MIT Sloan | Mr. Refinery Engineer
GMAT 700- will retake, GPA 3.87
Berkeley Haas | Ms. 10 Years Experience
GMAT To be taken, GPA 3.1
Stanford GSB | Mr. Singing Banking Lawyer
GMAT 720, GPA 110-point scale. Got 110/110 with honors
Yale | Ms. Social Impact AKS
GRE 315, GPA 7.56
Harvard | Mr. Political Consultant
GRE 337, GPA 3.85
Said Business School | Mr. Across The Pond
GMAT 680, GPA 2.8
Yale | Mr. Army Infantry Officer
GMAT 730, GPA 2.83
Wharton | Mr. Army & Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 360 Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
N U Singapore | Ms. Biomanager
GMAT 520, GPA 2.8
MIT Sloan | Mr. Low GPA Over Achiever
GMAT 700, GPA 2.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Corp Finance
GMAT 740, GPA 3.75
Harvard | Mr. Improve Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Wake Up & Grind
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
Darden | Mr. Fintech Nerd
GMAT 740, GPA 7.7/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Minority Champ
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Darden | Mr. Senior Energy Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 2.5
Harvard | Mr. Merchant Of Debt
GMAT 760, GPA 3.5 / 4.0 in Master 1 / 4.0 in Master 2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Indian Telecom ENG
GRE 340, GPA 3.56
Stanford GSB | Ms. East Africa Specialist
GMAT 690, GPA 3.34
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Nonprofit Social Entrepreneur
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Chicago Booth | Ms. Start-Up Entrepreneur
GRE 318 current; 324 intended, GPA 3.4
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Health Care Executive
GMAT 690, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Professional Boy Scout
GMAT 660, GPA 3.83
IU Kelley | Mr. Construction Manager
GRE 680, GPA 3.02
IU Kelley | Mr. Clinical Trial Ops
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.33

A Devil’s Advocate View Of MBA Rankings

Dennis Gioia, a professor at Penn State's Smeal College of Business, admits that he both hates and loves rankings

Dennis Gioia, a professor at Penn State’s Smeal College of Business, admits that he both hates and loves rankings


Third, the rankings have forced continuous improvement and frequent course and program redesigns (and modern MBA grads are better prepared to deal with technology and change than any generation that preceded them).

Fourth, the rankings have compelled B-schools to be more strategic (another ironic example, as we teach that stuff too)

Fifth, the rankings have forced everybody to benchmark everybody else, which has raised everbody’s games.

Sixth, rankings offer some version of a 1st-approximation “truth”. The rankings are not absurd. If they were absurd, most schools would ignore them. They don’t. As flawed and idiosyncratic as they might be, they nonetheless generate a rating (if not necessarily an accurate ranking) system of B-school programs.


Seventh, rankings are useful to prospective students, who previously had to navigate a lot of cleverly managed translucency on the part of business schools. Coarse-grained as they might be, rankings usually focus on some important aspects of programs and program quality.

All these examples show that Circe can provide some great gifts. Those whom she favors – e.g., the top 20 – derive immense benefit from heeding her song (quality applicants, higher quality recruiting visits, alumni donations, etc.). Those she disfavors usually need to do some rethinking about their place in the pecking order and make some decisions about changes they might need to make.

John Byrne is here. Not sure what he will say “Stop your complaining!? It is what it is for a lot of reasonable reasons. Deal with it.”


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.