It is crucial to stay on top of your schedule and to make the necessary adjustments to have a challenging yet rewarding experience!

The M.S. in Commerce Program is unique: You will have classmates from all sorts of cultural, academic, and professional backgrounds. The opportunity to work alongside this variety of people is something that is not to be taken for granted. In just three months, I’ve already noticed a large improvement in communication and teamwork skills and have also had some of the most interesting and enriching interactions in my life with my classmates.

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