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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  • Roger

    Europe is dead…Either go to Asia or come to the US.

  • interestingdata

    These salary numbers are not for real, I don’t believe those except may be for INDEAD and LBS. Also, it would be nice to see % employed by graduation/3 months after. Such low GMATs and 1 year programs, and this high salary. Anyone care to comment – this is misleading information for a lot of people. I did a lot of research before applying and decided against applying to European schools.

  • old dinosaur

    GMAT scores are often lower for those whose mother tongue is not English. This is an important factor that can explain the difference in total scores.

  • michel

    GMAT scores are misleadng. If your mother tongue is not English you will most likely score less. We should compare only the quant and logic sections and report the language one separately.

  • Socrates

    If you listen to current M7 b-school deans speak, some are worried the global top 15 MBA list will be lead by european schools in the next decade. Kind of like saying: the only schools to dethrone us are the ones currently not in the throne. Duh, but at least they are worried about it and planning.

  • Wilfried

    There is a mistake in your article regarding the tuition fees for HEC Paris MBA Program. The number you reported in the article actually is the starting salary after the MBA. The tuition fees are €48,000, i.e. approximately $62,400. So it is not the most expensive program in Europe.

  • John A. Byrne

    Sorry about that. I’ve corrected the table and the story. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Really appreciate it.

  • Maria

    MBA degrees are becoming commiditized with time. same materials are now taught almost in all business schools. The really real difference whether in US or Europe is the brand name. The brand is now more important than before because it is the only thing that hard to duplicate. For this reason, I believe universities like Oxford and Cambridge in europe has good chance to stand out. similar in US, Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Wharton, Dartmouth, and the relatively new Yale. schools like INSEAD and LBS are great schools but honestly the value of the MBA without the brand is declining. for INSEAD, they increased their class for this year to be >1100 !! imagine the class of 2013 is over 1100! this would definitely affect the value of the school. on other side, school like Oxford and Cambridge although they ranked much lower yet they are still keeping the class small and hence giving more exclusiveness. and of course the huge value of the brand. my point is, MBA is about brand, if you need real business education focus on US based brand schools, and then the famous european universities such Oxbridge.

  • Wilfried

    You are welcome. I am glad to be of help. Keep going with your great articles.

  • Roger

    Mate…I don’t think so. Socrates — How’s your greek economy doing, mate? Time to drink some of that hemlock? lol

    Listen…you euros aren’t going to dethrone our top schools. Top schools are also a product of the local environment. Spain has 25% unemployment — you can’t tell me the spanish schools are going to rise up to be the best in the world. France’s economy isn’t really shining either — so I don’t see the French schools kicking up to top gear. The austerity in the UK has really slowed down the economy, although I think in the long-run UK is a place to keep an eye on, provided they figure out a way to limit immigration from the middle east and the Indian subcontinent.

    Have you consumed the hemlock by now? LOL

    Cheers

  • Bob

    Regarding the WHU, a GMAT score of 600 is the minimum entry requirement, not the average. Fyi

  • NK

    do you realize that the US schools with much higher GMAT averages include around 40% international students for whom English is a second language? also the verbal section is not an English test…TOEFL takes care of that.

  • sky

    Roger you seem to be a well informed guy so my question is as follows.

    Yeah Europes stagnated. Sure…its because of lock down on skilled immigration they ve had in the last 30 years…..there is no fresh blood driving these economies. The young people if any are not driven to succeed. Walk around the streets of even a successful country like Denmark and you ll see how state welfare has reduced 23 24 year olds to bigger hippies than you would find at woodstock.
    Anyway, so we know asia is booming , america is crawling and europe is dead.

    So whats the alternative to an MBA then. Out of the top 30 mba programs 20+ are in USA and the others are in europe and asia…..So all this constant jibber jabber from the dean of columbia to some guy in the harvard business review to everywhere about how mbas are over valued and over priced and its all about the branding and europe is dead and theres no visas to work there and asia is booming but theres no schools to study there blah blah ok …we get it….

    So whats the alternative. Whats today’s version of the mba from the 80s and 90s?

