Articles published in March 2011

Case Studies & Cocktails: The Care Package for Business School


Case Studies and Cocktails: book coverImagine it’s five, ten, twenty years ago…

Congratulations, you just got into college! You are super excited, and your parents are so proud.  The time they spent reading to you, checking your homework, and quizzing you on vocabulary was well worth it, and they are excited to send you off to face your next adventure.  But first, they will leave you with a few parting words of wisdom: Join a club. Don’t drink anything green. Be sure to manage your time well. They’ll send you care packages, and be there for you when you need advice so that, while you may be on your own, you still have someone to turn to.

Now speed ahead five, ten, twenty years…

Congratulations, you just got into business school! You are super excited, and your Manhattan GMAT instructors are so proud. The time they spent drilling you, checking your quant problems, and quizzing you on sentence correction has been well worth it, and they are excited to send you off to face your next adventure.

But, of course, they have their worries. Will you know that you are supposed to pronounce all the letters in ROI? Will you remember your excel shortcuts? Will you be able to work well with your learning teams? What if you have questions about supply chains or microeconomics or how to balance wine and cheese in one hand? Who will you turn to?

Well, GMATers, we have you covered.  Carrie Shuchart and Chris Ryan, two former Manhattan GMAT instructors and successful MBAs, have written you the perfect care package. Case Studies and Cocktails: The Now What? Guide to Business School is both a handbook for the social side of school and an academic primer on the material you’ll have to master.

From the day you receive your first acceptance letter in the mail, Case Studies and Cocktails will prove to be an invaluable guide to the ins and outs of business school.  Whether you are stressed about paying tuition, valuing bonds, repairing a dysfunctional team, or mastering the recruiting process, the solutions are in this comprehensive guide. Filled with the advice of students and staff from over a dozen top business schools, numerous dowloadable calendars and worksheets, and a glossary of need-to-know b-school jargon, Case Studies & Cocktails will provide you with all the tools you need for living and working as a business school student.

For more information, check out the Case Studies & Cocktails website.  Want a sneak peek? Read an excerpt on Poets & Quants or on Fortune.

New 2012 MBA Rankings & Selecting a B-School


This article was originally written for and posted on by Chris Ryan

Recently, U.S. News & World Report released its 2012 Business School rankings. The energy and commentary surrounding this perennial event is noteworthy. Stanford GSB muscled HBS out of the top spot, while my alma mater Duke Fuqua rose to No. 12.

While many MBA applicants revere the U.S. News & World Report rankings, others stand apart. The Tipping Point author Malcolm Gladwell lambasted the criteria used in the rankings, calling the criteria flimsy proxies for educational quality.

No matter whose ranking you prefer, we encourage you to embrace a comprehensive approach to selecting a business school. No doubt your school’s ranking and prestige will affect the potential for cultivating that golden MBA rolodex. However, your ability to execute on said potential will be determined chiefly by your state of mind, which demands a cultural and academic fit.  So once you’ve narrowed down your choices based upon rank, be sure to consider these other factors:

  • Location and Social Life: Do you prefer lively urban campuses or smaller college towns, where almost everyone is an outsider and folks band together?
  • Cost: Most business schools cost a pretty penny, but keep in mind that tuition and fees are not the only expenses you will be facing.  Be sure to take into account the cost of living in a particular location before making a decision.
  • Teaching Methodologies: Harvard Business School uses the case method entirely, but that may not work for everyone.  Sit-in on courses and determine what teaching methods work best for you.
  • Alumni Base: When it comes time to apply for that coveted internship or dream job, you’ll need to utilize all your connections. A large alumni base may offer more opportunities, but smaller groups of former grads are often more loyal and more likely to help an MBA from their Alma Mater.

For more advice on choosing a school and preparing for your MBA, check out our article on Poets & Quants. Need something a little more in depth? Part One of Case Studies & Cocktails is all about making the most of your time before B-school.