Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Nonprofit Social Entrepreneur
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
MIT Sloan | Mr. Low GPA Over Achiever
GMAT 700, GPA 2.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Minority Champ
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
Darden | Mr. Fintech Nerd
GMAT 740, GPA 7.7/10
Harvard | Mr. Professional Boy Scout
GMAT 660, GPA 3.83
Stanford GSB | Ms. East Africa Specialist
GMAT 690, GPA 3.34
Darden | Mr. Senior Energy Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 2.5
IU Kelley | Mr. Construction Manager
GRE 680, GPA 3.02
IU Kelley | Mr. Clinical Trial Ops
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.33
IU Kelley | Ms. Biracial Single Mommy
, GPA 2.5/3.67 Grad
Rice Jones | Mr. Simple Manufacturer
GRE 320, GPA 3.95
NYU Stern | Mr. Low Gmat
GMAT 690, GPA 73.45 % (No GPA in undergrad)
Chicago Booth | Mr. Finance Musician
GRE 330, GPA 3.6
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Wake Up & Grind
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Improve Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
N U Singapore | Ms. Biomanager
GMAT 520, GPA 2.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. Indian Telecom ENG
GRE 340, GPA 3.56
Harvard | Mr. 1st Gen Brazilian LGBT
GMAT 720, GPA 3.2
USC Marshall | Mr. Ambitious
GRE 323, GPA 3.01
Harvard | Mr. Merchant Of Debt
GMAT 760, GPA 3.5 / 4.0 in Master 1 / 4.0 in Master 2
Tuck | Ms. Nigerian Footwear
GRE None, GPA 4.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
GMAT 770, GPA 2.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 360 Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Low GPA High GRE
GRE 325, GPA 3.2

Vanderbilt Dean Doubling Down On ‘Personal Scale’

Owen Graduate School of Management  Dean Eric Johnson  - Vanderbilt photo/Daniel Dubois

Owen Graduate School of Management
Dean Eric Johnson
– Vanderbilt photo/Daniel Dubois

For growth, Johnson is putting a few more bets on specialized business master’s. The school’s highly successful one-year master’s in finance for students with little to no work experience boasts a 100% placement rate within 60 days of graduation. Like the MBA experience at Owen, it is a high touch, premium quality program.


“We have a fundamentally different view of this market than most schools,” he says. “We don’t run our program as a cash cow filled with Chinese students. We came to these programs with an MBA mindset and very much treat it like an MBA program, with dedicated admissions and career management teams. We hold our own feet to the fire on placement with a diverse yet predominantly domestic student population.” Owen annually receives 800 to 1,000 applications for the 50 available seats in the classroom. “The story,” insists Johnson, “isn’t so much about the applications. It’s about the quality of the applicants.”

Owen also boasts a master’s of accountancy, with CPA pass rates that are among the highest for any business school, as well as a master’s of management in healthcare for mid-aged career professionals who want to remain in the healthcare sector. This fall, the school is launching a one-year master’s of marketing for pre-experience students. Asked how many students he hopes to enroll in the first cohort, Johnson says, “We’ll be happy with ten students. We have the resources to do it right from the beginning so we want to cohort to be fantastic out of the gate with 100% placement.”

To Johnson, all of these plans jive with Henderson’s notions of how a successful organization creates competitive advantage. After Henderson suffered a stroke and died at the age of 77 nearly 24 years ago, Johnson remembers the day he stopped by Henderson’s office to comfort his wife Bess as she cleaned out his books. To this day, he remains in touch with her and believes his strategy for Owen has achieved a posthumous blessing of sorts from the late strategy guru.

Clearly, Henderson must be smiling from above.


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.