    If you tell me cause of the social media and start up craze all over the world its getting a boring graduate school degree in engineering or economics or something im not willing to buy that…..

    whats the alternative…what are the options…study in hong kong? is that one of them? study in america and move to hong kong?

    study in china?

    study in india?

    how does one find gainful employment that places one in a direction towards highly professional companies and organizations , where social skills, inter personal skills, sales skills , analytical skills, soft skills as we know it…..or has the world been reduced to people who can do the math and who cant…..

    or is this allll big media hype to create more data mining eating drinking crunching drones who can slave away while b school graduates lord over them , pay them a 100 -150 k and make millions
    at the end of the day people who went to business school did so because they wanted to be leaders..they wanted to be managers…they didnt want their life to be described by the way they could code java ..it had to do with their personalities and inner ambitions driving them towards a certain direction…..
    so what is the alternative? what are the options today

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

    It’s true that Oxford and Cambridge have good brands, but it is interesting to note that almost no Oxbridge undergraduates go on to do their MBAs there – the opposite is true at Harvard or Stanford. Both Oxford and Cambridge do have strong brands, but that is largely all they have. The business school alumni networks of both schools are relatively weak because the schools are so new. The recruitment opportunities are also poor compared to INSEAD or LBS, which are priority recruitment schools for many of the traditional MBA recruiters. The vale of the brand will vary depending on the industry and where you want to work – LBS and INSEAD are less well known in the wider world.

    I think the differences between US and European schools are also cultural. US schools are much better at creating bonds between classmates and alumni. This is a more deeply ingrained trait in general in the US than in Europe.

    Also, the INSEAD numbers are deceptive because they include two intakes per year across two campuses. There are about 300 students per intake in Fonty and 200 in Singapore. The large size is partially what makes INSEAD so attractive for on-campus recruitment, in the same way that HBS’s 980 students per class gives recruiters a lot to work with.

  • PR

    I attend one of the M7 and I can assure you that there is no way 40% of students attending the M7 don´t have English as their main language.
    Look, these schools claim 40% of international enrollment, but out of that 40% a large majority are people who were born outside the US but their parents and them moved to the US when they were kids so OR they were born outside the US but they attented US school in their country and moved to the US for their UG OR they´ve been working in the US for a lot of years

    Truth is, in the M7 very few people are truly international and very few people don´t have a perfect mastery of English. In Euro schools it´s different, they get a lot of people that are truly international. I would bet anything that the GMAT gap could be solely explained by language. Probably you don´t understand because English is your native language.

  • WhatI SayisTru

    Study in the U.S. and do abroad quarters or semesters in Asia. At my M7 school, almost all of my Chinese classmates are undergrads from Peking U, Tsinghua, Fudan, or HKU. My Indian friends are from IIT and U of Delhi. Brazilian friends from their top institutions.

    This is a telling sign that many of student elites and “smartest” (arguable how to define this) are coming to the U.S.

    Nothing against Euro schools, but when I visited them, the international students were actually from a slightly lower tier from China and India. This is anecdotal observation.

    Anyways, MBA -$135K consulting on campus recruitment is actually picking up this year as are Tech jobs, at least at a M7 school.

  • WhatI SayisTru

    I believe IMD’s data. It’s in Switzerland, the Swiss Franc is very expensive right now. This explains the high IMD salaries. But, living costs in Switzerland is also crazy expensive these days.

    You get paid in Swiss Franc, but you also live in one of the most expensive countries on the planet right now. Switzerland among the European economies is also doing relatively well.

    I feel IMD’s data is pretty accurate. IE and IESE’s data semmes highly questionable in my opinion.

  • Roger

    Great question Sky!

    I wish I knew the answer to your question; it’s the million dollar question.

    Bottom line is – it comes down to what the individual wants to do and how much “self-motivation” and “talent” the individual already has.

    I see the top b-schools as merely a place to shape up an already fit person. I see these schools as the place where one can lose those last 10 pounds and become ripped. I don’t see bschool as place where a 400 lb overweight guy can get 6 pack abs in 2 years…I just don’t see it happening like that. Even those that manage to sneak in to a top program by the “skin of their teeth” – will find it hard to get those “cushy” post-MBA jobs. In other words, I see a top MBA as a finishing school for the already well accomplished.

    As far as lower ranked MBA programs – I think one has to be extremely careful before taking on a 100k debt. It might not be a risk worth taking for most because the pay-off isn’t assured. On the other hand, employer sponsored MBA programs are well worth it and offer upward mobility within the firm. Although, in the last decade employer sponsored programs are in decline due to a combination of factors such as the sluggish economy, rising tuition costs and firms conjuring up their own customized education to address their specific needs and fill key knowledge gaps.

    So what are the alternatives?

