Top MBA Programs for Entrepreneurs

B-schools are always touting their entrepreneurial offerings, programs, and placement, so when we examined the employment reports of U.S. News’ top 25 business schools to see which schools send the most graduates into entrepreneurship, we were surprised to find that only thirteen programs provide this information in their employment reports.

Below you’ll find the results – the U.S. News’ top 25 MBA programs that reveal the number and percentage of 2013 grads who immediately founded their own businesses after completing their MBA:

School

# of 2013 Grads

Starting Their Own Business

% of 2013 Grads

Starting Their Own Business

Standford GSB 70 18%
MIT Sloan 37 9.5%
Wharton 59 7.5%
Harvard Business School 63 7%
Yale SOM 10 4.5%
UCLA Anderson 14 4%
Kellogg* 3%
Chicago Booth 17 3%
Columbia 18 2.5%
NYU Stern 2%**
Michigan Ross 8 1.5%
Duke Fuqua 4 1%
CMU Tepper 2 1%

* Numbers include all Kellogg MBA programs
** % of reported placements

Clearly, Stanford is way out in front in this horse race. MIT Sloan with its program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation is a distant #2, followed by HBS and Wharton in a tie for third place. Stanford and Sloan have long been known for entrepreneurship, but HBS and Wharton are generally thought of as financial services and consulting breeding grounds. In reality, both programs – without taking away from their strength in consulting and financial services – have sharpened the entrepreneurial saw over the last decade.

This comparison is useful for those of you who want to start your own business ASAP after earning an MBA. It is an indication of an entrepreneurial culture and education. And if entrepreneurial spirit and ultimately an entrepreneurial alumni network is important to you, then you need to know which schools are strong in this area and how they compare.

While this listing is useful, it still doesn’t tell the entire story of MBA programs’ entrepreneurial strength. Many business school grads will work for a few years to pay back loans and then start their own businesses. Among those, there will be a few grads who immediately enter a startup, so essentially they will initially be entrepreneurs on someone else’s dime. There are other MBAs who will work in entrepreneurial areas of established companies. None of these MBAs are reflected in the chart above, but all still benefited from their MBA program’s entrepreneurial education and culture.

Additionally, either we couldn’t find the data or schools don’t all publish these numbers. Consequently, the chart above is incomplete. Don’t automatically assume that programs we haven’t listed aren’t good for entrepreneurship. For example Haas has a highly entrepreneurial culture and many courses relevant to entrepreneurship, but we couldn’t find the number of 2013 grads who started their own business immediately upon graduation. Don’t let that lack of info prevent you from considering Haas if founding a startup is your dream. Similarly, Georgetown has many entrepreneurship resources (See Jeff Reid on Entrepreneurship at Georgetown). Finally, programs outside US News’ top 25, may be excellent for entrepreneurship, deserving of consideration, and easier to get into (For example, Babson).

As with almost all stats in MBA admissions – especially anything related to (un)rankings and comparing programs – take this data as useful information not as the be all and end all of evaluating the entrepreneurial value of different MBA programs. It is simply a succinct compilation of data that you should incorporate into the additional research you should do before deciding where to earn your MBA. Also consider:

• Entrepreneurial curriculum. What classes are offered? Are there opportunities to develop and work on a business plan?

• Extracurricular groups and activities. Are there venture capital competitions, clubs, events, etc.?

• The student profiles at specific schools. Are they entrepreneurial? Would you like to be on a project with them?

Now it’s time for me to get back to drafting that business plan on the back of a napkin.

If any school in the US News’ top 25 includes that data in their employment report and we missed it, or they published the data after we visited their site, please email saraw@accepted.com and we’ll add it.

MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Great Tips

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Looking for MBA Application Essay Tips?

B-school applicants: Are you looking for advice to help you answer specific essay questions on top MBA applications? Are you looking for a resource that offers up-to-date advice for the questions found on THIS YEAR’S apps?

We’d like to introduce you to our updated special report, Top MBA Program Essay Questions: How to Answer Them Right! In this report, you’ll receive school-by-school, question-by-question advice on how to answer the questions on this year’s MBA applications.

Download your copy of "Top MBA Program Essay Questions: How to Answer Them Right"

If you want the most detailed advice available for creating the best MBA application possible, then you’ll want to download Top MBA Program Essay Questions: How to Answer Them Right! now!

