The Worst Things MBAs Say About Their Own Schools

by John A. Byrne on

Every two years when BusinessWeek surveys the latest graduating class from the best business schools, it invites MBA students to provide open-ended comments about their business school experience.  And every two years, the students have served up candid comments, willing to share personal experiences, insights and opinions.

A sample of those comments are published by Bloomberg BusinessWeek in the online profiles of each of the schools. While the vast majority of remarks are quite favorable to each school, there are almost always graduates who want to see their schools address issues or perceived problems to make the full-time MBA program better. Over the years, the most common complaints have focused on the career services office. It’s rare when no graduates gripe about career placement—but it becomes a real sore point during a downturn.

Poets&Quants searched through the latest batch of remarks to find what an applicant would never discover in a school marketing brochure or website. As usual, there was plenty of constructive criticism and, perhaps, a few sour grapes. Each respondent is guaranteed anonymity so that every student is encouraged to provide a tell-it-like-it-is response. Many have legitimate gripes, given the high tuition and expectations they bring to the school. Some may have an axe to grind.

Whether fair or not, the comments do reveal challenges at schools that all applicants should at least be aware of. This is particularly true for schools that suffered a decline in the rankings this year. That’s because the comments shed light on why a school may have had a fall in student satisfaction, which accounts for 40% of the BusinessWeek ranking.

CLASS OF 2012 COMPLAINTS REVEAL ISSUES AND CHALLENGES AT EVEN THE BEST BUSINESS SCHOOLS

What are the most critical things the Class of 20121 had to say about their MBA experience?

At Columbia Business School, which had a five-place fall to a rank of 14th, MBA graduates complained about the uneven quality of teaching in the first-year core curriculum, the university resources devoted to the business school, the outreach by career services to companies other than consulting and banking, and the acceptance of ‘connected’ applicants. “Too many students are ‘sons of,’” claimed one MBA graduate. “They are plain dumb but got in because dad or mom wrote a big check to the school. This is not acceptable.”

A Duke MBA asserted that the students could be “a little too party-oriented and immature” which sometimes led to mediocre classroom discussions. “Faculty and staff could hold students even more accountable for not taking the academic portion of school seriously enough,” charged one member of Fuqua’s Class of 2012. “We should stop babying people and start really pushing people to be great.”

Several University of Michigan Ross School graduates thought that lax grading policies in classes led to a less-than-ideal learning environment. At New York University’s Stern School, several grads complained that the alumni network was not nearly involved in the school as it should be. And at least three grads bemoaned the poor quality of teaching at Wharton, especially in the core courses. And at INSEAD, one Class of 2012 graduate suggested that the school’s administration to take MBA courses to more effectively run the school.

What follows is a sample of some of the opinion at a few top schools:

Columbia Business School

“Less emphasis on finance would help recruit more mature and more interesting students. Career services should also expand its outreach to companies other than consulting and banking. Too many students are ‘sons-of.’ They are plain dumb but they got in because dad/mom wrote a big check to the School. This is not acceptable.”

“The school needs to improve its 1st year/core program. It could be better taught, especially for a school that is ranked so high on every ranking list.”

“I think an improvement could be made to the quality of teaching in the core courses. On top of that, sometimes I did not feel that overlapping topics and lessons across different courses were connected well. Maybe there should be more collaboration/communication between the departments and the professors.”

“Columbia really needs to invest more resources in the Business School. Part of that will be handled with a new campus, but I sense a disconnect between the priorities of the administration and the students. It has always been a battle for resources at Columbia. Luckily, I think the students themselves have made great strides in the last two years to make it a community that people really want to be part of. Columbia’s fratty culture isn’t for everyone, but I feel that there are more options of ways to get involved than there were when I first arrived.”

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  • Regie

    Fuqua’s reputation is spot-on. I visited the school during Fuqua Friday weekend and let me just say this – those kids sure know how to party. There was also a big basketball game over the weekend and everyone just went crazy. Students also seem to party really hard on Tuesday and Thursday nights. The SY kids were out of control. It’s a great school with excellent facilities and faculty. But they sure do know how to throw more than a few back!

  • RV

    The biggest complaints are about the career centers. It will be interesting to find out what schools can actually do to improve their career centers. Some schools have deep working partnerships with a few major companies, and those companies are the pipelines for jobs. Maybe the top MBA programs can get together and organize some type of collaborative job fair intended for those pursuing non-traditional fields. Thus the schools can consolidate their resources and students can benefit from this. Of course Harvard or Stanford may not want to team up with Cornell and Ross. But I think Ross and Cornell can work together and maybe find some common ground to help their students. They already have the consortium application..now they can have some type of consortium career services — maybe they already do and I’m not aware — if so I apologize in advance.

  • Pino

    +1

  • Ross 11′ alum

    Michigan Ross has a very exclusive white centric culture that is not inclusive of international students or those who like to do things other than drink all day and actively seek morally questionable undergraduate females to have sexual intercourse with.

  • Animal Farm

    That’s almost every top b-school in the lower 48!

  • Trevor

    Put ur name to this comment. I call ur BS. You clearly are bitter for some unrelated reason. International students are well received at Ross and are more than 30% of the class. Come on don’t hide behind your screen name. Let’s talk.

  • JJFren

    consortium is awesome! I love Ross career center they are fantastic! People who don’t get internships are asleep at the wheel and dont utilize the millions of resources.

  • ta

    Its a little dissapointing to read that a top 10 program like Fuqua lacks an healthy CMC…..and that it does not attract employers other than from healthcare….

  • TA

    I dont see what drinking and chasing tail has to do with quality of education and career management…..you could have 32 year old phd students doing the exact same thing…..hell walk around nyc theres tonnes of 40 something guys doing that…..white centric culture??? maybe?? so what….your job is to be a professional…network…work hard and try and land yourself a job…talk to other international students…yeah some white boys can be a lil fratty…so man up and be yourself…if you are your authentic self you will attract similar people…just cause you re in business school it does not mean you stop doing what is necessary to build a healthy social network

  • ta

    consortium apart i think its a numbers game….all this bullshit about 10% and 20% acceptance rates…i mean lets look at sheer numbers here

    HBS-900

    SGSB-400

    Wharton- 800

    Kellog-750

    Booth-600

    Duke – 600

    Tuck-300+

    Columbia-700

    Ross- 600

    Haas-500

    I mean these are massive numbers …plus theres another 10 odd quality programs with smaller but reasonably big numbers…

    There is only this much a CMC can do….what all schools across the board need to do is promote innovation and entreprenurship…unfortunately characterisitcs that make up successful innovators and entreprenuers often include perceived failure , a disorganized career path…..maverick thinking….different mindset people….whereas all the top b schools want are people with picture perfect resumes…this goes against the idea that innovation and creativity often comes not from a pampered all is good hunky dory save africa place…but from a deep disregard for rules and an even deeper sense of self and sometimes pain….they need to change their admission procedures…

  • DJ

    I can kind of understand. Some of my international section mates hated the B-school self proclaimed frat houses. They believed those people weren’t genuinely nice unless you were like them.

  • Pali

    it is really interesting thing about duke! giving that the average age is the highest among the top school, 29!

  • theKomodo

    Thanks for bringing these comments to my attention, John.

    @John and/or Louis (BW): I noticed that the comments only exist for certain schools, but not others e.g. Kellogg, Booth, and Darden don’t have any graduates’ comments listed in the school profile pages. Will they be added soon?

  • Guest

    Don’t forget “camp out weekend” where all the graduate students across Duke camp out to get basketball tickets. I visited the Monday after the camp out weekend and there weren’t a lot of student volunteers helping out with admissions events. I was told by a first year “Everyone’s recovering from the weekend.” Classy.

