Some of the biggest gains in enrollment, moreover, occurred toward the end of his deanship when most business schools, including Harvard, Stanford, Wharton and others, were reporting declines in application volume. Some worried that Martin wouldn’t be able to boost MBA class sizes without a corresponding decline in student quality. Yet, this fall, Rotman enrolled a record 350 MBA students with an average GMAT score of 674, a significant increase from only two years ago when Rotman brought in 265 students with an average GMAT score of 661. The growth plan calls for further increases to an annual intake of 390 students.
‘THE BEST MBA STUDENTS WANT TO GO TO A BIG CONSEQUENTIAL SCHOOL’
“If I didn’t really care about making sure that Rotman is ranked among the best business schools on the planet, I would not have done it,” says Martin. “It has been an incredible amount of work. This is the hardest thing to do, to go from 130 to 260 and then 260 to 390. If you are going down this demand curve further, they say you are going to get lower quality. But it turns out that demand and supply brings demand. These kids aren’t stupid. They want to go to a big consequential school.”
The result: There’s been a spike in the demand for Rotman graduates from top global employers, many of which have decided to add Rotman as the only Canadian school that they recruit MBA students from. In the last 24 months, the school has added such global companies as Microsoft, Huawei, GE, Google, Fedex, Nike, Estee Lauder, Lululemon, Target, and Siemens.
The school’s insiders are naturally generous with their praise for Martin. “We had been punching below our weight for a very long time as a business school,” says Peter Pauly, who has been academic dean under Martin. “He brought a vision, enthusiasm and ambition, and we have been successful ever since. He has been just transformational for the school.”