    Although it’s cliche, I think it starts with the individual.There is a no one-size fits all solution. If you are interested in entrepreneurship, then it might make little sense to take on a 100k debt to go to a middle of the road school. It’s a different issue if you can get into Stanford or Wharton. But if you can’t, then you should ask yourself – does it make sense to take on a 100k debt to study entrepreneurship in tier 2 school? You might be better of joining a start-up that aligns with your interests and then supplement that with some education from Coursera or more rigorous continuing education programs like those offered by UCLA / Harvard extension.

    On the other hand, if you are interested in becoming a management consultant, then you should consider nothing less than a top 15 school. You need to get a solid GMAT score (720+ is the unofficial filter for MBB) and build your other stats. Even a top 15 school will not guarantee a consulting job in the tier 1 and 2 firms. In other words, it’s a different approach depending on what career path you are interested in.

    The bottom line is that in today’s world there is no assured career path for gainful employment. One needs to keep updating his skills in order to be competitive in the global marketplace. The good old days of finding a high paying MBA job and sticking to same firm for 25 years are all gone. These days it’s all about being flexible and willing to learn new skills / travel to new places (Asia, Africa, S.America, etc). The good news is there are plenty of terrific opportunities in the world. The bad news is that it will not be handed to anyone in a platter – i.e. – no fixed career trajectory where A leads to B leads to C.

    In other words, it’s a grand buffet with all kinds of new delicacies and it’s up to us to go out there and make the right choices. We no longer have the luxury of just pigging out in our local neighborhood on our favorite “comfort food”. The world has changed quite dramatically and victory goes to those who are willing to step outside their comfort zone. It essentially comes down to the “mindset”. I think the mistake people often make is the following: they look at the MBA as the gatekeeper to a great career. I don’t see it that way. I think the MBA can be a huge asset if leveraged properly. But the MBA or any other degree by itself cannot guarantee one gainful employment. Of course, this is not an answer anyone wants to hear.

    The keys to a great career (from what I have gathered from readings / talks/ my personal experiences) are the following:

    1) dig deep to find out what you really want to do with your life — this is most important step. Many people get into IB or MC without really thinking about whether they are truly passionate about it.

    2) keep building new skills and refine old ones; have the right attitude and mindset

    3) be willing to start at the bottom and take time to smell the roses

    cheers

  • Roger

    Agree with you!

  • pengyou

    I think the whole talk about V being favorable to English speaker is inaccurate.

    V is mostly critical thinking, grammar (much similar to that of French/Spanish/German) and some Reading (the only exercise where English mastery counts really).

    Just go to any country in the world, English is part of the curriculum of any university as much as math could be. If I were a b-school I would look for well rounded people, not the nerd who kept cramming on math and skipped his English class.

    Hence as much as Q is, the slight component of English knowledge in V is an indicator of the level of education.

    Also, just to prove that this debate is totally unnecessary, if you look at GMAT statistics, many countries V average is already much higher than that of the US :)

    PS: I’m not a native and English was my 3rd language in high school.

  • fromagequipue

    Non-french applicants may not know, but INSEAD is facing its own financial crisis and is selling-off to survive.

    INSEAD has been losing a lot of money for the last 5 years, mostly due to decline in sales in their overpriced exec education (which used to be their cash cow). With the financial crisis, French firms now turn to cheaper local b-schools. Hence INSEAD has to increase sales in MBA education (thus >1100 students!).

    Add to that the fact that prospective students will expect a decline in prestige of the INSEAD brandname and turn to other schools. The INSEAD bubble will completely burst as soon as MBB sponsored students start turning to other 1-yr programs…

  • fromagequipue

    However I don’t agree on your point. Stating that Oxbridge is a better bet is an over-stretch.

    As for today, even though Oxford/Cambridge have less students, applicants and employers will still favor INSEAD over these. So unless there is a major change (the kind of change that would make Yale better than Wharton), INSEAD growing will suck out the quality applicants who would turn to Oxbridge. INSEAD diluting its selectivity would harm the whole European MBA world.

  • EuroMan

    Hey Roger, how is your twin-deficit going today? I haven’t check the famous “ticking debt-bomb” for a while, has it exploded yet?

  • Red

    Actually, to accommodate the increasing demand of executive education, INSEAD is now on its Phase 3 of its Singapore campus expansion – it is presently building a 10,000 m2 centre dedicated for executive education.

  • Guest

    Actually, to accommodate the increasing demand of executive education, INSEAD is now on its Phase 3 of its Singapore campus expansion – it is presently building a 10,000 m2 centre dedicated for executive education.