  • John A. Byrne

    The change to a new design format at BusinessWeek has delayed the publication of the comments. But more are being published each day.

  • NNW32

    John, when can we expect the aggregate rankings?

  • It_Wasn’t_Me

    Which is why Michigan is one of my top choices :)

    Seriously, people need to remember that an MBA is like a second chance to go back to college. You’re paying that much money and you’re giving up two years of salary, you NEED to enjoy it whether it be drinking, chasing tail, or what not. Once you head back to the working world, the expectation for you to perform is so much higher because you’ll more than likely be raking in 6 figures.

    Again, getting your MBA should be challenging AND FUN!

  • KFC

    I think the complaint was that it could attract more employers from other areas besides healthcare, not that it does not attract any to being with. But then again — it’s one persons view of things. Take these things with a grain of salt. You cannot make up your mind based on one individual’s experience.

  • KFC

    Don’t let that one guy get to you. See people come on an anonymous forum and post messages like that. Certainly it influences some..but most of the folks know that it’s one persons opinion and that it must be taken with a grain of salt.

  • KFC

    I thought it was going to be on Monday…can’t wait!

  • KFC

    Guys..Not that I want to promote anyone’s book, but I would recommend you all read Ahead of the Curve by Phillip Delves Bougton. It’s about his experience at Harvard Business School. It’s well written and has a lot of good descriptions about what a top MBA program is like. You will notice that there are some common themes that run across the top schools. There is a hard charging – drinking – partying culture. But then again — not everyone is a part of that. If that’s not your “cup of vodka” — then there are other things to do. But I hope people don’t take some sort of puritanical approach to their b-school experience. The programs are quite diverse and folks usually find groups and friendships that they are comfortable with.

  • DP

    My wife was abhorred by the immaturity see saw at Michigan and why I choose not to go there.

    While it’s fun to drink and party (we met in the Greek system as undergrads), she just saw a bunch of idiot 30 years olds wearing neon who acted cocky and arrogant. Michigan might not have the “preppy” East Coast snobbery, but it certainly has its share of fakes.

  • Midwest Applicant

    Totally bro!

    Sometimes you just want some 19 year piece of ass. It’s a nice side benefit going to Michigan because I hear MBA females across all school leave a lot to be desired.

  • Regie

    It’s part of what makes the “campus culture” there. I really liked it. It’s my top choice over Darden, Yale and Cornell.

  • BigHouse2007

    +1

  • Guest

    That book was a good read. Something to keep in mind was that Phillip Delves Bougton was a 32-year-old married journalist from Europe when he enrolled. HBS’s average age is 26, it shouldn’t be a surprise that successful young professionals like to go out and booze it up.

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    sounds kind of like 45-50 year old senior managers in Corporate America, except undergraduates are replaced with subordinates (like my slutty ex-boss who spent 20 years being community arse for staff-level managers before waking up at 40 and deciding that NOW she wanted people to respect her lol. What you are describing is not a lot different from what you will encounter after business school, ergo “exclusive, white centric culture” + heavy drinking + rampant sexual innuendo.

  • KFC

    That was precisely the reason why I mentioned it. He was married with a child during his MBA at Harvard. He made some excellent observations and put many things in perspective. On a un-related note, the HBS average age as reently gone up, correct? It’s closer to 28 these days, ins’t it?

  • Roger

    Ha ha ha ha! Hilarious post bro! I agree with you and in fact I worked for a boss that was ***exactly*** like that. She wanted us to respect her but her actions were unworthy of such respect including destroying the marraige of a senior exectuive (of course he was to blame as well — equally if not more). I think someone should write a good expose on what’s going on in corporate America. The hypocrisy is just unbelieveable. You will have CEOs talk about ethics and family values — but their actions will contradict everything they advocated. It’s unbelieveable. And when we point these things out — the critics will say — oh gee you guys are just taking things out of context or looking at isloated events and connecting dots. But in reality it is far worse than that. There is rampant hypocrisy, entitlement, nepotism, infidelity, sexism, racism, bigtory, prejudice in corporate America. B-schools for their part teach the token ethics and corporate responsibility / integrity class and wash their hands off this mess. Moreover, I find it completely ridiculous when people say how backward and illeterate our rural and urban communities are. I think at least there isn’t as much denial and inflated sense of self there. Respectfully,

  • Devon

    I agree with you Roger. I have always felt that some toothless confederate flag waving racist in Alabama is not the real racist and bigot. For the most part, he does not have any influence. The real racism, sexism and bigotry is found among the “entitled corporate elite”…yes, they will say all the right things and even donate millions to Darfur. But when it comes to their own hiring policies or making up their corporate board, it’s a different matter. In my opinion that type of prejudice is far far worse and actually impacts our socity. The toothless ignoramus in Alabama is not the problem.

  • Meg

    To think that you could become a future leader of a business and make hiring decisions makes me squirm.

  • Contrarian

    I want to share a contrarian opinion here and I hope people respond respectfully. I don’t see what the big advantage is with all this diversity and international community involvement. In fact, I would much prefer a school that did not have too much of these distractions. I don’t see the benefit to me because I did engineering in undergrad and grad with a lot of Asians and Indians in my class. I don’t think I learned anything from them and most of those groups formed cliques and rarely contributed to any class discussions; communication skills were poor. I’m sure they did not learn much from me either. Moreover, there was rampant cheating as well. So, what’s all this fuss about diversity and multiculturalism? I have traveled enough to have somewhat of a global perspective; but I don’t think having a bunch of Brazilians (just picking some ethnic group) is going to somehow add to my learning. It’s all some marketing gimmick in my opinion. Of course, I’m going to be accused of being a racist. But, I know I’m just making an observation based on my experience. Yes, engineering might be different but it still doesn’t change the fact that I think most of the people are blindly buying into this nonsense about leaning global perspectives etc etc.

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    I was an engineering major as well. Most of my professors were foreign (Indian, West/South African, Asian); I couldn’t understand half of what they said, and they thought I was a lazy American brat. And its just that kinds of ignorance and lack of understanding between each other that globally-focused programs help to fight against. I may not learn a whole lot from Suzy Ko (or maybe I will? Maybe she’s the most interesting person in my class), but knowing her on first name basis will surely bode well in my favor when I want an investment group that she is a part of 15 years from now to back some venture I’d like to do in the Pacific Rim; ijs.

  • tmc7852002

    Hence why this post is pretty useless.

  • Contrarian

    I accept this rationale 100%. It helps expand our network and opportunities. I can live with that. I just don’t buy the rest of the cabal. I was at an MBA event at a top school and the whole event got hijacked by a bunch of internationals (living now in the states) who wanted to know about salary and sponsorships, management consulting etc etc. We could hardly have a conversation about innovation or entrepreneurship or b-school curriculum or anything substantive. Even one of the Indians (or South Asian) I spoke to in attendance felt the conversation got totally sidetracked. It was equally interesting that he mentioned that there was a huge difference between the South Asians that were born here in the States and those that just migrated here in terms of outlook, etc. He was born here and he did not want to have anything to do with those who just migrated from his own country of origin. I was shocked at that type of racism. But he said there is rampant cheating and fabrication of credentials, etc. I was totally shocked..but he said this was the norm. And then another S.Asian American individual joined our group and he too said the same thing about applicants from South Asia! Of course, it’s stupid to paint with a broad brush and many work hard. This is a land of immigrants…but it’s hard to ignore some questionable aspects of this “international diversity”. I think we have enough ethnic and cultural diversity here in the States and I for one would like to see more African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans in Bschool and fewer Indians, Arabs and Chinese.

  • LongHornJoe

    Agree 100% with that last statement!

