Meet The Michigan Ross MBA Class Of 2022

MBAs at Michigan Wolveines football game


You could say the Class of 2022 reflects quality over quantity. This past year, the number of applications sank from 2,990 to 2,567. By the same token, the school’s acceptance rate rose from 30.9% to 37%, with the class size slumping from 422 to 358 students. In a 2020 interview with Poets&Quants, Soojin Kwon, Michigan Ross managing director of full-time MBA admissions, notes the school saw a 126% increase thanks to an extended Round 3 – a number boosted by the school’s announcement of a new STEM track in January. The roots of the lower class size and increased acceptance rate, she says, stems from Ross being among the few MBA programs to offer international students the option to defer.

“Since many took us up on it, we admitted more applicants in their place,” Kwon adds. “There was also a domino effect caused by admitted students at other schools choosing not to enroll, and opening up spots for applicants who may not have been admitted in previous years (or even in the same year, as some schools chose to do).”

International students made a big difference in the class size. 18% of the class hailed from overseas, down nine points. The 2022 Class also boasts students from 29 countries. Still, the class remained above average when it comes to women and minority students. This year, women account for 43% of the class. This is down just two points (and equivalent to the percentages in the 2020 and 2019 classes). By the same token, U.S. minorities make up 36% of the class, a 14 point improvement over the previous class.   The Class of 2022 also mustered a 710 average GMAT, with GRE scores averaging 159 (Verbal) and 158 (Quant). As a whole, 37% of the class took the GRE. In addition, the average undergrad GPA held steady at 3.5.

Academically, 42% of the 2022 Class holds undergraduate degrees in business-related fields. STEM (35% and Humanities (23%) account for the rest of the class. The class also averages 5.3 years of professional experience, with Consulting (22%) representing the largest proportion of industry experience. Finance (13%) and Technology (10%) also crack double digits. The remainder of the class brings work experience in Healthcare (9%), Education and Non-Profits (7%), Consumer Goods (4%), Automotive and Transportation (4%), Retail (3%), and Engineering and Manufacturing (3%).

Here are some additional numbers to note. Military veterans hold 7% of this year’s seats. 14% of the students are the first in their family to pursue a college education, while another 11% already hold graduate degrees.  Another 32 students are pursuing dual degrees in areas like public policy, social work, and urban planning. The class even includes two Olympic medalists, not to mention a co-founder who has already helped build a multi-million dollar startup.

Risky Business Performance


It’s a versatile group – for an extremely well-rounded program. In a 2020 survey of business school deans and MBA directors by U.S. News, the school ranks among the Top 10 full-time MBA programs in 10 areas: Entrepreneurship, Global Business, Management, Marketing, Nonprofit, Project Management, Accounting, Finance, Operations, and Supply Chain.  More than that, it placed among the top three programs in the U.S. for Marketing, Project Management, and Operations. Beyond academics, the program is popular with students, who rank the program among the ten-best for available and engaged alumni.

In recent years, Ross has excelled in entrepreneurship, investing heavily in programming and partnerships. In October, the school ranked 3rd in the world in Entrepreneurship according to P&Q’s annual ranking (which heavily weighs variables like entrepreneurship electives, volume of student ventures, accelerator space, and funding available to students). From 2017-2019, 18.67% of Ross grads launched startups within three months of graduation, 2nd only to Washington University (and ahead of Stanford GSB, Harvard Business School, and Babson College). 22% of all Ross MBA electives involve entrepreneurship, hardly surprising considering 17.2% of professors specialize in the area. What’s more, the school doles out $533,500 annually to MBA startups, three times more than the Wharton School (which has nearly three times as many students as Ross).

The center of the Ross startup scene is the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. Here, students find resources to supplement their classroom learning on entrepreneurship. The Institute sponsors speakers, finances research, supplies space and support personnel, and connects students to mentors, partners, and funding. It also hosts competitions, including the acclaimed Michigan Business Challenge. For 20 years, the institute has enabled students to grow their ventures, immersing them in the technical aspects of prototyping, scaling, and financing. At the same time, institute staff instills the curiosity to seek out opportunities and the confidence to take action.


Ross also works closely with other outlets to enrich the experience of MBA entrepreneurs. In recent years, the Zell Lurie Institute has teamed up with the Desai Accelerator, which operates out of the College of Engineering. Outside Ross, students can work through Ann Arbor SPARK, which offers similar services as the Zell Lurie Institute for the broader region.

“Because we aren’t on a coast and don’t have the scope and scale of the investor community and broader ecosystem you get at a Boston or in a San Francisco, we had to really invest in creating a version of that here,” Stewart Thornhill, executive director of the Zell Lurie Institute, told P&Q in 2020.

One area where Michigan Ross stands out in particular? Think funds. Daniel Ketyer points out that Ross offers more student-run funds than any business school. “The options are limitless: a lab-to-market tech VC (Zell-Lurie Commercialization Fund), an international VC (International Investment Fund), and an impact investing VC (Social Venture Fund). These opportunities particularly appealed to me as I aspire to move from consulting to investing. The hard part is deciding which fund to apply to!”

Florence Noel, a 2019 Ross MBA who launched a social impact venture, touts the Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund and the Founders Fund.” Both of the funds allowed me to deep dive into startup businesses, analyzing areas like financial projections, marketing, and customer acquisition strategies, competition, and more. I gained so many insights about the key drivers for a business’ success across multiple industries.”

Food, Friends, and Culture Event


Entrepreneurship isn’t the only area where Ross is making a move. In February, the school announced a $10 million gift that will be used to be used to open the Weiser Center for Real Estate. Much like the Zell Lurie Institute, the Weiser Center will centralize and expand the school’s offerings under one roof, including coursework related to real estate law, finance, investing, management, and sustainable development. The school also intends to offer field projects through the center, as well as partnering with the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning – one of the world’s top schools in the field.

“The Weiser Center for Real Estate will transform the real estate offerings at Ross and the university by providing students with practical training, supporting applied research and thought leadership, and serving as a catalyst for interdisciplinary collaboration at Michigan and beyond,” Dean Scott DeRue adds in a statement. This summer, the Weiser Center landed an additional $6 million dollar gift to support diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in the field.

There is a cliché that innovation springs from necessity. That was certainly the case when COVID-19 hit last spring – and threatened students’ hard-earned internships. In response, the school formed the Business Consulting Corps. Supported by $5,000-per-student stipends, the Corps served as substitute internships. Over the summer, Ross MBAs gained experience with the likes of Microsoft, Uber, and Riot Games in areas ranging from digital transformation to business strategy. It was a win-win situation for everyone involved. Ross students could apply what they learned as first-years and gain experience while the school picked up the tab for employers.

“Industry-wide a number of students have had internships affected by the pandemic and I was struck by a recent study where 64% of students having internships were canceled and had no alternative in place,” explains Dean Scott DeRue in an interview with Poets&Quants. “Most of our internships are happening. But they are all virtual and they may be modified by the timing or duration of them. We wanted to mobilize to support students who were affected by the pandemic or wanted an alternative plan.”

Pages 3-4: Interview with Soojin Kwon, Managing Director of Full-Time MBA Admissions and Program 

Page 5: In-depth profiles of 12 members of the Class of 2022

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