Welcome to Poets&Quants

Why Poets&Quants? Because it’s part of the language and culture of every MBA school. Poets are MBA candidates with liberal arts undergraduate degrees. Not surprisingly, perhaps, they often struggle with the finance and statistics courses. Quants are students with business, financial or engineering backgrounds who are undaunted by spreadsheets and statistical analysis but may have some trouble writing a well structured, smartly argued paper.  Many MBA programs consciously combine poets and quants in teams so they can take advantage of each other’s skills. At P&Q, our goal is to help both the poets and the quants make the best possible choice for an MBA education.

Back in 1988, when I was management editor of BusinessWeek magazine, I created the first regularly published ranking of business schools. I wrote four editions of the best-selling BusinessWeek Guide to the Best Business Schools and expanded our coverage to include rankings of executive education and EMBA programs. Then, in the mid-1990s, I helped to build out the BusinessWeek franchise online, with real-time chats with b-school officials and business school profiles. For years, I supervised BusinessWeek’s coverage of business education, until moving on to many different things, including Fast Company, where I succeeded the founding editors as editor-in-chief, and BusinessWeek, where I returned to become executive editor of the magazine and later editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek.com.

Poets&Quants is the first of a dozen websites we’re launching as part of my new company, C-Change Media. Our goal with P&Q is ambitious: it is to become an invaluable source of information and analysis on the world’s best business schools. In time, we hope that it will become the place on the web for analysis, news, and features on global business education. You’re part of our success formula: we have a place to create true community here and unlike other places on the web, we’ll be active partners with you in raising the level of conversation in that community. Please register and participate. And let us know what we can do to make the site more valuable to you as an applicant, a student, an alum, or just someone keenly interested in the quality and state of graduate business education.

  • Kel

    I just now discovered this page after already using P&Q as my go-to place on the web for everything about business education. You’ve achieved that goal — keep up the good work!

  • JohnAByrne

    That’s very true and it’s a reminder to me that this is an area we really need to build out over the next few months. Count on it.

  • santhosh

    There is a tab for EMBA on your web-site, but why not for the part-time MBA program. There is lot of interest in it by the number of applications and admissions each year in several business schools. Lots of information needed about these programs to people who are looking into these programs.

  • jimismash


    I would like to see something on most family friendly schools (I’ve heard Tuck was pretty awesome). Moving spouses and kids across the country for two years of school can be pretty disruptive, which schools have the best support system and which cities make sense for young families, etc.

    Another article that my draw some clicks is the strength of the veterans’ groups/ veterans’ benefits. At Stanford they waive the application fee for veterans, Rice (Jones) has a 10% veteran target and some extra money for vets. There could be some sort of cool table indicating if schools waive fees, participate in yellow ribbon programs, have other sources of funding, have a b-school specific veterans’ group, etc.


  • Could you compare career business schools such as Minnesota School of Business with a traditional 4-year program? I would be curious to see how they compare from your perspective.
    Elizabeth Dehn

  • JohnAByrne


    Thanks for your feedback. Which schools would like to see us write about?


  • JC

    I enjoy browsing P&Q but I do wish that more schools were covered on this site. I feel like the same 10 or 15 schools are highlighed over and over.

  • gloria santos

    I’m brazilian, technical background, and this source of information is broadening my educational and professional expectations. Not to mention as a mother Thanks

  • Azella

    Hi John – how could I submit a guest blog post?

  • guest

    Why are there are no dates on the articles?  It would be nice to know when the posts were written

  • Arunpanda

    for suggestion read query.
    an article on this will sure be nice.

  • Arunpanda

    hi john,
    i have been following Poets & quants for 8 months. i have a small suggestion.
    UK has just introduced new visa regulations.
    in light of these regulations is an MBA from London Business School still for for an international applicant? with companies having to sponsor each of their placement will the international students be at a disadvantage? If yes, what steps is LBS taking, keeping in mind that its 92% of student population is international?

  • leadpathfinder

    Hi John, perhaps you guys could do a separate page for Canadian MBA”s. This part is not really addressed properly in any of the websites and your help would be greatly appreciated

  • guest

    Can you do Georgetown vs Cornell?

  • Gomezmerigo

    Hello john!…kellogg vs iese?? Where would you go??? Pros and cons??? I value your opinion.

    Latam student probably sponsored by my current employer ( big bank)


  • JohnAByrne


    Thanks much! Appreciate that.

  • Foster

    P&Q’s goal: become an invaluable source of information and analysis on the world’s best business schools.

    John, you have definitely achived your goal for the site.

  • JMG,

    Excellent business school and a superb MBA program. I wouldn’t hesitate to go there.

  • JMG

    hello john….whats your opinion regarding the IESE MBA?

  • @jbyrne – This site is fantastic. I definitely admire what you’re doing here (both the content that you’re creating and the community that you’re building.) I wish there was a resource like this when I was applying to B-school!

  • Lauren

    @jbyrne Can you do a side-by-side smackdown comparison of Stanford GSB and Berkeley Haas? I think many prospective students with their sights set on CA would really appreciate that as we come into decision season… I know I would!

