Highest GMATs & Salaries in Europe

by John A. Byrne on

INSEADpixINSEAD has come out on top of a new ranking of the best European business schools. The school, with campuses in Fontainebleau, France, and Singapore, topped the list of 20 business schools. Right behind it were No. 2 London Business School, No. 3 IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland, No. 4 IE Business School in Madrid, Spain, and No. 5 IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain.

The survey, published recently by Bloomberg BusinessWeek, is based solely upon the opinions of international corporate recruiters conducted by an MBA tour company, QS Quacquarelli Symonds. BusinessWeek did not report the number of respondents to the survey nor the response rate.

It would be easy to criticize this ranking of European schools. In the top 20, for example, Manchester Business School, ranked highly by The Financial Times, The Economist and Forbes, fails to warrant a mention. Neither does City University’s Cass School or Cranfield in the U.K. Germany, which is not known for graduate business education, claims three spots out of the top 16 schools.

LARGEST CLASS SIZE IN EUROPE: INSEAD WITH 1,008 STUDENTS

Far more interesting than the actual ranking, however, is the comparative self-reported data for the schools. By far, the European school with the largest class size is INSEAD with 1,008 MBA students, compared to IE Business School, which has the second largest class size at 450 students. Otherwise, most of these programs are very small, with more than half of the 20 admitting class sizes of under 100 MBA students.

HIGHEST GMAT SCORES IN EUROPE: INSEAD AND LONDON BUSINESS SCHOOL

The highest reported average GMATs come from INSEAD at 703, some 26 points below Stanford’s 729 average and 21 points below Harvard’s 724. INSEAD’s average is equal to the University of Michigan’s Ross School and the University of Virginia’s Darden School. There are now a dozen business schools in the U.S. with higher average GMAT scores than INSEAD. The second highest average GMAT scores for the latest entering class is reported by London Business School, with an average GMAT of 698, which is the average score for Washington University’s Olin School in St. Louis.

HIGHEST REPORTED STARTING SALARY: IMD

The highest reported starting salary is at IMD, the International Institute for Management Development, in Lausanne, Switzerland, at $132,852, with Warwick Business School second at $129,970. Starting salaries at those two European schools bested Stanford’s $129,652 and Harvard Business School’s $124,085 last year. IMD’s reported numbers are due to the school’s student population which tends to be older with more work experience. It’s unclear how Warwick’s starting salaries could exceed Stanford, Harvard, INSEAD or London Business School.

INSEAD reported starting salaries of $102,888 and London Business School at $110,606. Another surprise in the numbers is the difference in starting salaries between IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain, and IE Business School in Madrid. IESE reported average starting salary of $113,512 vs. $89,602 for rival IE Business School, a difference of $23,910.

MOST EXPENSIVE MBA PROGRAM IN EUROPE: LONDON BUSINESS SCHOOL

The most expensive MBA program in Europe? According to this list, it’s London Business School where the full tuition is $87,164, considerably higher than the one-year program at INSEAD which costs $66,877 in tuition. The least expensive? The MBA program at Warsaw University of Technology where the entire tuition is just $12,728.

(See following page for our table of the top 20 schools in Europe plus average GMATs & starting salaries)

