Sunday, May 20, 2018

Columbia Announces New App, Essay Questions

Columbia Business School’s application for 2019 will be available this Monday, May 21, the school announced Friday (May 18) in an email. And it will include two new essay questions among the three required.

CBS joins Harvard Business School as the two schools that have released application deadlines and questions for next year’s entry. The early-decision deadline will be October 3. The Merit-Based Fellowship application deadline will be January 4, 2019, and the final regular decision deadline will be April 10, 2019.

Columbia’s “goal” question precedes its essay questions; similar to last year’s, it opens with: “What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal?” with a 50-character limit. Also similar to last year, the next prompt states: “Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3-5 years and what, in your imagination, would be your long-term dream job?” That question has a 500-word limit.

Essay two varies slightly from the previous year. This year’s prompt, which allows 250 words to answer, is, “How will you take advantage of being ‘at the very center of business’?” Applicants are further asked to watch a minute-and-a-half video featuring Dean Glen Hubbard. Last year’s second essay prompt stated: “The full-time MBA experience includes academics, recruiting, and networking. What are your personal priorities and how do you anticipate allocating your time at Columbia Business School?”

The biggest change comes in the third essay prompt, which states: “Please provide an example of a team failure of which you have been a part. If given a second chance, what would you do differently?” Applicants applying to last year’s entry are asked to pick one of two prompts, which were: “Please tell us what you feel most passionate about in life” and “If you were given a free day and could spend it anywhere, in any way you choose, what would you do?”


According to Betsy Massar, owner and operator of Master Admissions, the second question could be “problematic” for applicants.

“Even with the video of a very animated Glenn Hubbard, the second question is problematic because students get discombobulated by trying to understand what CBS is really looking for,” Massar wrote Poets&Quants in an email. “It also is difficult for students to articulate an authentic answer to this question that shows much differentiation. So that increases anxiety.”

Massar says she is unsure how applicants will respond to the third prompt.

“Unless they are an athlete, I think students will need to think really hard to come up with anything that wins the readers’ hearts and minds,” she says. “I’m sorry they removed the ‘CBS Matters’ question, because that one and last year’s question about being passionate really got people to be introspective. I worry this is just a process question, so we’ll have to see how it goes.

“On the good news side: I’ve been a big fan of the first question; yes, it is the same as last year’s, but that ‘in your imagination’ part really encourages students to think a little bit beyond, and to try to incorporate some vision or purpose in their goal. It’s also a good question for students to start with as they approach the entire business school application process, because if they think about it right, they can connect the dots between their past and their future.”

CBS is the second prominent school to announce application deadlines and essay questions so far this year. Earlier this week, Harvard Business School made big news by not only announcing application deadline dates, but also announcing the termination of the Round 3 application period. 

Harvard’s Round 1 application is due on September 5, a month earlier than CBS’s first round deadline. But the Round 2 deadlines for both schools fall on January 4.

During last year’s application cycle, nearly 6,200 people applied to CBS and 1,019 were admitted, for an acceptance rate of around 16.5%. The average GMAT score for last year’s entering class was 724, with a range of 530 to 790. The average work experience was five years and average age of students enrolling was 28. The class boasted 41% women, 43% international students, and 34% under-represented U.S. minorities.


Goal: What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters)

Essay #1: Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3-5 years and what, in your imagination, would be your long term dream job? (500 words)

Essay #2: How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? Please watch this short video featuring Dean Glenn Hubbard (250 Words)

Essay #3: Please provide an example of a team failure of which you have been a part.  If given a second chance, what would you do differently? (250 Words)

Optional Essay: Is there any further information that you wish to provide the Admissions Committee?  If so, use this space to provide an explanation of any areas of concern in your academic record or your personal history.  This does not need to be a formal  essay.  You may submit bullet points. (Maximum 500 Words)

The Financial Times List of Top MBAs for Finance 2018

While big tech has started to attract top MBA talent over the last few years, the finance sector is still holding its own. Although the types of jobs students are gravitating toward within the industry has shifted some. While banking is still a big draw, there are also new opportunities to work for fintech companies or as part of in-house teams developing digital strategies.

And so the question on many prospective applicants’ minds remains: What’s the best MBA program for a finance-minded student? And the second annual Financial Times ranking of Top MBAs for Finance 2018, released last week, sets out to answer it. The latest list is a spinoff of the FT Global MBA ranking published every January. The difference with this ranking is that it only surveys alumni who work in finance, banking, or fintech three years post-graduation.

To arrive at this year’s ranking, alumni responses were weighted (out of 100 possible points) based on 13 specific criteria. The methodology for ranking included a focus on average salary as well as the average difference in salary pre- and post-MBA. Among the other criteria considered are finance research, value for money, and career progress.

Top Finance MBAs — Where Are They Located?
Overall, U.S. schools dominated the top 50, claiming 27 slots total and all of the top five. As for the best location in the United States, California’s Bay Area took top honors, followed closely by New York and Chicago. British and Chinese schools trailed U.S. schools, with six schools from each landing a spot on this year’s list.

Stanford Tops the Finance Charts
For the second year in a row, Stanford Graduate School of Business ranked as the best Finance MBA. It’s well-paid alumni helped it hold onto its top spot, with an average salary of $252,000—$7,000 over the next closest, Harvard Business School. Also, interest in finance among Stanford graduates is on the rebound, growing from 27 percent to 38 percent between 2017 and 2018.

That same rise in interest can’t be claimed by the two runners-up: the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business (second and third place respectively). At each of those schools, interest in the finance sector is down, while interest in tech is on the rise.

Top 10 MBAs for Finance 2018
1.  Stanford Graduate School of Business
2.  University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School
3.  University of Chicago, Booth School of Business
4.  Harvard Business School
5.  New York University, Stern School of Business
6.  MIT Sloan School of Business
8.  University of Cambridge, Judge Business School
10. Columbia Business School

CEIBS, Columbia Business School, and MIT Sloan all made it into the top 10 for the first time this year. CEIBS moved up 14 slots (from 23rd to ninth), and Columbia rose five places (from 15th to 10th). MIT Sloan was not ranked last year. Meanwhile, three other schools—Oxford Said, Dartmouth Tuck, and Northwestern Kellogg—all slipped out of the top 10.

To learn more about the latest Financial Times rankings, check out the FT article on how finance and banking are fighting against tech giants for MBA talent.






1. 経験を積む方法は、MBA以外にもある

雇用主がMBA取得者を求める理由は、批判的な思考と複雑な問題解決の能力を持っていることにある。こうしたスキルを集中的に磨けるコースやプログラムに参加してはどうだろう? 問題解決スキルを強化するため、現職でできることはないかについても考えること。


2. 応募したい求人にMBAが必須とは限らない

職務内容記述に、MBAを持っていることが「好ましい」ではなく「必須」と書いてあったことはあるだろうか? 求人広告でたとえ自分が持っていないスキルが求められていたとしても、ためらわず応募してほしい。


3. キャリアの目標を見つける方法は他にもある

ネットワーキング(人脈作り)を始め、自分が関心を持っていることは何かを見極める。あなたが心から情熱を燃やすものは何だろう? そのことを既に手がけている人に話を聞き、キャリアチェンジのために何をすべきかについて見識を得よう。今から習得でき、持っていれば変化に一歩近づけるような特定のスキルはあるだろうか?


