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Business School Research


Apply MBA Know your CompetitionApart from differentiating your application by shortlisting relevant life events, and writing from your heart – two techniques that we have taught in Winning MBA Essay Guide, you have to consider the application volume, and competition from other equally qualified applicants. GMAC’s 2014 survey of 469 MBA programs and 259-specialist Masters (non-MBA) program spread across 32 countries (the majority distributed in 41 states in the US), has revealed the trends in application volume.

Fall in Volume (1-year Full-time MBA)

Never has your chances been better to apply to European based 1-year MBA programs. For the first time in 5 years, majority of 1-year MBA programs (60%), of which over 80% are from Europe has reported a steady decline in application volume. The decline is the result of low interest from foreign applicants. If you are an International MBA candidate, this is the year to target the top European MBA programs.

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Stanford MBA Class ProfileStanford Full-time MBA is a 24-month program with the 2016 class setting a new record in the history of Stanford GSB for the largest class with 410 students. The diverse group of students for the latest class was chosen through a rigorous MBA Admission process that accepted applications from 7355 aspirants with an acceptance rate of 5.5%. The sparks of innovation that Stanford is known for has to do with the talented group of MBA candidates but the environment - the pleasant “The Knight Management Center Campus” in Bay Area, Northern California,  is the perfect fertile ground for new ideas. The vicinity to some of the best innovators in the world – Intel, Google, Facebook and Apple, lends an inspiring learning experience for MBA candidates.

Stanford MBA Curriculum

Stanford MBA follows a more traditional curriculum structure with the courses divided into Year One and Year two curriculum. What makes the courses different from Harvard, is the focus on Critical thinking and Ethics at the start of the program.

Year One Curriculum

Apart from starting the program with Critical...


Harvard MBAHarvard Full-time MBA is a 24-month program with the latest class enrolling 913 students in the Boston Campus. The full-time MBA is a residential program with a focus on hands-on experience through the Case Study Method and FIELD projects. By encouraging students to exercise their knowledge on real-world problems, Harvard Business Schools has created a learning environment that encourages Entrepreneurship and leadership. Even though the class size is huge compared to other top MBA programs, the school leadership has set up small learning groups of 80-90, to  mimic the efficiency of lean teams.

Harvard MBA Curriculum

The Harvard MBA Curriculum is divided into Year One Spring & Fall, and Year Two Spring & Fall schedules. During Year One Fall, HBS MBA students follow a common curriculum - Finance 1, Financial Reporting and Control, Marketing, Leadership and Organizational Behavior (LEAD), Technology and Operations Management, FIELD Foundation in Leadership and Field 2: Global Intelligence.

Year One - Fall

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Picking Backup MBA ProgramsMost applicants have completed their GMAT preparation. They are ready to send their GMAT test scores to five Business Schools. One common mistake that we have seen applicants committing while selecting their top five schools is that they don’t put too much thought into selecting the last Business School in the list. Often the thought process is to pick schools based on unrealistic expectations or with very little ambition.

Here are 4 Reasons why picking a Backup program might be counterproductive.

1) Brand Still Matters

The fifth Business School in the top five list would be a low ranked tier-2 Business School. Applicants get a sense of security to know that they would be admitted to at least one school even if they were rejected by four other schools.

If applicants had a choice of picking the fifth Business School based on merit, they would not have followed this process. This is an interesting behavior. You are not a failure if five top schools reject you. A considerable number of re-applicants get into top...


Most MBA students use their degree for career advancement, but nearly 1/4th of the participants chose an MBA program to change their career path. Unlike entrepreneurship where the need for an MBA program is often debated (there are however MBA programs with focus on Entrepreneurship), in other career tracks like consulting, marketing, finance and HR, an MBA program is invaluable. Alumni have vouched that more than anything else, an MBA gave them the confidence during their post-MBA journey. Those who are looking for Career change with an MBA, here are some value propositions:

1) Knowledge means Confidence

The core courses, the electives, the field trips, networking events and interaction with professors and peers, make an MBA class one of the most exciting learning environment. Each tool provides students with the knowledge necessary to make the career switch. Although the initial months can be gruelling and intimidating, most MBAs will learn the vocabulary and processes of the new job function.

