MBA Admissions News Roundup

  

  • On September 7th and 8th business schools all over the world will be taking part in The Economist Group‘s Which MBA? MBA Online Fair. Don’t miss this opportunity to research different programs and engage with admissions officers, deans and recent graduates at your top choice schools –No travel requiredRegister today!
  • GMAC has posted its first article in a series of Graduate Management News articles that will help MBA applicants navigate the four new question formats appearing on the GMAT exam in 2012.  Each of the additional articles is accompanied by a video that further explains the new types of GMAT questions.
  • US News examines the growing number of MBA students using their management degree to go into the nonprofit sector and examines some of the MBA programs that guide students in the nonprofit direction. The Social Enterprise Initiative at Harvard Business School, the Center for Social Innovation at Stanford Graduate School of Business, The Social Enterprise at Kellogg (SEEK) program, and the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford’s Saïd Business School, are just a few of the programs to help MBA students integrate the business and nonprofit worlds.
  • Businessweek takes a look at a new test, the Certified Business Laureate Exam, which is a standardized business skills test for those planning on applying for entry-level corporate jobs. Guy Friedman, the test’s creator, argues that a good mark on the CBL exam could give job applicants a leg up. Even Businessweek believes that the exam could give students that extra edge.
  • An article in The Washington Post provides helpful tips for future MBA applicants from admissions officers at five top-ranked MBA programs.  Each admissions officer tackles one of the five main components of the MBA application process: application essays, letters of recommendation, academic credentials, work experience and an entrance interview.
  • London Business School announced that it plans on having women make up 30% of its MBA programme this coming year.  This goal was inspired by the target of the 30 Per Cent Club, which is shooting for 30% of British boardroom members to be female by 2015.
  • The MBA market is booming in the UK, while applications to MBA programs in the US are slightly down.  The Independent looks at why the London Business School has had 3,500 applications this year, and the demand for business courses in the UK is up 8%—higher than ever before. The top business masters in Britain are: London Business School, Said Business School, Oxford, Cambridge Judge Business School, Lancaster University Management School, Cranfield School of Management, Imperial College Business School, Manchester Business School, Cass Business School, London, Warwick Business School, and Strathclyde Business School.
  • Poets and Quants featured Accepted’s own Linda Abraham! In the first article, in a series of MBA essay writing tips, Linda teaches you how to start attacking the scary essay questions thrown at you in the MBA applications. Her most important piece of advice: Start with notes.

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The Spiced Up MBA

  

When one applies to business school they typically worry about whether they have enough work experience under their belt, or whether they can compete with Ivy League graduates and 4.0 GPAs.  But statistics show that since the financial crisis MBA programs are no longer looking for cookie cutter students. “Diversity” is the name of the game.

The Spiced Up MBAAn article in the Financial Times (“Variety is the Spice of Life”) looks at how recruiters are now focusing on finding all different kinds of students to enroll in their MBA programs.  Schools like Harvard, Wharton and Stanford are enrolling fewer investment bankers and more women, entrepreneurs, military personnel, environmentalists and not-for-profit managers in future classes. In fact, only 12%-14% of the admitted students at Harvard and Wharton in 2011 had investment banking backgrounds.

Even the average age of incoming MBA students is changing! The typical incoming Harvard Business School student is now 27, up from 26 a year ago.

Wharton is also working to diversify its student body. Ankur Kumar, deputy director of admissions at Wharton, explains, “This has been a focal point for the past few years. We wanted to dispel some of the stereotypes and misconceptions [about MBA programs].” Wharton has gone so far as to reach out to high school students and teach them about the importance of a business education.

Stanford has even developed its own approach to incorporating diversity into its program. The school has ensured that one in six accepted MBA students is studying for another degree alongside their MBA.
Although American schools still need to incorporate more international students into their student body (Wharton is only 36% international and Harvard is only 34%), the MBA programs have made enormous strides towards accepting more women, applicants in a wider age range, and out-of-the-professional-box MBA candidates. This openness to diversity, if not commitment to wider definition of diversity, allows future applicants to think more creatively about how to market themselves to business schools.  Getting into MBA programs no longer requires fitting into the investment banking mold, but is more about breaking the mold altogether.

I have seen several articles about the increasing diversity of accepted MBA applicants and we have seen less emphasis on the classic professions with our clients as well. I recently spoke, however, to one admissions director who told me that this openness is driven as much by a change in the applicant pool as by the increased openness touted in this article.

