This post orignally appeared on the mbaMission blog.
Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported on the shifting career balance of Harvard Business School’s incoming Class of 2013. Notably, the class will have a higher percentage of students with manufacturing and technology backgrounds, and fewer students with finance backgrounds. According to HBS managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid, Deirdre Leopold, the school does not run with quotas or targets. It is worth noting that this shift is not all that significant “ the finance industry still has the strongest representation in the class.
mbaMission Founder and President Jeremy Shinewald frequently comments on how candidates erroneously try to game the admissions system. The Journal quotes him as saying, You’re going to see guys who worked on one private-equity deal with an auto manufacturer try to play up their auto experience and look ridiculous. Candidates buy into stereotypes for their target schools and become things they think the school wants. As candidates examine the stats, they should keep in mind that they can only be who they are and that they cannot go back in time and change careers. So, they are best creating an authentic picture of themselves in an attempt to set themselves apart from all others (not just those in their fields).
Plenty of prospective MBAs don’t want to give up their jobs to go back to school. So what if the promotion you want requires an MBA?
Part-time programs have long been a popular solution to this dilemma. But the Wall Street Journal points to another, digital-age option: hybrid programs, blending limited class time with extensive online work. One Johnson & Johnson employee used Babson’s Fast Track MBA to land a plum gig overseas without having to take time off of work for school. Universities like the programs because they’re cheaper to run”if students aren’t on campus, they don’t need campus services.
But there are downsides. Students don’t spend as much quality time with their classmates, so there’s less opportunity to network. “There just isn’t enough team building or interpretation of emotional quotients,” says one dean, explaining why many business schools don’t launch hybrid programs. And career changers might want to think twice, because they typically don’t provide the same level of counseling.
Ultimately, traditional rules for choosing a b-school apply: Students have to go with the program that suits their needs best.
Details about the new Integrated Reasoning section continue to trickle in.
Business Week turned up this YouTube video, produced by the GMAC, which provides a first look at the new questions:
They’ve also posted an interview with Dave Wilson, CEO of GMAC, as well as one with a student who took the new test as part of a pilot program.
The Wall Street Journal also talked to Mr. Wilson, who explained the reasoning behind integrated reasoning. He said the new section is designed to test another skill set: “If you know your algebra, you’ll do fine in the quantitative, if you know your vocabulary, you’ll do fine in the verbal. But this section is about developing solutions to problems”including analyzing data you may not even have in front of you.”
We’ll keep you updated as more info emerges!
Job prospects for MBAs are picking up thanks in large part to the diligent efforts of business schools’ career offices, according to this Wall Street Journal article.
Career services officers at MBA programs nationwide have been working extra hard this year. HBS, for example, boosted their recruiting budget 50 percent and engaged employers more actively at conferences in Shanghai and Paris. The school also started a fellowship to cover students’ travel costs for interviews. The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business tripled its employer development staff. Stanford started an online forum allowing career services to act as a matchmaker between students and potential employers. “We are almost able to act like an eHarmony between students, alumni and companies,” says the director of the school’s career management center.
The numbers suggest that all that work is paying off: At the end of the year, 85 percent of Harvard grads had offers, along with 80 percent at Booth. Meanwhile, at Stanford, job postings for students were up 70 percent over last year. Heartening statistics, to say the least. They’re also a good argument for picking a school with solid career counseling.
As you may have heard from our partners at MBAmission, HBS has announced its new dean: Nitin Nohria, a professor of business administration. As this Washington Post article points out, one especially interesting aspect of Harvard’s pick is that Nohria has long advocated administering a voluntary MBA oath to create responsibly and ethically. He’s at the forefront of a push to provide MBAs with a more solid background in ethics. Harvard President Drew Faust called Nohria’s appointment an important moment for the future of business. It certainly marks a turning point for business school curriculums.
For years, voices in academia have called for greater emphasis on ethical education for MBAs, but now they seem to be entering a new era of influence. The Wall Street Journal reports that a recent survey of business-school administrators ranked ethics as currently the most important subject for students. An overwhelming majority of schools surveyed advocated a stakeholder approach to inculcate a sense of corporate responsibility. That growing consensus has translated into new courses and, in some cases, made a significant impact on the entire program. In building the curriculum for Johns Hopkins’ Carey Business School, dean Yash Gupta chose to weave ethics into many courses, rather than cordoning the subject off into a single semester. “We’ll teach students about decision making ” behavioral, rational, how the brain functions ” in the first year, but we’ll also give them chances to make decisions,” he says.
This isn’t simply an academic notion, either. Companies are looking explicitly for ethical qualities in their new hires. According to the Journal, Pascal Krupka, MBA director at France’s Rouen Business School, “Companies, when they used to come to the school, they used to start with ‘We want talented people,’ but now they start their speech with ‘We need people with very good ethics.’
Plus, as the USA Today suggests, the financial crisis has energized this movement in business management education. “If we don’t teach people to sort of look around and have greater peripheral vision, then we’ve just set ourselves up for the next crisis,” says Stephen Spinelli, president of Philadelphia University (and co-founder of the Jiffy Lube).
Whatever the impetus, look out for changes in MBA programs across the world.
Congratulations Jen! 🙂
Manhattan GMAT was recently profiled on SmarterMoney.com, part of the Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal network. Always good to get some recognition!
The Wall Street Journal has the number of applicants who have had their score canceled at 84, with 12 having supplied testing items and 72 having confirmed seeing live items when they took the GMAT. The 84 includes 2 University of Chicago students, and one graduate from Stanford. The article seems to suggest at least one Wharton student has been identified too, as Wharton didn’t say “None of our students were involved,” which was the preferred response of most other schools.
Update – the Wall Street Journal updates that three current and past Wharton students have had their scores canceled.
It will be interesting to see what becomes of the more visible of the 84 in the coming weeks. Be glad it’s not you, and study hard (legitimately)!
Were there many ringers taking the GMAT for other people?
Apparently, GMAC isn’t taking any chances. In the aftermath of the Scoretop affair, we now get news from the Wall Street Journal that GMAT test-takers will soon be subject to a palm scan.
Though this seems a bit aggressive, the truth is that it’s really not much of a change; students were already getting fingerprinted, photographed, and videotaped when they took the test. The palm scan is simply the next level of fingerprinting.
Still, it certainly sends the message that one shouldn’t expend energy doing anything but studying for the GMAT itself!