  • Roger

    I’m not happy about the debt..but it seems to me that investing in the US is the best option out of all the worst options. It’s the best home in a bad neighborhood. Where else are you going to invest? BRIC nations are slowing down badly. Europe is hurting. Africa is unpredictable. US is still the best bet. The debt problem needs to be sorted out – no doubt. But other countries have much bigger problems. Do you think communist China is better poised to deal with the future just as their young people are yearning for more freedom? Do you India is poised to make a huge impact considering the rampant poverty? Do you reckon Brazil or Russia have better prospects in the long-term than US?

    As long as US continues to have the best higher education, the strongest military and is committed to an inclusive society – it’s the best bet. US needs its politicians and government to shape up. We need to reform immigration and healthcare. Once we get that done — watch out!!

    I’m very optimistic about the US in the long-term.

  • Maria

    if someone did his undergrad at oxford or Cambridge why the hell he/she wants to go there again!??? he/she already got the NAME, the BRAND!! even with Harvard and Stanford, you find many many of harvard undergrad do MBA at stanford and vice versa..why on earth would someone do second degree in the same place?! oxford and cambidge are just 20 years old yet they compete with INSEAD and top US schools WHY? because simply the strong brand, similar to yale, they are just changed the name of their MPPA to MBA only less than 10 years ago however they are almost in top 15! why because the brand. I insist again again, with the value of the MBA declining and the degree becoming more and more commditized, the ONLY brand is the real differentiator..even good professor follow the strong brand..thats it..

  • Red

    INSEAD went to Asia when it established its Singapore campus more than 12 years ago. Presently, around 40% of its MBA students are in its Singapore campus. Indeed, more global companies recruit there for their Asian offices than in any other business schools.

  • deadEuro

    how come europe is dead?! when that happened? I’ve flight to paris next week!

  • A.

    I don’t know where you got your number for INSEAD’s class size. The combined class size for 13J and 13D is 1024 and not >1100. Besides, the class size for each intake (2 intakes a year) is just over 500, which is further split into 300 in France and 200 in Singapore.

  • Maria

    two intakes a year don’t make any difference because we compare how many MBA graduates INSEAD pumbs to the market PER year NOT per 6 Months! I have a friend who just got accepted into INSEAD and he has the access to the class numbers, and he told me that the class of 13J are 535 and 13D are 545. that is very very large number by all means, no problem at all but the fear is that such huge amount of people would surely affect the exclusiveness of the degree and therefore as a consequence affect the brand value. More, it negatively impact the value of the alumni network as well, the larger class size the weaker bond, natural result. However, this huge number has its big advantages, it allow INSEAD to dominate the industry and play everywhere

  • Red

    It’s 1024, and not >1100. The number you have includes exchange students from Wharton and Kellogg. Go ask you friend to check again. Or you can check: http://mba.insead.edu/the-insead-mba/class-profile.cfm

  • A.

    For a business school with a wide global footprint like INSEAD, having a large alumni network clearly helps. The increase in the number of students at INSEAD can be attributed to the following reasons:
    1. As more and more people turn their focus on ROI, the number of 1-year MBA applicants has been increasing in the past couple of years. As the top-ranked one-year MBA program, INSEAD’s MBA program has clearly benefited from this trend.
    2. INSEAD has significantly increased its visibility in the Asian region, being the only top business school with a full-fledged Asian campus. Because of this, more and more Asian applicants are attracted to INSEAD. The proportion of Asian students now at INSEAD is 30%, from just around ~15% a decade ago.
    3. More prospective students aspire to become consultants than to become bankers after the financial turmoil in 2008. As the top feeder school for Mckinsey, Bain and BCG combined, INSEAD has been drawing this increasing number of aspiring consultants.

  • fromagequipue1

    Dude, stop talking like a PR from INSEAD.
    While it seems more like a desperate turnaround strategy to go all in to Asia in order to leverage its momentum, nothing says whether it will pay back.

    You can see how desperate INSEAD is when you read that they are launching a “Mastere Specialise”: they are trying to diversify in the low-end market.

    They are competing with HEC/ESSEC and CEIBS/HKUST, not with US top 10 anymore.

  • pengyou

    I’ve made all my career in Asia.
    I confidently can say that US education is still considered as the best in the Asia (except Japan) job market.

    While it’s certainly great to be in Singapore to network it doesn’t carry as much weight as to say that you studied in the US, period.