Download your free MBA application essay tips now!

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MBA Programs Host Coffee Dates Worldwide

Want to get accepted to Chicago Booth? Join our free webinar!

Don’t go overboard trying to make a good impression.

Wherever you are in the world, chances are that a current MBA student from a top school is waiting to have coffee with you. In London, Delhi, Tel Aviv, Toronto, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Rio de Janiero, Zurich, Houston, and a host of other international cities, schools are dispatching current students to chat you up and get to know you better as acceptance decisions are made. Programs offering these informal meetings include Berkeley-Haas, Chicago Booth, Darden, Michigan Ross, and Dartmouth Tuck.

This is a great opportunity to show a school representative how invested you are in going to that program. While these are obviously very informal events, you can still burnish the profile you have already established in your MBA application by showing up with intelligent questions and observations about the program and the school community. While at a general school reception or fair you could get away with asking more general questions (though even at those events your questions should demonstrate basic knowledge of the program beyond what is easily seen on the school’s web site) at a coffee date like this, well into the application season, you’ll want to go a little deeper in showing your awareness of and fit for the program.

Don’t go overboard trying to make a good impression. Be yourself, listen to others, but take the opportunity to ask questions and offer observations that show how dialed in you are to the happenings at the school. These questions and observations can be about any of the following:

1) A recent or anticipated change in the curriculum or with a specialty track that you hope to join.

2) Live chats you recently participated in, and what new insights you gleaned from it.

3) Recent communication you have had with a current student or staff member. This isn’t to name-drop, but to show your ongoing investment in knowing what is happening at the school.

4) Student-led symposiums or other initiatives – show that you know what’s happening with the Berkeley Nanotechnology club, Dartmouth’s Summit on Health Care Delivery, or other clubs in which you have an interest.

5) Ideas you have for a case competition or club. Or perhaps thoughts on narrowing down choices among elective classes.

6) Plans your spouse or partner has to relocate and find new work near the school.

So pull up a chair, warm your hands around a hot cup of coffee, and show your school of choice that you already feel part of the team.

Download your free report: TOP MBA PROGRAM ESSAY QUESTIONS: HOW TO ANSWER THEM RIGHT! Detailed question analyses and valuable advice on how to answer the questions so your candidacy shines.

Judy Gruen By , MBA admissions consultant since 1996 and author (with Linda Abraham) of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Best B-Schools for Entrepreneurs

Want to get into to Chicago Booth? Register for our free webinar to learn how.

There’s also prize money involved – about $200,000 to split among the 30 winners of the New Venture Challenge at Chicago Both.

A recent Wall Street Journal article discusses the difficult mission of finding the right b-school for entrepreneurs. It lists the different rankings sites and the variety of results they offer for top entrepreneur-focused b-school programs: Businessweek puts Stanford at the top of the list; Entrepreneur magazine gives top marks to Michigan Ross; and Poets & Quants gives Harvard Business School the #1 spot.

The article also points out how different schools showcase their entrepreneurial strengths in different ways: Stanford touts the most startups per student as well as its access to investors; HBS highlights that its student ventures attracted the most funding; and Booth measures its start-up success by the number of ventures purchased or merged. Other programs emphasize their efforts to mix with other school departments, like Penn with its entrepreneur and engineering/computer science programs and CMU Tepper with its business/computer science co-led Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Focus on Chicago Booth

In the last year, at least eight Chicago Booth student ventures acquired or merged, in part due to the school’s New Venture Challenge – a program in which students present business plans (about 100 total) from which investors choose the top 30. The selected students then enroll in a course that helps them prepare their plans for investor pitches. There’s also prize money involved – about $200,000 to split among the 30 winners.

Check out our recent podcast interview for the lowdown on •	A law degree as a path to the business world   •	When to get an MBA and a JD •	Advice for anyone considering a degree in law or business and more!

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2013 P&Q Top B-School Rankings

Get application essay tips for the top b-school applications!

Harvard Business School is the top MBA program for the fourth year in a row.

The top 8 schools in the 2013 Poets & Quants b-school rankings remain unchanged from last year, with slots 9 and 10 merely swapping positions (Duke Fuqua moved from 10th place to 9th place and UC Berkeley Haas moved from 9th to 10th).

