Meet The Ivey MBA Class of 2016

Members of the Class of 2017 at Ivey Business School in Canada

Members of the Class of 2017 at Ivey Business School in Canada

Conventional wisdom says you should head to London for the best business education. London, Ontario, that is. Sandwiched between Toronto and Detroit, the “Forest City” is home to the world’s most unheralded one-year MBA program: The Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario.

In 2014, Ivey made headlines when it reached #1 in Bloomberg Businessweek’s ranking of the top full-time MBA programs outside the United States. Topping big names like INSEAD and Cambridge Judge, Ivey also earned the highest scores among recruiters. And it repeated the feat in Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2015 rankings this week, again ranking 1st overall and 1st among employers (along with 6th in student satisfaction).


But such accolades should come as little surprise, particularly in Canada. Here, Ivey has traditionally dominated the key metrics. For example, the school’s 92% placement rate for the 2014 Class was the highest among Rotman, Schulich, and McGill (and better than American stalwarts like Columbia, Vanderbilt Owen, and Texas McCombs). Ivey grads’ starting salary — $98,702 in Canadian currency – was over $8,000 higher than the next Canadian school (Rotman). More impressively, Ivey MBAs have landed the highest starting paychecks among Canadian b-school grads for 16 years running. And Ivey’s career services department – the largest among Canadian business schools – ranked 38th in the world (and first in Canada) according to the most recent Financial Times rankings.

Indeed, Ivey (the oldest business school in Canada) is your prototype small program: High touch with heavy career coaching and preparation infused across the curriculum. It is the type of program where career changers can take risks and introverts can assume leadership roles. And this year’s class – which started last spring and includes attorneys, consultants, investment bankers, and even a professional hockey player – is already starting to leave its mark according to Sharon Irwin-Foulon, the school’s executive director of Ivey career management and corporate recruiting.


Sharon Irwin-Foulon

Sharon Irwin-Foulon

“Ivey’s MBA class of 2016 is here because they are so much more than their credentials,” Irwin-Foulon tells Poets&Quants. “Sure, they have interesting work experiences, but there is a depth to their stories, to where they want to go, and what they want to accomplish…In their six months here, they have already demonstrated what came through in their admissions essays and interviews: This is a class that is playing to win, can manage and adapt to adversity, and is one that comes to any situation looking to engage and to be a constructive part of its make-up. Generous, smart, and authentic are all adjectives with which you can describe this class as they work to hone their executive presence in today’s markets.”

Statistically, the 141-member class brings a 656 average GMAT to campus. Boasting 4.7 years of work experience on average, the class includes 26% women. While two-thirds of the class consists of Canadian citizens, it is truly an international cohort. Just 47% of the class was born in Canada, with the remaining students coming from 23 birth countries and speaking 26 different languages. 46% of the class also possesses international work experience.

The highest percentage of the class – 25% – hails from the financial sector. Students from the professional sector (18%), information technology (8%), telecommunications (7%), manufacturing (7%), health care (6%), and energy (5%) also make up large blocs of the class. Academically, undergraduate business majors represent 39% of the 2016 class, followed by engineering (30%), arts (11%), sciences (9%), and economics (8%).

Go to next page to access student profiles of this year’s incoming class.

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