4. 必ずしも投資回収できるとは限らない


英紙フィナンシャル・タイムズによると、世界の経営大学院トップ100校の現在の学費は、卒業から3年後の税引前給与の8.7か月分に相当する。その他のコストや生活費を加えれば、米国の一流MBAコースに2年間通った場合の費用は総額30万ドル(約3200万円)を超える。これを相殺し、利益が得られるようになるまでにはどれくらいの時間がかかるだろう? 学生ローンの返済がどうなるかなど、考えたくもない問題だ。

たとえ雇用主が授業料を肩代わりしてくれるとしても、それには時間という代償が付いてくる。雇用主へのコミットメントとして、その会社で働かなければならない期間は何年になるだろうか? 5年以上も転職できないのであれば、新たな学位を得る意味などあるだろうか? 時間をあまり浪費せずに済むような他の方法で自己投資を開始しよう。



Friday, May 18, 2018

Harvard Eliminates R3

With more and more MBA candidates filing their applications in the first and second rounds, respectively in September and January. HBS is eliminating its third and final round. The school will retain a spring round, however, for applicants to its 2+2 deferred admissions program.

Round three accounts for fewer than 5% of Harvard’s incoming class of roughly 930 MBAs in recent years. But students who get dinged by HBS are then more likely to accept offers from other top MBA programs.

The impact of the decision will more likely fall on rival schools who often hold out more seats in their classes as HBS decisions cascade down to their MBA programs. HBS will no longer need to carry candidates on a waitlist into a final round. The earlier release of those applicants will speed up admission decisions at a number of schools.

HBS already had announced that its Round 1 deadline for the 2018-2019 admissions cycle will be Sept. 5, with a round two deadline of Jan. 4th. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Is A One-Year MBA The Right Fit For You?

So, what’s the difference between a one-year and a two-year MBA program?  The answer is much more complex than 365 days. Four crucial differences are outlined below, which should all be carefully considered when determining the most appropriate program to pursue.

1. The cost

Less time spent in a program means less cost-of-living expenses and only one year of tuition to fund. If you’re looking for a high ROI based on both time and financial commitment, the one-year MBA is an excellent option.

Keep in mind, however, that just because the one-year MBA takes half the time, it won’t necessarily cost half the money. When calculated on a ‘cost-per-hour’ basis (believe it or not, a few of my fellow MBA students did indeed use this calculation to decide whether waking up for an 8am class was literally ‘worth their time’), one year MBAs are almost always marginally more expensive.

After factoring in an entire additional year’s salary, however, that increased cost is typically made up several times over.

2. The content

I like to think of the one-year MBA as diving straight into the deep end of a swimming pool, while a two-year MBA is metaphorically easing into the shallow end and taking time to get your feet wet, adjust to the temperature, and contemplate exactly what you are about to plunge yourself into.

One-year MBA programs typically do not waste time with an overview of the basics and instead jump into the deeper content within the first few weeks. This means students must either choose their areas of focus sooner or do a lot of research on the basics on their own.

Consider this when reflecting on your purpose for pursuing an MBA in the first place: career switchers may find more value in an extended exploratory phase, while those looking to advance at a more rapid pace may prefer one-year MBAs.

3. The jobs

An obvious difference between the two types of programs is that a two-year MBA requires students to be away from the workforce for double the amount of time. This means one year less salary, one year away from coveted promotion opportunities, and one year of potentially missing out on chances to build a long-term reputation in the workplace.

However, one critical benefit of the two-year MBA is that the course structure is literally built for pursuing a summer internship. Having an entire summer dedicated to trying your post-MBA position before fully committing can be instrumental for a person switching industries, changing geographies, or trying a new type of role.

Speaking from experience, I feel obligated to warn prospective students that they will likely have to do a lot of cold-calling and independent searching to even have a chance for an MBA internship if they are pursuing a one-year program. When weighing the two types of programs, consider what is more important to you: another year in a full-time position, or an opportunity to test the waters before diving into a new role?

4. The people

Having only one year to form bonds with classmates is both an upside and a downside to the one-year MBA. A massive benefit of earning an MBA is building relationships—both personal and professional—that will last long after graduation.

A two-year MBA offers the opportunity to cultivate those bonds gradually and meaningfully, with ample opportunity to find your crew and experiment with new groups along the way. By the last few months of your program, you’ll undoubtedly start to feel a sense of nostalgia for the memories you’ve made and develop a sense of tenderness for your classmates.

What surprised me about a one-year program, however, is that those inevitable warm fuzzy feelings started early—the intensity of the program, the sense of urgency in an accelerated timeframe, and the jam-packed schedule of a one-year MBA quickened the pace of the relationship-forming stage and lit a fire under students to reach out to each other proactively in ways they never would have if they had an entire year more to get to know each other.

While there was certainly less time to bond, there was a sense of camaraderie almost from the start in my one-year program. That feeling of community was special, and likely could not have been achieved in a longer program. andrea-oxford
There is no perfect MBA program and no definitive answer for which type of MBA structure is ‘better’; but there is absolutely an answer for which is best for you—the guidelines outlined here can help you start to discover it.

Global MBA applications and enrolments ‘see double-digit growth’

Progress shows business schools have successfully innovated in a period of economic uncertainty, says survey
May 15, 2018

Business schools across the world have recorded double-digit growth in the number of applications to and enrolments on MBA programmes, according to a report.

A study from the Association of MBAs (AMBA) found that the average number of applications per MBA programme increased by 10 percent between 2015 and 2016, while the average enrolment per programme rose by 24 percent in this period.

three men and a dog
Endorsed applicants ‘three times more likely’ to gain offer
The findings, which were based on a survey of 223 AMBA-accredited business schools across the world, mark the second consecutive year of growth in applications, following a five-year decline.

Between 2014 and 2015, there was a 5 percent growth in the number of applications for AMBA-accredited programmes, based on the schools that completed the 2016 survey.

Looking at all AMBA-accredited business schools that submitted data between 2009 and 2014, the average number of applications and enrolments per programme fell by 44 percent and 8 percent, respectively, it added.

The 2017 Application and Enrolment Report also found that while the gender balance was still weighted towards men, business schools have been progressing in securing more women on to MBA programmes.

The proportion of applications from women rose by four percentage points to 37 per cent between 2013 and 2016, and the share of women enrolling rose by two percentage points to 35 per cent over this time.

However, this share is much lower in some nations, with just 10 per cent of applications to business schools in India coming from women.

Search our database of more than 3,000 global university jobs

Will Dawes, AMBA research and insight manager and author of the study, said that business schools had previously suffered from the “period of considerable global economic uncertainty” but the recent growth reflected their “ability to innovate” and “adapt to the market”.