DON’T MISS: POETS&QUANTS’ TOP 50 NON-U.S. BUSINESS SCHOOLS OF 2012

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  • GeorgeTheFourth

    Thank you for your opinion. But, don’t make judgement on where people go. I personally know three friends turned down INSEAD for Cambridge, their main reasons: the class size, the access to wider university resources, and of course the brand. Harvard for engineering is still Harvard, we can’t deny that. Yale SOM, with all its weaknesses managed to be in the top 10, the reason is simple, the stronger mother university attract the good professors and already they got the gurus of economics at their economics departments. For Cambridge, for example, we can’t deny that they have one of the world’s best professors in engineering, finance, and economics. similar applied to Oxford, Yale, and harvard. I do not say that INSEAD or London are bad, but I am saying that the brand has its tremendous strengths in this saturated market (The MBA market), could explain why Oxford and Cambridge in just less than 20 years managed to have a world class and highly ranked MBA programs, because the huge value of the mother university. Their postions in the rankings and placements took other decades to reach it. Plus, even if some employers consider INSEAD or London better than Oxford and Cambridge, They certainly do know that the standards of quality that applied in the students selection at Oxford and cambridge. The name of Harvard force the admission team NOT to sacrifice the quality for the engineering school, and therefore, I’d expect the students at Harvard engineering are far better than say Purdue. Suppose that Princeton decide t to have its MBA, I am sure they will be in the top in the first say three to five years time. Do not underestimate the value of the brand in the MBA industry.

  • calcata

    From brand pointview, London has a major disadvantage which is its name, many people confuse it with LSE. and there are many schools in london called London Business School for ….something..INSEAD has the brand over london no question about that.

  • sami

    Dear Mr Ex-Mckinsey and heading to google,

    check this: www[dot]topmba[dot]com/institution/indian-institute-of-management-ahmedabad

  • MikeWest

    Dude, your theory that INSEAD is “facing its own financial crisis and is selling-off to survive .. mostly due to decline in sales in their overpriced exec education” was immediately refuted by the post of Red. Besides, INSEAD probably wouldn’t be on its 3rd phase of expansion in Singapore if the first two phases weren’t successful.

  • A.

    A difference of ~10% is significant especially if you deliberately exaggerated the numbers to support your claim. Since you have the numbers from your friend, you must have known from the beginning that the class size can’t be greater than 1,100 – unless you had let your personal bias mess up with your math.

    Besides, you are totally wrong to suggest that a top business school is a place for turning someone from zero to somebody!!

  • Raj

    I totally disagree with you on your statement about INSEAD’s PhD programme. Those in the know consider it on par with the PhD programmes of the top U.S. business schools except maybe for H/S/W. In fact, if you look at their placement record, many of their PhD students have actually been recruited as professors by the top 20 business schools that you see on FT, including Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, Kellogg, MIT, LBS and Chicago.

  • Tak

    You don’t know what you are talking about, Maria. You’ll be insane if you turn down Chicago or INSEAD for National University of Singapore or NTU for management education.

  • Xuan Wen

    You are incorrect George. Taking Yale as a sample, SOM is considered far inferior to law school or med school (some alum from Yale even pushed for SOM to be shut down years back). I’m not saying that Oxbridge is not sexy name — it is. But employers know where the best and brightest in the world go. US top 8,
    London Business School, and INSEAD.

    And to your point about Harvard engineering still being Harvard you are misguided in that brand value. I work in Silicon Valley right now (graduated with masters from Stanford (not GSB)) and Harvard engineers are ridiculed. Kind of like Yale SOM. kind of like Oxford or Cambridge MBA. It’s seen as “trying too hard.” Only makes sense to attend if you are a rhodes scholar already there. But hey believe whatever you want to help you sleep at night. Enjoy Oxbridge for your MBA. :-)

  • Aussie

    Dear Sami,

    I don’t care. Send me whatever sites you want. Subjective BS won’t affect my argument / stance, which is supported by facts. I dont really understand your counter. You bring IIM into this why? Because of super high GMAT scores lol? Let me share a fact with you—high GMAT scores do not necessarily imply strong leadership/management potential…which is what business school is all about.

  • Aussie

    Oh and one more comment Sami. When I was at McKinsey, I worked with several post MBA consultants with less than 700 GMAT scores that went to top 5 US b schools and no, no nepotism. Thoughts? How did they slip through the McKinsey cracks? GMAT scores are an extremely dumb way to judge student quality…seriously get real.