  • Miami Phil

    +1

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    I respect your opinion; it is intelligently laid out and makes sense. I can 100% see why someone would see this issue and agree with your perspective. On the cheating, though, is that any groups/cultures/ecosystems where a person’s value is tied to their performance will encourage cheating (i.e. steroids in athletics; the “smart” kids in any high school are usually the biggest cheaters….else they might jeopardize their 4.3 weight GPA and a shot at X university). And personally, I’m no less annoyed by entitled brats from the states who whine about “merit” when they’ve been practically ushered into every blue chip opportunity and prestige educational institution that they’ve ever attended.

  • Harsh

    I’m Indian living in the states and I can tell you that the MBA admissions process is already stacked against us Indian applicants and top schools have a lot of choice in selecting candidates. Some of them may not be up to par, but many are highly motivated to succeed and contribute to classes. If you follow the gmat forums, many of the Indians are committed for years towards achieving a top MBA, including spending a year or more preparing for the GMAT. I find it really unfair how dismissive you are about an entire ethnic group. So we ask some questions about scholarships and placements — what’s so wrong about that? Isn’t that what these sessions are about? Unlike an average American MBA applicant, an average Indian applicant undertakes a HUGE risk by going to the US to pursue an MBA. The cost is quite staggering for even a typical upper-middle class family in India. I also think it’s a gross overstatement to suggest that we don’t contribute to the programs. Many of the professors and deans are of Indian origin (first and second generation). I will agree Indian applicants should improve communication and soft skills. But that is why MBA is a good incubator for advancing such skills. Also, maybe you have had some bad personal experiences with Indians…If so, I can tell you that it’s the exception not the norm. There are good and bad people in every ethnic group and stereotypes are not helpful towards growing our mutual understanding. If I based my impression of Americans by how my visa officer interacted with me, then I would conclude that all Americans are smug, condescending, elitist and lack compassion / respect / empathy for others. But I know this is not that case and that experience was an exception not the norm. Most I have met here are very decent, helpful, polite and friendly people.

  • Fabiano

    I am a current student at Duke and I don’t agree with the comments about our school.

    The student body itself is very diverse with 40% international students. You can find a lot of people with interesting backgrounds. The school has a really collaborative and friendly culture. We do have a lot of social events like Fuqua Friday, SY/FY mixers and orientation parties. A lot of these events became best memories of my first year at Fuqua. Most of my classmates work pretty hard. That’s how they land great consulting and banking offers.

    Regarding the CMC, they hired several new counselors this year and trying to provide students better career services. Based on my personal experiences, they areusually very responsive. They reached out to every student at the very beginning of last term and opened more walk-in hours to talk with us.

    Duke is really a strong brand in healthcare industry. But if you look at the employment report, the top hiring companies are usually from different industries such as consumer goods, high tech, consulting and banking. I would say there are more healthcare opportunities at Duke than other schools because we have a very good healthcare program.

    For the academic part, I wouldn’t complain because there are so many resources you can leverage. You can reach out to teammates to help you, set up appointments with TAs or tutors or attend review sessions. All the classes are videotaped and you can review everything even after class.

  • Contrarian

    I agree with you about “merit”. It’s a silly argument – as silly as our politicians who make this distinction between givers and takers. There is no way a guy like GW Bush gets in HBS without some help, and that is putting it generously. One of Mitt Romney’s sons got into Harvard a few years ago with a GMAT score of around 600; HBS would have been stupid not to take him given his connections and “pedigree”. The reason I mentioned cheating was because we are told by top bschools that we are getting top notch talent from around the world. But if the process is flawed and some people are conjuring up credentials — then it makes me question this claim. Furthermore, we are told that more URMs here don’t have the stats to get in. So my point is — how closely are we monitoring these standards? Are URMs here getting the shaft because of fraud? I would rather sit next to someone who might have a lower gmat and gpa but is honest, rather than someone who has conjured up credentials. Of course, this is painting with a broad brush and is unfair to many internationals who work extremely hard, if not harder that domestic students. But it makes me question the system we have in place. My own experience in undergrad and grad school at a solid mid-western state school (known for its football) was that there was a considerable amount of cheating from both domestic and international students. But in grad school I witnessed a whole different level of collaboration and cheating. Now I hear people are even conjuring up credentials and figuring out ways to game the background check. Pardon me for being slightly less than enthusiastic about this who international diversity cabal.

  • Contrarian

    @ed20a2f75c462c20464c98714d4ce214:disqus I have nothing against any group personally. I’m just advocating for more diversity among Americans. We have a multicultural society and I think we need to focus on providing opportunities to all Americans. I have done some urban outreach programs and I have been ashamed about and appalled at how we treat some of our own citizens. I think bschool would do well to provide more opportunities across the board. My criticism is that bschools tend to claim “diversity” by getting a bunch of people from a couple of countries is Asia. Schools claim they are 35% international, but out of that 85% are comprised of people from the two Asian giants. I don’t think it necessarily furthers diversity. There will always be a lot of applicants from India and China given the population and talent. But I’m advocating accepting fewer (lets say from 80 Indians to 60), and more domestic students. I know and understand the stat that more immigrants start companies here, especially in the technology sector. But I also know that the only way our urban populations will flourish is if we have more education and business opportunities there. My hope is that more Latinos and African Americans in b-school will eventually help make my country a better place for everyone. This is not meant as an affront to you by any means. As I said before, this is a land of immigrants. I’m sure you would look out for your fellow Indians before you did so for the rest of the world. I’m no different.

  • SRoss

    Baby – I know you want me baby! CUM to Ross and be my 7 MAP project and I will show you some experiential learning.

  • david

    As a finance geek who went to ivy undergrad, it seems like i would be miserable at the super fratty cultures at fuqua, darden, ross.

  • SBV

    As a Ross International student and alum, I love that I was able to get a great job from the school and had the opportunity to meet a lot of wonderful people. On the other hand, there were a lot of classmates (mostly Caucasian) who were unfriendly, selfish, and condescending that it ruined my experience. I came into Ross thinking that people from all different backgrounds could unite and be friends. But what I found was that a group of “fratty” white people only acknowledged each other and this in turn made all the other people (East Indians, Chinese, Asian Americans, African Americans, Latin Americans, etc) who were not in that group, form their own racially divide groups. Ross has many subcultures where there is little interaction outside these unofficial social groups.

    As Devon stated, racism today is not direct. No one will call you an offensive name because it’s looked down upon. The racism is indirect. For instance, the “fratty” white kids would more vigorously help each prep for consulting case interviews, but if it was an international who had less than perfect English, they would merely only go through the motions. Ross is not as collaborative as it says it is. These people often ignored you when they passed by and only answered you with one word responses since they deem you weren’t worthy of their time. As a result, they wouldn’t include non-group members for their social events.

    The reason why Ross had to cancel it’s international loan guarantee doesn’t have to do with internationals not getting jobs, it’s that they disliked their Ross experience and feel no obligation to payback the school because they never felt like they were a part of it.

  • Guest

    I didn’t see that on the class profile, but I think you’re right…I’ve heard it’s in the 27-28 range like most other schools.

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    I actually somewhat expect this kind of culture at any non-Chicago mid-western school. I got accepted to Michigan’s graduate engineering program while in undergrad. Before I decided to forego the degree altogether, I immediately nixed Michigan after the KKK had a rally and march on their campus. Where I went to school, a group like that would never even have dared showing up…let alone in full regalia and marching throughout the campus.

  • LongHornJoe

    I’m not surprised by this either. But the problem is not just the white centric culture – everyone is to blame for this. Schools market the MBA as some type of multicultural global immersion exercise, but in reality people just form cliques and groups they are most comfortable with (and it’s usually along racial / ethnic lines). The Chinese stick in their groups and speak their own language. The African Americans hang-out together and so does every other group. So there is enough blame to go around. But I agree with your overall analysis and I think MBA programs should do more than just market their programs; they should actually make an effort to better integrate the students.

