It’s been a really interesting six months, says Andy Lockett, dean of Warwick Business School — and it’s going to be an even more interesting 2017, in no small part because this year marks the school’s 50th anniversary.
Lockett, who took over as dean in August 2016 after nearly six years on the faculty as a professor of strategy at the school based in Coventry, about 100 miles north of London, tells Poets&Quants that Warwick has “immense pride” in what it’s accomplished since its founding in 1967 — and especially in the last few years, when its newly established presence in downtown London has coincided with an emergence as one of the U.K.’s preeminent business schools.
“Clearly the school and the university has come a long way in a very short space of time,” Lockett says, citing the 2014 opening of a campus on the 17th floor of The Shard, Europe’s tallest building which overlooks London Bridge. “The business school celebrates its 50th year in 2017, so it’s interesting to look back at that, and really it’s been with immense pride in many of the things we do. We’re trying to think back and look at the last several years and what has brought us success and what we can use as we go forward.”
Under Lockett’s predecessor, Mark Taylor, who left to become dean of Washington University’s Olin School, success has been dramatic, and rather sudden–at least when it comes to the rankings game. In the latest rankings from The Economist, Warwick catapulted into No. 20 among global programs, following a No. 14 international school ranking by Poets&Quants and global rankings of 46th by the Financial Times and 22nd by Bloomberg Businessweek. In the rather flaky Economist ranking, largely based on student feedback, Warwick even bested esteemed U.K. schools like London Business School, Oxford, and Cambridge.
In key measures, Warwick was even more impressive: It ranked second in the world in faculty quality thanks to a low faculty-to-student ratio and a high number of Ph.D. holding professors; and, based on student surveys, the program ranked sixth globally in educational experience and seventh for delivering a superior personal development and educational experience.
Lockett attributes at least some of the school’s newfound cache to its expansion to the 95-story Shard, where Warwick runs its executive MBA and DBA programs. “I think London is one of the true global cities, it’s got an incredible reach,” he says. “It’s incredibly good to connect into that international profile, and also to have a space right in downtown London. The Shard is so well-located that it’s a fantastic meeting place to bring people into. It’s one hour on the train from Coventry to London. In many ways we now refer to the Shard as our downtown campus.”
Lockett earned his DSc in management from Warwick before attaining his Ph.D. in management at the University of Nottingham, where he also progressed to the rank of full professor. After returning to Warwick, Lockett led the school’s research agenda and held a number of management roles in the last six years, including associate dean and deputy dean.
The school he oversees has a full-time MBA with an annual intake of about 75 students (in 2015-2016, the school had 76 students from 172 applications), a long-distance MBA that now has 400 enrolled students, and two executive MBA programs, including one based in London, with 150 to 180 combined students. Counting undergraduates and other master’s courses, Warwick Business School has about 6,000 students (among about 28,000 in the greater University of Warwick).
The full-time MBA is a 12-month program that starts in late September and finishes the following early September with the completion of a management consultancy project. Students graduate in January or July in the following year.
The class boasted an average GMAT of 647, with an average age of 33. International students representing 32 countries comprise 84% of the class. The average experience of the class is nine years; before entering business school, the largest bloc of students worked in finance (17%), followed by consulting (16%), petroleum and energy (12%), manufacturing (11%), and marketing and sales (9%). The Class of 2016-17 has a male/female split of 76%/24%.
Warwick boasts an average salary increase over pre-MBA pay of 117%, with the latest grads reporting average starting total compensation of £71,442, or $100,506.