  • John,

    Would you consider offering an integrated listing of the top entrepreneurship schools/centers? Additionally, would you also consider offering a list of business schools and entrepreneur centers that target racial minority students?

    I ask because data in the public schools, which serve 50 million students, show disparity along a fault line divided distinctly within the national education statistics: high-poverty schools versus low-poverty schools.

    The data reveal a dramatic and telling tale. The overwhelming majority of the student population of high-poverty schools is comprised of racial minorities (89%), while the opposite occurs in low-poverty schools (24%).

    The population data offers insight into the challenges of access and opportunity, since the high-poverty schools historically and consistently produce deplorable academic achievement outcomes.

    This consistent data clearly puts on display a stark disparity in higher education opportunity for racial minorities. Thus, the outcomes are predictable.:

    Under-representation in higher education
    Under-representation in Business Schools
    Under-representation in High-Growth Entrepreneurship
    Under-representation as recipients of Risk Capital Equity Investments
    Under-representation as participants in Venture Capital

    That might translate into this:

    1.9 million Black-owned businesses produced less than 1% of GDP in 2007. Then the economy collapsed.

    In 2008, Venture-backed firms produced 21% of GDP.

    Since 1980, nearly all net new job growth was due to firms less than five years old. (Kauffman). That clearly says angel and VC private equity capital is fueling the economic growth of America. And President Obama specifically stated it a few weeks ago to his Job Council.

    John, Black and Brown folks are not participating to any appreciable degree in America’s 21st century Innovation Economy. And nobody is talking about it. (except for http://blackinnovation.org).

    That lack of participation may well be an oversight by the majority population at this juncture. But as Startup America, Jumpstart America, YCombinator, TechStars and numerous other investments in boosting entrepreneurship continue to allow Black and Brown America to languish, those sectors will become lost human capital that produce a drain on resources and an economic weight to the skyrocketing Innovation Economy.

    Your efforts might be a small step toward shedding light upon a monumental problem. I’d like to help. Perhaps we can discuss the issue and a forward strategy?

  • Km80 –

    We’ll be publishing a current list of the haves and have-nots with regards to such loans pretty soon. Let me warn you: this list shifts every year, and haves can quickly become have-nots.

    That said, when you’re doing your own, independent research, keep in mind that many schools don’t actively market such programs because they are concerned about showing any preference for one program over another (case: MIT has such a program with the school’s credit union, but you won’t hear much about it until you get in or ask).

    As you search, keep an eye out for interesting lending gems such as Prodigy Finance, a loan shop set up by some INSEAD alumni that allows alumni to lend to current students (currently only MBAs at INSEAD, Vlerick and Moscow School of Management) without as many application hoops to jump through.

    All that said, please remember that taking out loans to pay for B-school should be your last option. A loan is not free money. It’s going to nip at you in the form of fees and interest rates (many of which are floating and stand to rise in the future)… for a number of years. Do what you can to save your own stash of b-school cash before you enroll (even if it means waiting another year before you study), borrow from your own family and friends, or re-think a full-time option and try to encourage your employer to fund you on a part-time or executive MBA program locally.

    There are very good reasons to pursue a full-time MBA program. But as you weigh the good with the bad, don’t make the mistake of assuming that you will definitely get a high-paying job on graduation, when it’s time to start servicing that debt. You may not, and then you could be in serious trouble when it’s time to pay the bank hundreds-to-thousands of dollars a month.

    Just think, if you graduate with less debt, you’ll have more money on hand to fund your new business idea, your first house, a trip to some far-flung country to visit your B-school friends, or that sports car you’ve been dreaming of to take you to work every morning.

    Good luck, and stay tuned. I’ll send you a note when we’re live.

    Mica Bevington

  • Km80

    John, @jbyrne

    As an International applicant to the MBA program in the US, I was wondering if there was a resource/article out there which listed all US MBA Programs/Schools which offered education loans to international students without a co-signer. If not, would you mind dropping some knowledge on this?

    Thanks for the resourceful website.

  • Getum,

    The plan is to include all content on part-time programs on the Executive site. We just need to build it out which will definitely happen soon.

  • I see that you have the Executive MBA site up, do you plan to include one for Part-time MBA students?

  • SB

    MBA students should be advised to exercise independent critical judgment when choosing their MBA school. There is a gap between their claims of excellence and the facts of the financial and economic meltdown.

  • Looks like a useful resource! Good luck in your new venture.

    H. Silverman
    Silverman GMAT Prep

  • Thanks for your kind comments Alex. I wish you great success. It sounds to me that you have the background to get into one of the very best MBA programs in the world. Welcome aboard!

  • Alex Wilhelm


    Your timing is impeccable! I have just committed, personally and professionally, to transition from my career as a naval officer to a career in civilian business. One of my greatest personal concerns is how to shape and direct my military leadership experience into practical civilian business skills. While a full time MBA mid career poses a daunting pause in my salary, it offers a golden opportunity to pause and re-focus. You’re website looks promising and I plan on regular visits to help make my decision. Thanks for the information!

    Alex “Kaiser” Wilhelm