Category Archives: MBA Recruitment

The 6 Dimensions In Choosing a Business School

As we exit the dormant months, and minds start to turn to applications season of Fall 2016, I’m starting to get the question: “which schools should I apply to?”

Choosing which business school MBA or EMBA to apply to requires knowledge of each institution, its culture, curriculum emphasis, extramural activities and recruitment opportunities, among many other things. The key parameters to consider are:

1. Fit. You’re paying the money and you’re going to be doing the work, so you want to put yourself somewhere you’ll be happy. Only you will know the answer to whether you want a small or big program, urban or rural, US or Europe or Asia, entrepreneurial or financial, etc. Sometimes it’s okay to knowingly put yourself in a slightly alien environment too, for the growth challenge. Either way, know thyself. Know the school. Choose fit consciously, don’t just apply to the “top” programs and take the highest offer.

2. Brand. Forget rankings. School brand is what matters. That’s what is going to give you your short- and long-term career boost. While rankings bounce around, real brand value of the top b-schools changes very slowly, if at all. If you genuinely don’t know a school’s brand strength, how do you get a sense of it? Every school publishes a list of companies that come to campus, how many graduates they hire, placement rates, and average starting salaries. Quality of recruiting firm and average post-MBA salary is a much better guide to a program’s real prestige than any magazine ranking.

3. Location and recruitment: Location strongly affects the industry orientation of the school and the companies recruiting on campus offering internships and jobs. You will get different exit opportunities in New York than you will in Texas, or Lausanne, Switzerland (IMD). Pick a school with an eye to your exit opportunities.

4. Profile of participants: Make the effort to understand the subtle differences in the type of person each school attracts. INSEAD and LBS both offer MBAs, and there is overlap in the student profile, but there are clear differences. This is true of HBS and MIT, Booth and Kellogg, and everywhere else. Go somewhere where you will more easily make real friends and you will be a lot happier and productive. Better still,  in 15 years, your alumni network will be real.

5. Length, structure, and flexibility: The time it takes to get an MBA can vary from 10 months to almost two years. Longer programs offer more electives, exchange options, and other forms of enrichment including summer internships. If you are younger, chances are you need the time to figure out what you want to do and will benefit from an internship or two on your resume. If you are older, speed of completion may be your highest priority.

6. Electives and options: The core curriculum is effectively the same everywhere and it doesn’t drastically matter where you do it. Electives however, differ significantly from school to school, according to faculty interest and expertise. External projects, “treks,” and exchange opportunities will also vary.

In short, the more you know the better your decision-making will be. Some of the information about schools is easy to find out via the Web. The rest will be more difficult to judge without visiting the campus or talking to current and recent past students.

 

‘Big Data’ Will Give Some MBA Applicants An Edge

The article below describes how Haas Berkeley and many other schools are revising their structures and curricula to adapt to the the data analytics wave in business.

The MBA admissions implication is, if you have some background in ‘big data’ you have an edge almost anywhere you apply, and you want to make this a core part of your platform. Your knowledge and background will contribute to the learning experience of others, in the classroom and in group work. With this background, and with MBA in hand, you will be all the more recruitable to brand-name firms upon graduation. And so on.

If you don’t have this type of background (most don’t), don’t panic. Look for your edge elsewhere. Remember the happy rule, which is MBA adcoms are each year required to recruit a cohort that is widely diverse in its experiences and specializations.

From BusinessBecause:  “California’s Haas School of Business became the latest big name business school to revamp some of its MBA curriculum to include a focus on big data.

“Haas has teamed up with top management consultancy firm Accenture to create new classes and a lecture series designed to give MBAs the tools required to understand and work with big data…

“Business schools believe data analytics is essential for business leaders who will increasingly need data analysis to glean insight and drive decision making…

“Accenture is one of a number of leading employers to have invested in business education. KPMG will invest £20 million in a data analytics research centre at Imperial College Business School in London. IBM and Telfer School of Management have invested around $5 million into a similar centre at Telfer…

“Accenture has estimated previously that the US could see demand for analytics talent outstrip supply by more than 250,000 positions this year alone. A survey of Fortune 100 recruiters by the Graduate Management Admission Council this month found that MBA employers cited analytics skills the most frequently…

“The tie-up is the latest in a long line of new program and curriculum launches. HEC Paris, a leading French business school, revamped some of the content of its MBA in a deal with IBM. DeGroote School of Business in North America recently launched an EMBA degree focused on big data with IBM and Canadian bank CIBC.

“Master programs in business analytics are rapidly increasing in supply. Schools with highly-ranked MBAs are forming standalone courses.

“These include Warwick Business School which runs the MSc Business Analytics, the master’s in business analytics at Melbourne Business School, and the MSC in Business Analytics at USC Marshall School of Business.

