The conventional wisdom on love at business school is pretty negative. A few years ago, when a writer interviewed a crop of business students to come up with the eight laws of MBA dating, the very first dictum was something of a downer.
“If you weren’t single when you arrived, odds are you will be by Thanksgiving.”
Turns out, according to a new survey of Wharton MBA students, that’s not too far from the truth. In the survey open to Wharton’s 1,600 MBA candidates earlier this month, 59% said they were in a relationship when they arrived on campus. Roughly one in four of those students, however, are no longer in that relationship.
8% ADMITTED TO CHEATING WHILE AT WHARTON, WHILE 10% WANT TO HOOK UP WITH A MEMBER OF THEIR LEARNING TEAM
The largest number of break ups occurred just before or just after Thanksgiving. In fact, 49% of the break ups occurred just before or after the November holiday (see chart at right). If the relationship lasted the first year core, chances are it would hold. Only 6% of the responding students said they broke off their pre-MBA relationship during the second year of business school. In other words, the first year MBA experience claimed some 94% of the relationships gone bad.
Some 8% of the responding Wharton students admit to having cheated on their loved ones while at school. Another 10% said they would like to hook up with a member of their learning team.
The survey by The Wharton Journal, the student newspaper of the school, received 254 responses. Some 59% from men and 40% were female, and 1% identified as neither of those choices. About 62% of those who filled out the survey were 1st year students, with the remaining 38% 2nd years.
If anything, the survey again shows that love—when crammed between an MBA program and a search for a job—isn’t all that easy. Some 39% of the responding women and 25% of the responding men told the Journal that they are not currently in a relationship. Another 11% of women and 9% of men described their relationship as casual.
WHAT WOMEN WANT: WITTY BANTER, ATTRACTIVENESS AND RUTHLESS AMBITION
Asked what students were looking for in a match, the top three answers from women were “witty banter,” “attractiveness,” and “ruthless ambition.” This is, after all, business school, and more pointedly, this is Wharton which tends to draw a more finance-directed crowd. Men, on the other hand, put “attractiveness” first, followed by “witty banter” and “book smarts.”
Women said what they were most looking for in a match was religion (No. 6), curiosity (No. 7), U.S. citizenship (8), similar goals (9), and perspective (10). That differed somewhat from the traits most named by men who say they are drawn to the opposite sex by “swordplay” (No. 5), personality (6), a pulse (7), religion (8), spirituality (9), and you know this had to be in there: “hot sex” (10).
MOST POPULAR ONLINE DATING APPS AT WHARTON: TINDER & HINGE
The two dating apps most favored at Wharton are Tinder, used by 63% of the students who say they go on “online dates,” followed by Hinge, a favorite of 54% of the students. Ok Cupid (19%), CoffeeMeetsBagel (7%), and Facebook (6%) were next. The League, started by a Stanford MBA graduate as an upmarket Tinder, was used by only 4% of the Wharton students.
Asked which other schools at UPenn would MBA students most likely want to date from and the medical school topped the list, getting 54% of the vote. Law was next with 42%, while nursing followed the legal profession with 31%. Nearly one in four–23%–of the MBA students said they would want to date an undergrad at Penn.
Just 24% of the male single MBAs in the survey said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the pool of available partners at the school for a relationship. Some 24% of the men and 25% of the women said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the pool of available partners for sex.