  • Aussie

    Touche on LSE argument…something school needs to work for sure. What other London Business schools are there in London? One thing to realize: many people don’t even pronounce your school’s name correctly, lol! In Seed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tia.trussardi Tia Trussardi

    INSEAD serves a different recruitment function to Harvard. The European Union has 23 official languages and pan-European recruiters need to find top-tier MBAs who can speak local languages, which is why the diversity of INSEAD’s student body appeals. Also, recruiters tend to prefer a large class size. Below a certain size and ranking, it’s just not worth the hassle of doing on campus recruitment, particularly if the average GMAT is below any minimum requirements a company might have. That’s why Oxford in particular is desperately trying to grow its class size to roughly 350.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tia.trussardi Tia Trussardi

    Well, if the only thing that counts is the brand, then why do people who did their undergrad at Ivies or Oxbridge need an MBA at all, since they have the desired brands on their resumes already?

    Also, the value of the brand is a PERCEIVED value, which depends greatly on whose perception you are talking about. Recruiters in different industries, and different countries, may rank schools differently. Management consultancies such as MBB recruit more consultants from INSEAD than any other school, followed by Wharton, and Kellogg is tops for marketing, whereas HBS has a lock on VC/PE jobs for example. In some parts of the world, Oxford or Cambridge may be considered more prestigious B-school brands than LBS or INSEAD or Wharton or whatever, and that’s fine. It’s the nature of the game. However, it doesn’t mean that the brand trumps everything. The FT ranking has an interesting “alumni recommend” metric, which measures alumni perceptions. The top 3 schools for “alumni recommend” are HBS, Stanford and Wharton. LBS is ranked 4th for “alumni recommend,” INSEAD is number 8, Yale is ranked 17th, Oxford is 34th and Cambridge 47th.

    I’m a Stanford GSB alum myself and, in my personal experience, it’s much more common for Stanford and HBS undergrads to do their MBAs at the same school. Why? Because their undergrads tend to believe that their alma mater has the best b-school around. The dirty little secret at Oxford and Cambridge is that their wider university communities do not consider their b-schools to be very selective at all, which is why their undergrads tend to do their MBAs at more selective business schools elsewhere. Nothing waters down the value of a b-school brand like a lack of selectivity.

    I think if you compare a particular class cohort, say the Class of 2003, across H/S/W/Yale/Oxford/Cambridge, you will see that a decade later, even if the brands appear to be roughly equal, I would venture that the student outcomes are very different, which is why the “alumni recommend” rankings also vary so greatly.

  • salm

    Harvard engineering ptoduced Microsoft and facebook by the way.

  • Sami

    why your so angry anyway? calm down Mr Ex-Mckinsey and heading to google ;) ;)

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

    I agree with you that a Harvard grad isn’t going to be ridiculed any way you slice it regardless of their program of choice; though I think its a stretch to say that Harvard engineering “produced” Microsoft and Facebook. It is pretty well documented that both Gates and Zuckerberg already had the technical skills they needed prior to even going to college from a mixtures of passion, countless hours of coding and privileged access to resources. In fact, Harvard was quite a bit irritated with Zuckerberg’s early entrepreneurial activity; part of the reason he dropped out. By contrast, Yahoo! and Google were actual class projects at Stanford. Nurturing innovation is one thing; taking credit for the accomplishments of exceptionally bright, highly privileged kids who would have been amazingly successful with or without the institutions help is another.

  • Joey

    My mother once worked for Bell Labs, one of the most prestigious technical places out there. MIT undergrad, Berkeley PhD. They never once took a Harvard engineer seriously in recruiting. Only hire the best from TECHNICAL schools. Tech people reading this, you know how prestigious bell labs is. Produced many Nobel laureates and only hired the best of the best in the world. On that note, yes, going to Harvard for engineering is a waste just like going to Yale for b school is a waste just like Oxbridge is a waste for an MBA. Much better returns on investment at INSEAD and LBS – hands down.

