Harvard | Ms. Big 4 M&A Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 2:1 (Upper second-class honours, UK)
Kellogg | Mr. Danish Raised, US Based
GMAT 710, GPA 10.6 out of 12
McCombs School of Business | Ms. Registered Nurse Entrepreneur
GMAT 630, GPA 3.59
Wharton | Mr. Rates Trader
GMAT 750, GPA 7.6/10
Tuck | Mr. Engineer To Start-up
GRE 326, GPA 3.57
Columbia | Mr. RE Investment
GMAT 720, GPA 3.0
Wharton | Mr. Firmware Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 9.04 (scale of 10)
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Captain CornDawg
GRE 305, GPA 4.0
Tepper | Ms. Coding Tech Leader
GMAT 680, GPA 2.9
Harvard | Mr. Tech Start-Up
GMAT 720, GPA 3.52
Chicago Booth | Mr. Banker To CPG Leader
GMAT 760, GPA 7.36/10
Chicago Booth | Mr. Desi Boy
GMAT 740, GPA 3.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Impactful Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
Kellogg | Mr. Hopeful Engineer
GMAT 720, GPA 7.95/10 (College follows relative grading; Avg. estimate around 7-7.3)
Rice Jones | Mr. Simple Manufacturer
GRE 320, GPA 3.95
Chicago Booth | Mr. Corporate Development
GMAT 740, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Former SEC Athlete
GMAT 620, GPA 3.8
Tuck | Mr. Army To MBB
GMAT 740, GPA 2.97
Columbia | Mr. Forbes 30 Under 30
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB Advanced Analytics
GMAT 750, GPA 3.1
Ross | Mr. Leading-Edge Family Business
GMAT 740, GPA 2.89
Darden | Mr. Logistics Guy
GRE Not taken Yet, GPA 3.1
Kellogg | Mr. Stylist & Actor
GMAT 760 , GPA 9.5
Columbia | Mr. Ambitious Chemical Salesman
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Irish Biotech Entrepreneur
GMAT 730, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Cricketer Turned Engineer
GMAT 770, GPA 7.15/10
Wharton | Mr. Planes And Laws
GRE 328, GPA 3.8

Poets&Quants’ Most Popular (And Important) Stories Of 2020

It has certainly been a year. 2020 will go down in history as a momentous 366 days for many reasons, and the biggest — coronavirus; the U.S. presidential election; a crashing, then somewhat recovering economy, which seemingly now is again on the verge of collapse; cultural upheaval across the U.S. and elsewhere — converged on the world of graduate business education in consistently memorable and sometimes calamitous ways. Buffeted by these outside forces on top of the usual tribulations of academia, B-schools scrambled to navigate the treacherous unknown.

Reflecting the concerns of readers, Poets&Quants‘ most popular stories of 2020 run the gamut from tales of lost jobs to rebounding applications at MBA programs; from worrisome political developments to innovative evolutions; from bad behavior to good progress. The annual list (see last year’s story here and the 2018 version here) contains fewer data and rankings stories this year, not because those stories aren’t consistently among the most popular that we publish (they are), but because they speak less to the moment, and are therefore less interesting. So we’ve left many (though not all) of them out, even when they have the pageviews to qualify for inclusion.

Instead, this list seeks to capture, from the biz ed POV, the zeitgeist of 2020. And because it was such a chaotic, frightening, and inspiring year, we figured, Why stop at 10? So here are the 12 most popular — and dare we say, most interesting and important, too — P&Q stories of a wild 2020.

12. Donald Trump Suspends H-1B Through 2020, But Leaves OPT Intact

After months of speculation, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a much-dreaded executive order in June that suspended most visas for foreign workers through the end of 2020, but that left the Optional Practical Training program — through which international MBA graduates of U.S. B-schools can extend their stay in the U.S. for up to three years — intact. Among the suspended visas: the H-1B, which allows high-skilled, non-immigrant workers — particularly tech workers, and particularly through OPT — to stay and work in the U.S. With Trump’s defeat in November, this threat to a vital source of B-school talent will almost certainly be temporary.

11. Companies Begin To Freeze And Rescind MBA Internship & Job Offers

It began early. One of our first stories on the inevitable impact to the job market of the sudden onset of coronavirus and subsequent lockdowns became one of our most viewed this year. In late March, Poets&Quants obtained a document showing a marked slowdown in the MBA job market as a result of Covid-19. As P&Q editor and writer Nathan Allen wrote, the document — dated March 26 from the Graduate Career Services office of a top U.S. business school — provided a sobering view of what was to come when MBA students ended their spring terms and poured into the job market. Among hiring updates for 116 major companies — many of them mainstream recruiters of MBAs — 40 had already reported some form of freeze, cancellation, or rescinding of internship or job offers.

As we’ve seen from our coverage this fall and winter of employment reports at the major B-schools, widespread fears of MBA unemployment were at least partly justified, as jobs offers and acceptances three months after graduation for the Class of 2020 are down 1-3 percentage points on average.

10. 2020-2021 MBA Application Deadlines

This one needs no explanation. It’s information you need to know! But it’s especially important this cycle, which looks to be one of the biggest ever and one of the most competitive. Why? “Applications to business schools generally go up when the economy goes down, so that’s one reason,” writes P&Q Editor-in-Chief John Byrne. “But the deep recession caused by the pandemic along with pent-up demand from young professionals who found plenty of opportunity in the past from a growing economy will likely cause a big spike for 2020-2021.”

That was in May. By September, we knew that applications in the previous cycle were so high, they reversed years-long declines at many B-schools and set records at others; in October, with a complete picture of the top 25, we officially called 2019-2020 one of the best app cycles of the last 10 years. Glimpses from select schools this cycle strongly suggest the wave has yet to crest.

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