Fall 2013


Fall 2013 was my first semester at Harvard Extension School. I was unsure about whether to pursue a certificate or a degree program and had no idea how easy or hard the courses would be at Harvard. After some initial thinking, I ended up choosing a course that would count towards both a certificate and a degree program.

MGMT E-5090: Crisis Management and Emergency Preparedness
One of the main reasons I chose this course was because the syllabus posted on the course website mentioned that this course needed just three assignments. All of which were take home essays. No additional projects or exams were required. It gave me an impression that the workload would not be significantly high and that I would be able to manage it along with working a full-time job.

Dr. Arnold Howitt is a really good professor and genuinely wants students to perform well in his course. The course is structured such that students have to read case studies and relevant material prior to the class. Dr. Howitt would then discuss the same in greater detail in class. I had a tough time following the class whenever I did not read the necessary materials before the class. But when I was prepared, I felt that Dr. Howitt did an excellent job of applying the theoritical concepts to the case study being discussed. I spent 3 – 4 hours per week to prepare for the class. Class participation either in-person or on the discussion forums is mandatory. Though it is not mentioned in the syllabus, Dr. Howitt explicitly mentioned in the first class that class participation will be taken into account for deciding the final grade.

All the three assignments were take home essays. I am not great at essay writing and knew beforehand that I would end up spending a lot of time for each assignment. The assignment questions themselves were easy but I had to go through a lot of material to write an essay. Starting the essays early helped me with that. I was very happy with my first two assignments but was travelling overseas at the time of writing my third assignment and did not write it well.

In conclusion, this is an easy course with medium workload that made me a better writer at the end of the semester. I took it completely online and was able to complete it with ease alongside a full-time job.

Course Difficulty: Easy
Grade: A-

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