  • LongHornJoe

    It’s a bigger problem in the south, although I think UTA does a bit better than the rest. Everyone just forms groups they are comfortable with and everything flows from that. But I have always wondered if it was worse in the those elite north eastern schools? I think to some degree the California schools seem to have got it right with regard to a more integrated student body.

  • Anwar

    If you read many of the comments here, your view seems to be the exception not the norm. As an international student, I considered Ross, Fuqua, Darden, Cornell among others as some of my top choices. I’m seriously starting to reconsider my position and look at INSEAD, IMD etc. more closely. I thought American bschools were over all this racial discrimination stuff. I’m very discouraged to read these things. After all I don’t want to go and partake in higher education paying so much money only to be treated badly and discriminated against. I will not be paying for such indignity no matter what career opportunities are promised. Some things are not for sale.

  • Leaving the Military

    “On the other hand, there were a lot of classmates (mostly Caucasian) who were unfriendly, selfish, and condescending that it ruined my experience.”
    Unfortunately a lot of Americans act condescending to internationals and it isn’t confined to B-school. As a military officer that has spent quite some time in the Pacific, I was disgusted at how our troops acted like the stereotypical arrogant American overseas, thinking that everyone should speak English and being shocked when someone wouldn’t accept US currency.
    They often thought people were dumb because they didn’t speak english, but *NEWSFLASH* I bet the locals thought we were dumb because we didn’t speak Japanese/Korean/etc.
    It’s just rampant ignorance: people are who they are, and it isn’t going to be fixed.

  • Anon

    How did Fuqua, Darden, and Cornell get lumped in with (the frankly, shocking and startling comments about) Ross?

  • Rich

    I can’t speak for Anwar, but there was a post by david – the finance geek – who said he wouldn’t fit in at Darden Ross and Fuqua. I’m not sure how Cornell got in the mix..maybe he was applying there as well. All these comments are shocking and my friends and i have been passing this story around all morning.

  • Nixon

    Well I have an MBA from second/third tier MBA School and work with people who graduated from those so called top tier schools like Duke, UNC, etc…. and I have yet to see anything that sets them apart from me. Sure, some of them have better positions than me, but that’s only because management assumes that they have a better education for attending the so called top B-Schools – that is completely false.

    Most of these top tier schools only pass students because 1) they need to maintain their high rankings and graduation rates, 2) the people paid a lot of money to attend, 3) the professors need to stay on top and keep their jobs.

  • Katsman

    Look, you can’t really compare any top American School to the international schools. programs like INSEAD MBA are by default and specifications should not have more than 10% of any nationality. this is its nature and structure. The most international US school can’t exceed 35 to 40% of its student body as international. and even if you closely look into those who called “international at most of the top us schools, you will really find that they are either dual nationality or spent a significant time of their lives there, undergrad or work. Having said that, YOU should not confuse between quality of education and internationalism, some top US schools having few international students, but in reality they are far better than many international schools! So, it is all depends on you goals and objectives, and basically on where you want to work post mba?, I strongly believe that schools like LBS, INSEAD, and IMD can’t be compared to US schools just for comparison, in certain specialties and circumstances IMD may be better even than wharton or HBS, and of course in another cases, Smeal school at Penn State may be better than LBS. My point is focus on what you want and on your career goals, and don’t be so much focusing on ranking and these fancy talks. at the end of the day, I believe, the top 20 to 30 business schools can offer you excellent opportunities for learning and experience For me, I turned down MIT Sloan for IMD, not because IMD is better (I personally consider MIT Sloan overall away ahead of IMD), but because IMD was and is the best fit for me and can serve my career goals better.

  • INSEADer

    This forum with all its content proved my step was right to attend INSEAD instead of a top 5 school! the most international, you feel you aren’t stranger, respect for multiculturalism, and most importantly, unparalleled career prospective.

  • Rishi

    INSEAD is a school for serious mature professionals. Most of the US schools are just an extension of their bachelor’s program – drinking, more drinking, chasing women, dressing up and jumping around at some basketball or american rugby match. It’s a $150,000 frat party and only some and not all of the students are invited based on melanin content.

  • Rishi

    Well said! Agree 100%. Fit is very very important. Most end up blindly applying based on “so-called rankings”. Your post you be mandatory reading for every MBA applicant – especially every international (outside USA) MBA applicant.

  • Anon

    Congrats on attending the great program they have at INSEAD. Hopefully, your views on the graduates (and your potential future colleagues) of the U.S. based programs are not tainted by the comments on this board. There will be bad apples at every program and I think a good lesson we can take from this is to never judge a book by its cover!

  • Bob

    I went to an top tier (top 3) MBA program and found cheating to be rampand. It is especially pronounced among the Asian students where they seem to get all their homework from other Asian students from prior years. If you are friends with them and non-Asian, they were willing to share with you but from a numbers perspective they seem to work collectively on getting all the answers from other students. Don’t mean to upset people but I was there and experienced it and saw it with my own eyes. Eventually, I just started doing the same cause it is a lot of work to do especially if most of the class already has the answers.

  • Nala

    Thank you for sharing! As potential international student from Australia it’s really insightful to hear the negative aspects of some of these tops schools. An mba is a whole package after which I will be at least 150k in debt so a truly international experience which will enable me to get a job in my chosen field is a must BUT making friends for life is also very important . If this is the way that I too will potentially be treated, especially when i am paying a fortune for that experience , then I am very put off and maybe better off somewhere like Insead. Thanks John for the article, very informative.

  • Ephraim

    Not at all surprising. in fact most of the solutions to the harvard business cases are available in Mandarin, translated and packaged – ready to go! Cheating is a hallmark and central tenant in that culture; they look at it was us (other asians) vs, them (university). Honor codes are a big joke here. I completely agree with many of the comments posted on this stream; some people are in denial about this. I really get a kick out of the ethics and diversity classes at these programs.

  • bob

    Well, asian cultures typically are more community and group oriented; less individualistic than US culture. So in a way it is group help to the extreme, but the part that gets me is how brazen and organized it is. I’m not surprised the case studies are in mandarin and packaged. Initially, I thought about it as us (asians) vs then (other students) but I think you are right it is mostly against the university. I was surprised that as I became good friends with some of my asian classmates at HBS they began to share the wealth.

  • Fuqua Student

    As a current second year student, I will be first to say that any MBA program will always have opportunities for improvements and areas for continued growth. That being said, I am concerned that these points will be incorrectly mistaken as a representation of the entire Fuqua experience, which I strongly believe they are not.

    A couple of comments:

    Accountability is applied at Fuqua through an honor code that encourages a culture of self-accountability but is also reinforced via regulation and institutional metrics. To argue that faculty and staff are strictly responsible for pushing people is not taking into account that there are different teaching styles and methods applied through years of experience, and assumes that any individuals who have not been “serious[] enough” have been that way because of the school/faculty.

    Fuqua’s average class age is on the higher end than other competing MBA programs, if not at par. As a student that began post-college studies at 25, I could not disagree more that having older students or students with families will cause a change in the level of classroom engagement. Having also graduated from a top Ivy League undergraduate and being currently enrolled in two Masters programs, I can say with certainty that any institution will always have individuals who are not to everyone’s liking, but attributing this to a culture of low maturity and too much partying is incorrect. MBA programs come with a level of partying and social life that are higher than other graduate programs, but one of the unique factors of Fuqua is that the level and nature of this engagement varies and in my experience,
    students have not negatively impacted my experience of Fuqua from bringing the after-effects of the party to classes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Atwells55 John Mack

    What we really need is a study about how the elite MBA education industry is contributing to America’s growing inequality and joblessness.

