Business students required to have PC laptops

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    The Neeley School of Business is mandating that all students must have Windows-based laptops, and not Macs, effective this summer.

    A flyer attached to a business school admission email detailed the new PC laptop requirements. The flyer also said that most business school textbooks are tailored to the PC platform.

    Many business students who currently use Macs, such as sophomore accounting and finance double major Nikki Carmody, are upset with the new requirement.

    “At first I was very frustrated that this new requirement was just placed upon us,” said Carmody. “Now I understand it a little bit better, but I’m still bitter that I’ll have to go out and buy a new computer.”

    Lynn Muller, assistant dean of undergraduate programs, said the new requirement was made because most businesses use PC systems. She also said the decision was made because PC’s are especially valuable in the business school curriculum, including courses revolving around Microsoft Excel.

    Some students such as Wills Hirschberg, a sophomore accounting and business information systems double major, are enthusiastic about the computer change.

    “I’m excited about this change. In the real business world, most forms of businesses use PCs. Even though I use a Mac now, I like that I will get used to a PC before I leave college,” Hirschberg said.

    Hirschberg also recognized that it might be difficult for some students to afford an additional laptop, especially if they bought a Mac in hopes that it would serve as their computer throughout college.

    “Now, getting the news that their computers aren’t going to work here anymore, I’m sure that’s very disappointing to some students,” Hirschberg said.

    The Neeley School is looking for students to get a PC netbook that can run Office applications, not a laptop that would serve as a desktop replacement, Jeff Stratman, professor and department chair of information systems and supply chain management, said.

    A netbook is a category of smaller, more lightweight and less expensive laptops that lack the features and computing power of regular laptops, but are capable of accomplishing most business school-related tasks.

    The cost of a basic netbook that would enable to students to learn the basic skills that employers are looking for would be around $250, roughly the cost of some textbooks, Stratman said.

    Other students such as Blake Neuman, a sophomore marketing major, suggested an alternative to the strict summer deadline for all business students to have PC laptops.

    “It’s tough to ask all these students who have Macs to go out and buy another computer,” Neuman said. “Maybe the new business majors could be grandfathered in, and all future classes would know about this requirement before they apply to the business school.”

    The PC laptop requirement will go into effect this summer, and all students are expected to have PC laptops by the start of the fall semester.