Many MBA programmes are now much more flexible in terms of course delivery, he said, with “modular programmes” allowing students to maintain their careers and earn a degree quickly without attending classes full-time. Business schools also have a “more global outlook”, including more study-abroad opportunities and “further development of international campuses”, he added.

The report also features an analysis focusing on a group of 90 business schools, on which AMBA has collected data each year since 2011.

This showed rises in the average number of applications in the five years to 2016 across those institutions in eastern Europe (77 percent, Africa (48 percent), North America (25 percent) and western Europe (13 percent), while there have been falls in Oceania (down 17 percent) and the UK (16 percent).

In terms of average enrolments, there has been growth in Africa (56 percent), Eastern Europe (56 percent) and Oceania (15 percent), but falls in western Europe (down 19 percent) and the UK (8 percent), it added.

But Mr. Dawes said that it was important to note that figures on international campuses of business schools might have been attributed to the host country rather than the institution’s country of origin.

Overall, the regional breakdown “reflects the global shake-out” of the business school sector and the “prominence of Chinese, European and Latin American business schools”, he said.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Why McKinsey & Company Loves Hiring MBAs

McKinsey & Company is considered one of the most prestigious management consultancy firms in the world, with a clientele that includes 80 percent of the world’s largest corporations, along with an extensive list of governments and non-profit organisations. The firm is also a prestigious landing spot for MBAs following graduation.

About McKinsey
Founded in 1926 by James O. McKinsey, the firm developed an “up or out” policy, where consultants who are not promoted are asked to leave, developed by Marvin Bower. He served as managing director of McKinsey from 1950 to 1967, and remained a leadership figure at the firm as director and partner until 1992. McKinsey was the first management consultancy to hire recent college graduates, rather than experienced managers — a practice that holds true to this day.

Who McKinsey Hires
McKinsey cites four main factors it looks for in the job candidate it hires:

Personal impact
Entrepreneurial drive
Problem-solving skills
Leadership abilities

In an interview with CNN Money, Brian Rolfes, McKinsey partner and head of global recruiting, added, “Two qualities we look for as we recruit are problem solving and the ability to work well in teams. These are at the heart of what our consultants do every day.”

In fact, McKinsey views business schools—and particularly the very top business schools—as the ideal training ground for its consultants. The frim believes that the business knowledge MBAs come in with can prove invaluable to solving client problems, and that’s why the firms sees so much value in hiring MBAs. According to McKinsey:

“Your MBA program prepares you as a problem solver—developing hypotheses, collecting and analyzing data, drawing conclusions, and making recommendations. You’re intellectually curious, asking and answering questions others don’t, and testing solutions others haven’t thought of trying.”

Salary Expectations for MBAs at McKinsey
As we reported in our March highlight on the “5 Highest Paying Consulting Firms in the World,” McKinsey came in second place overall.

“According to Management Consulted data, McKinsey & Company is the second-highest paying consulting firm in the world for MBA grads, with offered base salaries coming in at $152,000. With an added potential performance bonus of $35,000, those figures can rise to $187,500 in just one year.”

McKinsey Emerging Scholars Program
About 50 percent of the McKinsey’s incoming consultant hires have earned MBAs. However, students at certain business schools can get an inside track at a job at McKinsey before they earn their MBA by taking advantage of a unique pre-MBA opportunity called the Emerging Scholars Program.

McKinsey looks for pre-MBA students over the summer and offers monetary awards for the highest performing applicants. The program also offers one-on-one mentorship by McKinsey consultants and valuable networking opportunities to its scholars.

The program is only available to students admitted to a full-time MBA program beginning in the fall at one of the 16 participating schools: UC Berkeley’s Haas School, Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, UCLA Anderson School, Michigan’s Ross School of Business, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, Columbia Business School, NYU Stern School of Business, Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Dartmouth’s Tuck School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, UVA’s Darden School of Business, Harvard Business School and Yale School of Management.

The Emerging Scholars program is limited to students entering full-time programs only. Dual-degree program students are eligible to apply, and McKinsey encourages that they do so the spring before they begin the first year of their MBA program (e.g. MD/MBA, JD/MBA). Those students currently living outside of the U.S. are also welcome to apply.

Associate Internship Opportunities
MBA graduates usually enter McKinsey as an associate, working either as a generalist or as a practice consultant if they have a particular area they want to focus on. Coming into McKinsey as an associate intern is the best path to securing a full-time position post-MBA.

According to McKinsey, current MBAs can apply to work in one of McKinsey’s offices around the globe for eight to 10 weeks as an associate intern. Most associate internships take place in the summer between the first and second years of business school. Interns work in teams of three to five consultants to perform tasks such as information gathering and analysis, testing hypotheses, and developing and communicating recommendations to clients.

Like Emerging Scholars, associate interns benefit from coaching and mentoring from colleagues on their teams as part of day-to-day project assignments, as well as one-on-one career guidance from a partner assigned to them.

Interviewing & Applying to McKinsey
McKinsey wants applicants to succeed, and offers a variety of resources to those interesting in applying at the firm. Here are just a few places applicants can look for additional help and information directly from McKinsey:

Student Resources
Interview Information
Application Tips

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

5 Of The Best US MBA Programs For International Experiences

As business schools place more focus on emerging markets and globalism, these US MBA programs have launched a wave of international business challenges
by Anne Dolan  9 May 2018  MBA North America

As MBA programs direct their focus more towards emerging markets and globalism, business schools have begun to accommodate a growing audience of globetrotters with international offerings.
MBA students with a desire to expand their horizons have an abundance of programs to choose from.

Here, BusinessBecause takes a look at five of the best US MBA programs for international trips and consulting projects:

1. Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB)

One major reason Stanford's curriculum stands out from the pack of elite MBAs is the requirement that all Stanford GSB students are required to participate in Stanford’s Global Experiences program—the school aims to get students involved with global management issues.

They ‘experience life-changing insights’ and ‘understand the culture, business environment, and social norms’ of an unfamiliar country. Since the program began in 2009, over 3,500 students have participated in 90 countries.

“In requiring a global experience as part of the curriculum, Stanford GSB enables students to experience other cultures through in-country seminars with faculty, student-led study trips, four-week immersion projects and other individual opportunities,” says Katherine Robinson, director of the Global Experience program.

“These experiences build on the Stanford GSB mission to develop global leaders not just for business, but also for social purpose, so they are prepared to tackle significant global challenges."

Students have carried out projects on topics ranging from consumer behavior in South Korea, to economic mobility in Brazil.

2. University of California Berkeley, Haas School of Business

Berkeley-Haas' International Business Development Program (IBD) is the connective tissue between Berkeley’s international clients and MBA students who train to solve global consulting needs.

One-third of MBA students participate in the program’s ‘value-enhancing consulting projects,’ which offer a rare opportunity to work with partners in Kenya, India, and Brazil. Students receive hands-on experience with both companies and non-profits, implementing advanced strategies when addressing each client’s challenges.

