HBS, GSB, or Tahiti?
More MBA applicants admitted by both the Stanford GSB and Harvard Business School choose Stanford. In explaining why, Poets&Quants‘ editor-in-chief John Byrne sought insights from five admissions consultants, including Sandy Kreisberg, founder of HBSGuru and a Poets&Quants contributor. “Harvard hates losing,” Kreisberg asserted, suggesting that the school’s losses to its West Coast competitor had spurred it to obsess over entrepreneurship, and flood the market with scholarship cash. But Kreisberg also speculated – with dirt dealt to both sides – that some admits were just taking an easier route to an elite MBA. “Harvard is a vacation where you have to dress up for three hours a day,” Kreisberg quips. “Stanford is a total two-year vacation.”
Better Listen To Your Betters
Sometimes, MBA students need a kick in the pants. That was the thinking behind a cleverly orchestrated maneuver by U.C. Berkeley Haas School of Business entrepreneurship instructors to improve the performance of one student team. The takedown went down in “lean startup” pioneer Steve Blank’s Lean LaunchPad course, in which teams of students use the lean methodology to create products. One team was showing reluctance to adopt the wisdom put forth by the instructors. Blank watched, and waited, then spoke: “I’m about to throw you out of the class and you’re going to fail,” Blank pronounced. “Your body language and your interaction is not conducive to learning. Why don’t you sit down and then we’re going to decide what we’re going to do next.” Crushed, the students returned to their seats. The instructors later revealed to Poets&Quants that they’d planning the whole thing to light a fire below the under-performing team. And it worked.
There Will Be Blood, Redux
Shocking allegations came out of the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management’s master’s program in management studies this fall. Surprising enough were the claims by students that they had seen six students cheating on each of two final exams, and that the school had assigned a biased student investigator to probe the accusations. But the alleged responses by a couple of the accused cheaters went beyond scandalous into the downright menacing: “The day I come to know who reported me, I will fucking kill him or her,” one student is reported to have said in a phone call to a peer. Another student, in another call, reportedly said, “If we get caught, there will be blood everywhere. We will involve a lot of people in this drama and blame innocent people. Don’t mess with us.” Kellogg refused to say whether there was an investigation going on into the alleged cheating. If there is, according to school policy the results won’t be made public till next fall – when the students will be long gone, and any cheaters will likely have already been hired.
U.S. B-Schools ‘Pandering’ to Applicants?
Ask admissions consultants which business schools attract the best MBA candidates and they’ll generally tell you the top three are Harvard Business School, the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. But likely, a consultant will then throw in a European school close on the heels of the big three for attracting talent. Poets&Quants surveyed 50 admissions-consulting firms, and received 35 responses. Which European school did the firms tend to throw in up high in their ranking of who’s winning the MBA talent wars? INSEAD. Why? Well, says Adam Hoff, a principal with Amerasia Consulting Group, “The school gets better candidates by asking them to complete a tough application process. You get what you pay for. U.S. schools would be wise to stop pandering to this supposed Twitter generation and go back to tougher apps. They will not only get a better sense of what they have, but they will be signaling that getting into their school is no joke.”