How Recruiters, Alumni & Students Really Feel About Their B-Schools

Chicago Booth MBA students


This difference is also expressed in the gap between students and alumni regarding their alma maters. In 60% of the programs, the alumni and student rank differed by 10 spots or more. How different can perceptions be? On one end, you’ll find Baylor Hankamer, which ranked 13th for alumni satisfaction – a higher rating than either Northwestern Kellogg or Columbia Business School achieved. Among students, however, Hankamer finished 85th – last place. In contrast, Michigan Ross ranked 4th among the Class of 2017 – a placement higher than any other Top 10 MBA program. Among alumni, it limped to 47th place – despite ongoing academic excellence (not to mention a 2016 class whose starting pay was only eclipsed by Harvard and Stanford).

Such discrepancies are found top-to-bottom. Among the big name programs, students gave higher marks to Chicago Booth, Columbia Business School, and Cornell Johnson. In contrast, alumni held fonder memories for Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB, Dartmouth Tuck, and Yale SOM based on their rankings. This gulf creates an odd dichotomy, where applicants and students may get very different responses from alumni based on when they graduated.

Several top programs, however, boasted a certain consistency in student and alumni sentiment. For example, Rice Jones ranked 4th with alumni and 2nd among students, positioning that highlights Jones’ strength in producing a transformative experience steeped in close relationships that resonate long after diplomas are conferred. Berkeley Haas, Virginia Darden and Duke Fuqua – three other programs that focus heavily on relationships and experience – also scored high with alumni and students alike. In other words, perceptions were consistent – making them more likely to produce the experience and outcomes that MBA applicants are craving.

DON’T MISS: Ten Biggest Surprises In Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2017 MBA Ranking or Wharton, MIT Gain Big In Businessweek MBA Ranking

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