On HBS…

About Harvard Business School, top MBA program for the fourth year in a row, John Byrne, P&Q editor, says:

Despite less-than-flattering publicity generated by a New York Times’ front page story on gender inequality at Harvard, an MBA from the school remains the quintessential credential in business. No rival beats Harvard in the formidable resources it brings to the game: the outsized number of superstar professors, the diversity of its course offerings, the stellar quality of its students, the size and scope of its campus, and the career achievements of its alumni spread all over the world.

He goes on to sing praises for this year’s HBS entering class – an average GMAT score of 720, a 3.9% increase in application volume, a record high of women (at 41% of the class), and an average undergrad GPA of 3.67.

Other Highlights…

• Chicago Booth ranked ahead of Wharton for the fourth year in a row, making the top three Harvard, Stanford, and Chicago (H/S/C) instead of the traditional Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton (H/S/W).

• Wharton was the only school in the top 10 to see a decrease in its application volume this year with a 5.8% decrease.

• Booth saw the highest boost in app volume with a 9.9% increase.

• For top b-schools outside of the U.S., London Business School again took the top slot.

• Two big jumpers in the top 50 include U. of Washington which jumped 9 places from 33rd place to 24th and Georgia Tech which also jumped 9 places from 40th to 31st place.

The Top 20

2013 P&Q Rank and School 2012 P&Q Rank BW FT
1. Harvard Business School 1 2 2
2. Stanford GSB 2 4 2
3. Chicago Booth 3 1 6
4. UPenn Wharton 4 3 3
5. Northwestern Kellogg 5 5 8
6. MIT Sloan 6 9 5
7. Columbia 7 13 4
8. Dartmouth Tuck 8 12 10
9. Duke Fuqua 10 6 11
10. UC Berkeley Haas 9 14 7
11. Cornell Johnson 11 7 14
12. Michigan Ross 13 8 15
13. UVA Darden 12 10 16
14. UCLA Anderson 17 18 13
15. NYU Stern 14 16 12
16. CMU Tepper 16 11 19
17. Yale SOM 15 21 9
18. UNC Kenan- Flagler 19 17 21
19. Texas McCombs 18 19 22
20. Indiana Kelley 21 15 26

Download our free special report: Best MBA Programs

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MBA Interview Tips Post 4: Team-Based Discussion Interviews

[NOTE: This post is the fourth in a series; if interested please see the introduction and tip 1, tip 2, and tip 3.]

Check out our Wharton Zone for info, tips, stats and more.

Make your goal the team’s success, not its adoption of your idea.

Wharton and Ross have initiated a new MBA interview format, the team-based discussion (TBD). This type of interview brings a group of applicants together in person to work through a problem together as an organizational team does. This team activity is followed by a short one-to-one talk with an adcom representative (either a second-year student or an adcom member). It is now part of Wharton’s regular mode for interviews. At Ross, it’s still experimental and not always required, and they use traditional methods for their evaluative interviews.

Why adcoms use this method:

• Some adcoms have found traditional interview modes increasingly ineffective as they feel that candidates over-prepare and over-strategize for interviews, thus undercutting authenticity.
• The adcoms want to see the candidates in team action, since students’ success in the program (and in their future career) will rest in part on their teamwork and interpersonal skills.
• This approach gives the adcom insight into the applicants that no other application component provides – how they actually respond to people and situations in real time.
• The post-activity discussion shows your ability to self-reflect and analyze your own role and performance – qualities the adcom values.

Process:

Wharton – When you receive an invitation to interview, you’ll go online and select a time and date to attend a 5- or 6-member, approximately 45-minute TBD. Wharton will send you a prompt, which is the topic for the team activity; Wharton advises spending about an hour preparing with this prompt. In the TBD, each person will have a minute to articulate his own idea on the topic, and then the team will work together toward a group decision. After the TBD, you will meet individually with one of the two evaluators for 10-15 minutes to discuss your thoughts on how it went. You and the evaluator may discuss other topics as well.