  • TA

    The amount of cynical baggage you guys are walking around with is astounding. Its just a degree…. The world will judge you based on your integrity and work ethic so shape up and realise the fact tht there are other cultures in this world. You will be working with them , you would have no cjoice but too…..also focus on yourselves …stop worrying about who is cheating and who isnt …stop expectig people and things to be perfect…it doesnt happen….things never work the way you want to…people are not angels …they make mistaks….your job as a man is to go and gt what you want without being a lil sniitch and moaning about who is cheatinng…..or who isnt…..stop projecting your bullshit on 2 massive cultures…yeah india and china are 50 percent of the worlds population…what d oyou expect …like seriously what were you expecting…you dont like w graduate program…leave…no one has a gun to your head…..either way focus n what you want outta this mba program and outta life in general…

  • llavelle

    All three schools now have comments. If anyone here has any additional questions, we’ll be happy to answer them on the new BW bschool forums. There’s a discussion thread called “Business Schools – Ask Bloomberg Businessweek” where you can post your question. You can access the forums here: forums.businessweek.com/bw-bschools/start. Thanks for your interest.
    Louis Lavelle
    Associate Editor
    Bloomberg Businessweek

  • Bilbao

    Hi, I want to address the comments made by Contrarian , Harsh , and INSEADer . I also wish to offer insight to internationals such as Nala who are considering attending B-school in the US.

    I’m a current student at a top 10 school. Originally from Colombia, male, haven’t lived in the US prior to school and have a good grasp of US culture. I’m undoubtedly biased in my opinions but with this background info you can probably assess where I’m coming from.

    DIVERSITY: There is an interest for diversity in all business schools. The point being, different perspectives make for a richer learning environment. Contrarian’s comments:
    “I don’t see the benefit to me because I did engineering in undergrad and grad with a lot of Asians and Indians in my class. I don’t think I learned anything from them and most of those groups formed cliques and rarely contributed to any class discussions; communication skills were poor. I’m sure they did not learn much from me either.”
    There are two points to be made here. If you read the remarks you fall either in the ‘I agree he’s got a point’ category, or the ‘appalled – typical American’ category. As an international I will first address the appalled category:

    what bothers me about the comments is they are presented in a disrespectful and condescending manner, and with hints of bigotry. Why you ask? Contrarian that’s the problem – you are clearly well educated but fail to fully understand how you come across with those comments. You would be greatly benefited by having deep meaningful interactions with internationals (they will let you know their take on the issue and this will be valuable to you if you want to work for a global business). Your greater concern seems to be wanting to have a great learning experience and not attaining it. You have a point. Cliques are formed and if they are strong enough, they will hinder interactions.

    To the ‘He’s got a point group’. He DOES have a point. You are also paying top dollar for an education and should get the most out of it. Cliques do form, and some students don’t share thoughts. (I’ll address cheating last). To all you internationals out there, most US nationals ARE NOT racist, direct or indirect, they seek familiarity just as we do. Cliques form. Latins with Latins, Chinese with Chinese, Indian with Indian, also American with American. What we call frats, they call cliques. As groups we can be just as closed cultured as they are, it is on us to avoid hanging out just with familiar people and create bonds with people from different regions. Otherwise it becomes a vicious cycle that reinforces Contrarian’s thoughts and your perceptions about Americans as well. Oh, and Speak UP! when you choose not to participate in class you are robbing those around you of your knowledge and that should not be the case.

    Finally, studying in the US has been a fulfilling experience for my. I’ve made great bonds with us nationals and internationals alike, had to deal with a stereotype here and there, and also learned a ton about how to interact in the US (don’t stare, its rude, for example). For Nala shortcomings exceeded my greatly exceeded my expectations.

  • Bilbao

    Nala – please read my comment bellow

  • RossLAXBRO

    All this hating on Ross is ridiculous. As a current Ross student, the internationals segment themselves and could easily just ask someone “hey, what are you guys up to tonight” and would happily be invited along. Yes, this is a BIG10 school filled with a lot of attractive women and cheap bars. Of course students are going to drink beer, do bearfights (carbomb immediately followed by jaegar bomb), and try to pick up a random chick. Like someone said below, that should appeal to 95% of single guys out there that are taking a 2 year vacation between jobs.
    For the guy complaining about case prep for int’ls, let’s be serious. Consulting and IBD are client facing roles and if you cannot communicate extremely well in English, you probably shouldn’t be recruiting on campus for those positions.

    Come to Ross if you want to meet a ton of great people from all over the world, see some world class football, be surrounded by attractive undergrads, and save a ton of money living in AA versus a larger city. Don’t believe any lies about no respect for multiculturalism, these guys that didn’t fit in at Ross probably were the dorks back home that had no friends in their home countries.

    See y’all at Ricks

  • Broski

    Says the bro who fucks 17 year old townies with fake IDs at Ricks….

  • Jose

    Smug post. Only reinforces the points made earlier.

  • NotApplyingRoss

    Thanks for confirming why I shouldn’t apply to school full of sex crazed, semi-pedophile meatheads. I’m sure you did well on the GMAT, your pre-school job and undergrad academics, but you are a still douchebag.

    It’s obvious with that un-inviting and judgmental attitude why internationals don’t feel apart of the Ross “bro-tastic” culture. Get my drift Brah?

  • DexterM

    This is terrible marketing for Ross. It would have been better if you did not post anything. What you don’t realize is that people read this stuff when they research schools; people talk about this stuff. Given the plethora of choices when it comes to top schools, seems like you and your schools should be making every effort to appeal to people from different backgrounds and ethnicities.

    And with regards to your point about international students asking you – “hey, what’s going on tonight”…I’ll tell you what – there is some onus on you to make them feel welcome and reach out to them as well. During my undergrad, I did an exchange term at a German university. I’ll tell you what – those kids reached out to me and went above and beyond to make me feel welcome and part of the group. As a part of my job I have traveled to countries such as India, Singapore, Taiwan, etc. In all those places, I was welcomed and made to feel like I was part of the local culture. My colleagues went out of the way to ensure that I was having a good time. That’s not just token hospitality, but treating others that are different from you with dignity and respect.

    You have done a good job of turning quite a few people away from Ross.

  • UMundergradalum

    As a UM undergrad alum, this post makes me sick. I can’t believe Ross would let such an insensitive person into it’s program. Your lack of tack and humility is exactly what’s wrong with America today. You care about profits and revenue without compassion for others unless its convenient for your own benefit. Clearly, you don’t under Michigan’s mantra of “The leaders and the best”. I hope your attitude does not further tarnish my school’s otherwise stellar reputation.

    I have not eliminated Ross as one of my target schools but will evaluate it with more scrutiny. This revelation is rather startling and quite frankly sad that these are the people who will one day lead multinational firms. I pray that they learn some humility and humbleness towards those who are not like them and understand the unwritten law that a society is only as strong as it’s weakest link and it is the responsibility of the strong to protect them.

  • RV

    Well said! I do hope that balanced empathetic people like you go to Ross and straighten the rest of them out and sort out the mess. It’s been a real shame to read these posts about Ross, especially the ones written by current students.Ross was on my short-list because of its strength in operations; but like you, I’m going to reevaluate this decision.

  • Pratap

    I completely concur with you. The years I spent at Fuqua were the most intellectually stimulating and enjoyable of my life. The training I received at IIT B (from where I received my undergrad degree) pales in comparison to the education that I received at Fuqua (I intentionally used the word ‘training’ to describe my time at IIT). I chose Fuqua over Booth (even though people told me not to) and I couldn’t be happier with the direction my life has taken after I received my MBA (think McKinsey).