According to Pam Joyce, interim executive director of the Institute for Business and Social Impact at Berkeley Haas, one of the main draws of IBD is its Global Social Venture competition—launched in 1999 and now one of the world’s leading contests for advances in social impact innovation.

“The competition supports the creation of businesses that bring about positive social change via sustainable practices in health, education, energy and the environment, with a special focus on emerging markets,” Pam explains.

3. Harvard Business School

The Global Initiative program at Harvard Business School is one of the most engaging programs on our list. This program is also a degree requirement, and students can get started right away.

First-year MBA students participate in FIELD (Field Immersion Experience for Leadership Development), which places students in small groups across 17 countries around the world to aid Harvard’s Global Partner organizations. This ‘action-oriented’ course is aimed at immersing students in an emerging market.

Second-year MBA students have the option to participate in the Immersive Field Course elective, which allows students to address important business and management problems in the same marketplaces.

For those familiar with Harvard’s Case Method approach (placing students in simulation exercises that mirror real-life business challenges), the field method used in the Global Initiative program doesn’t fall too far from the tree; it also hopes to drive home the importance of giving students the power to be decision makers inside and outside of the classroom.

4. University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

Ross School of Business students who opt to participate in the MBA Global Exchange program can take a full or half-semester to study at a school of their choice. Ross’ program stands out for its long list of global partner schools located all around the world, from Shanghai, to Buenos Aires, and beyond.

Students are encouraged to spend time considering which city will ‘best fit their academic and professional goals,’ and are restricted from participating until the second year of their program.

This program model is closely aligned with principles of cultural exchange. The course is listed as Pass/Fail, which allows students to have a break from the pressures of academic competition in order to fully immerse themselves in the experience of a new culture and network of students.

5. University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School & INSEAD

The INSEAD-Wharton alliance has a diverse range of offerings, from a research center to tailored modules, to an applauded exchange program.

INSEAD, a graduate business school with several satellite campuses, is an acronym that stands for ‘European Institute of Business Administration’ (English). Together, the two schools hope to ‘nurture world-class research, enhance the globalization of our curricula, and experiment with global teaching innovations.’

The exchange program takes students across three continents to collaborate with international partners in joint research and more.

For more see BusinessBecause

This Year's Best And Brightest MBA Graduates

John Byrne Contributor
May 7, 2018

The last thing an entrepreneur wants to hear is, “Reach for the stars.” That is, unless you’re Michael Provenzano. When it came time to pitch an idea in an entrepreneurship class at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business, Provenzano eschewed the usual apps and Warby Parker knockoffs by looking to the stars and dreaming big. He founded CubeRover, a high tech firm that, in his words, “aims to commercialize and democratize access to space using low-cost, modular, planetary and lunar rovers.”

Too impractical? Don’t tell that to Provenzano’s peers? Within a month of launching his lunar venture, he had a dozen classmates volunteer to help him. Think that’s enthusiastic? Provenzano also launched a new club at Tepper focused on the space industry: STARS (Students at Tepper for Astronautics, Rockets, and Space). Sure enough, STARS quickly enrolled over 90 members who took Provenzano’s vision to heart. “Michael takes it to an entirely different level with his passion, enthusiasm and, most importantly, his ability to inspire, motivate and lead,” writes Craig S. Markovitz, entrepreneur-in-residence at Tepper’s Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship. “I am not so sure that these students were as passionate about the space industry as they were about working with Michael.”

A Celebration Of Students Who Make A Difference

Compelling. Courageous. Creative. Those aren’t just terms that fit Michael Provenzano. They also apply to the 99 other MBA candidates who comprise Poets&Quants’ Best & Brightest MBAs from the Class of 2018. Now in its fourth year, the Best & Brightest celebrates MBAs whose academic prowess, extracurricular achievements, innate potential, and inspirational life journeys make them standouts in their graduate business schools. They are the leaders who rally; the mentors who champion; the visionaries who awaken; and the volunteers who shoulder the heaviest burdens. Come summer, you’ll find the Best & Brightest formulating new models at McKinsey or perfecting new product lines at Google. Twenty years from now, there’s a strong chance that this class will be transforming the way we work, live, and think.

To compile the year’s Best & Brightest, we reached out to 68 MBA programs, requesting four nominations from each who best personified the spirit of the school and the promise of the graduating class. After reviewing nearly 240 submissions, P&Q’s editorial team selected 52 women and 48 men whose passion and performance represent the best that business offers. They are entrepreneurs, financiers, consultants, and activists who are pushing boundaries and pursuing fairness. They come from legendary programs like Stanford, Wharton, Northwestern, Oxford and INSEAD – as well as stalwarts like Rutgers, Wisconsin, Texas A&M, Arizona State, and U.C.-San Diego. Overall, 33 members were born outside the United States – and another nine served in the armed forces. And they come from every background imaginable. 

Take Rodrigo Studart. Before starting at the University of Chicago, he spent six years working for the largest developer of shopping malls in Latin America. At 22, he was managing a $133 million dollar budget. Eventually, he became the youngest manager and partner in the firm. At J.P. Morgan, Yale’s Billy Marks was part of three-person team that developed and ran a global risk prevention program that touched over a quarter-million employees. IMD’s Valeria Cuevas worked at the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the United Nations, where she was involved in issues ranging from human rights to terrorism. At the same time, Georgetown’s Erika Studt served as an officer with the United Nations Foundation, a joint effort between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development to expand contraception to the poorest nations. Then, there is U.C.-Berkeley’s Adrian Williams. When he wasn’t digging up company data or cozying up to the trading desk at Goldman Sachs, he was producing recordings for recording artists.

Impressive credentials, no doubt. That doesn’t even count their colorful personal lives. MIT’s Faye Cheng, for one, is a former competitive ping pong player. You could call the University of Rochester’s Shahbaaz Mubeen Mamadapur a modern day Charles Atlas; he went from a skinny kid to a champion bodybuilder. At a campaign event, Stanford’s Sarah Anne Hinkfuss introduced President Barack Obama…and received a peck on the cheek too. Notre Dame’s Alex Prosperi won a year’s supply of ointment cream on the Price is Right (Yippy!). How is this for an early start in business? In high school, the University of Virginia’s Ilja Orre gave tennis lessons to Nokia’s CEO…and his successor. Then again Nikolaos De Maria’s rite of passage came even earlier; this Cornell MBA began his apprenticeship with UBS when he was just 15!

Their accomplishments didn’t just stop there. Consider the Yale School of Management’s 2018 Class. Taking the lessons she learned from design and behavioral economics, Hosanna Odhner redesigned the school’s bidding system for elective courses – a source of great friction and anxiety among her peers. Christine Chen broke new ground by co-launching PeriodCon. A conference dedicated to menstruation issues, the event drew over 120 attendees and received over 5,000 tampons as part of a drive to support the homeless in New Haven. By the same token, Billy Marks partnered with a classmate to put on a Legal Cannabis Conference. In the process, he created a platform designed to deepen the conversation on how changing laws could foster economic growth and social equality.

