Busting The Biggest Business School Myths

How the general public imagines a Haas student orientation.


 Myth: Haas is filled with hippies.

Reality: “My friends from previous careers and my family seem to think this, but it’s absolutely not true. We’re more collegial and service-focused than other business schools as you’d expect based on our culture, but the cognitive horsepower and lofty ambitions are very much alive and fundamental to Haas.”
– John Moore, U.C.-Berkeley (Haas)


Myth: McCombs is a “Texas school.”

Reality: “I chose McCombs because I wanted to leave California (my home for 15 years) and have a new, exciting experience while maintaining ties to the west coast. In fact, in 2016 nearly 20 percent of graduating students headed to the west coast. Due to its expansive undergraduate and graduate networks, as well as its existence within The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs boasts alumni presence all over the world.”
– Timothy Carreon, University of Texas (McCombs)


 Myth: Oxford pales in comparison to Hogwarts.

Reality: While sadly, my wand never arrived, I did get a wizard robe (called a Subfusc) and the experience here has been as Harry Potter-esque as the real world gets. We are surrounded by an 800 year-old university with candlelit great hall dinners and common rooms filled with incredible academics from across the university.”
                                                          – Ashley Thomas, Oxford (Said)


Myth: Columbia Business School is a pure finance school where students aren’t close to each other.

Reality: “This is totally not true! CBS has a very diverse program and we have a lot of people interested in retail, media and other industries. I also think that the city of New York provides countless opportunities for you to explore it with you classmates. You will learn a lot about your peers through different activities and you will be amazed by how diverse and well-rounded your peers are. If you are a foodie, you can defiantly find your group of people to try out restaurants; if you are into arts, you might be surprised that there’s someone working in auction house before business school that can tell you a lot of art history and these are just some samples.”
– Tiffany Yua Chia Chen, Columbia Business School


Myth: The University of Rochester focuses on finance (and it’s too cold).

Reality: While it does rank very high for finance, we have brilliant faculty in a number of fields and many MBAs go into a multitude of roles after graduation. Marketing, consulting, operations and supply chain, data analytics, and entrepreneurship are all amazing career options that Simon MBAs are consistently chosen for. My classmates in other disciplines are very happy with the rigor of those tracks as well.

Also, Rochester isn’t an arctic tundra — at least not all year long. In the summer and fall, the campus and city are absolutely gorgeous.”
– David Distant, University of Rochester (Simon)


Myth: Recruiting is more difficult at Kelley because “significant” employers prefer to visit schools closer to big cities.

Reality: “No matter where the talent is, the best firms will find it and recruit at those places. Our alumni network is enormous and there are so many top-ranked programs within the larger umbrella of Kelley School of Business that the prestige, track record and level of human capital speaks for itself, even in a smaller town like Bloomington, Indiana.

Not only do the largest and most innovative companies come to campus, Kelleys get out of Bloomington a lot, traveling around the world for consulting projects, company visits, case competitions and alumni meetings. Kelley places no restrictions on where you want your recruiting goals to take you.”
– Jay Russell, Indiana University (Kelley)


Myth: There’s nothing to do in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Reality: “I think, because Tuck is sort of in the woods, there’s an assumption that––outside of hiking and skiing — there’s nothing to do. I’ve found that we’re more creative with how we spend our time — and much more deliberate about the people with whom we spend it. While my restaurant bucket list may have suffered these two years, my relationships haven’t.”
– Tom Allin, Dartmouth College (Tuck)


Myth: Students can’t foster a sense of community in London like they can in more secluded locations.

Reality: “Fortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. We all live in what we call the “Baker Street bubble.” The majority of the students live around campus, and we rarely leave this area in our first year. This creates a strong sense of community. On the other hand, it’s also difficult to escape the bubble due to so much going on at the school in the first year. Therefore, I feel that I finally properly explored London during my second year.”
– Julia Paykin, London Business School


Myth: Your opportunities are only limited to Atlanta at Emory.

Reality: “While I had many classmates intern in Atlanta with me this past summer, I also had classmates interning in Seattle, New York City, and India. Next year I’ll have classmates working in China, Miami, and Chicago. Goizueta truly has a global footprint.”
– Adam Parker, Emory University (Goizueta)


Next Page: Can you pursue social impact at Wharton? Are Stanford MBAs too soft? Are Haas grads too nice? Is Booth just a finance school? Find out on the next page.

  • Boothie

    As another Boothie I really wonder about that stereotype, sure we have some nerds/geeks (me being one of them), but most people, while smart, aren’t ‘nerds/geeks’, but quite traditional MBA students. I mean, look at our parties, they’re rarely ‘nerdy’.

  • MAA

    Yeah I would not place Sloan as a Booth 2.0, even though both schools are more academically inclined than their peers they each have different cultures.
    -Booth: Nerds/geeks that are cool to hang out with (I mean it in the nicest way possible, I am a Boothie)
    -Sloan: Down to Earth intellectuals who have fun.

  • areyoucrazy

    Booth and Sloan are the best schools ever. Better than Harvard’s snooty and Stanford’s arrogant people. We have great social skills. Unnecessarily academic? Recruiters and rankings disagree. You seem to be one of the jealous people from an inferior program like Wharton, Stern, CBS….

  • Kellogg2016

    This article didn’t actually bother to tackle the real stereotypes. For example, no one thinks Kellogg is a marketing school anymore (40% go to consulting, like 8% go to marketing), the stereotype is that we party too much and aren’t serious academically. Likewise, the stereotype of Booth is that they lack social skills and that the school is not fun.

  • OG

    I raised my eyebrows at that too.

  • Callaspadeaspade

    Let’s call a spade a spade. Here are the most commonly heard clichés about students at each top school –

    Harvard – snooty, entitled, self-righteous
    Stanford – arrogant, app-makers, overconfident
    Wharton – greedy, selfish, cutthroat
    Booth – geeks, no social skills, unnecessarily academic
    Kellogg – lack seriousness, overenthusiastic, weak academically
    Sloan – Booth 2.0
    Columbia – insecure, cold, terrible student experience
    Yale SOM – try too hard to get a seat at the big boy table
    Haas – hippies, “west coast best coast”
    Tuck – overly formal, isolated, uninteresting

  • Old Nassau Tigers

    How? Did you actually read the comment?

  • BOOth

    LOL the Boothie’s response only goes to cement everyone’s assertion that Booth is where fun goes to die.

  • USC

    Re University of Spoiled Children: alarm bells usually start ringing when I hear “Nothing was handed to this group; we went out and earned it.”