  • Alex

    Time to put a little perspective to all this Ross-hating. As a white male at Ross, I’ve observed that the “fratty” culture here is mostly confined to the BBA’s (Undergrads) – it is less prevalent in the MBA program than other schools I visited (Wharton, Duke, Columbia, etc). Applying a general assertion of racial exclusion at Ross is ridiculous. My best friends are Indian and Asian students – we work on assignments, hang out, have dinner, and party together. Keep in mind that Ross has 1000 students across both years, and while I’m sure there are isolated instances of disgraceful behavior, to apply those to the whole school is untrue and unfair. Ross has allowed me to make the career switch I was looking for and build a diverse network and FRIENDS from around the world. I hope that prospective students will come visit campus and speak to real students before writing off a great school based on questionable comments on this forum.

  • currentrosser

    I am current Ross student, and I would say that most of the things on here are untrue. The school is not without its faults, but on the whole I think most students have really enjoyed their experience here. International students are significant part of the culture, in fact there are a ton of diversity and cultural opportunities on campus (including a recently started international festival, several internationally focused conferences, and events run by international clubs). As far the party culture – I am not sure that its all different from other business schools. – but it is not a required part of the experience. I am actually pretty shocked about these posts. I love Ross, and my classmates have an exceptional level of camaraderie, and are always willing to help each other in any way possible. I would say come visit us here at Ross so you can judge the experience for yourself.

  • tchow

    I am international student and am very pleased with Michigan Ross MBA. Of course many students drink, but when I worked for 2 years in the states so did everyone I worked with. Sometimes people are immature, but that has nothing to do with “white” or “American” culture. That is all students. My classmates are sincere and have helped me prepare for cases. There are many many clubs and resources to take advantage of. I am glad I chose Ross and believe it will help me in my future to get a great job, to learn great business lessons and become a better leader, and make friends from all over the world.

  • court

    I think having diversity is important at business school, but only if they participate and are outgoing. I’m at Columbia and they just keep to themself and dont’ participate in class. How can I learn from them if they don’t care? My classmate sits in valuations and just types on facdebook all day it’s crazy. The other chinese student doesn’t come to study groups but then wants us to turn in papers with her name on it. These internationals are overrated and it’s a shame we even care as much as people do

  • Ross12

    I’ve met some amazing people at Ross as a domestic minority but will say that the school has a decent number of douchebags. They aren’t traditional assholes who are direct and fuck you over directly. They act nice to you but backstab you when they can, and act nice to you so that they can use you until they no longer need you, whether it’s for classes or getting a job. I have some great friends from here, but there are more than a handful of people that I wished burned and died in Hell.

  • Ross12

    As a recent grad, I have mixed feelings about Ross. On one hand, I’ve met some great life long friends and got the job that I wanted. On the other hand, there many fake people there who would be-friend you but stab you in the back later. They are all on the surface seemingly nice people but only because they wanted something from you. They seemed nice but in reality were very disingenuous. Once they realized, they didn’t need you, they ignored you and pretended like you didn’t exist. The Ross culture can be collaborative, but it’s buyer beware.

  • Sali

    Unfortunately, Columbia is famous for individualism and selfishness, the school is super and has long history, prestige and excellent location, but the finance attitude and ib ethics has affected the schools students. most of them are very selfish, collaboration and team work are not exist in columbia atmosphere. I believe this is part of the financial crisis we experienced.

  • MFinGrad09

    I wanted to share my perspective and experience from my masters program in Finance (top 15 US). Our class had several students from China, and most very quite friendly and nice people. But when it came time to group projects and class discussions, they were often very quiet and did not engage much. In fact, the only international Asian students that spoke out were ones who did their education in Hong Kong, Singapore, etc. There were a few exceptions among the Chinese students, but for the most part language was a major hurdle for them. As a result, there was not much of an opportunity to learn from them in class. Outside of class, they often kept to themselves, but were really friendly and polite. The Chinese women seemed far more open and relaxed than their male counterparts. But the biggest issues cultural issues were in regard to ethics. Here in the US, many universities have adopted the honor code system, which places an emphasis on the individual responsibility and integrity. For many of the Chinese students this was an alien concept that they seemed unable to grasp. I don’t think it’s because of personal flaws; rather it is the Chinese educational system that emphasizes results over learning. It was explained to me by an Asian professor that many of these kids have no idea that they are actually cheating when they collaborate on individual projects. Moreover, he said that even in business in China, this is very common practice.

    Now that we have some background on the issue, the larger point I would like to make is that Chinese students often get “found-out” during the recruiting and hiring process. Many of the students failed to get the “cushy” jobs because of their poor communication skills. Moreover, many decided to return to China, knowing that it wouldn’t be easy to climb the corporate ladder here in the States. Some exceptionally bright kids were hired in analytical firms, etc. But very few in client facing roles. So my point is that they do “game” the system somewhat and they do cheat on exams. They do take some advantage of American students who are usually very polite and sensitive to other cultures (I said usually – because there are of course exceptions). Furthermore, as a domestic minority, I have experienced some racism as well from Chinese students, who seemed to much prefer to work with white Americans. But a bulk of Chinese prejudice was reserved for Indian and other Asian students (from Thailand etc) who they considered intellectually and culturally inferior. My own experience was that Indians, Thai, Singaporeans and even the Chinese educated in Hong Kong were far more culturally sensitive, self-aware, had excellent communication skills and were extremely helpful to others. In other words, they were model students.

    I hope that people don’t lump all Asians together in one category. Perhaps my experience was an aberration, but the comments on this stream suggest otherwise. American universities need to do a better job of recruiting quality Chinese students and not just make decisions driven by money. Yes, the Chinese are willing to pay a lot of money for an American education; but let’s not shortchange our own because we are greedy to make money rather than educate.

  • LongHornJoe

    Not surprising at all. Most of them come for the piece of paper that says “MBA Ivy league”. It’s ridiculous. So many good domestic students don’t get in at the expense of these kids who can pay a lot of money! Beijing now has more billionaires than Los Angles. Unfortunately, patriotism is a bad word in America! These b-schools are complicit in helping destroy American exceptionalism.

  • RustyB

    And you wonder why our country is struggling to keep up globally? Here is another perfect example of U.S. Universities, behaving just like U.S. corporations, chasing the almighty dollar. I am personally experiencing a situation where I can’t even get a call or email back from an admissions counselor regarding my MBA application for admission, because the counselor is too busy traveling abroad trying to recruit foreign students who can pay full admission. It seems most colleges, including State colleges, have resorted to the same tactic.
    So here we are, BORN and RAISED in America, TAX PAYER, seeking GRADUATE education, only to find that WE are totally being ignored for profit.
    Yes, America is still the land of opportunity, unfortunately not for Americans. Disgusted by this.

  • MFinGrad09

    As demand for American universities goes international the price of tuition will rise simply because colleges will be able to get away with it. More and more Americans will be priced out.

    That’s not to say foreign students are bad, or that reserving spots for Americans is the answer though. But we should definitely spend more money to help keep state and city colleges equal or better in quality to private schools and affordable for all.

  • A2 Perspective

    I guarantee none of these Ross haters actually attended Ross. I do, and I find these comments to be so out of line for the personality of the institution and the student body. Come on, I know the rankings are important, but stop slandering other schools in the rankings in an attempt to bring your school up.

    Come to Ross. It leads the country in venture capital (three multimillion dollar funds of which top five schools are trying, without success, to replicate), has every major bank and consulting firm beating down the door (four out of five nights a week), runs a spring internship program for action-based learning, has incredible strategy, marketing, and accounting faculties, 40% international student body, and the largest alumni network on the planet. And the 8th richest endowment.

    Most of all. We’re probably the nicest people in a top 10 MBA. Seriously, midwest nice. Too nice.