  • Maria

    I can add another very important point: in singapore itself, National University of Singapore has the best reputation, followed by NTU, and for management education the new one called Singapore Management University. Even, Mckinsey and Bain and top banks hire from these institutions more than the foeign universities such as INSEAD and Chicago Booth. very little to find someone in singapore who knows INSEAD or Chicago. but in the very elite business cycle they know it but they really consider them (INSEAD and Chicago Booth-singapore) are just executive education places, NOT like Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Columbia or even Oxford or Cambridge. Thats reality. The obvious prove for this is that the new expansion of insead there is actually for executive not for full time degree. insead is struggling with the PhD programme and they hardly find candidates despite the very generous scholarship they offer. It is good school but the fact that it is not part of a university and the lack of the recognition of the brand are heavily affecting insead.

  • Maria

    is there any considerable difference between 1024 and 1100?! 1024 is by far very huge number for MBA and for sure demolish the value of the program. No question about, the large class size at Harvard is OK because the golden brand! unlike INSEAD that is just an institute for executive education and in reality it is just a vacation for consultants whom did their undegrad at Ivys or Oxbrige, and they just need long holiday with few seminars and lots of parties! for career changers, for real and solid education, for turning someone from the zero, No it is not the place. Most if not all INSEAD students come with very strong undergrad education and excellent work experience and the degree actually add just little to them, you can check the pre and post MBA salaries for INSEAD, not that great different to be honest.

  • sami

    the average GMAT score for IIM-A in INDIA is 780/800. sorry it is amatter of students quality, the reality is the rejects of M7 schools go to INSEAD or LBS..thats it..

  • NYCBaby

    INSEAD is great, but I think equally great (if not more because of the London location) is LBS. I think GMAT and salaries are misleading in terms of picking a school (especially GMAT because the number of foreigners attending INSEAD and LBS is far greater…weaker verbal skills since English may not be first language)…

    If you want a 1 year non-US program go to INSEAD. If you want a 2-year program (similar to US programs) non-US program, go to London Business School. But the truth is outside of the US, it is INSEAD, LBS, and everyone else. But, I don’t agree INSEAD is BETTER THAN LBS. That is completely false…I think both are on par with each other. After LBS/INSEAD, I completely agree that there is a massive gap between the next non-US school…maybe IE or IESE…but they are far back…and won’t be catching up soon.

    Regarding the discussion about M7 vs top non-US…I have many friends that got into Wharton, Booth, Kellogg, Columbia, Tuck, etc. that chose LBS or INSEAD over those schools because they wanted a global MBA experience and wanted experience abroad…the prestige/caliber of both institutions are on par (I’d argue even better) than most of the M7…given the global understanding and international network developed. The business world is not just US centric anymore…I believe LBS and INSEAD graduates will have a competitive advantage compared to most top US b school graduates…

    With that said, I don’t know of anyone who got into Harvard or Stanford that picked INSEAD or LBS over it…but I am sure there are people who did. To add to my statement, I also don’t know of anyone who got into Harvard or Stanford that picked Kellogg, Booth, etc. over those schools too. Point is go to US M7 or LBS or INSEAD and you’ll be fine career wise.

    In conclusion, Europe is a great place to be! Job market will improve…this is a shortterm thing…I wish I would have gotten my MBA….regret my decision to not apply…

  • NYCBaby

    Completely disagree about INSEAD and LBS. Both are fantastic schools (on par with US M7) that are on the rise…I don’t have my MBA but knowing what I know now (about business globalization) as a senior business manager for a technology company in the US, I think those graduates standout compared to many of the top 7 US business school graduates…my two cents :)

    And people reading this, don’t go to Oxford or Cambridge for your MBA. You need the value NOW, not 50 years from now….they have a long way to go given the progress London Business School and INSEAD have made/are making….

  • PriceOfAlaska

    Completely agree with this post…It is London Business School, INSEAD, M7 US Schools and everyone else…these rankings are so stupid in general…Although I have to say, I enjoy the arguments these rankings cause among fellow posters… :-)

    Depending on the rankings, LBS might be number 1 or INSEAD….so stop splitting hairs. Go visit the schools then make your decision…my guess is you’ll pick LBS because London > Fountainbluewhateverthecityiscalledandnotinparisbytheway.

    Career opps are the same at both schools…both attract top consulting, finance, and corporate. After size adjusting employment reports, both are right on par in terms of % placed at top companies. Can’t compare absolute numbers of placement since INSEAD has over 1000 students and London Business School has ~400.

