Poets&Quants’ Most Popular Stories Of 2022

poets&quants Most popular stories of 2022

2022 will be remembered as the year things got back to normal, even if those of us living through it know that the “normal” really came in fits and starts, and seemed different from the normal of the years before the coronavirus pandemic. In graduate business education, a return to normal(ish) meant travel was again an integral component of MBA programs, and international students could once more move (mostly) freely about the globe in pursuit of their educational dreams.

The return to normal meant something else for business schools, particularly in the United States: another problem to focus on. The booming U.S. economy spelled trouble for admissions teams at the leading U.S. schools, which struggled to fill out MBA classes as crowds of the likeliest candidates opted instead to stay in their current well-paying, upwardly mobile jobs. Of 27 top B-schools, 25 enrolled smaller MBA classes this year.

Poets&Quants spent a good deal of time in 2022 writing about the downturn in MBA applications, the drop-off in class sizes, and the corresponding uptick in international enrollment. But we cover every aspect of graduate business education, from the research phase to applications to interviews and acceptances, enrollment, study, and finding a job out of school. We especially love stories of incredible, unimaginable success — but we don’t ignore the missteps, to put it gently, of players across the graduate business landscape.

Our unmatched reporting and analysis is reflected here in 12 of the P&Q stories that were most widely read this year. Give them another look — there’s something here for everybody who is interested in, or enrolled in, or recently graduated from B-school. Enjoy!

Poets&Quants most popular stories of 2022


It doesn’t get any closer than this.

.001 of a point.

It’s insignificant, a rounding error. And yet it was all that separated Bain and McKinsey in this year’s Vault Consulting 50. Call in every cliché: Margins are slim and you lose by inches. In the end, all that separated Big Red from True Blue was a thousandth of a point.

Advantage: Bain & Company.

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poets&quants Most popular stories of 2022


Every year, some MBA programs make leaps forward. They leverage technology or revamp their programming in novel ways. They double-down on their strengths or create new opportunities for their students. Even more, they take decisive actions that fortify their identities and realize their visions. This year’s class of ‘Business Schools To Watch’ is no different. For the seventh consecutive year, Poets&Quants is honoring those MBA programs that are re-imagining the possibilities for graduate business education. That includes the savants who are anticipating where education is going and the workhorses who are plowing through the details. Through their example, they are preparing business students to learn constantly, act purposely, and compete relentlessly.

Among this year’s schools, you’ll find programs that are upping the ante on sustainability and social justice. Some have placed big bets on online learning, while others are opening lavish new campuses designed specifically for the in-person experience. At the same time, they are carving out new paths for students to accumulate needed professional experience or make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable populations.

And they are the schools that only leave stakeholders with one question: What are they going to do next?

Which business schools took the initiative to lead the way and set the standard? From Berkeley Haas to NYU Stern, here are the 10 MBA programs poised to make the biggest impact in the coming year.

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poets&quants Most popular stories of 2022

Laxman Narasimhan became Starbuck’s chief executive officer on Oct. 1, 2022


It is a job that Laxman Narasimhan could never have imagined for himself when growing up in Pune, India. But starting this October, Narasimhan will succeed one of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs, Howard Schultz, to become the new chief executive of Starbucks.

His journey to the top of a global icon started humbly and most notably with an MBA. The now 55-year-old Narasimhan has said he had to sell belongings and then borrow money to arrange for his visa to the U.S. and his studies at the Wharton School of Business in the early 1990s. During one summer, when he attended school in Germany, he only had enough money to pay for just one meal a day, losing ten pounds of weight in the process.

Like Indra Nooyi, born in Madras, and Satya Nadella, born in Hyderabad, Narasimhan has climbed his way to the very top of the corporate world with one critical step on that ladder: ban MBA from an elite U.S. business school. Nooyi, who earned her graduate business degree from the Yale School of Management, paved the way by becoming the CEO of PepsiCo. Nadella, who earned his MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, went to the top of Microsoft as chairman and CEO.

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