COVID-19 is a symbol of our disruptive age. Unseen and never far away, it is always top of mind — a reminder of the frailty of our systems and a mockery of our plans. For MBA students, COVID-19 was a sign to slow down, step back, and take stock. That meant reflecting on the activities and relationships that brought value — and the guiding beliefs and ongoing investments that were holding them back. In the process, many discovered purpose, a return on time and talent that enabled them to make a difference as much as a living.
Business schools experienced similar soul searching over the past two years. Even amid COVID constraints, businesses continued to operate faster, more globally, and often online. All the while, stakeholders — students, employers, consumers, and critics alike — demanded more from them. As barriers lessened and competition intensified, business models grew more complex, as the overlap with technological innovation and social change made running a business all the more unpredictable.
And MBA students were in the middle of it all — as business headlines became live cases and evolving requirements churned out opportunities for student-company partnerships.
THE NEWS THAT MATTERS
Call it the step forward and step back era, one marked by a shaky new normal that could bottom out at any moment. This winter has started the same as the previous one: COVID has forced students to shuttle back-and-forth between in-person and online classes. In a world where information is surplus and accuracy is currency, unreliable data — be it from craven deans or dubious rankings — left many MBAs wondering which sources they should trust. As new buildings were erected at Columbia and IE, stalwarts like Michigan Ross, NYU Stern and Ohio State Fisher turned their resources to online learning. In the wake of COVID, students returned and pay rose as employers paid a premium for talent and expertise.
Yes, many programs waived GMAT and GRE requirements. For many, it was harder than ever to gain acceptance as demand rose. Pinched by market forces, business schools offered new degrees, centers, and student funds — when they weren’t busy poaching each other’s faculty. Many rolled out new programming too, often to accommodate student interests in DEI and sustainability. As climate change and social justice took center stage, artificial intelligence and analytics continued to upend the established order. In response, MBA programs accelerated their move to being STEM designated, ensuring students’ know-how could match their intentions.
Sure enough, Poets&Quants has covered it all. Since 2010, we have viewed our role as helping applicants stand out in admissions, gain insights into how to best invest their time, and develop strategies for finding the right job after graduation. In a nutshell, we outline what’s happening and what it means. That’s particularly true with our school coverage. From A-to-Z — literally Arizona State to Yale SOM — P&Q helps you better understand the latest developments, student experiences, cultural nuances, and unique differentiators of the top programs.
What was the big 2021 news at your target schools? What can you expect as a student at these schools? Here is a school-by-school breakdown of the biggest stories at the top MBA programs (along with profiles of some of the top students at each school).
Page 1: Best & Brightest Profiles To Columbia Business School
Page 2: C-I (Cornell-Indiana Kelley)
Page 3: I-S (INSEAD – SMU Cox)
Page 4: S-Y (Stanford GSB – Yale SOM)
BEST & BRIGHTEST MBA PROFILES
Best & Brightest MBAs of the Class of 2021
Best & Brightest Online MBAs: Class of 2021
The Best & Brightest Executive MBAs Of 2021
100 Best & Brightest Business Majors Of 2021
10 Business Schools To Watch In 2021
Five European Business Schools To Watch In 2021
100 MBA Interview Questions By School
STUDENT AND FACULTY PROFILES
Meet The MBA Class of 2023: Pacesetters With A Purpose
Most Disruptive MBA Startups of 2021
Best 40 Under 40 Business School Professors Of 2021
Why They Served: Profiles Of M7 MBAs
Meet The Business School Refugees
Meet McKinsey’s MBA Class of 2020
Meet The Boston Consulting Group’s MBA Class of 2020
Meet Microsoft’s MBA Class of 2020
Meet Bain & Company’s MBA Class of 2020
2021 CentreCourt Distinguished MBA Alumni
ARIZONA STATE (W. P. CAREY)
ASU Carey Dean Amy Hilman Steps Down
ASU Finds A New Dean At Washington University
UC BERKELEY (HAAS)
Berkeley Haas Expands Deferred MBA Admission Program
Berkeley Haas Wants To Be The Top B-School For Sustainability
UC Berkeley Haas To Enter Online MBA Space
Don’t Call It An Online MBA: The Facts Behind Berkeley’s New Flex-MBA Option
UC Berkeley Haas Shakes Up Its MBA Core Curriculum
This B-School Is The Go-To Pipeline For Investment Banking
A Berkeley Haas MBA Vows To Keep His Wartime Promise
BOSTON UNIVERSITY (QUESTROM)
Boston University’s New Online MBA Is A Big Hit
Cambridge Judge New MBA Essay: Show Your Growth
Cambridge Taps A Wharton Prof For Its New Dean
CARNEGIE MELLON TEPPER
Tepper Take: Translating Military Skills To An MBA World
Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School Embraces The Intelligent Future
Tepper Take: MBA vs. Army Leadership
Tepper School To Launch Full-Time Business Analytics Degree
CEIBS’ New MBA Director On Getting An MBA In China
Prepare For The MBA Interview With Chicago Booth
Kellogg Grad Student and Booth MBA Turn Love Into A New Venture
Up To 100% Tuition Covered For Chicago Booth MBAs Dedicated To Nonprofit & Public Sectors
COLUMBIA BUSINESS SCHOOL
CBS Follies: MBAs Bid A Hilarious Goodbye To 2020
Columbia Business School’s Campus Expansion Draws Early Praise
Things You Need To Know If You’re Applying To Columbia Business School
Columbia Business School Gets $75 Million From David Geffen For Its New Campus
Personal MBA Coach: Interview with CBS Admissions Director Jordan Blitzer
Columbia Business School Readies Its $600 Million New Campus For A January 4th Debut
Columbia Business School’s Big Bet On Climate Change
Columbia Business School Looks Towards the Future
Next Page: Cornell-Indiana Kelley
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