Mobile apps that can smooth MBA path

FT bloggers offer their top choices for managing timetables and classmates
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Business school students need to maximise their study time, be able to contact classmates easily and keep abreast of extracurricular events. So which smartphone apps are the most useful when it comes to streamlining timetables and workload? The Financial Times’ MBA bloggers offer their top choices.

Jess Webb, at the University of Edinburgh Business School, says WhatsApp has been essential from day one. Its group conversation function means there is an all-class group and mini groups for assignments, treks and clubs.

“And someone is always online to help with questions,” she says. The app’s ability to work with international numbers and various languages really helps “when you have 23 nationalities in your cohort”, she says.

Her school offers easy access to course material through a mobile learning app called Blackboard, while ParticiPoll allows real-time online polling in class discussions.

Marta Szczerba favours GroupMe, a messaging app that works across smartphones, tablets and a desktop computer. The Harvard Business School student also relies on Venmo to make instant payments. She adds that HBS has two apps that were invaluable when trying to get an administrative grip on campus life. An app called Thrive provides everything from canteen opening times to fitness sessions, while Learning Hub lists details for all courses and classes.

Some apps can help in your preparations for an MBA. Apricot Wilson will start China Europe International Business School in Shanghai next year and is using Skritter to get up to speed with the language’s characters. “It lets you practice writing them on screen and then compares the character you have drawn with a flashcard,” she says.

But not everyone finds apps useful. Brian Parsons, at Warwick Business School, says he is forced to used Vitalsource Bookshelf, a reading app, and it is cumbersome at best.

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