“In 2015 both Yale School of Management, and Kogod School of Business have announced plans to launch analytics and software courses. Data programs at ESSEC Business School, Amsterdam Business School, and CEU Business School will also start this year.”

The Value Of An MBA In 2015

I can’t say it any better, and no point in re-inventing the wheel, so I’m reposting this with credit:

For MBA students who decided to go to business school over the past five years, it’s been an amazing time, rich with career opportunities and increasingly handsome pay. If anything, the value of the MBA itself has been confirmed again and again as one of the very few degrees that brings an immediate payoff.

For the Class of 2014, starting pay packages and job placement rates are at either record or near-record levels. Indeed, at some of the super elite schools, the job offer rates may seem somewhat lower than a casual observer might expect. It’s only because the MBA job market has become so frothy that graduates of a handful of very prestigious schools have become ever more choosy and are holding out for the perfect opportunity, highly confident it will come.

Starting salaries of $110,000 to $125,000 are now the median at 16 top U.S. schools, ranging from Harvard where the median was $125,000 to the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business where the median was $110,000. Median sign-on bonuses–now given to the vast majority of MBA graduates from top schools–are $25,000. And all these numbers tend to be highly conservative because they do not include increasingly common year-end bonuses, tuition reimbursement, stock grants and relocation expenses. The graduates of several top European schools, including such key players as London Business School, INSEAD and IESE Business School in Spain, are also in that upper range.

Most importantly, the placement rates at these schools are virtually near full employment, a massive turnaround from the numbers posted in the depth of the recession in 2009 and 2010. Last year, a remarkable 98% of the MBAs from Emory, Wharton and Chicago had job offers three months after graduation. None of the top schools had placement rates below 90% at the three-month mark.

At Emory’s Goizueta Business School, where its job offer rate at graduation was higher than any other MBA program at 90.4% and equal to the very best rate of 98%, it was a landmark year. “2014 was a very strong year for the MBA job market and Goizueta,” says Wendy Tsung, associate dean of MBA Career Services at Goizueta. “Last year, our top hiring partners extended more offers on campus and we also saw a 15% increase in new companies recruiting on campus. 2015 has been just as strong, especially in consulting and financial services. This is a good time to be graduating from an MBA program.”

Another telling statistic about the demand for MBAs: The starting pay packages being landed at such schools at the University of Texas’ McCombs School and Vanderbilt University’s Owen School are nearly as much as those at the highest ranked elite schools. McCombs grads reported starting salaries of $105,000 this year, while Owen MBAs hit the $100,000 mark. That’s just $20,000 or $25,000 lower than the $125,000 commanded by Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton MBAs. If you adjusted those numbers to account for pay and cost of living in the wider markets of Austin and Nashville and again for industry choices, the difference in MBA starting pay would be negligible.

For graduates of the Class of 2015, it looks only to get better and in all likelihood could be the single best year in history to graduate with an MBA. In fact, the latest research is suggesting that the demand for MBA talent is so great that major corporate recruiters are now reaching deeper into the pool at second tier schools ranked between 20 and 100. Another sign of good fortune is that the most significant increase in recruiting is coming from financial services, a sector that is likely to boost overall salaries and bonuses as it competes more aggressively for the best grads at top schools.

This recent release of the MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance survey found that 64% of the responding schools have seen increased recruiting for full-time jobs, up 23% over last fall. And more than three-quarters reported an increase in full-time job postings. At B-schools ranked from 21 to 50, the increases in on-campus recruiting were nothing but massive, with 81% reporting increases. That compares with 57% of schools ranked from 1 to 20 reporting increases, while 67% of those ranked 51 to 100 reported increases.

“2014 was a very strong year for MBA employment and the increases noted by the majority of participating schools suggest that the 2015 results will be even better,” says Damian Zikakis, director of career services at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. It’s highly possible that this year will be the best year to ever graduate with an MBA degree, even better than the 1980s and 1990s when business school education had its biggest gains.

While there can never be a 100% guarantee of placement in the job a graduate most wants, it’s just about as close as it can get to that ideal. “Placement in our tradition MBA program is probably as robust as ever, with over 95% of the graduates reporting employment success within 90 days of graduation at the top 10 schools,” says Paul Danos, dean of Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business. “And the total pay packages are exceeding pre-crash levels.”

Average starting salaries at Danos’ school hit $117,860 last year, up 2.5% from $115,031 a year earlier. Average signing bonuses–reported by 87% of the class–were $28,712, while other guaranteed compensation averaged $34,431. For a graduating student who collected all three forms of compensation, the average would have totaled a whopping $181,003–to start.

-John Byrne, Poets & Quants.