For Marks, such events expand the role and impact of business. “[The attendees] found the conversations educational, informative, and inspiring,” he notes. “I want to work in sticky, intersectional spaces, pushing businesses and leaders to have tough conversations and confront the realities of how we can make the world a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable place,” he says. “Hosting this conference was a big step for me in starting toward that mission.”

Making A Difference Through Service

This mission often boils down to one word with the Best & Brightest: Service. Before entering business school, Penn State’s Clayton Cooper founded a free, student-run medical clinic in a rural, cash-strapped region in Pennsylvania. The same is true of Georgetown’s Georgetown’s Erika Studt, a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras whose commercial recycling program provided her community with a sustainable revenue stream to fund a children’s computer lab. On campus, ESADE’s Alicia Dominguez served her classmates by organizing a trek to Zurich, where her classmates were exposed to venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, fintech and asset management – not to mention leaders at firms like Blackrock and Credit Suisse.

“Growing up, my parents told me to do work that makes the world a better place,” she says. “Business was not on my radar. Now that I understand the profound impact business can have on improving lives, I’m dedicated to sharing that knowledge with young people.”

Who are the 100 Best & Brightest MBAs? Where did they study and where will they work? Who were their inspirations and what do they hope to achieve after graduation? Click on the link below to see in-depth profiles of some of the world’s most gifted business students. 

John A. Byrne is editor-in-chief of, the leading website covering business schools. He is also the former executive editor of Businessweek and former EIC of Fast Company.

From Forbes.



いつかはビジネスエリート(ペンネーム) 会社員 男性 34歳





 日本には米国のビジネススクール信仰があるので、MBA(経営学修士)取得がいかにも重要なことと捉えられていますが、実際は大したことではありません。「iTune University」のようなインターネットサイトには、各国の名門大学のビジネススクールの講義がアップされていますので、情報ならば無料で得ることができます。なぜ、私がこのようなことを言うかというと、アメリカでの大学授業料が異常に高いからです。











Friday, May 4, 2018

Building on Strength: Yale SOM’s Finance Faculty Expands

Over the last two years, the Yale School of Management (SOM) has recruited four new finance faculty members, all accomplished researchers who previously worked at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. These new hires were attracted to Yale SOM’s collaborative culture and rich legacy of research in service of real-world finance. Each professor brings a unique perspective to the school within the areas of empirical asset pricing, behavioral finance, and financial econometrics.

Tobias Moskowitz

Professor Tobias J. Moskowitz

Professor Tobias J. Moskowitz was the first to join Yale SOM in 2016. He arrived after working as the leading empirical scholar of asset pricing at Chicago Booth. Moskowitz’s research interests have revolved around how data influences decision-making, as well as the evolution of prices. He is most excited about participating in Yale SOM’s research environment.

“I think one of the things that’s important to a good research environment is certainly collaboration, and that doesn’t mean necessarily writing papers together,” Moskowitz explained. “It means talking about ideas. It means criticizing each other’s ideas. It means giving feedback. It means encouraging people to try different things. When you’re in a good research environment, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Kelly Shue

Professor Kelly Shue

Professor of Finance Kelly Shue also came to Yale from Chicago Booth, where she taught corporate finance. She is excited to be a part of the close-knit Yale SOM community, which she notes encourages dialogue and the open exchange of ideas. She hopes exposure to the range of Yale SOM researchers and their work will only help to strengthen her own expertise.

“I personally work on behavioral finance and the group is very strong in behavioral finance, but there are people here who work in history of finance,” Shue said. “They study art markets. They test theories of asset pricing and sports betting markets. So it’s just a very fun, broad group in terms of research interests.”

Stefano Giglio

Professor Stefano Giglio

Professor Stefano Giglio also joined Yale SOM from Chicago Booth, where he was an associate professor of finance. His expertise is in asset pricing, macroeconomics, and real estate. A recent paper he co-authored surveys how investors respond to uncertainty as related to swings in market prices.

Giglio elaborated on his research. “We found they were insuring against periods of low volatility, which is completely at odds with theories about how investors should handle uncertainty,” he said. “Our results help policymakers figure out what needs to be stabilized versus what doesn’t.”

Bryan Kelly

Professor Bryan Kelly

The newest hire, Bryan T. Kelly, joined the Yale SOM finance group from Chicago Booth after earning his Ph.D. at NYU Stern. His research interests involve volatility, tail, and correlation risk within financial markets. Kelly believes that his new position at Yale will facilitate more real-world connections with the investment community. He also feels that the overlapping perspectives of the Yale SOM faculty will help him tackle some major research questions.

“By putting these different pieces together in interesting ways, I think you’ll learn a lot of new things about economics,” Kelly explained. “To what extent are asset prices influenced by people’s behavior that doesn’t fall in the traditional, rational paradigm?… To what extent do those influence the way markets are intermediated? Then, what can we learn about the types of risks that emerge in intermediated markets?”

To learn more about Yale SOM’s four new faculty members and what they plan to bring to the finance group, read the original news story on the Yale SOM website.

GMAC Shortens Practice Exams to Reflect New Shorter GMAT

Test-takers will be pleased to learn that GMAT Official Practice Exams are all new and significantly SHORTER! GMAT has moved the practice exams into an online environment that’s easier to navigate and access. The new format requires you to create an account at, but the official practice exams are accessible from any device and available via all web browsers.

In addition, the new GMAT Official Practice Exams and Questions (no longer called GMATPrep) follow the updated GMAT format of 31 Quant questions and 36 Verbal questions. The updated format also includes two free practice exams. You can purchase four additional practice exams as well as additional practice questions as needed. 

The GMAT official practice exams platform has been moved online and the whole look and feel has been updated. We do lose the ability to take an exam offline, but we gain so many other benefits that the trade-off is worth it.

What did we gain with these new GMAT official practice exams?
First, you can access the GMAT official practice exams and questions from your account. You don’t need to download any separate software and you don’t have to worry about any compatibility issues with your OS or device—and, yes, you can access the platform from tablets. You’ll be able to access the material from Safari, Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer.

Second, we can now take GMAT official practice exams in the updated format (31 Quant questions and 36 Verbal questions)! The old software (known as GMATPrep) is still in the old format and it will never be updated—it’ll just quietly fade into the sunset.

Wait, so it’s not called GMATPrep anymore?
Nope, now it’s called the GMAT Official Practice Exams and Questions. The free part is now called the Free GMAT Official Starter Kit + Practice Exams 1 & 2.

I just logged into my own account and, boom, it was already right there waiting for me under My Product Purchases. (You can also find it “for sale” for $0 on the website’s store page…but I didn’t even go there.)

What else do we get with the new GMAT official practice exams?
There are also these paid products:

GMAT Official Practice Exams 3 & 4 (formerly Exam Pack 1)

GMAT Official Practice Exams 5 & 6 (formerly Exam Pack 2)

GMAT Official Practice Questions (formerly Question Pack 1)

All of the above exist in GMATPrep as well—they’re the same products, just renamed.

