McCombs School of Business | Ms. Registered Nurse Entrepreneur
GMAT 630, GPA 3.59
Foster School of Business | Mr. Automotive Research Engineer
GRE 328, GPA 3.83
Harvard | Ms. Marketing Family Business
GMAT 750- first try so might retake for a higher score (aiming for 780), GPA Lower Second Class Honors (around 3.0)
Stanford GSB | Mr. Tech Startup Guy
GMAT 770, GPA 3.7
Chicago Booth | Ms. Nigerian Investment Banker
GMAT 720, GPA 3.57
Harvard | Ms. FMCG Enthusiast Seeking Second MBA
GMAT 730, GPA 3.1
Harvard | Mr. French In Japan
GMAT 720, GPA 14,3/20 (French Scale), (=Roughly 3.7/4.0)
Tuck | Mr. Army Consultant
GMAT 460, GPA 3.2
Columbia | Mr. Investment Banker Turned Startup Strategy
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Co-Founder & Analytics Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 7.4 out of 10.0 - 4th in Class
Tuck | Ms. BFA To MBA
GMAT 700, GPA 3.96
Wharton | Mr. Chemical Engineering Dad
GMAT 710, GPA 3.50
Wharton | Mr. Ignacio
GMAT 730, GPA 3.0
Harvard | Mr. Tech Start-Up
GMAT 720, GPA 3.52
Berkeley Haas | Ms. Psychology & Marketing
GMAT 700, GPA 68%
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. Mechanical Engineer & Blood Bank NGO
GMAT 480, GPA 2.3
Harvard | Mr. Investor & Operator (2+2)
GMAT 720, GPA 3.85
Stanford GSB | Mr. AC
GMAT 750, GPA 3.5
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Athlete-Engineer To Sales
GMAT 720, GPA 3.1
Wharton | Mr. Competition Lawyer
GMAT 720, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Pipeline Engineer To Consulting
GMAT 750, GPA 3.76
Tuck | Mr. Aspiring Management Consultant
GRE 331, GPA 3.36
Stanford GSB | Mr. Certain Engineering Financial Analyst
GMAT 700, GPA 2.52
Columbia | Mr. Electrical Engineering
GRE 326, GPA 7.7
Tepper | Ms. Coding Tech Leader
GMAT 680, GPA 2.9
Harvard | Ms. Big 4 M&A Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 2:1 (Upper second-class honours, UK)
Kellogg | Mr. Danish Raised, US Based
GMAT 710, GPA 10.6 out of 12

Rankings More Important Than Faculty

MBA rankings, the bane of every B-school dean, are more important to corporate recruiters than the quality of a school’s MBA curriculum and especially the quality of a school’s faculty, according to new research from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

The news will hardly delight B-school administrators or faculty members who often view business school rankings with great disdain. But the new study, released today (May 10) by GMAC, shows that school rankings are now the fourth most important criteria MBA employers use when deciding which campuses to recruit from. And when you add other specific criteria that are directly related to rankings, such as the “global recognition of the business school” and the “local reputation” of a school, rankings appear to exert even greater influence.

The quality of students remains the single most important criteria, cited by 72% of the recruiters, followed by past experience at a given school (48%) and existing relationships at a school (39%). Student quality has been the number one crierion since GMAC conducted the first corporate recruiters survey in 2001-2002 and is the most important consideration regarless of a company’s location, industry, or size, according to the study.

Nearly four of every 10 recruiters surveyed–some 37%–said that school rankings were critical. Only one in ten–just 10%–said the quality of the faculty was important and only 9% thought school accreditation was crucial. Some 25% of the recruiters–a full 17 percentge points behind rankings–believed that the quality of the curriculum was an important criteria in why they recruit at a campus.

The new, somewhat surprising data comes from GMAC’s 2011 corporate recruiters survey. It reflects the opinions of 1,509 responding participants representing 905 companies in 51 countries. Each survey respondent was asked to check off the five most important reasons why he or she would recruit MBA students on a school’s campus.

One explanation for the importance of rankings is that more companies are recruiting MBAs and they are often recruiting at more schools than they had in the past. “If companies are increasing the number of campuses where they recruit, they use rankings to help identify schools they’re less familar with,” says Michele Sparkman Renz, director of research communications for GMAC. “The Financial Times ranking in particular has a much greater non-U.S. mix with two Indian schools in the top 25. Companies hiring employees for their operations in India may use that ranking and others to decide which schools in India would provide them with the best Indian talent.”

It’s not possible, says Sparkman Renz, to easily compare these findings with earlier recruiter reports by GMAC because of some changes in methodology and reporting. However, it does appear that rankings have become far more important to recruiters in recent years. In 2007, for example, business school rankings were not among the top eight criteria and were below the quality of the curriculum, accreditation, and the quality of the faculty–all of which were ranked fourth or fifth in importance. Today, the quality of the curriculum is eighth, the quality of the faculty is 16th, and school accreditation is 17th.

Interestingly, U.S. recruiters are the least likely to use the quality of the faculty as an important criteria in helping them decide where they recruit MBA students. Only 5% of U.S. responding recruiters from the U.S. said faculty quality was important, compared to 19% in Asia Pacific and 33% in Europe. Far more important to U.S. recruiters was their past experience at a school (55%) and their existing relationships at a school (44%).

Here’s how MBA employers view the most important criteria for determining which campuses to recruit students from:

CriteriaPercentage
Quality of the students72%
Past experience at the school48%
Existing relationships at the school39%
School rankings37%
Influence of alumni working at your company31%
Depth of the talent pool28%
Global recognition of the business school26%
Quality of the curriculum25%
Location of school25%
Retention history of past hires24%
Local reputation16%
Flexibility of students (willingness to relocate)14%
Offer or hiring yield14%
Admissions standards of the school12%
Salary expectations of graduating students12%
Quality of the faculty10%
School accreditation9%
International diversity of the class9%
Quality of the career services office9%
Ethnic diversity of the class7%
Demand for recent graduates from the school3%