The Worst Things MBAs Say About Their Own Schools

Duke Fuqua

“Faculty and staff could hold students even more accountable for not taking the academic portion of school seriously enough. We should stop babying people and start really pushing people to be great.”

“The student body can, at times, be a little too party-oriented and immature. This is only a bad thing when it impacts the classroom and, unfortunately, sometimes it does – in the form of a lack of classroom preparation/participation and non-constructive contributions to classroom discussion. Perhaps increasing the average age of entrants or increasing the percentage of students with families might help.”

“We need more aggressive people running our career management center. CMC seems to be not doing anything to bring in companies from variety of industries besides healthcare. Also, I would like to see more job functions hiring on campus besides marketing and consulting.”

“I think there could be additional resources (ie., more tutors, more frequent review sessions) offered during the core courses, particularly accounting and finance, for people who come into Fuqua with limited backgrounds in these areas.”

Harvard Business School

“Too many things are left up to ‘chance’ and a lottery system. Perhaps implementing more of a “market” economy for the things that matter such as class selection and housing would work better.

“I feel time allotted for a small number of electives during the first year would be beneficial for some people who are honestly looking to make a career change and want to explore options in-depth. The recruiting process for internships starts so early (basically six weeks into school) that it’s hard to get a lot of experience and interactions with people in a new field beforehand.”

“The case method does not work for accounting and finance and faculty only half-heartedly try to impose it. The school needs to be more international in its perspective and do a better job of integrating with the rest of Harvard.”

“They could drop an occasional “soft class” and make skill classes such as “negotiations” mandatory – I consider the class we took in ethics to have been a trite and poorly coordinated waste of time. “

“HBS could work a bit harder to connect current students with alumni during their time at the school.”

UPenn Wharton

“They could place more emphasis on teaching and incentivize professors to care about it more. Research is most professors’ top priority.”

“The quality of instructors for the core courses could improve substantially. Many of my professors were of high quality, but those that were not, were not engaging at all.”

“Core classes should only be taught by the professors who get highest marks for teaching, as, by definition, students are there by force and not choice.”

“Career services needs to be stronger in industries outside of consulting and investment banking. Need stronger relationships in investment management, technology and private equity industries.”

“Career Services could be more proactive in placing students or making introductions to alumni. It is in this market that students need their help, and I believe they could do much more in terms of introductions or otherwise.”

Cornell Johnson

“I think due to its proximity from NYC, Cornell is a little isolated and thus difficult to recruit from. I think it needs to leverage the surrounding graduate schools (engineering, tech, healthcare, hotel) to generate greater demand and stronger, more well-rounded graduates.”

“The school should try to recruit a more diverse class, especially increasing the quota from Europe and Latin America (i.e. people actually from those regions, not only second or third generation from the US).”

“Johnson is a phenomenal school but we are good at a lot of things as opposed to great in any one particular area. I would like to see us focus in one or two key areas and build towering strengths.”

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.