INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS MOST DIVERSE
IMD didn’t just score well with recruiters on Brand Value. It also ranked 2nd for its “Diverse Pool of Quality Candidates.” The top program? With a moniker like “The Business School for the World,” it could only be INSEAD. Here, 91% of students hail from outside France and every nationality is a minority.
“Most business schools market themselves as ‘global’ and ‘diverse’ but there’s definitely a wide range in that claim,” explains Jane Chun, who is slated to earn her INSEAD MBA In 2020. “During my first week at INSEAD, I learned no nationality makes up more than 10-12% of each cohort, which is very different from other programs. We joke that everyone at INSEAD is a minority and that’s true without a dominant majority. There’s a constant cross-pollination of ideas across business, politics, and culture. INSEAD remains a microcosm of what I hope my life will be: global, stimulating, and fun.”
Although Yale SOM – last year’s #1 – claims to be the most international of American MBA programs, it actually fell to #6 (behind Georgetown McDonough and Washington Foster, no less). Still, Yale SOM got off easy this year. Fact is, recruiter opinion can shift in a short period. Just look at Carnegie Mellon Tepper and IESE Business School. Ranking 2nd and 4th respectively last year, both programs dropped out the Top 12. By the same token, the London Business School rocketed from 20th to 3rd, as Northwestern Kellogg and Georgia Tech Scheller made their debut in the Top 10.
WASHINGTON AND MARYLAND EARN HIGH MARKS FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Perhaps the most surprising survey question involves Entrepreneurship – or specifically, “Students from this school show exceptional entrepreneurial skills and drive.” Why would recruiters look for students with a startup mentality? Simple: they’re seeking employees who are opportunity-minded and action-driven. These proactive problem-solvers aren’t afraid to take risks, fail, learn, and persevere. That’s exactly what it takes to grow! By that measure, Washington Foster is doing something right according to recruiters. They gave the highest average score to Foster in Entrepreneurship – after it ranked 2nd the previous year.
Foster flip-flopped with Stanford GSB, which took home the silver in this category after ranking 1st last year. Mind you, Stanford is synonymous with entrepreneurship…and for good reason. Nearly every Stanford MBA takes an entrepreneurship elective, Then again, nearly half of its elective catalog is focused on entrepreneurship and innovation. Not surprisingly, a fifth of Stanford GSB grads either launch or join a startup after graduation. However, programming isn’t the only area that differentiates Stanford GSB when it comes to entrepreneurship. The students’ talent and shared values also play a big part, says first-year Wes Adams.
“The common thread I’ve witnessed is an unwavering passion for driving innovation that will have a lasting, positive social impact. In business school, it’s easy to lose sight of the world around us and solely focus on our individual growth and professional opportunities. It is exciting to be part of a community that prioritizes changing the world for the better and will hold me accountable for leading responsibly.”
ROSS TOSSED AND STERN BURNED
The big surprise, however, can be found in College Park, Maryland – as in the Smith School of Business. The University of Maryland debuted at #3 in Entrepreneurship, followed by Georgia Tech Scheller (another debut), and Georgetown McDonough. Alas, fortunes can change swiftly with recruiters. Just ask Rice University, last year’s #5 who missed this year’s cut in Entrepreneurship.
In the end, Rice Jones didn’t rank among the Top 12 in any of Bloomberg Businessweek’s four recruiter survey categories. However, Jones wasn’t alone. Michigan Ross didn’t appear among the best in any category…not even Innovation and Creativity. The same could be said for NYU stern, Duke Fuqua, Cornell Johnson, UCLA Anderson, and USC Marshall – none of these schools appeared among the 12-best in any category.
The most glaring omission? That’d easily be Chicago Booth. At the same time, MIT Sloan appeared just once – at #12 for Entrepreneurship, no less. Harvard Business School and the Wharton School ranked 2nd and 5th respectively for Brand Value – and then didn’t appear anywhere else. That said, these trends are hardly an anomaly in this year’s recruiter survey. Take Chicago Booth, whose highest ranking last year was 10th in Brand Value (along with #14 in Entrepreneurship, #16 in Diversity, and Unranked for Innovation and Creativity). Similarly, Harvard Business School and the Wharton School ranked 27th and 29th in Innovation and Creativity respectively last year – and tied for 24th in Diversity too.
NOT A WIDE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SCHOOLS
Last year, Bloomberg Businessweek took a deeper dive into the rankings, revealing scores for the Top 30 performers in each measure. This year, it posted just the Top 12, leaving much to the imagination. However, it is unlikely that the big-name programs trailed all that far behind upstarts like Washington Foster and Georgetown McDonough. Just look at the Innovation and Creativity category, where the difference between #1 McDonough and #7 Stanford GSB is just .21 of a point. In Diversity, the spread between #1 INSEAD and #7 Berkeley Haas is just .30 of a point.
Down the line, last year, Harvard Business School needed just a .12 improvement to rank in the Top 10 for Entrepreneurship– and .19 to make the Top 5. In other words, the score differences are rather minuscule between schools.
What’s more, these scores don’t correspond well to the newly-released recruiter survey scores from U.S. News & World Report. Using a 5-point scale, where 5 is the highest score, Stanford GSB tops all comers with a 4.5 average. Harvard and Wharton, both laggards in the Bloomberg Businessweek poll, produced 4.4 scores…as does MIT Sloan. Alas, U.S. News’ survey does share a similarity with BW. NYU Stern, Cornell Johnson, UCLA Anderson, and USC Marshall – all ignored in BW – also score below the 4.0 mark that separates the Top 10 from the also-rans. Bigger still, Washington Foster – the only school to rank among the Top 2 in two categories with BW—averaged a 3.3 with U.S. News recruiters. That means it ranked closer to Ohio State and Texas A&M than Stanford and Virginia outside Bloomberg Businessweek.
To see how business schools ranked in U.S. News, go to the next page.