  • Carl

    Plus the douche factor at INSEAD is immense based on their posters…where is douche factored into these rankings. I may be on to something; there should be a new ranking that measures douchiness based on responses by current business school students and alumni. My guess is INSEAD is still number 1.

  • DukeFuqua

    Great debate in posts below–definitely not a clear cut answer. My opinion: London Business School is better than INSEAD but not because of academics, faculty, and students. One could make an equal argument for INSEAD. But, the opportunity to obtain an internship while in school while at LBS, and the opportunity to network in the world’s most powerful city [tied with New York] is invaluable. At London Business School, you are in the heart of London and have access to major offices with all the world’s most powerful companies [some of which are even headquartered in London]. INSEAD is in the boonies from what my friends tell me who did study abroad terms there. Outside of INSEAD, it will be very hard to meaningfully network. Regardless of ranking [even though LBS and INSEAD flip flop between 1 and 2 in all major rankings], I would personally choose London Business School over INSEAD. Outside of LBS and INSEAD, go to a top US American business school. ROI is much higher.

  • BreakingGood

    London Business, INSEAD, IMD, everyone else. My preference is London because having graduated from Wharton this last May, I am grateful that I was able to intern in between my 1st and 2nd years. I was in investment banking and had I not been exposed to it during an internship, I would have never realized how much it sucks. Summer internship is key. All posts on Oxford and Cambridge MBA programs being great, STFU. No person with potential goes there; their Crown Jewels are undergraduate. Oxford claims they have so many Rhodes Scholars in its MBA program, lol. Sure, because Oxford hosts Rhodes Scholars! I’m sure a Rhodes Scholar isn’t picking Oxford MBA because of its program; they pick Oxford MBA because it is convenient since they are already there! Kudos to Said admin for playing this up, though – smart marketing! But didn’t fool me ;D

  • samouel

    the point of GMAT is not valid here. Because as some said, at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), the average GMAt is 780/800, so english as second language doesn’t really matter in GMAT scores, the matter really is the student quality. INSEAD I believe is better than LBS, except for finance. in regard to Harvard and INSEAD, there is one student now (I know her personally) who turned down both Harvard and Stanford for INSEAD, the main reason is the global outlook and one year program. she did her undergrad in US btw.

  • GeorgeTheFifth

    may be that was before that INSEAD and LBS are better than Oxford or Cambridge, but now and onward, sorry, I see the oxbridge are better for the vast resources of the mother universities and for the golden brand names. INSEAD and LBS are great schools but behind Oxford, Cambridge, and Harvard, this is very clear and people should consider the recognition of their institution before making the investment decisions. Being an alumnus of Oxford or Cambridge is far better than wasting money and time for a collection of basic accounting and strategy seminars. In oxford or cambridge you can find Nobel laureates in Physics and economics, you will be part of something very very special and badge that lasts for the lifetime.

  • Whitesides

    Going to Oxford or Cambridge is like going to Yale for business school or Harvard for engineering. Those who go to Oxford or Cambridge for their MBAs probably didn’t get into INSEAD or LBS or the M7 and are trying to rely on the Oxford / Cambridge name to help them. Employers aren’t stupid; they know where the top in the world go. And how do I know this? I’m at Kellogg now and did a term at LBS and can speak only about caliber of London people. So, I respectfully disagree with you George.

  • WhiteSox

    Ok samoel entitled to your opinion. INSEAD is great but so is LBS. Both are peers (like Harvard and Stanford or Kellogg and Chicago in the US. Truthfully, INSEADs brand value is less in the US compared to LBS. So, I disagree with you – am in b school right now at Kellogg and did an exchange at LBS. For the record, I may be biased but rightfully so.

  • Aussie

    Sami is that a fact? Do you have some data to prove your point? I’m from Australia and got into Columbia, Booth, Haas, Darden, and LBS. isn’t apply to H/S/W for personal reasons. And quite a few of my LBS friends were in a similar position with other top 7 US schools. And I have other consulting colleagues that chose INSEAD over various M7 schools. Going to LBS or INSEAD is a choice for people who value international diversity. You may want to check your unfounded facts as I take offense to your post. Oh and by the way, I am ex McKinsey and will be starting at Google. I think I’m doing alright……..

  • Georg

    I am German. GMAT verbal was so hard. Messed total score down.

  • 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.

  • Mary

    I’m so amazed when I read comments such as yours. It’s like you live in a bubble of some sort. I met a guy who turned down LBS for Said. Some people have families and very real financial concerns which affect their decisions.

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