Lots of great MBA admissions news came out in the last few days. In no particular order:
- "B-Schools: You Don’t Have to Wait" in Businessweek discusses the growing trend of top business schools to eliminate or reduce the full-time work experience requirement for full-time MBA applicants. While Harvard and Stanford started the trend a few years ago, they were joined last year by Wharton and a few other programs, including more recently MIT Sloan and others, such as Chicago, Darden, UT, and Rochester. These programs are "reaching out to early-career applicants," or those with less than three years of full-time experience. Other programs, like Tuck, are maintaining a two-year minimum experience requirement, but saying that more than the minimum is not necessarily better. The article does an excellent job of surveying those programs that are opening their doors to younger applicants and explores different options for those currently in college or in their first two years after graduating college.
- Not surprisingly with the appeal to a wider age range and the great hiring news coming out of most MBA programs, MBA application volume rose at most business schools for full-time, part-time, and executive MBA programs according to GMAC in "Business School Applications Jump Across the Board in 2006." "Two-thirds of full-time MBA programs participating in the 2006 GMAC Application Trends Survey saw application levels rise in 2006, up from only 21 percent from the year before." Part-time programs saw similar increases. The overall numbers were driven by an increase in applications from women and international applicants, particularly India, China, and Korea. For more on the increase in application volume, please see BW’s "B-School is Hip Again."
- Finally, The New York Times published "Wall Street’s Women Face a Fork in the Road." The article explores the tension between Wall Street’s desire to have talented women in responsible positions with the time demands inherent to investment banking and many women’s desire to have that elusive "balance" in their life. At least for a few years. If you are considering investment banking and are concerned about having a life outside of work, this is a thoughtful and worthwhile article.
The MBA scene is fluid and dynamic, but it is not a complete enigma. I predicted over a year ago, that last year was going to see a rise in applications, and I predict the same again for this year. In response, I recommend you start your applications as soon as possible and consider applying to additional schools, especially if you are from a group that applies in large numbers to top MBA programs.