  • Aussie

    Fair enough Sami –apologize if I am getting irritated. Respectfully, I just don’t think you have a strong argument, and I still stand to my original point. But, no biggie. Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion…I just don’t agree with yours in the slightest bit. :)

  • OhCanada

    What a stupid amount of posts on this topic. Jesus. LBS and INSEAD are both excellent and other business schools in Europe are sub-par (yes including Oxford and Cambridge). My statements are confirmed by the 2012 QS 200 Global Business Schools Report (opinions of the people who matter – employers). You’ll find that both INSEAD and LBS are in the top 10 in the world (ranked against US business schools too) in almost every category. In terms of which is better? Really? No one of importance gives a f*ck – they view both the same. Both schools alternate between 1 and 2 spots among non-US like Harvard and Stanford do across US rankings (and many global ones).
    Graduates from both schools kick ass in consulting, finance, and corporate. I have a gut feeling there is more camaraderie than competition among graduates from both schools except on this message board which is truly unfortunate.

  • Verma

    obviously the biggest advantage of INSEAD’s large class size is that they can be found everywhere, posting here posting there, I got the feeling that they just want any topic about INSEAD to be the most discussed.. :)

  • JimJR

    well, achievements of harvard engineering are because students came with it, but at Stanford because the school! this is just a hypocritical point view. sorry about that. all students got into good schools are good by default, the difference the aspiration of the school that help students to achieve. whatever the west cost do, the Athens of america is in new ENGLAND.

  • coconut

    you were george the fifth! how come you became the fourth?!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tia.trussardi Tia Trussardi

    INSEAD’s January intake includes a 2-month summer break to facilitate an internship.

  • WhatI SayisTru

    Guys, I don’t think she meant NTU or NUS MBA is better than INSEAD or U-Chicago Booth, but just stating an observation in regards to Singapore. My understanding is the U-Chicago Booth Singapore campus IS for EMBA programs. I’m not even sure it grants MBA’s but rather an EMBA training institute. Of course U-Chicago Booth brands carries much more weight overall.

    I really do question INSEAD’s 1 year multi-location MBA model. How do students really get to network and know each other? How does INSEAD generate a coherent culture among its students? That’s why when I did even consider an MBA abroad I was much more interested in LBS.

  • hoko

    it is 7 weeks and rubbish

  • Arnold

    The GMAT point is definitely valid. Even though the IIM/IIT scores are incredibly high, they also have a two million people applying for spots, within a system that rewards only grades and GMAT (no extracurriculars or interesting stories) and draws completely from the Indian education system, which also does a pretty good job teaching English.

    I’m an LBS student, and neither LBS nor INSEAD work like that. Both pull from a global student base, and to be frank, there are varying degrees of English proficiency. People who don’t speak English as their first language work pretty hard to compensate for it by doing extra prep, but it is still often their third or fourth language.

  • Barca

    Well said Verma! Although it is entertaining to read all of this as many of us watch the clock tick away until the end of the day ;>0. Yes, I am not happy with my job hahahah

  • Barca

    Schools like LBS and INSEAD only provide a platform for success, which can be accomplished at really any top 15 business school in Europe. It is what you do in business school which counts. I am sure there are morons at INSEAD and LBS just like there are morons at HBS, Stanford, and Wharton. The best of these schools will get the best jobs and the worst have work to do. The only qualifying statement I’ll make is that the average at places like Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, LBS, and INSEAD probably still have a better chance at a *decent* job than middle of the pack at [insert middle of the road] business school.

  • Barca

    I second what Arnold says. I visited London Business School, applied, and was rejected. I had the chance to meet many students and yes English is definitely a 2nd language for many…Arnold, any tips for my reapp?? hahah, just kidding. Well maybe not – let me know!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tia.trussardi Tia Trussardi

    A friend of mine was in the same Wharton class as the Warby Parker founders. He spent 2 years on campus with them but never met them even once. Same goes for many of his other 950 classmates. I’m a Stanford GSB alum and, despite the smaller class size, I didn’t get to know everyone in my own class, or the MBA2’s during my first year.