    So, don’t play games and pretend to be an Alum when you’re clearly just playing the slander/ ranking game.

  • JPC

    I think you have your facts wrong. You make it sound like they were welcomed. It looks like they forced the city of Ann Arbor to let them rally in 1996. It does not sound like they were ever on the UM campus. In response, people protested against them being there. http://www.annarbor.com/news/crime/klan-security-detail/

  • CH3D33

    Doesn’t change the underlying situation there.

  • CH3D33

    Top Post Rusty!!!

  • JohnAByrne

    MFinGrad09,

    Thanks very much for sharing your perspective. There are many very well qualified international applicants, including many from China, but what you describe is unfortunately a rather common problem. Some applicants from overseas are heavily coached and packaged by consultants so that a school’s admission office may not be able to get a clear picture of their ability to speak English. This is also why I am highly suspicious of U.S. schools with unusually high numbers of international students. Often times, the reason a school will go beyond 35% is because it has had trouble attracting highly qualified domestic applicants. Potentially, it’s a red flag.

  • Capetown056

    Well said John! In fact it was one of the things that is really worrisome is as we go further down the list of schools, the standards drop precipitously. The top schools tend to attract the best have a healthy choice in the matter. But lower down, especially in private schools such as USC Marshall, Vanderbilt Owen and Boston College Carrol – schools that are not in the top 15 and with sizable international student bodies – the quality of students is a major concern. My fiance graduated from USC Marshall earlier this year and had a really hard time getting interviews for jobs. She really enjoyed her experience, but felt that she wasn’t really learning a lot from many of her group projects and class discussions because not every student was interested in participating. Communication skills were a huge obstacle for many. Some of her classmates from China had never even spoken up or even asked a question during all their years of schooling in China, and found the case method to be very difficult. I know for a fact that my fiance would often spend at least an hour making basic grammar corrections before turning in her group’s final case reports. On one occasion, she found out that one of her Chinese classmates was using “google translate”- to write her reports. She would type in Chinese and google would translate the material to English because she said it took far too long to write from scratch. Of course, to my fiance’s credit, she helped her Chinese friend by finding a graduate student who offered some lessons on strengthening business writing. But the issue was not that she couldn’t write at all, it was that the MBA program was quite demanding and required excellent communication skills; average or acceptable communication skills will put you at a significant disadvantage even though it is highly admirable to see someone really trying hard to learn the language.

    I don’t intend to bash USC, but my fiance’s experience there has convinced me that the strength of the student body across the board is perhaps one of the most important attributes of a b-school; a majority of the learning takes place not from reading text books or listening to lectures, but when the intellect and experience of the students are harnessed.

  • University of Phoenix MBA

    We may get less job offers, and have lower salaries and GMAT scores, but as University of Phoenix Online MBA grads, we can safely say that we aren’t racist like Ross!

  • portapa

    OK I see! very interesting! I’ve an offer from ROSS, now I’m thinking seriously to consider Phoenix online MBA!!!

    Hi you, give me a favor and get out of this forum! Ross is a top and very elite business school, when we discuss here some flaws about any business school,it DOESN’T mean it is bad NO, we discuss on the base of why the school could reach the perfection..thats it..it is a fancy discussion..not a basic..

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    My assertion about them being on campus was wrong; but I never said that UM welcomed/invited them. It still didn’t matter. The fact that they were so strong in that community was more than enough for me.

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    I’m from Florida, so I know all to well about how it goes down in the south. To this day, I avoid living in “red” states. Don’t give the Cali schools too much credit though, because they haven’t gotten anything “right”, they just benefit from the ecosystem that the schools are naturally a part of.

  • Miami Phil

    Google translate? Are you kidding! I hope b-schools read these forums. I really hope they do.

  • WhartonBaby!

    Wow – you are too retarded to not see that the author is being sarcastic. You must go to Ross then!

  • Current Student

    I currently attend a top 5 MBA program and I will be the first to tell you that the criticisms that I read of my school here are completely true. That being said, I think what gets lost, especially in an article like this, is the unattainable level of expectation that the student body typically has for the school. Whether its through self delusion or bad information the whole idea that any school is a transcendent experience is somewhat overrated (maybe outside of being a Rhodes Scholar). No school is perfect, but the wealth of opportunities I have available to me now when I stop to think is pretty incredible. I say that because, I, like most students at these schools dont usually stop to think, you become jaded; oh I can meet with the former global head of McKinsey today, ehhh, oh, Goldman Sachs is inviting me to cocktails…I really just wanted to relax tonight. Just like anything in life people always look to the next and the better and you would be amazed how quickly people (myself included) forget that a scant few months ago these were chances I could have only dreamed of. On top of that you have the unrealistic crowd that wants to be CEO yesterday or go from working at a non-profit to USRE head for Carlyle right after graduation. Seeing it firsthand I agree, there are things to work on, none of these schools are the Taj Mahal, but make sure you dont lose sight of the opportunities that they do provide because you are too focused on what the dont. At the end of the day, many of classmates and professors are amazing but they are just normal people, if you think business school is anything but just that, a school, you will be sorely disappointed.

  • Current Student

    I missed my main point, take everything with a grain of salt and be realistic about what business school really is and what it can really do for you.

  • http://cheetarah1980.blogspot.com/ cheetarah1980

    Because of course some of those with melanin have nothing to offer besides that melanin.

  • Anon_Indian

    It is also worthwhile to look at how “Indian” Indians are at B-school. Most Indians are either born and brought up in US/UK or have studied in US/UK. Indians who have studied and worked in India are very few. This is just my observation from W and I could be completely wrong for other schools

  • http://twitter.com/moore_crouch Simon Moore-Crouch

    Hi Nala,

    I’m an Australian doing my MBA here at Duke Fuqua. As a first year I’ve loved every minute here at Duke. It was a huge decision to come here from Australia and I’d love to share my experiences with you.

    Let me know if you’d like to connect.

    Cheers,

    Simon

  • SaintsFanLSUGrad

    Simon,

    I read some of your tweets about your Fuqua experience and I urge P&Q readers to read your stream (by clicking on your handle that is linked to your twitter acc). Fantastic stuff! Anyone who reads your feed will truly understand what an awesome program Fuqua is. Good luck to you with your career in sports management. It’s refreshing to hear about people interested in careers outside the traditional fields. I met another Fuqua student in the field of sports management when I visited the campus — a grad from Oregon (??) and a former collegiate lacrosse player… My overall experience at Fuqua was fantastic and I’m in the process of applying in R2.

  • WhyHateOnUsWhites?

    I don’t see why people are hating on Ross? The world is run by white people and it’s good for these non-whites to understand who their boss ultimately is and understand what motivates them. The earlier they learn that the “master” is driven by sex and booze, the quicker they can break the glass ceiling of being data jocks and number crunchers. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. Stop blaming white males for their power, if you were born as one, you’d take advantage of it too.

    By the way, I am applying to Ross/Fuqua because of the all slutty undergrads and partying. Why not take advantage of morally questionable females? If I don’t, someone else will and besides, girls love sex as much as I do giving it to them. Let’s not pretend this is a one side transaction here.

    – Future Banker / MBB consultant

  • Jatin

    “I completely concur with you”.. Is that the best english you could write after studying at Fuqua??? Really??

  • Loco

    What about Kenan-Flagler? Faculty is awesome, you can have a great academic experience. On the other hand it is a little bit sad to see how students sacrifice academics for interview prep. At the end, all the alumni I have met are doing really well in all areas. Hopefully, they will increase the internationals intake, by the way, MOST of the Americans studying there are really smart and collaborative with international students.

  • WTFisupwithRoss?

    What’s the deal with Ross being full of fratty, self centered white folks who only care about those like them? I hope it’s not as bad as it seems.

