INFLUX IN JAPANESE AND KOREAN MARKETS
While GMAT scores for incoming students in two-year programs continues to soar well into the 700s, the elite one-year programs tend to have median and average GMAT scores in the 600s. Since input stats of one-year programs are not included in B-school rankings, it also allows more slack in accepted GMAT scores and other metrics. Acceptance rates are almost always more generous in one-year programs as well. Stanford’s MSx program, a great option for “older” professionals aged 30 to 34, accepts about one in four applicants. That contrasts with the puny 6.1% acceptance rate for its two-year program.
Drobnick also believes rankings shouldn’t be considered as much for one-year programs. Despite a $4,500 security deposit, Drobnick says the IBEAR regularly loses four or five international students each class to brand-name programs like Stanford’s MSx program and the MIT Sloan Fellows Program. “Internationally, the Stanford and MIT brands are stronger,” Drobnick admits. “Especially in the Japanese and Korean cultures, brand will trump quality of experience. And I think the quality of experience in our program beats all of them.”
In the most recent applicant cycle, Drobnick laments losing two Japanese bankers to higher-ranked Emory Goizueta–just because of B-school rankings. “They come and have a great experience and meet with our alumni in Tokyo and then we get this pointed letter from the guy,” Drobnick begins. “It says, ‘I’m really sorry, I really want to be in your program. But the HR manager of the bank says I have to go to a higher ranked program.” Interestingly, Lloyd mentioned without prompt a new emphasis in courting Japanese and Korean students. Both cited renewed sponsorship interest in Japanese and Korean companies as reasons for the influx.
TWO SIMILAR PROGRAMS AT KELLOGG
At Kellogg, Merrick is less concerned with rankings and losing students to rivals. He’s more attuned to making sure the market knows the one-year program exists. “We want to get the word out that this is an option for students bringing a lot of academic experience to the table and are not concerned about internships,” he says. “They get the same Kellogg experience that a two-year student can get.”
For Chang, who was looking at both two-year and one-year options, Merrick’s latter thought rings true. “I wouldn’t look at it as different programs, it all feels like the two-year MBA,” she says. The engagement Chang has experienced is exactly why Merrick believes applicants should look at the program he has directed for the past eight months.
“What makes us so strong and differentiates us as a program is we are not just about the transaction of getting your MBA,” Merrick believes. “We offer the Kellogg experience which starts with our focus on the customer, gets students to work in a collaborative environment, and engages students inside and outside the classroom at very high levels.”