    The reality is that a lot of the most valuable b-school networking is with people you’ve never really met, such as alumni. Some schools do a better job than others of inculcating a culture of a common bond, even if you’ve never met. Personally, I think this may be easier to do in a 2-year program environment, where the culture of helping students from other classes begins on campus. A classmate of mine emailed Steve Ballmer, who famously dropped out of the GSB, but he still took the time to write back to an MBA student.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tia.trussardi Tia Trussardi

    I attended a top 3 program and disagree entirely. US citizens and permanent residents are not counted as international. While students from bilingual countries such as India, Singapore, Hong Kong or English-speaking African countries may have a leg up on the language front, there were plenty of people in my class from Europe, Asia and Latin America who had done their undergrad degree in their native countries, in their native languages, but who have somehow also mastered English. The only two people I know who scored a perfect 800 on the GMAT are both non-native English speakers.

    I’m a native Italian speaker and this notion that the GMAT verbal section is “too hard” is very prevalent in Italy. Well, just wait until you have to read and digest a ton of lengthy case studies per week and write your first papers and take your first exams in English…

  • http://www.facebook.com/tia.trussardi Tia Trussardi

    I think language issues are a bigger factor in Europe. All the top European MBA programs are in English, which means there is a lot of competition for jobs in English-speaking London or the USA. However, in somewhere like France or Italy, or most European countries, I think you have to be able speak the local language, which narrows down the pool of suitable job applicants for MBA jobs there, so the school becomes less important as an applicant filtering mechanism.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tia.trussardi Tia Trussardi

    I think the bigger worry amongst US schools is not about European schools per se but rather about 1-year MBA programs proliferating in America. If INSEAD grads are getting the same MBB consulting jobs as Wharton or Kellogg kids, it does raise some awkward questions about how essential a second very expensive year in b-school really is for certain MBA candidates.

  • simon

    The 1 year european mba programs are not for someone who wants to learn, it is for someone who already have the experience and education and just need the badge and the network. I have visited INSEAD and talked to many students, lots of them come from top constaluting and to banking firms, and in fact, the banking recruiting at INSEAD starts just weeks after the class start, it is simply means that the education there is less valuable. similar to IMD many of its student come with significant amount of experience and already held management position and therefore, I’d say that european 1 year mbas are not for people who wants to learn business properly. The big challenge for european schools is if the top US schools start offering 1 year MBA such kellogg and cornell, it will be really the killing step for european schools.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tia.trussardi Tia Trussardi

    I partially agree and partially disagree with your comment.

    The only real reason why a 2-year program takes that long in my opinion is to facilitate the summer internship between years 1 and 2. For example, schools such as Columbia and LBS already offer accelerated 15-month tracks to graduation from their 2-year MBA programs. That’s a month less than HEC Paris’s 16-month MBA, which is generally classed as a 1-year program because it is not divided into 2 separate years.

    I do agree that a 2-year program is perhaps better suited to someone who is 24 or 25 or someone seeking to switch careers. But that leaves a lot of people, such as company-sponsored candidates, non career switchers, older students and entrepreneurs for whom 2 years may seem too long.

    I think it’s inevitable that the 1-year program will proliferate further in the US. There is even talk of INSEAD opening a US campus. But I don’t think 1-year US programs will kill off European schools either because certain EU schools have very deep roots in their local markets.

  • simon

    Beileve me, US schools has big advantage over european schools. People in business know how mature the MBA industry in US unlike european ones. The MBA is american thing, and many companies prefer US education even with lower ranked schools over the european programs. It is not about certain school as it is about the culture of doing things, people think (and I agree with them) that US education system is more innovative and ahead of the other and so the business education is. Plus, the alumni networks in US schools are far stronger and more valuable than its in european institutions. all these issues makes US schools way better than their counterparts. In regard to columbia Jan term, it is not accelrated, it is a Jan-start without internship. It is exactly same as the fall start. and many 1 year european programs has an internship as well, INSEAD january intake, Cambridge, Oxford, ..etc.. thats do not give them any advantages at all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tia.trussardi Tia Trussardi

