2017 P&Q Editors’ Picks Of Our Favorites

Yale University’s School of Management

How Yale SOM Crashed The M7 Party

Nothing sets off a firestorm of comments on Poets&Quants than saying an outsider deserves a spot within the M7, the term used to describe the “magnificent 7” business schools in the world. There’s something in particular about the Yale School of Management that seems to strike a chord — both positive and negative — with our readers. Earlier this year, we argued why Yale’s SOM is poised to crash the M7, and it garnered quite the discussion.

Still, the numbers are convincing. Since 2009, Yale’s SOM has seen an increase in number of applicants by more than 30% — four times more than any of the other so-called M7 schools. All the while, the school has also significantly increased average GMAT scores, average GPAs, and the percentage of women and underrepresented minorities, representing a more competitive and well-rounded class of MBA students. But, of course, it goes much beyond the numbers. And this long-form piece that was published at the beginning of May does some deep reporting on what exactly is going on at Yale’s SOM.

“We’ve always attracted top candidates to Yale SOM, but what has struck me over the past several years is the depth of the applicant pool, which means that there really is no ‘tail’ to the class anymore,” Bruce DelMonico, director of MBA admissions told us at the time. “Deciding who to admit among this deep pool of candidates has been an increasingly difficult task, but it is certainly a good problem to have and one we take very seriously.”

Iowa’s Tippie School And The Potential Tipping Point Of The MBA

This past August, the first of two major full-time MBA programs closed its doors. Sort of. The University of Iowa’s Tippie School announced the close of its MBA program. While not a top-ranked Big Ten program, it was still a major Big Ten program and was enough to send shockwaves through the rest of the community. Earlier moves by the likes Wake Forest University and Virginia Tech to discontinue their residential MBA programs didn’t help calm nerves. Over at fellow Big Ten school, Ohio State University, Dean Anil K. Makhija told us he considered shutting down the full-time MBA before ultimately deciding on a curriculum revamp that debuted this fall.

“What I noticed is that the data on GMAT test takers was declining,” Makhija told us. “Iowa is moving away from the full-time market. It makes you think what is going on in this sector? Has the product kept in touch with all the change in the business market? This is an industry ready for disruption. There is going to be a shakeout. I don’t want Fisher to be a victim but rather a survivor.”

A couple months after Iowa’s announcement, something odd happened at the University of Wisconsin School of Business. At the end of October, Wisconsin Dean Anne Massey announced the school would shut down the full-time MBA program. Then a few days later reneged on the plan. Our Editor-In-Chief then ran a fairly scathing editorial about Wisconsin’s money-sucking Ph.D. program, setting off dozens of comments and some thorough discussion.

Yijing Chen, right, an MBA student at Pepperdine University, and her mother, Hongfen Shen, were struck by a truck in June 2016. Shen was killed, but the driver was sentenced recently to just one year in jail. Courtesy photo

Pepperdine MBA Seeks Justice After Tragic Accident

On June 5, 2016, tragedy struck for a Chinese student in Pepperdine University’s full-time MBA program. Yijing Chen was crossing the street with her mother in Calabasas, California, just north of the Santa Monica Mountains from the Malibu-based Pepperdine campus when both were struck by a pickup truck. Both survived the initial hit, but her mother, Hongfen Shen, would later pass away at the hospital.

What unfolded after the tragic incident can only be described as frustrating and unjust. According to Chen, the driver of the pickup truck yelled at her and her mom for being in the street and offered no help in calling for emergency help. The driver was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol but was on her cell phone. Despite that, police concluded the driver was distracted by a dog in the truck. Nicole Herschel of Malibu, the driver of the truck reportedly parked the vehicle on the side of the road and instead of calling for any sort of help, dragged Shen’s inert body from the middle of the street to the sidewalk. When authorities did arrive, Herschel said she was a witness and the driver drove off.

Later investigations led police to conclude Herschel was indeed the driver, but there was not enough evidence to convict with anymore than a misdemeanor for vehicular manslaughter. Chen is currently petitioning the White House and working on a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to pursue further justice.

What I Learned In An MBA Relationship

Being a partner to a B-schooler can be tough. But it can also be an invigorating growth opportunity. Mona Bijjani, an author based in Singapore and candidate for an MBA from INSEAD, wrote a how-to guide for partners supporting their MBA-bound significant others. Her three broad strokes of advice: Anything is possible, keep a seesaw balance, and communication is everything.



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