Ross –Ross sends no prompt. Rather, it’s more like a team-building activity. You’ll receive the invitation to participate when you receive your regular interview invite, and can accept or decline. If you accept, you’ll meet in a group of 4-6. The team is given 2 words, and they first prepare individual presentations connecting these words (10 minutes for this portion). Then the group receives additional random words, and they have 20 minutes to prepare a team presentation that uses the words to address a problem and articulate a solution. The individuals in the team, not the team as a whole, are evaluated either by second-year students or adcom members, who also interview them separately afterward.

Benefits and pitfalls for applicants:

• Benefit: You can showcase your interpersonal, team, and leadership skills more vividly than any essay or individual interview could portray.

• Benefit: You can get a real flavor of the programs’ teamwork dynamic.

• Benefit: You can enjoy meeting peers and potential classmates.

• Drawback: You have less control, as you have to assess and respond to the group dynamics instantly; there is no margin for error.

• Drawback: Logistically it’s complex – always harder to get a group together.

• Drawback: While the adcoms think it gives them a lens on you as a team player, in “real life” you usually have some time to adapt to a new team, and your true teamwork abilities will come out over time as you respond, whereas here there’s no time to grow and adapt with the team, so it’s a somewhat artificial setup.

How to make this type of interview work for you (this is in addition to all the common sense advice for good MBA interviews):

• Review Accepted.com’s tips for this interview format.

• For Wharton, prepare and practice your one-minute presentation.

• For Ross, do the word activity with yourself or a friend, to get used to it.

• Think about your inclinations, behaviors, feelings, and approaches when working in a team or group setting, and also ask a colleague or two for some objective feedback. You shouldn’t change your natural approach, but you can certainly play to your strengths and minimize negative tendencies.

• Read online about other applicants’ experiences with the group interview.

• Make your goal the team’s success and ability to complete the assigned task, not its adoption of your idea.

ace_the_wharton_tbd



Cindy Tokumitsu By , co-author of The Finance Professional’s Guide to MBA Admissions Success, and author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her last fifteen years with Accepted.com.

Gaining Poise and Confidence for Group Interviews

group interviewAcing a team based discussion/interview isn’t easy, but with the right prep, you’ll be able to clearly show the adcom that you are an intelligent candidate who knows how to contribute to group discussions with confidence and poise. Use the free resources listed below to help you prepare for your upcoming group interview:

• Handling Wharton’s Team-Based Discussion
• Tips For Tackling Team Interviews
• Four Tips for the Wharton Interview

For guided interview prep with an experienced admissions consultant, please consider using our Mock Wharton Team-Based Discussion service or our Mock Michigan Ross Team-Based Interview Discussion service. Each of these interview packages include one-on-one interview coaching, as well as an interview simulation with two Accepted facilitators and 3-7 other Wharton or Ross applicants. You will receive written feedback on your performance, as well as a consultation to discuss feedback on your team and individual interview.

YOU can ace that Wharton TBD!
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Round 2 Applicants: Looking for Tips for Specific MBA Application Questions?

Round 2 (and 3) applicants: Are you looking for advice to help you answer specific essay questions on top MBA applications? Are you looking for a resource that offers up-to-date advice for the questions found on THIS YEAR’S apps?

We’d like to introduce you to our updated special report, Top MBA Program Essay Questions: How to Answer Them Right! In this report, you’ll receive school-by-school, question-by-question advice on how to answer the questions on this year’s MBA applications…and just in time to submit those R2 apps!

Download your copy of "Top MBA Program Essay Questions: How to Answer Them Right"

If you want the most detailed advice available for creating the best MBA application possible, then you’ll want to download Top MBA Program Essay Questions: How to Answer Them Right! now!








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Top 20 MBA Programs in 2013

Here are the 20 best MBA programs in the U.S. for 2013 according to Forbes:

SCHOOL AND RANK    PRE-MBA SALARY     2012 SALARY 
1. Stanford GSB $80,000 $221,000
2. Chicago Booth $76,000 $200,000
3. Harvard Business School $80,000 $205,000
4. UPenn Wharton $80,000 $205,000
5. Northwestern Kellogg $73,000 $176,000
6. Dartmouth Tuck $72,000 $189,000
7. Columbia Business School  
$74,000 $192,000
8. Duke Fuqua $63,000 $152,000
9. Cornell Johnson $59,000 $155,000
10. Michigan Ross $61,000 $153,000
11. UNC Kenan-Flagler $60,000 $141,000
12. MIT Sloan $70,000 $185,000
13. UCLA Anderson $65,000 $165,000
14. UC Berkeley Haas $71,000 $175,000
15. UVA Darden $67,000 $158,000
16. CMU Tepper $60,000 $135,000
17. Brigham Young Marriott $50,000 $109,000
18. Yale SOM $54,000 $144,000
19. Indiana Kelley $50,000 $120,000
20. Iowa Tippie $46,000 $118,000

For more info, please see Forbes’ lead article “Stanford Tops 2013 List Of America’s Best Business Schools.”

