The 492 MBA students who will step on the lakefront campus next month at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management will be among the school’s most diverse and accomplished incoming classes since the launch of its MBA program in 1920.
For one thing, 43% of this year’s incoming full-time MBAs are women – a record that is five full percentage points over the previous year. That level of representation by young female professionals ties Kellogg with the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School for the highest percentage of women among the elite U.S. schools.
The number of international students, representing 56 countries and cultures, is also a record this year, with 40% of the class hailing from outside the U.S., up two percentage points from the 38% a year earlier (tying Kellogg with the ever-cosmopolitan Haas School of Business).
ALL-TIME HIGH FOR AVERAGE GMAT SCORES
While Kellogg has assembled a vast array of diverse viewpoints that will no doubt fuel some compelling classroom debates, the school also has selected what could be the brainiest group of two-year MBAs ever on the Evanston, Ill., campus. The Class of 2017 arrives with an average GMAT of 724 – eight points higher than the previous year and a new record as well. The class’ collective undergraduate GPA – 3.6 – is even a shade higher than intracity rival University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Some 48% of the incoming students boast undergraduate majors in business and economics, with humanities (27%) and STEM (26%) trailing behind. True to historical form, a quarter of Kellogg’s incoming class has backgrounds in consulting–an area of exceptional strength at the school given the high EQ of its students–with another 21% coming from finance.
The stats in a class profile, of course, rarely tell the full story of the extraordinary people who comprise a full class. And the Class of 2017 is no different. Corey White, who moved up the ranks at Burger King’s corporate office after graduating from the University of Chicago, dreams of becoming a “transformational leader.” Iyembi Nkanza is relocating from Cape Town to Evanston after launching his own software and private equity firms.
A SYMPHONY LEADER, A SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR
Jonathan Goldstein earned an advanced degree at the celebrated San Francisco Conservatory of Music before performing as a percussionist and timpanist with the Chicago and Kansas City Symphonies. But don’t assume that Goldstein is a poet: He has already founded and operated a test prep service and is currently enrolled for a dual MS in design innovation. And Manasa Yeturu, a UCLA alum, joins Kellogg after spending the past six years in social impact, most recently providing entrepreneurship education for girls.
For Kate Smith, Kellogg’s assistant dean of admissions and financial aid, students like these make her optimistic about the coming two years. “These students are truly a snapshot representing the breadth and depth of the Kellogg program – from finance, entrepreneurship, healthcare, private equity, education and more,” she tells Poets&Quants.
“People are choosing Kellogg for the strength of its general management foundation, its global opportunities, the chance to take risks and develop as a leader, and its supportive, courageous and driven culture. We are thrilled with the composition of our incoming class, including a strong GMAT average, 43 percent women, and diversity of backgrounds, goals and industry interests. We ultimately select students based on a holistic look at their capabilities, and the diversity of our class reflects this.”