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I agree with some of the arguments my opponent has made. She stresses the need for pre-medical students to learn more about diagnostics to help with medical school. As far as training for continued schooling is concerned, I am in full support of pre-professionalism. This edification is fundamentally different from the pre-professionalism encouraged by the crux of her argument, though - that Brown should offer more career-focused classes. In my opinion, Brown should not encourage the use of class time for learning business leadership. In fact, we have resisted the temptation of having a business school altogether, and this is quite intentional. This defines Brown's identity and makes it a truly wonderful place.
So what is wrong with business or pre-professional programs? As a Wall Street Journal article pointed out in April, undergraduate business degrees "focus too much on the nuts and bolts of finance and accounting and don't develop enough critical thinking and problem-solving skills through long essays, in-class debates and other hallmarks of liberal-arts courses." According to the same article, many companies that used to look for business majors are now "looking for candidates with a broader academic background." This sounds like the education that Brown tries hard to foster.
Indeed, Brown stresses creativity, problem-solving and collaborative work. These are qualities that make our students happy, flexible and open-minded members of society, people that can come into a new experience and find great success. Though many Brunonians may find themselves mildly ill-prepared for mundane office work right after college, they will surely be well suited for greater life challenges, where creativity and critical thinking are stressed.
So my fault with Fuerbacher's argument is that it is too myopic. Could Brown students be a little more prepared for the first few years after college? Perhaps. Would Brown students be ill-prepared for graduate school, higher levels at companies or more creative fields if they wasted class time learning things you can pick up in training? Absolutely.
At the end of the day, the numbers don't lie. Brown has no trouble placing kids into medical schools or law schools. Applied Math-Economics graduates have no trouble finding finance or consulting jobs either - they will in fact have faced a much more rigorous math and economics curriculum then their business counterparts. Thus the Brown curriculum should continue to remain informed by research and discovery rather than by the needs of companies.



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