What material is new?
Exam #2 (the second of the two free exams) used to have the same IR questions as Exam #1, but now exam 2 has its own dedicated set of IR problems. Yay!

Other than that, the content is the same (though there are some new features in terms of doing and tracking questions—more on that in another post at a future date). This is really more a platform upgrade than anything else (and, of course, the upgrade to the new test format).

What if I I’ve already been using GMATPrep? Should I switch to the online platform?
This is important: Any data you’ve accumulated in GMATPrep will not transfer over to the new platform. So you do have to make a choice about whether you want to switch.

If you’re pretty close to the end of your studies and have a lot of data already built up in GMATPrep, then you may not want to switch. You can either use Manhattan Prep’s exams if you want to take exams under the new format or you can just still take the old format under GMATPrep, if you like. The per-question timing averages are still the same; the test is just longer.

If your test date isn’t coming up soon, though, then I’d say it’s a good idea to switch. You might as well practice under the new official format for the test.

What if I bought a paid product for the old GMATPrep software?
You can switch your product registration to the new online platform. Take a look at the official FAQ page to learn how to do so. That page also has all of the details in terms of how long your access will last and so on.

Same rules apply: Your data won’t transfer, so don’t make the switch if you’re pretty close to done, don’t want to lose existing data, and don’t mind taking practice exams in the old format. If that’s not the case, then switch to the new platform.

For more, see Manhattan Prep

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Highest & Lowest GMAT Scores At Top Schools

According to GMAC, the Graduate Management Admission Council, which administers hundreds of thousands of GMAT tests every year, over the last three years the mean score on the test was 556.04. In 767,833 tests taken between 2015 and 2017, no one scored lower than 220.

-  According to a Poets&Quants analysis, 12 of the top 25 schools admitted someone with a GMAT score in the 500s, including four of the top 10 schools. 
-  At four schools in the top 25, the lowest GMAT score that earned admission was lower than GMAC’s three-year average of 556.
-  Of 21 schools GMAT scores for enrollees in the Class of 2019, 14 had low-end scores of 600 or less. That includes the elite of the elite: the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (530), Harvard Business School (580), Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management (600), MIT Sloan School of Management (580), and Columbia Business School (530). 
-  The average low score for the 21 schools: 585.7. The average low for the top 10 (all of which provided full-range data): 595.
-  Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business accepted a candidate with a score of 510. 
-  In the fall 2017 intake, three schools in the top 25 admitted applicants with low scores of 530 — the Wharton School, Columbia, and Indiana University Kelley School of Business. 
-  Another six schools said yes to applicants with scores of 580 (HBS, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern School of Business) or 590 (Cornell University Johnson Graduate School of Management, University of Texas-Austin McCombs School of Business, Georgetown University McDonough School of Business). 
-  Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business admitted a 570 (48th percentile), and another top-25 school, Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business, admitted someone with a 560 (44th percentile).
-  The high scores in each school’s range continue to be 780-790 for all of the top 10 schools.
-  Average GMAT scores continue to climb, led by Stanford Graduate School of Business’ remarkable 737. 
-  The top 19 schools saw improvement in their scores year-over-year or no change between 2016 and 2017.

-  As far as minimum scores, it looks like you need a 600 on the GMAT to get into a European B-school (though Cambridge does not make available their range, even the middle 80%), but Toronto Rotman last fall took in someone with a 500 score — more than 50 points below the average for all takers in the last three years.

10 Business Schools To Watch In 2018

1. Wharton School

Wharton ranked 1st with three outlets (Poets&Quants, U.S. News, and Forbes) and 2nd with Bloomberg Businessweek and the Financial Times. Alas, the school only finished 4th in the ever-quirky Economist ranking. Even there, it still managed to climb five spots.

- During the 2015-2016 year, Wharton notched a 95.8% placement rate within three months of graduation, with students pulling down $155,058 in starting pay – both major jumps over the previous year. 
- These improved outcomes were supplemented by higher incoming GMAT scores and average GPAs as well.
- Wharton grads from the 2012 Class were earning $225,000 on average. That’s three times more than they were earning before they entered business school – and a bigger gain than any top b-school over that period according to Forbes. 
- Wharton made headway in both the Bloomberg Businessweek and Forbes student satisfaction surveys, even ranking 4th with Forbes in 2017 after eight years of placing outside the top 10 schools. 
- Wharton doubled the number of new alumni startup ventures in P&Q’s Top MBA startups of 2017 ranking.
-Wharton rivals Stanford, whose average starting pay ($165,200 vs. $149,300) and average GMATs (737 vs. 730) both topped Wharton during the 2016-2017 cycle. 

2. USC (Marshall)
With Bloomberg Businessweek, Marshall's ranking jumped eight spots to 30th. It rose another seven spots in the U.S. News ranking. It cracked the top 50 globally with the Financial Times. It even rocketed 25 spots in the Economist ranking. The school now ranks 26th overall in the latest Poets&Quants ranking.

- The school’s average GMAT crept above 700 with the Class of 2019. It climbed from 692 to 703 in just one year, a sign that it is ready to play in the Top 20 with the likes of Emory and Texas. 
- Marshall grads have also grown more attractive to employers. In 2016, median pay climbed nearly $9,000, which was accompanied by an 11% improvement in placement. 
- Marshall is becoming increasingly popular. During the 2016-2017 cycle, Marshall received over 400 more applications than the year before. 
- It finished among the top 10 MBA programs in this year’s Bloomberg Businessweek student satisfaction survey. 
- USC Marshall has a massive Trojan Network of 75,000 alumni strong.

3. Rice University, Jones Graduate School of Business

- Recently, Rice has consistently broken the top 10 in Bloomberg Businessweek’s MBA ranking. 
- Rice earned the fourth-best marks from alumni and ranking among the top 15 with recruiters and students.
- Notably, Jones has made impressive inroads with recruiters, going from 40th to 14th over the past two years. Employers are backing these positive vibes with cold hard cash, as 2016 Rice grads earned $12,000 more than the previous class.
- Over 80% of their classes receiving financial aid. That, coupled with the program’s growing momentum, has invited MBA candidates to give it a second look. 
-  In 2016-2017, applications rose by 6.4%. 
- The Class of 2019’s GMAT jumped by 21 points to 711 – just two points lower than Virginia Darden (and a point higher than the state flagship Texas McCombs).
- Rice has launched the MBA@Rice online program. 

