Harvard | Mr. African Energy
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Quality Assurance
GMAT 770, GPA 3.6
Columbia | Mr. Energy Italian
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Salesman
GMAT 700, GPA 3.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Army Engineer
GRE 326, GPA 3.89
Chicago Booth | Ms. Indian Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 9.18/10
INSEAD | Mr. INSEAD Aspirant
GRE 322, GPA 3.5
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Army Aviator
GRE 314, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Ms. Big4 M&A
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Renewables Athlete
GMAT 710 (1st take), GPA 3.63
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare PE
GRE 340, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Military Quant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Wharton | Mr. Future Non-Profit
GMAT 720, GPA 8/10
UCLA Anderson | Mr. SME Consulting
GMAT 740, GPA 3.55 (as per WES paid service)
Chicago Booth | Mr. Healthcare PM
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
Kellogg | Mr. Concrete Angel
GRE 318, GPA 3.33
Kellogg | Mr. Maximum Impact
GMAT Waiver, GPA 3.77
MIT Sloan | Ms. Rocket Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.9
Wharton | Ms. Interstellar Thinker
GMAT 740, GPA 7.6/10
Harvard | Mr. Finance
GMAT 750, GPA 3.0
Harvard | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Ms. Sustainable Development
GRE N/A, GPA 3.4
Chicago Booth | Mr. Unilever To MBB
GRE 308, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Ms. Female Sales Leader
GMAT 740 (target), GPA 3.45
Tuck | Mr. Liberal Arts Military
GMAT 680, GPA 2.9
Harvard | Ms. Gay Techie
GRE 332, GPA 3.88
INSEAD | Mr. Product Manager
GMAT 740, GPA 63%

An UnHeavenly Match: Love & An MBA

couple

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

Source: The Wharton Journal survey of MBA students at Wharton

Source: The Wharton Journal survey of MBA students at Wharton

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.

Chart3If 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

Source: The Wharton Journal survey of MBA students at Wharton

Source: The Wharton Journal survey of MBA students at Wharton

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.

DON’T MISS: LOVE AT B-SCHOOL: THE EIGHT IMMUTABLE LAWS OF MBA DATING or THE SORRY STATE OF BUSINESS SCHOOL LOVE

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.