  • maximus

    Racist, baseless and ignorant… If you attended an MBA program you certainly didn’t add much value to the intellectual makeup, aside for your backward ideas…

  • popo

    The best ice cream is BR..

  • MBAapplicant

    I can’t believe how hostile and racist Ross is. I guess I will substitute UCLA for them.

  • DQ

    You seriously don’t think this kind of environment exists in the business world? If anything its worse. If you can’t deal with it an environment designed to be inviting in inclusive, how the hell are you going to do it in an adversarial negotiation during a competitive bid? You don’t think customers can act immature?

    If anything, you should take this environment as something of a learning opportunity. The same can be said for those “fratty” guys as well. They ought to be invested in learning how other people and other cultures do business. But what ought not do it whine and act like it’s some kind of knock against the school. All that is immaterial to what you learn there. You don’t want to participate, don”t.

  • DQ

    As if the original posters don’t understand the fundamental hypocrisy of decrying “all whites” being unfriendly towards all “non-whites.”

    I agree with your assessment. The fratty culture is the domain of the BBAs. They’re the most visible group in the school, so perhaps that hypocrisy truly is left unnoticed by many.

  • RossMBA1

    I’m a current MBA1 at Ross and I think there is a very diverse mix of people here. Are there people that want to relive (or have for the first time) their greek days from undergrad: yes. Are there also lots of people who don’t drink: yes. There are people from all different backgrounds with varying interests and how they define fun. On the self-centered side, people have been more selfless and helpful at Ross than anywhere I can think of, some self-centered is the exact opposite of what I have seen. Personally I’ve had a blast here so far and don’t see any of the issues mentioned in the comments here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25503923 Bruce Vann

    This is sort of true. This definitely happens at my school but the thing is since the MBA program is so freakishly intense at my school, though people hang out in their cliques we’re all helpful to one another and very comfortable stepping out of our comfort zone to build deeper relationships with people who are not like us. For instance, I’m an American Black and I love hanging out with Indians because I learn so much from their life stories. They’re so different from my own. And there are several other folks who do this at my school too.

  • Michigan Native
  • Michigan Native

  • AdamT

    I work for P&G and recruit Ross and Fuqua students and they are some of the best. Visit a school before believing the crap that other people write. Poets and quants is a great website, but some of the comments on here that are negative are definitely NOT representative of the truth.

  • AdamT

    I’m at Ross and love it. I am married, have children, and don’t drink. Many of my classmates drink and have fun, but that’s not a problem or distraction. I love how much diversity in thought, ethnicity and nationality there is at the school. I feel welcome by all and have have a wonderful experience. I chose Ross above, and held offers from Fuqua, Kellogg, Kelley and Haas. The people are some of the most friendly, genuine and smart of all I’ve ever met.

  • MBA1

    Whoops, that comment below is from me I meant to address AdamT but put it in the wrong spot. Cheers. Go Blue!

  • itsagoodlife

    FYI – at Harvard 25% of students get 1’s, 70% get 2’s and 5% get 3’s. It’s pretty lax/easy to me. I know it’s crazy but I chose Darden over Harvard because of that. It’s easy there, but lots of students I talked to didn’t like it. I also loved Ross but my family lives on east coast and I wanted to be closed to them. Fuqua is also a great school and seemed like a good fit too. I’d say if you are interested in a school, don’t judge it based on reading these comments. I had heard some negative things about Darden but when I visited and met people I loved it. I’m so glad I am here.

  • RossGrad

    Ross is full of cliches….if you pick the wrong one, life at Ross blows.

  • http://twitter.com/moore_crouch Simon Moore-Crouch

    Thanks mate, appreciate the words.

    There is a small but passionate group of us at Fuqua looking to build our sports management careers and there’s a great media, sports and entertainment club on campus which opens up opportunities for us.

    Good luck with your R2 application. Keep me posted on how you go and if you have any other questions about Fuqua, Duke or Durham.

  • bluemints

    that generalization cannot be accurate and the remark is rude and in bad taste

  • yuku

    A serious mature professional wouldn’t make an immature ill informed sweeping generalization like the one you just made. Your comments on this website are a liability for your school Insead.

  • Jason

    Well Said and Go Blue!

  • Jason

    SBV-that’s terrible! I’m an MBA 1 here at ross (Caucasian) and I can assure you that our section is not like this. In fact, I really do not see this in other sections either. I will bring it up to RSA and the other student organizations though. To provide a counter point, we all pitch in for section dues informally, and my wife and I (with our 4 children) had the international students over to our house for thanksgiving where we cooked a full thanksgiving meal for them. I organized a trip to the monster jam monster truck show at Ford Field where all of our Russian exchange students came with my son and I. I’ve been in groups with my Chinese classmates who I have tremendous respect from. I see your incident as isolated and I can assure you that your experience is the exception and not the rule. I wish you all the best and as a an alum-GO BLUE!

  • Dukie

    Clearly the person who made the Duke MBA comment is probably an outcast at the school. Every school has partiers. Really? Go visit other top 10 business schools and tell me how “great” classroom discussions are. Moot point, really. Duke rocks!

  • Dukie

    Jatin, try applying to IIT Bombay. My guess is you would get flat out rejected. English is probably not Pratap’s first language…

  • ND

    Notre Dame > Michigan. But not talking about graduate business school…mich is prob a tad better…just in every other way…..oh!!! :)

    Go Irish!!

  • RossisAwesome

    I agree with you. This moron has made this stupid comments about Ross on pretty much every article found on PandQ. Michigan is one of the most liberal schools out there and that culture applies to Ross as well. He/She is actually quite respectful in this post usually just calls Ross flat out racist. Oh and I spent 4 years getting my undergrad degree at umich so trust me, I know what happens there. The only downside of Ross is the Michigan weather which can get pretty cold. You cant go wrong with Michigan and unless the offer is from HSWBTK, I’d say go to umich!

    Go Blue!

  • MichiganGrad08

    WHen was this. I was at Michigan from 04 to 08 and do not recall anything like this. My Michigan experience was very inclusive (fratty white kids aside because you know kid from India etc) but that happens everywhere so one cant blame michigan for that but I had a healthy group of friends hailing from several parts of the world.

  • Michigangrad08

    I agree with everything except the cheating part. If you see someone being dishonest, have the moral courage to confront them and if they do not cease then report them to the appropriate authorities. As a US born Indian, undergrad engineer. I do know that cheating is a problem amongst S Asians and other Asians (Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese etc.) who were born and raised there but there was an equal number of extremely smart students as well. The Singaporeans single handedly did unspeakable things to the grading curve. And that said it isnt as if the local kids are pure and upright. I noticed several violations of the honor code by white fratty kids as well. I had the president of a very white social fraternity admit to me about the existence of test banks maintained in his frat houses that had tests from atleast half the classes offered at michigan. Bottom line, dont do it and dont tolerate it either.

  • MichiganGrad08

    I think this is a fairly common problem at Harvard, Wharton and Columbia as well. It comes with the territory.

  • Ross

    Dude, you are not a RossGrad and stop pretending to be one. You know how I know, because RossGrads know the difference between cliches and cliques.

  • Tropical Ross

    As international student from a country where you can plant coconut tree at your backyard, I found Ann Arbor’s fall is poetic and the winter is pretty actually. And it wouldn’t matter that much cause you will have (heated) indoor classes anyway.

  • RacismBlows

    Ross is still full of racism. Don’t let the scenery fool you.

  • ICallBS

    Yeah right

  • AugustineThomas

    Americans are such babies they don’t even want to walk outside in the cold for a few minutes. :)

  • AugustineThomas

    (You would be considered white though and your first language is English, so your experience might not speak to that of non-Anglo students.)

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