4. U.C.-Berkeley (Haas)
Haas has so many welcoming advantages: a warm climate, extracurricular and outdoor activities galore, and a 284 member class size that’s small enough to be intimate and cohesive. 
- The program that is founded on “Defining Principles” that treasure humility, curiosity, ethics, authenticity, and academic rigor. 
-  In 2016-2017, Haas received a record number of applications. 
- The school increased its student size by 32 students – all while maintaining its forbidding  12% acceptance rate – third only to Stanford and Harvard. 
- The Class of 2019’s average GMAT surged eight points to 725 after spending nearly a decade between 714 and 718. In other words, Haas is making a claim on terrain previously staked out by a higher-ranked MIT Sloan (722).
- Is increasing its MBA class size to 300 students – with the long-term goal being 350 students. 
- Recently opened its 6-story, $60 million dollar Chou Hall

5. University of Virginia (Darden)
-  Applications were up 11% for a spot in the Class of 2019. 
-  GMATs had held steady at a respectable 713. 
-  Spring graduates were landing jobs left-and-right. 
-  Ultimately, the class averaged $149,750 in median starting pay, fourth-highest among major MBA programs and just behind Harvard, Stanford, and NYU Stern. 
-  The school ranked 2nd in overall student satisfaction according to the bi-annual Forbes student survey.
- Academically rigorous and well-funded – with $13.7 million dollars set aside for scholarships – Darden is the Harvard of the South, where great teaching is rewarded and honor codes are abided. It is truly academia at its best – which may be why it had to endure the agonies of August.

7. IE Business School

IE Business School brands itself as “an unusual school for unusual people” – a collection of mavericks…the reformers, rebels, and romantics who scoff at convention and visualize a world that’s just outside their grasp. 
- In the 2017 Forbes ranking, which measures salary growth. Here, the Class of 2012 enjoyed a $145,400 pay increase over five years – third-best among international programs. 
-  IE is a place to learn the entrepreneurial mindset: curious, creative, proactive, and fearless – always on a quest to identify possibilities, create value, take action, and rebound quickly. 
- IE attracts the students who welcome change and challenge. This is the mindset of the small, nimble, passionate disruptors who are constantly upending the status quo and keeping established players on their heels. 
- 91% of the 2018 Class hails from outside IE’s native Spain, making it the perfect training ground to absorb various culture mores and practice international business. 

8.  University of Michigan (Ross)
In U.S. News’ specialization ranking, a survey of MBA deans and directors who evaluate the quality of competing programs. Turns out, Ross ranks in the Top 10 in all but one concentration – information systems (where it still finished 15th). Such reputational capital places Ross in the same category as Stanford and Wharton. 
- Ross is known for its across-the-board excellence. It is an advantage that stems from operating in one of the world’s top research universities – one with a large undergraduate business major population. 
- It is also a strength grounded in its general management approach: one imbued with a cross-curricular philosophy that’s delivered through experiential learning.
-  Ross will be rolling out a four-pronged program where students can advise, start, invest in, or lead a real business.
- Launched its “Living Businesses” program, which takes a project beyond its summer or semester confines so students gain the experience of running a portion of the company. 
- Applications were up 4% and average GMAT increased by eight points over the past year. 
- The school recruited a 2019 Class that included 43% women, behind only Wharton and Tuck. 
- And median compensation achieved a respectable $147,485 with the 2017 Class – pay that tops higher-ranked programs like Chicago Booth, Northwestern Kellogg, and Columbia Business School.

9. Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business
Ohio State is one of America’s largest public universities with nearly 60,000 students. The Fisher College of Business is one of the smallest MBA programs with just 91 students in its incoming class.
- Fisher is undertaking a major curriculum revamp to fuse its trademark close-knit ethos with an intense coaching and mentoring culture that runs across the full two years. In the core, students would take courses from Monday-Thursday focused on baseline skills, with Fridays set aside for team-taught sessions that prep students for a semester-long experiential project during the spring. The curriculum would also integrate a robust set of immersions with corporate partners.
-  Fisher has a top five career center and an expansive experiential learning portfolio.
- Fisher is within a four hour driven of nearly 70 Fortune 1000 companies in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Indianapolis. 

10. University of Oxford  (Saïd)
-  Students from 51 nations – with the 2018 class boasting 41% women. 
-  One of the chief tools is entrepreneurship – with the goal to disrupt existing markets through lower costs and greater options – often through leveraging technology. 
-  Focuses on large-scale issues like poverty and climate change. 
-  Has the acclaimed Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship. 
-  20% of graduates, on average, enter the startup and social impact sectors. 
- In 2017, the school doubled down on its entrepreneurial investment by opening the Oxford Foundry, an incubator that supports the growth of ventures designed to address “world-scale challenges.”

Melissa Rapp, Director of Admissions for Kellogg’s MBA and MSMS

Poets & Quants has the following interview with Melissa Rapp, Director of Admissions for Kellogg’s MBA and MSMS programs

Melissa Rapp feels that Kellogg is much more than a “marketing school.”

“Kellogg is really concerned about the kind of experience that we offer and what students can expect from their MBA experience here. We do continue to hear students refer to Kellogg as ‘the marketing school’ — but we are much more than just a marketing school, and I think it’s important for candidates to understand that we offer an incredibly rich experience no matter what industry you’re looking to go into.”

The data supports Rapp, who became admissions chief at the Kellogg School in January 2016 after directing the school’s Evening and Weekend Program for a few years. 

In Kellogg’s most recent employment profile:
- 19% of MBAs in the Class of 2017 went into marketing — a typical outcome: marketing grads have hovered between 19% and 21% since 2013. 
- 34% go into consulting
-  Kellogg’s top recruiters last year were a trio of consulting giants were McKinsey, which employed 40 grads; Boston Consulting Group, which hired 36; Bain & Co., 28; and Amazon, which scooped up 32 MBAs from the shores of Lake Michigan.
- Kellogg had 488 full-time MBA grads last spring.
-  34% is a bigger consultant class than Harvard’s (25%), Stanford’s (28%), and even Wharton’s (32%). 
- Kellogg’s rank has slipped in a couple major lists (from No. 4 to No. 6 at U.S. News & World Report, and from No. 4 to No. 5 in Poets&Quants’ ranking
- The school’s class profile shines, including a 19-point increase in average scores on the Graduate Management Admission Test since 2013, from 713 to 732. 
- In 2017, Kellogg’s remarkably consistent 3.60 average undergraduate GPA was behind only Stanford (3.74), Harvard (3.71), and Chicago Booth (3.61).

Kellogg is a leader in Women's education: 

- The percentage of women in its student ranks. In the Class of 2019, Kellogg admitted 42% women, continuing its streak of greater than 40% female MBA population going back to 2013. Among elite schools, only Wharton and Harvard can claim to have kept pace in that five-year span.

“The diversity that we bring to Kellogg each and every year, in terms of gender but also across industries and backgrounds, I think it’s an important part of the culture, having that representation and diversity,” Rapp says. “We’ve been thrilled last year to have 42% women in the class, and it’s a combination of things: we have seen increased demand in our applicant pool, so that more women seem to be seeking graduate education and MBAs, but we have also taken a really proactive approach to engage particularly prospective female applicants. In particular, we work very closely with the Women’s Business Association to develop programming and outreach that will resonate with women.

“I feel like we have developed a really good, holistic approach to bringing women to Kellogg and supporting them throughout their MBA journey, and then sending them out to the world to do great things. That’s definitely something that we are very proud of and continue to see as important.”

Can gender parity be far behind? “We certainly continue to want to have that high level of women in our classroom,” Rapp says. “It’s real early to tell what the Class of 2020 will look like, but I do anticipate us having a very strong presence of women in this class.

