Stanford GSB | Mr. Marine Corps
GMAT 600, GPA 3.9
MIT Sloan | Mr. AI & Robotics
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
MIT Sloan | Ms. MD MBA
GRE 307, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Fundraising Educator
GMAT 510, GPA 2.89
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Work & Family
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Fintech Startup
GMAT 570, GPA 3.4
Kellogg | Ms. Ukrainian Techie
GMAT 700 (ready to take it again), GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Mr. Pretty Bland
GMAT 710, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Ms. Sales & Trading
GMAT 730, GPA 3.5
NYU Stern | Mr. Long Shot
GRE 303, GPA 2.75
INSEAD | Mr. Consulting Dream
GMAT 760, GPA 3.1
Columbia | Mr. Alien
GMAT 700, GPA 3.83
Harvard | Mr. Veteran
GRE 331, GPA 3.39
Wharton | Mr. Naval Submariner
GMAT 760, GPA 3.83
Wharton | Mr. Second MBA
GMAT Will apply by 2025, GPA 7.22/10
IU Kelley | Mr. Builder
GMAT 620, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Supply Chain Data Scientist
GMAT 730, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Ms. Aspiring Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8 (Highest Honor)
Yale | Mr. Environmental Sustainability
GRE 326, GPA 3.733
Yale | Mr. Project Management
GRE 310, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Samaritan Analyst
GMAT 690, GPA 3.87
MIT Sloan | Ms. Physician
GRE 307, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Cal Poly
GRE 317, GPA 3.2
HEC Paris | Ms Journalist
GRE -, GPA 3.5
IU Kelley | Mr. Educator
GMAT 630, GPA 3.85
IU Kelley | Mr. Tech Dreams
GMAT 770, GPA 3
Tuck | Mr. Strategic Sourcing
GMAT 720, GPA 3.90

Is Wharton An Undervalued Stock?


In contrast, Wharton’s yield–which the school says hit a new record this year–is not much more than 65%, a number more in the company of Columbia, MIT, Chicago, Northwestern and Dartmouth than Harvard or Stanford. Wharton does not disclose its yield number, though it is easiest enough to calculate. But it’s hardly surprising that a candidate might turn down a generous scholarship from Wharton to attend Harvard, especially if financial aid isn’t that important to the applicant (though it is worth noting that no business school is as generous as Harvard in dangling scholarship cash in front of its MBA applicants).

As evidence of Wharton’s decline, the Journal also noted that Wharton, which once sent more than a quarter of his MBA graduates into investment banking and brokerage houses now only sends MBAs in the teens into those industries. Those numbers, which are misleading at best, are less a reflection of the school’s reputation than the changing dynamics of the financial economy.

With the Great Recession, Wall Street has shed tens of thousands of jobs and fewer MBAs–at all the top schools–now go into finance. Most of that slack has been easily taken up by MBA hiring in consulting and technology. Consulting firms hired 30% of the this year’s class of MBAs at Wharton.


But it’s also true that the world of finance has changed just as dramatically with more MBAs going into investment boutiques, private equity shops, hedge funds and venture capital firms than ever before. In fact, 13.4% of this year’s graduating class accepted jobs in either private equity or venture capital, slightly more than the 13.3% that headed for more traditional finance jobs in investment banking. And yes, because of the decline of Wall Street, investment banking recruiting at Wharton and all other schools is far from what it used to be: it was 18% in 2012 and 26% in 2008.


Screen Shot 2013-09-29 at 12.25.43 PMThe industry preferences of Wharton’s Class of 2015 show a rather dramatic shift from the school’s past norms. More students in the latest incoming class would actually prefer a job in the public interest sector (5%) than either investment banking (4%) or investment management (4%). That’s a mind-altering shift for a school like Wharton and poses significant challenges for the school’s career development staff (see graphic at left).

The most desired industries? Consulting (18%), private equity (17%), technology (11%),  consumer product marketing 8%, and hedge funds (7%). In two years, Wharton faces a significant challenge to satisfy those changing preferences, especially the desire to land a job in private equity. The gap between the school’s current placements in PE and the 17% preference for those jobs is greatest. Though the Journal noted that Wharton has been late to the tech party, the school placed 11% of its latest class in technology industries–exactly the same percentage of industry preference by its newly entered class of MBAs.

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.