Myth: Wharton is only suited for applicants who are interested in investment banking and private equity or come from a financial services background.
Reality: Though I am a Finance major and will be working in real estate private equity after graduation, I was pleasantly surprised to get to know the different career interests of my classmates. Wharton is truly a melting pot of intellectually curious and passionate individuals from which I have learned so much. I know classmates going into social impact, marketing, consulting, fintech, start-ups, and technology. As a member of the Wharton Class of 2020, my MBA experience has been enriched by both the incredible personal and intellectual capital of my classmates.
Kenny Osakwe, Wharton School
Myth: Darden is too hard.
Reality: The biggest “myth” about Darden is not a myth at all because it is true: we are a nerdy school. People should and do come to Darden because they want to learn and work hard. Our core curriculum (the first semester and a half of your first year) is known for being intense. Even beyond that, students take electives they are genuinely seeking to gain something from. We have a “work hard play hard” mentality here at Darden where we go to class and the bars.
Vita Wu, University of Virginia (Darden)
Myth: Supply Chain Management is the only reason to go to W. P. Carey.
Reality: This could not be further from the truth. The MBA program offers concentrations in Marketing, Finance, Consulting, Business Analytics, and Entrepreneurship. In fact, most students select two concentrations. Personally, I am doing my concentration in Supply Chain Management, but my classmates are having success in all other fields. Hundreds of companies recruit here and not just for SCM.
Samuel Salvador Romero, Arizona State (W. P. Carey)
Myth: USC stands for the “University of Spoiled Children.”
Reality: This has not proved consistent with the stories that I’ve heard of each student. Every one of my peers works extremely hard and is driven towards their goals. Each person garners success but also faces many failures. It is important to see each person holistically and understand that we are all struggling to find our own true paths. I think whenever we put characterizations on people or generalizations on someone, we are doing that person, and ourselves, a disservice.
Komal Shah, USC (Marshall)
Myth: I had heard that students would be more focused on networking than on academics. In my experience at Haas.
Reality: I’ve found that Haas students embody and embrace the guiding principle “student always,” especially in the classroom. Focusing on academics and learning in the classroom has been foundational to my understanding of business. Taking the time to really invest in ideas, concepts, and challenges have paid off immensely to me in terms of adding credibility to my discussions with my peers and employers.
Geena Haney, U.C.-Berkeley (Haas)
Myth: As part of the University of Oxford, there’s an expectation that the business school will be a uniquely British experience.
Reality: In fact, it’s a truly global experience with 95% international students from over 60 countries. The diversity in backgrounds of students creates unparalleled learning opportunities that extend beyond the classroom.
Michael Philbin, University of Oxford (Saïd)
Myth: A small program can’t produce the same results as a large, prestigious institution.
Reality: I often describe the UF MBA program as scrappy – people tend to underestimate the talent of our students and the resources of our career and academic offices. The reality is that the smaller size of our full-time program gives us access to incredibly personalized support and counseling. The career services team coach us through the whole career search process and we more often than not end up at the same fortune 500 companies and in the same roles as other schools. It is hard to match the UF MBA return on investment.
Nicole Howe, University of Florida (Warrington)
Myth: Team Fuqua is just a sales pitch.
Reality: I’ve heard plenty of people be cynical about Team Fuqua, but it’s real. The selflessness and support I’ve seen here are really unlike any academic or professional environment I’ve been a part of. People here truly believe that a rising tide lifts all boats.
Will Armour, Duke University (Fuqua)
Myth: IESE’s academic program primarily uses the case method.
Reality: Although we use the case method approach in most classes, there are many simulation exercises and consulting projects as well, which offered several opportunities to present in front of real clients and get feedback. I’ve learned a lot in class through case discussions, but even more from my teammates while working on projects and exercises.
Rene Hyun, IESE Business School
Myth: McCombs is only a “Texas school.”
Reality: While I am choosing to pursue my career in Texas, and the reputation of the Texas McCombs MBA is certainly unparalleled in this state, many of our students will pursue careers across the country and around the world. McCombs has a vast and increasing influence in the Bay Area and New York for example. Our school has developed numerous pipelines to increase our presence and plug into our massive alumni network outside of Texas through organizations like New York for McCombs. There are over 100,000 McCombs alumni and over 500,000 UT Austin alumni in 176 countries around the world.
Christopher Goff, University of Texas (McCombs)
Myth: Everyone is an engineer at Georgia Tech.
Reality: The perception that everyone is an engineer is largely true—but only for the undergraduate programs. Scheller is a different story. We have plenty of former engineers in the MBA program, but our program is incredibly diverse. We talk a lot about diversity in the admissions process, and the administration has worked hard to seek out diversity in professional backgrounds. The result is a class full of different perspectives and people willing to bring their unique experiences to the table. I’ve learned so much from listening to and working with my classmates, and I am glad that we aren’t all “a helluva engineer.”
Nona Black, Georgia Tech (Scheller)
Myth: MIT is all about math and engineering.
Truth: MIT is much more than that, though most classes are data-oriented. MIT is an engineering school and it applies an engineering-like approach to many fields. I’ve been particularly impressed with the quality courses taught in communications and leadership. A course called Leading Creative Teams focuses on optimizing your leadership style. However, it comes with a quantitative aspect to it, basing the class on research and quantitative tests. Obviously, there are plenty of strong data analytics causes, but there are also strong finance courses, an entrepreneurship curriculum, solid macro and micro-economics courses, and even marketing courses that are unique to Sloan like Pricing.
Alfonso Martinez, MIT (Sloan)
Myth: If you choose ESADE, you’ll be a big fish in a small pond.
Reality: This was referring to the size of the program. The first time I heard it, it gave me pause. At the end of the day, an MBA is an opportunity to build a network. Would that mean my network would be limited? The reality could not have been more different. The diversity of profiles, nationalities, and motivations provides a network that spans almost all industries and regions. Every classmate is one-of-a-kind, and that necessarily precludes the risk of joining a large class and sticking with only like-minded peers.
Angeliki Malizou, ESADE
Myth: The Bryan/College Station area doesn’t have as much to offer for activities and events compared to a larger city.
Reality: Downtown Bryan hosts a monthly “First Friday” event where there are food vendors and activities to do in the area. College Station has an awesome bar and restaurant area on campus at North Gate, but also offers plenty of nice restaurants and locations off-campus. There are recreational activities out at Lake Bryan, tours of the Bush Presidential Library, and flight lessons at Easterwood Airport. BCS has plenty of things to offer outside of campus for college students and families alike.
Steve Carlson, Texas A&M (Mays)
Go to the next page for myths about Stanford, INSEAD, Yale SOM, and more.