Stanford GSB | Just Jim
GRE 335, GPA 3.99
London Business School | Mr. Impact Financier
GMAT 750, GPA 7.35/10
Kellogg | Mr. Sales Engineer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.00
Columbia | Ms. Mechanical Engineer
GMAT 610, GPA 3.72
Georgetown McDonough | Ms. CRA11
GMAT 720, GPA 3.61
Harvard | Mr. Impact Investment
GMAT 760, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Aussie Sustainability
GMAT 650 (retaking to boost chances), GPA 4
Harvard | Mr. Private Equity
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Columbia | Mr. Worker Bee
GMAT 710, GPA 3.56
Columbia | Mr. Alien
GMAT 700, GPA 3.83
Columbia | Mr. MD
GMAT 630, GPA 3.24
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Digital Marketing Analyst
GMAT 710, GPA 3.27
Stanford GSB | Mr. Financial Controller
GRE Yet to Take, Target is ~330, GPA 2.5
Harvard | Mr. AI in Asia
GMAT 760, GPA 3.25
IMD | Mr. Future Large Corp
GMAT 720, GPA 3.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Career Coach
GRE 292, GPA 3.468
Marshall School of Business | Mr. Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
NYU Stern | Mr. Long Shot
GRE 303, GPA 2.75
NYU Stern | Mr. Bioinformatics
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Foster School of Business | Mr. CPG Tech
GMAT 770, GPA 2.9
Stanford GSB | Ms. Retail Innovator
GMAT 750, GPA 3.84
Stanford GSB | Mr. Young Entrepreneur
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Darden | Mr. Deloitte Dreamer
GMAT 700, GPA 3.13
INSEAD | Mr. Impact Investor
GMAT 750, GPA 3.0
Harvard | Mr. Finance in Tech
GMAT 760, GPA 3.9
INSEAD | Mr. Indian Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.0
Wharton | Mr. Food & Beverage
GMAT 720, GPA 3.75

The Top Undergrad Biz Feeder Schools

Worm

For many students, undergraduate school has become like a game of chess. You don’t make your next move without considering your follow-on moves.

That can be true of business programs as well. Many students know they’ll eventually go back to school for an MBA. In the interim, they focus their time on blowing out the GMAT, fine tuning their essays, piling up extracurriculars, and gobbling up leadership opportunities. They check all the right boxes when it comes to jobs, connections, and achievements.

Is an Undergraduate Business Degree an Advantage?

Logically, students who majored in business – and earned high marks – should have a real advantage in the MBA admissions process. Why? For starters, their target schools know exactly what to expect. That’s not the case for non-business majors, where adcoms must project their abilities.

Take theater majors, true poets. If they’ve been on a stage, they can convey a presence that draws others, no different than any leader. To prepare for parts, they’ve studied (or created) their characters’ manners and motivations. And that gives them an advantage in understanding others and building relationships. They’ve honed their craft among other cast members, paving a smooth transition to team-based projects. Don’t forget, they’re required to quickly memorize and apply large and unfamiliar scripts. Talk about a key skill for those quant-oriented courses!

Despite these transferrable skills, adcoms will still ask: “Can this candidate master the fundamentals, especially the quant in the program?” That isn’t necessarily a question for students who graduate from a rigorous undergraduate business program. There, the comparison is relatively apples-to-apples, particularly for the top programs. If students thrive at a Washington University or a Wake Forest curriculum, they should (theoretically) do the same at the MBA level. They already have the foundational knowledge in place. More important, they’ve already worked alongside other top students.

In reality, business majors don’t have a real head start. MBA programs are predicated on diversity of backgrounds and perspectives for success. Here, success is based on strategic thinking, practical application, and creative problem-solving, which isn’t the sole province of any discipline. In fact, a bachelor’s degree in a business-related field may actually be a disadvantage. Some administrators even freely admit it. For example, Sara Neher, assistant dean of admissions at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, believes that business majors face greater difficulty in being accepted. “We want 75% of our class to be non-business undergrads,” she told Bloomberg BusinessWeek in an interview. In some respects, there is a higher bar [for business majors] than for non-business majors.”

Don’t forget, the GMAT places every candidate (even English majors) on even footing. ‘You are what your score says you are,’ to paraphrase a famous sports saying. With the GMAT’s integrated reasoning section mimicking MBA program realities, even business majors can’t hide their weaknesses in areas like critical thinking and analysis. Plus, with resources like MOOCs freely available, it won’t take long for non-business majors to close their knowledge gap. (Take heart, business grads: In grad school, you won’t need to take those pesky prerequisites or work late into the night to master on basic tools and concepts).