Myth Busters: MBAs Dispel Their Schools’ Worst Stereotypes

Myth: You should only go to Kellogg if you are interested in marketing.

Reality: “I have had some wonderful marketing classes. Truthfully, I have found my entrepreneurial courses and finance classes to be some of my favorite classes at school. The Kellogg finance department is rich with exceptional professors and courses; I even found myself in a Capital Markets elective and am currently in a thought leadership Finance class. Old reputations die hard, and Kellogg has an excellent Marketing program, but it doesn’t get credit for the robust offerings in their finance and entrepreneurial pathways.”

Kathryn Bernell, Northwestern University (Kellogg)

Myth: There are a lot of engineers at MIT Sloan.

Reality: “Yes, engineering is the most represented background (about a third of the class). Frankly, coming from a non-engineer, we’re all the better for it. Being here, you quickly recognize that “engineering” is a broad category and is significantly more diverse than traditional business backgrounds (given the typical 3-5 year prior work experience of “feeder” industries, such as consulting and banking). Additionally, in-class discussions often have more depth as we are able to go beyond hypotheses solely reliant on “strategy” and include the realities from our peers’ practical experiences.”

Jason Liu, MIT (Sloan)


Myth: South Bend, Indiana pales in comparison to other cities with MBA programs.

Reality: “While it lacks the glamour of Chicago (my hometown, which is only 1.5 hours away) or New York City (where I lived pre-business school), the more rural and small-town vibe naturally brings the class together, which is an overlooked benefit of business school. Before classes started, I expected to regularly travel home, but I’ve spent almost all my weekends in South Bend (and at the Linebacker Lounge!).”

Alex Prosperi, Notre Dame University (Mendoza)




Myth: That being in Hanover, NH, somehow disadvantages you.

Reality: “I think it’s the opposite. Being in Hanover makes the Tuck network as strong as it is. It amplifies the connections, interactions, and bonds that you develop here.”

Sravya Yeleswarapu, Dartmouth College (Tuck)




Myth: Haas is built on the Defining Principles.

Reality: “These are no myth. In particular, “Question the Status Quo” and “Beyond Yourself” have defined my experience here. Every day, I see students who have decided, “This needs fixing” (whether it’s food systems, Bay Area housing stock, or the lack of tampon machines in the Berkeley bathrooms) and then, without a beat, rolled their sleeves up and started working towards a solution. They are just as motivated by their desire to dream up innovative solutions as they are by their commitment to making the world better to those around them.”

Liz Koenig, University of California-Berkeley (Haas)

Myth: Marshall Trojans are almost cult-like.

Reality: It is true that Trojans will go out of their way to support another Trojan in personal and professional need. However, I quickly noticed during many external networking events that Marshall students also willingly and happily open ourselves up to other MBA programs. Many of our student-led organizations host cross-program networking events because we understand that we will eventually all leave the Marshall walls to work alongside other MBAs. These events help us get to learn more about our future co-workers and expand our viewpoints on the overarching MBA experience. Because, in the end, we are all striving to grow and improve our various industries of interest and we do so through diversity of thought, experience, and backgrounds of all kinds.”

Darlene Zephyrine, USC (Marshall)



Myth: A small class size can limit certain recruiting opportunities.

Reality: “For the MBA programs with larger classes, there are obviously going to be more tried-and-true recruiting funnels with major companies. However, Owen’s size (fewer than 200 students per class) does not prevent any particular career outcome from occurring. Owen may have slightly fewer companies coming to campus than its larger peers, but I’ve seen countless classmates carve out paths to dream careers, even if their company didn’t have a huge recruiting pipeline at Owen. The Career Management Center and a supportive and increasingly expansive alumni network can more than offset any limitations the class size introduces.”

Bennet Hayes, Vanderbilt University (Owen)

Myth: Darden is not considered a quant-heavy school.

Reality: “Naturally, I don’t have a good data point from any other school, but I do believe that Darden is just as quantitatively rigorous as any other top MBA program. The case method lends itself to such broad discussions that we may not always be in weeds of the most complicated spreadsheets, but we use our “stealth-quant” skills to drive managerial insights across subjects. While we certainly develop robust analytical skills, Darden places a lot of emphasis on being comfortable with ambiguity and working with imperfect data. My favorite example of the use of quantitative analysis in a larger context comes from a joint case we did last year between ethics and finance – a pretty unusual combination, I’d say.”

Ilja Orre, University of Virginia (Darden)


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