Why the Forbes Ranking Matters

The Forbes ranking is interesting for one simple reason: It focuses exclusively on ROI five years after graduation. This year Forbes looked at the graduates of 2008, the class that graduated into the Great Recession, the financial melt-down, and the collapse of Lehman Brothers and Bear Sterns. It was a tough time to launch a career.

Forbes heard from almost 5,000 grads from 100 schools and “compared their earnings in their first five years out of business school to their opportunity cost (two years of forgone compensation), tuition and required fees to arrive at a ‘5-year M.B.A. Gain.’” It ranks programs based on that pre-tax gain. (For the details of Forbes methodology, click here.) It does not include programs where less than 15% of alumni responded or where there was negative ROI. It also does assume reduced increase in salary without an MBA.

Potential Flaws:

• It relies on reporting from grads who have an interest in their alma mater being highly ranked. In other words, like all surveys, it can be gamed.

• While Forbes does attempt to reflect financial aid and differences in cost of living, it doesn’t reflect disparities in varied industries and functional roles. You are going to go into a specific field and industry. The averages in that industry are going to matter to you more than the average of the graduating class at your business school.

• In its methodology Forbes assumes that without an MBA, the candidates would have had half the increase in salary that they had with the MBA. I don’t know if there is any data supporting that assumption, or if it is generous or stingy.

Take-Aways from the Forbes Ranking

Despite the potential flaws, the Forbes ranking does have value. I noticed or took away the following:

1.  An MBA from a top MBA program pays, and pays well. It doesn’t, or didn’t, pay off as quickly as it did 10 years ago, but it pays. A 3-5 year payback with gravy for the rest of your career is an excellent investment. And if you are lucky enough not to graduate into the kind of almost unprecedented financial disaster the Class of 2008 faced, you should have a shorter payback period and higher gain. This is the clearest conclusion from the Forbes ranking. To me, it is far more important than any individual school’s actual rank or even movement of one school since 2011, when Forbes had its last ranking.

2.  The schools with the shortest payback period were NOT the highest ranked programs. They were BYU Marriott, Indiana Kelley, and Iowa Tippie. See “Busting Two MBA Myths.”

3.  There are some surprising winners (UC Davis, UCLA Anderson, CMU Tepper, Duke, Ross, and UNC Kenan-Flagler) and losers (Yale SOM, UVA Darden, and NYU Stern).

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Use rankings for the data they provide and as sources of insight into trends over time. Don’t view any individual ranking as an influential factor in choosing where to apply or where to attend. And for heaven’s sake, take the time to understand what is actually being ranked and evaluated.






Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

U of Michigan Receives Record Breaking Donation of $200 Million

Michigan Ross School of BusinessStephen M. Ross will donate $200 million to the University of Michigan, with $100 million going to the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and $100 million going to the athletic campus (which will be renamed the Stephen M. Ross Athletic Campus). This donation, the largest single donation ever received by U-M, will bring Ross’s total lifetime giving to over $313 million.

Some of the new plans for the Ross School of Business include:

• More gathering spaces for students, faculty, and recruiters.

• A new career and recruiting center.

• Career-oriented programs and events that connect applicants, students, and alumni.

• A space for practice-oriented research for local and global firms.

• Advanced technology in classrooms.

• Additional scholarships for Ross students.

For more info on the Ross donation please see the following two articles:

• Ross’ gift to Michigan could affect Miami stadium (Wall Street Journal)

• U-Michigan to  receive $200 million from prominent real estate developer Stephen M. Ross (Michigan Ross Press Release)

Check out our Ross B-School Zone for advice on how to get accepted to Michigan Ross.








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