“As far as getting to 50%, I feel like parity between genders is certainly a hot topic not just in higher education or MBA programs but across the board, and I think it’s just going to take a lot of dedicated hard work from people who care for probably a couple more years to make it happen.”

Kellogg has consistently enrolled 40% or more women in its full-time MBA program for the last five years

The school’s leadership has outlined three critical career pivot points where women are being lost on the way to the C-suite, and making what it terms “significant investments” to help alumni women at each of these phases: the post college/grad school years, the child rearing/caregiving years, and the transition to senior leadership. The school’s commitment to the issue will no doubt be prominently discussed at a first-time event in May, the Global Women’s Summit, featuring hundreds of Kellogg alumni, students, honored guests, and community members. Sherry Lansing, former CEO of Paramount Pictures, will be there featured speaker.

The May 8-9 summit “will bring some really prominent members of the Kellogg community here to urge women to engage with leadership and with each other,” Rapp says, with many others joining remotely from cities like Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle. Developed by Kellogg’s women leaders, the 1 1/2-day summit will feature such topics such as the “likeability dilemma,” positioning oneself for a board seat, and negotiating effectively.

We can’t talk about women at Kellogg without mentioning that the most prominent Kellogg woman is leaving soon. What has it been like to work with Dean Sally Blount, who steps down at the end of this school year?

Dean Sally Blount has presided over a “transformative” period in Kellogg history, says Melissa Rapp

It’s been amazing. I came to Kellogg a couple years after Dean Blount had started her impactful journey here and just felt incredibly fortunate to have her as the leader of the organization and as a role model for myself and the other women here. It certainly has been a transformative period at Kellogg — she has left a mark here that will be enduring for a long time. And working with somebody who is so incredibly enthusiastic about the school is certainly very infectious.

All that being said, I have great respect for the fact that she is opening up the door for someone else to have the opportunity to impact Kellogg. She can recognize that she has played her part and has done an incredible job, and she has the humility now to step away and allow someone else to take the reins. I have a great deal of respect for her and a great deal of gratitude for what she’s done for Kellogg.

Over the last five years the average GMAT score at Kellogg has climbed 19 points (713 to 732). Do you see the number continuing to rise, or will Kellogg be satisfied at some point with the level they’ve reached?

What’s going on is that Kellogg always has attracted an incredible population of applicants and we continue to look for applicants who are going to do well academically here. Certainly, though, that is just one of the factors that we use in the holistic approach that we have. We’ve just been really fortunate to continue to see that outstanding applicant pool. Whether or not that continues to go up, obviously we are going to continue to push to bring the best and brightest to Kellogg, and a portion of that equation is their academic ability, but that’s just one portion of it.

I sometimes wish that other factors had as tangible a scoring method as GMAT does. If there were some sort of leadership test where we could see where people stack up on that, it would be nice, because sometimes I think there’s a little too much focus on the rising GMAT scores versus all the other incredible characteristics that get MBA candidates through the doors.

That’s a good segue to ask about your early thoughts on the next crop of students. The Round 3 decision will be announced by May 16 — how do they look?

They look incredible! I think one of the things that I love about admissions is that I get to follow a new group of students every year and every year I think, “This is it. This has to be the best year yet.” And then the next class comes and I’ll be damned! There are just so many compelling people in the world, and I really fell very lucky to get to hear their stories.

I love that our process a variety of ways for a candidate to showcase themselves, from their written essay to the video essay and the in-person interview — you really do get to know these people, and some of the things that they are doing are just incredible. I feel very grateful to get to know the, to play a small part in their journey to being very successful human beings.

So I will tell you that the upcoming class is going to be the best class ever, and I will probably say that again next year.

With so many highly qualified co-applicants, what are some things a Kellogg applicant can do to really set themselves apart? And what are some terrible mistakes they should avoid?

To be well-prepared, we like to see a candidate understand why they want to get an MBA, what they are hoping to get out of it, how it fits with their story. To understand why they are applying to the schools that they are applying to. And try to learn about the programs and the school and understand some of the differences between them. All this is an important part of being a successful applicant.

And then it’s important to give yourself enough time. Sometimes we see that candidates have rushed through the application process, and maybe have not spent the time being reflective that they needed to to really put together a compelling application.

I think that kind of goes hand in hand with one of the mistakes that we do see: folks who don’t feel like they’re coming from a very genuine place when they’re doing their application. So their application comes across as disingenuous or that they’re trying to tell us what they think we want to hear versus their true story. And the honest truth is, we’re looking for strong candidates no matter what their background is — there is no one right answer for any of our questions. We want to hear every candidate’s story, we want to hear their reasons for wanting an MBA, and their reasons for wanting to come to Kellogg — and I think honesty and genuine interest in the program are the two things that really make you stand out.

Just as there are candidates with good-but-not-great test scores who are extraordinary in other ways get in, some candidates with great test scores but weaker applications in other areas don’t get in — do you see that often?

Every year. There is no golden ticket to get into Kellogg. So a perfect GMAT score doesn’t really mean anything other than you did really well on a particular test on a given day. It’s interesting, for sure — it’s going to catch our attention. But it’s certainly not a golden ticket.

I think of a great example. We had a candidate a couple years ago whose GMAT score probably wasn’t what you would expect or what we typically see for a Kellogg admit. But he was a military veteran, a top gun pilot, a decorated war hero, and taking all things into consideration — his personality in the interview, his expression of his personal values and how they aligned with Kellogg, his deep leadership experience — he ended up being one of our Austin Scholars that year (selected because they have demonstrated exceptional leadership in academic and professional endeavors, and show promise of future leadership at Kellogg and in business or public service) because he brought us interesting and unique characteristics beyond academics. Now, we were confident that he could be successful in the classroom as well, but there is a perfect example of someone who didn’t meet the typical criteria that folks think of when thinking of MBA applicants.

And he has turned out to be a phenomenal leader and great asset to Kellogg, and we’re very proud to have him here.

Is Kellogg contemplating any changes to the application process in the next couple of admission cycles?

Our application process is under review right now, but I don’t have sneak peeks for you! I do know that our application will be going live a bit earlier this year, maybe June versus July, and that’s exciting — we’re excited to give people the opportunity to start on their application a little earlier, have a little more time to craft their essays and things. It’s not a big change but it’s one that we feel will help improve the experience for our Round 1 candidates.

What if you could make a change to the process with a wave of your magic wand, what would it be?

What we really hunger for at Kellogg is the opportunity to meet every individual candidate, and that’s just physically impossible (the Class of 2019 has 478 members). But we did wave our magic wand and introduce a video essay a few years ago, and that has really added an important and interesting dimension to the application process, and given us the opportunity to see every candidate — and to allow every candidate to, in their own words, express why they want to come to Kellogg.

It’s sometimes really surprising, the variation you can get between the written word and the spoken word, and that little extra piece of the application process here at Kellogg was a magic wand for us. It unlocked having a personal interaction with every candidate.