    I’m a Stanford GSB alum from Europe so I am familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of the US system versus European schools. My viewpoint on it is from the European perspective, however, and I do not agree that a US school automatically trumps a European one. For example, Stanford is considered a top 2 US school but I think it is easier to find a good job in Italy with an MBA from SDA Bocconi due to how deeply entrenched that school’s alumni are in the Italian business scene. Similarly, someone seeking to work in France may more easily find an opportunity there via one of the schools in the Paris area. Likewise for IMD where Switzerland is concerned. Europe is somewhat of a blind spot in most US schools’ alumni networks. Stanford GSB has roughly 200 alumni in Germany for example, a country of almost 90 million people. So yes, it’s great that the GSB has 26,000 alumni but not so great if only 200 of them work in the country where you want to work yourself. It also means you get much less support from the school careers center because they just don’t have the same level of contacts in some foreign markets as the local schools do. The math may be different iin other parts of the world, particularly in countries where there is not a major global business school, but Europe has a long and deep tradition of business education

  • John

    The flaws at Said are limited to the career center and staff support, not the curricula or quality of applicants. Even so, McKinsey, Bain, Fidelity and the like recruit there and hire as do all the major banks. It is the same faculty that teaches the vaunted undergrads that teach the MBA course. It’s not just the Rhodes Scholars that come, but the great entrepreneurs that leave that make the school great (one former student recently landed on Forbes top 30 under 30 for a venture she started while at Said).

    Insead, LBS, IMD, etc are fantastic schools and I respect the students that come out of there and I would be thrilled to work with any of them. Just don’t criticize a good school with baseless claims. It erodes your argument.

  • CamCom

    well said John. similar at Cambridge, last year recruiters include Mckinsey with 6, LEK, Bain, Goldman Sachs, and all the major players.

  • Ferman

    european schools are just waste of time and money. solid education in business is in america, any school there is better than all schools in the dead continent. No jobs, Dying economy, racism, tons of languages and cultures, different weak financial systems, why on earth would any one work or study in europe!? even europeans go for states to study. over 80% and more of the GMAT takers (based on GMAC stats) are for US schools. US economy is very flexible and will continue to grow, simply because there is no alternative to it with same competitive characteristics. I really feel sorry for any students wasting his time and money in any european schools.

  • BreakingGood

    John / CamCom: Really? I’m sure these recruiters come to campus. Big question is how many do they hire? 6 with McKinsey? Sorry but that’s not amazing. Take a look at Wharton’s employment report or Kellogg’s employment report or even UT Austin’s employment report? Double digits to McKinsey, Bain, BCG, ATK, Booz…

    Now the counterargument I’ll make for you both (since your arguments really aren’t great) is that the schools are young and hasn’t established themselves as much yet……With all that said, I do believe that INSEAD and LBS are quite ahead.

  • CamCom

    6 out of only 152 students is 4% which is similar to the other top schools. another point, do not underestimate the prestige factor here, to be honest, INSEAD and LBS has no prestige at all compared to Oxford, Cambridge, or Yale in US. Many people are already successful before coming to business school, and then they are looking for brand and prestige. also, some companies look for this prestige too.

  • Chicagoboy

    Disagree. For anyone with even slight knowledge of mba programmes (which are the people that should matter) like recruiters, employers, business people, etc both brands are extremely well known and obviously kilometers ahead of other european schools. In Europe LBS and insead are as well known as any top 10 school in the US. The sheer amount of events held by LBS in London (forums, panels, events, conferences etc, plus student networking) ensures pretty strong brand presence in exactly the places where it counts.

    Also, the LSE confusion factor only really happens to people that aren’t involved in business/the mba world. On top of that they are both highly prestigious institutions and part of the same university (University of London), thus not such a big deal.

