We’ve all read the rankings. We all know what US News thinks of b-schools in the United States, and what the Financial Times thinks of b-school programs around the world. But what do real people think? You know, the people who actually went to these programs. Why did THEY choose to get their MBA from that specific program? And what makes that MBA program unique?
Well, let’s find out.
We asked our team of consultants to share the #1 thing that set their b-school apart from the rest and made their MBA experience invaluable. Read on to get the real story on some of the world’s top MBA programs (and – bonus! – some quality material to incorporate into those “Why our school?” application essays).
No business school reflects the entrepreneurial spirit and passion of its surrounding city like the Stanford GSB. This connection is what makes the school unique. From its classes on innovation and entrepreneurship to its collaboration with the rest of “the Farm” to its pioneering contributions to Silicon Valley, the GSB sits at the center of West Coast innovation!
If you’re interested in a program that doesn’t hide behind abstract concepts and fluffy theories, then Wharton is for you. Math and models lay behind everything! This is a quantitative centered program that forces you to PROVE your stance with facts and numbers, figures and graphs. Even our marketing classes put you through the math ringer. There’s a reason Wharton grads often get asked to fill in for the financial seat of many start-ups.
There are a lot of reasons to pick Sloan over one of its competitors, but above all else is the culture. A top tier business school (especially a full-time program) should always be a great opportunity to network. At Sloan, it is an opportunity to build friendships.
What sets Stanford apart is the customizable curriculum, the great collaborative spirit, and the beautiful Bay Area weather. But most importantly, Stanford grads can do WHATEVER they choose to do coming out of the program. Anything. And they’re rewarded for it too.
For me, the best thing about Wharton was the huge focus on leadership development as well as tons of opportunities for global immersion. The MBA program is designed to help students hone their leadership skills by providing numerous avenues for hands-on learning – like going to Quantico for marine corp training to understand how decisions are made in life-or-death situations, or being a board fellow through the Non-Profit Board Leadership Program where I was able to sit on a real board and make strategic decisions that had a direct impact on the organization. In addition, Wharton is the only school that offers the chance to travel to ALL SEVEN continents in the name of education. I traveled to a dozen countries during my MBA, including Antarctica where I spent my winter break trekking across glaciers and mingling with chinstrap penguins. At Wharton, if you weren’t using your passport regularly, you were part of a really, really small minority, which speaks volumes about the type of international mindset the students have!
The #1 thing about HBS… is that it’s #1. But really, it’s probably the only business school that everyone has heard of internationally. And that’s solid gold when you get out into the real world.
Wharton boasts the largest alumni network compared to any other program. Alumni are incredibly willing to help, and as a result, networking opportunities during and post-graduation can truly open doors.