Since the financial crisis and the subsequent layoffs of a few years ago, there are fewer investment bankers, and there are fewer investment bankers applying to MBA programs. There were also fewer college grads hired into investment banking in 2008 and 2009. But over the next few years members of those college classes will apply in increasing numbers. It will be very interesting to see if the trend discussed in this article represents a real increased commitment to professional diversity in MBA admissions, or simply a response to necessity combined with spin.

If the latter, investment bankers will once again have the inside track, and we’ll read that an MBA is a typical stop on the investment banking career track; if the former, professional diversity will continue to reign.

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Linda AbrahamBy , President and Founder of Accepted.com

Photo credit: lju photo

Another US News Top Ten!

US News is at it again!  The magazine’s newest top ten list is the top 10 Business Schools That Receive the Most Full-Time Applications. Not surprisingly, almost all the top 10 programs listed in US News’s rankings of the best business schools were also on the list of the top 10 business schools that received the most applications for full-time admissions in the 2010-2011 academic year (Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business was the only exception).

A total of 261 business schools provided US News with application data. On average, programs received 525 applications for admission.  But Harvard Business School surpassed them all with 9,524 applications, 32% more than the Stanford Graduate School of Business, which received the second highest number of applications.

However, the US News data does not reveal the number of students accepted into the class, making application numbers misleading. For example, Stanford has a class of fewer than 400, whereas Harvard’s class size is approximately 930. These statistics are also just a close approximation of the upcoming US News’ top 10.

Other schools that made the list of “the 10 business schools that received the most applications for full-time admission in 2010” were: University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)Columbia University, Northwestern University (Kellogg), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan), New York University (Stern), University of Chicago (Booth), University of California—Berkeley (Haas), and Duke University (Fuqua).

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Forbes Announces Top Ten Business Schools

  

Forbes has just released its list of the top business schools in America. The Forbesranking methodology is based on the return on investment achieved by the class of 2006. They surveyed 16,000 alumni at over 100 schools and received feedback from 30% of those grads. They then compared the earnings of the respondents from 2006-2011 to the cost of business school.

While Forbes lists 74 top schools, the top ten are:

  1. Harvard
  2. Stanford
  3. Chicago (Booth)
  4. Pennsylvania (Wharton)
  5. Columbia
  6. Dartmouth (Tuck)
  7. Northwestern (Kellogg)
  8. Cornell (Johnson)
  9. Virginia (Darden)
  10. MIT (Sloan)

Poets and Quants analyzes the Forbes’ data in terms of winners and losers, those who went up in the Forbes’ rankings and those who went down; it provides a useful table comparing the salary data by school to previous years’ salary data.

Of greater interest to me is the overall profitable MBA picture presented by the Forbes data: every single program in the top 74 has positive ROI, admittedly less in more expensive locales and a few in single digits, but the overwhelming majority showed a greater than 20% gain after five years. And that’s despite the recession.

So for those of you who have professional goals that require an MBA, it looks like a solid investment.   

Linda AbrahamBy , President and Founder of Accepted.com

 

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MBA Admissions News Roundup

  

  • The Daily Pennsylvanian celebrates the fact that 45% of Wharton’s incoming MBA class of 2013 will be women.  This number represents quite an achievement—a 5% increase from the classes in the past two years and the highest percentage in Wharton’s history. Harvard has also reached a new record this year with women representing 39% of its incoming class.
  • Bloomberg Businessweek wrote about the fervor worked up around plagiarism at the GMAC annual conference coming up. Due to excessive amounts of plagiarism discovered in last year’s batch of Penn State applications, many business schools are expected to be more aggressive this year.  Penn State has begun using a software application called Turnitin, and many other universities are expected to follow suit.
  • An article in the Financial Times announced that Trium, the three-center Executive MBA program taught by New York University’s Stern school, HEC Paris, and the London School of Economics (LSE), will be adding a second cohort in 2012. While students already split their time between New York, London and Paris, the new cohort will enable more time to be spent in emerging markets, such as India and China.
  • A $37,000 tweet? It sounds like a misunderstanding, but Bloomberg Businessweek explains that it is in fact a full-tuition award package for whoever can tweet the most creative response to The University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business’  “application tweet” question:  “What makes you an exceptional Tippie Full-time MBA candidate and future MBA hire? Creativity encouraged!” While social networking savvy is increasingly important to business schools, Tippie has definitely taken it to the next level!

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