    Bringing that up is like saying that studying at Columbia generates confusion as to whether you did your undergrad in the country Colombia. Or that going to Georgetown means you studied in Guyana. Or that going to Kellogg means you like cereal. The people that matter don’t make these mistakes and they will not confuse LBS with LSE. You can’t send half of your student body to Mckinsey, BCG, Bain, GS, MS, JPM etc without having as strong a brand as any M7/insead

  • Internship

    Pales in comparison to the 6 month double internships many complete at LBS. You don’t have to do two internships, but the fact that you can, in order to ensure you get a full-time offer and to make sure you can explore (e.g. investment bank + start-up) are quite invaluable for many (of course not necessary for everyone).

  • Rahul

    I got into Insead, kellogg one year, cornell amba, and cambridge, and I chose cambridge over all of them. I feel I fit in cambridge better than the others.

  • Vasilis

    People stop arguing about which school is better and definitely stop thinking that making it in a top program makes you awesome. The matter of fact is that in any top program there will always be some jerks and in 2nd tier programs you will find stars. The fact that McKinsey hires a lot of people from HBS does not increase your chances if you are an HBS student. Remember the GMAT, causation effect etc? The thing is that HBS generally admits strong people which tend to do well down the road. If you do get into HBS and you get a McKinsey interview (which you will probably get) and you go to your R1 interview and suck balls they will simply not hire you no matter what. At the same time if you are a Judge, Said, HEC, IE etc. student you again will be given a chance to interview, the difference is that more people in these schools will tend to suck compared to LBS/INSEAD but if you kick ass at the interview you will get the job. Since all top 30 (worldwide) programs will help you land an interview pretty much anywhere, it is up to the individual candidate to do well. The better the program the higher the chance the candidate is awesome but someone who is average and manages to get in Stanford will just face tougher competition and be among the worst of her class. Some who is attending a top 20 program, rather than a top 10, and is really good will get scholarships, will kick ass and will lead the class and get any job. The main benefits I see in a ultra elite school are stronger bragging rights and a stronger alumni network. In any case, it is what you make out of it. If you are awesome you will do great in any good program. If you suck, no brand name will save you. The real question is: how awesome are YOU?

  • StanfordGuy

    The comments on this article are extremely misguided. A lot of the vitriolic posts on this article are seemingly from young citizens of 3rd world countries who are obsessed with feigning pedigree for upward social mobility and getting a job in a brand name company. I suggest you actually visit and read up on the schools or attend alumni events to properly educate yourselves. Here’s a reality check for you – you’re still going to be the same person after you graduate, and if you’re only seeking a job then a degree in “business administration” is wasted on you. The content of an MBA is only useful if you’re actually going to be running a business, but as the comments indicate most of you are only aspiring to become working class proletarians selling your time as analysts and consultants rather than controlling the factors of production. A good STEM degree is a better fit for your limited aspirations.

    The reality is that all of these aforementioned schools are among the world’s best. INSEAD, IESE, LBS, IMD et al produce top quality graduates who go on to achieve stellar careers in industry. Some of the claims made here are ridiculous, here’s another dose of reality for you… M/B/B specifically recruit at all these top schools; the host economy has no bearing on the caliber of the school or the caliber of its graduates; as a graduate you will network with top achievers and those coming from old|new money at all these schools and with alumni of schools of similar standing; pedigree, experience and character matter much more in the real world than your distorted perceptions of the standing of these schools; and finally, no one cares about your GMAT score unless you’re aspiring proletarian coming straight out of school trying to enter M/B/B.

  • BryanJensen

    I don’t get the vitriol. I ultimately favored IE Business School (starting spring ’14) because the specialization area (marketing/corporate comm) was more unique compared to the other schools in this quality category—and non-existent in American programmes except with some focus differentiation at very, very expensive programmes by comparison.

    Still, some of the professors we’ll be having at IE have taught (or still teach) at LBS, LSE, INSEAD, Wharton, Brown, Cambridge and HBS. I found the application experience institutionally, departmentally, and with alums particularly warm and family-like. But I’d consider any of these ranked institutions worthy of honor. Always good to have some rivalry, but some of the put downs in this thread are just mean-spirited and ignorant when you realize how much cross-pollination happens among great schools and in the practicalities of applied global business prep.

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