Columbia | Mr. Global Healthcare
GMAT 740, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Airline Developer
GMAT 710 (planning a retake), GPA 3.48
Harvard | Mr. First Gen Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 4.0 (First Class Honours)
Harvard | Mr. Big 4 Auditor
GMAT 740, GPA 3.55
Stanford GSB | Mr. JD Explorer
GRE 340, GPA 3.5
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. Automotive Project Manager
GMAT 680, GPA 3.5
NYU Stern | Mr. Honor Roll Student
GRE 320, GPA 3.1
Tuck | Mr. First Gen Student
GMAT 740, GPA 3.0
Stanford GSB | Ms. Healthtech Venture
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
Chicago Booth | Mr. Bank AVP
GRE 322, GPA 3.22
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Apparel Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 3.2
MIT Sloan | Mr. AI & Robotics
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Tuck | Mr. Liberal Arts Military
GMAT 680, GPA 2.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Social Entrepreneur
GRE 328, GPA 3.0
Wharton | Mr. Industry Switch
GMAT 760, GPA 3.95
Stanford GSB | Mr. Irish Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Marine Executive Officer
GRE 322, GPA 3.28
Harvard | Ms. Developing Markets
GMAT 780, GPA 3.63
Harvard | Mr. Policy Player
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. Future Non-Profit
GMAT 720, GPA 8/10
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Tough Guy
GMAT 680, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. CPPIB Strategy
GRE 329 (Q169 V160), GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Chicago Booth | Mr. Unilever To MBB
GRE 308, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Mr. Double Whammy
GMAT 730, GPA 7.1/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Infantry Officer
GRE 320, GPA 3.7
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Ernst & Young
GMAT 600 (hopeful estimate), GPA 3.86

For A McKinseyite, A New Right Turn


Ferrari was not looking for a deanship. He had just completed a book, Power Listening, and was winding down his consulting business when he was contact for the job. He believes his McKinsey client network had recommended him for the position. His only experience with business school has occurred as a member of the University of Rochester’s Board of Trustees. Ferrari said he has spent some time helping Rochester’s Simon School Dean Mark Zupan “through some of his strategic issues. I also taught some at the school as a guest lecturer in the strategy and leadership area.”

Ferrari acknowledges that there is much work to be done at Carey. Among other things, the Carey school has yet to gain accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate School of Business (AACSB). “The Carey school is old and it is young,” believes Ferrari. “You don’t see that very often. It has given out part-time MBA degrees for quite some time and has some 16,000 to 18,000 alumni from the part-time programs. On the other hand, the full-time program has just graduated the charter class. It’s closer to a startup. So there is a lot of building to do there and a lot of enhancement of the part-time programs.”

He said he isn’t in a hurry to have Carey accredited. “I’m fairly relaxed about that,” he told Poets&Quants. “I think accreditation needs to be done as part of a process. It is not a contrived exercise. It should be a wholesome exercise. You have to have integrity to everything you do. I want to take some time to understand the edifice that has been built and then understand what needs to be done. I’m fairly relaxed about that because when we judge it’s the right time for us I want to clear the bar by quite a margin, not by scraping over it.”

As for his forte, the world of strategy, Ferrari seems to think the strategy is simple. “If you talk to our customers, whether they are large companies or non-profits, you will hear the same thing: ‘We like MBAs, but we sure wish they had some industry expertise’ or, as I call it, vertical expertise. I think that we are teaching the tools that are associated with a general business degree. We will strive to teach them in the context of a couple of verticals so people have a leg up on the job market. I don’t want to herd a student into a specialty or two where that student has no flexibility. This is not a vocational school.


“The health care specialty or vertical focus for us is natural. Many of our students will dive in with both feet. Some will find it as a good metaphor for a lot of things they want to do. Others will choose not to participate there and will do something else. Specialization is good. Super specialization is not what we are in the business of doing.”

Ferrari, 63, declined to reveal the length of his contract. “I don’t know what retirement is. For me, retirement occurs when I have to do less because I’m tired or I’m not as well as I used to be. Sixty is the new 40.”

Ferrari said he and his wife will move to Baltimore, but also maintain their New York residence.


About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.