2) Learning Framework

More than the knowledge that you gain, a new habit will be created with an MBA: life-long self-...


MBA Research Dont Fall for Mere Exposure EffectB-School ‘C-’ started the year with an online info session. I was also present to see how the school shared their information – both positive and negative. As expected, no negative news were covered in the info session. Percentage employed in 3-months was at a historical low but with a good grip on statistics, you can turn any graphs upside down with an obscure variable. A professional presentation followed. It was more of a speech on how great the school was, and how the Alumni have gone on to do great things. “A small chat window” popped out on the right-hand corner of my screen – “Do you believe any of the things that this guy says?” The other session attendee caught on with my Indian Chat name and liked to know my opinion about the program. “I have to do more research,” I replied without revealing my identity. From that day onwards, the attendee and I kept in touch and discussed about the program and its competitors. Within 3-months, the MBA aspirant was sold to the idea that ‘C-‘ was projecting during the info session. Nothing had changed. The aspirant was influenced by what psychologists called “Mere Exposure Effect.”

In 1968, Zajonc showed how even the repeated exposure of...


MBA ComparisonWe are not designed to notice gradual changes. Each of us has an attention threshold, and small changes go unnoticed. Only when a change is considerable does our brain signals that the stimulus is worth noticing. When Business Schools makes small changes in the number of scholarships or report changes in the percentage placement within 3-months of graduation, the change is negligible.

Have you noticed that the 90+ post-MBA placement percentage that was common, pre-2008 financial meltdown is nonexistent now? The acceptable range among top Business Schools is in the mid-80 percentage. Several changes have happened over the past 5 years. For a comprehensive analysis, download our Research Guide. It will help you pick the right MBA program.

In 1998, Simons and Levin demonstrated how majority of the subjects missed important cues including change in appearance, clothes,...


UPenn's Wharton School vs. Columbia Business SchoolAlthough Wharton has a slight advantage over Columbia in terms of history and reputation, the demand from our readers to do a detailed analysis allowed us to dig deeper into 9 comparison factors: location, ranking, cost, funding, incoming class, curriculum, International Exchange, post-MBA opportunities and Alumni network.

Location

Columbia Business School is located in Manhattan, New York City(NYC). The City is number 1 in the US and the world in terms of GMP and attracts professional in Banking & Finance, real estate, advertising, media and retail. Wharton School is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although Philadelphia is 4th in the US, and 9th in the world, in terms of cities by GDP, the newly evolving service and IT industry will soon replace the Financial industry as a leading contributor. Choice of location depends on your post-MBA industry and cost of living. According to Numbeo, living in Philadephia means cheaper rent, restaurant and consumer goods. If you look at the overall local purchasing power, living in Philly gives you 10% more purchasing power than NYC.

Ranking

According to US News...


MBA Super SpecializationJoining an MBA program when the job market is going through depression is a strategy that has been adopted by professionals over the past 10 years. But looking for an additional MBA, an MBA from an International school to compensate for a low branded MBA is a strategy that can backfire, even if the school accepts your candidacy. Of late, we have been receiving queries about Double MBA. For some, the Employers have been too choosy, and are looking for the best fit. Instead of a general MBA, specialists are in great demand. This is a leading indicator that another slowdown is inevitable. What we found out among MBAs from tier 2 Business Schools is the misconception that an MBA from a premier school is a shortcut for better offers.

MBA Brand value alone is not enough in a competitive job market. Top MBA programs attract leading recruiters but believing that a change into a specialist role can be facilitated with another MBA is little far-...


Chinese Luxury Market SlowdownWhen we wrote the Top MBA in Luxury Management in 2012, we took the estimates of Bain & Co , and PWC, and summarized the markets that would see a surge in luxury brand adoption. China was the leader, and the luxury experience industry was customizing their services for the Chinese tourists. Two years reversed the trends. In 2011, the estimates were that the industry would grow at 30% per annum. In reality, the growth fell to 7% in 2012 and 2% in 2013. Although Chinese Govt’s anti-corruption drive were held responsible, Chinese economy was showing signs of fatigue. Consumers tend to cut down on luxury and dining out when they see their disposable income as a temporary splurging opportunity.

In 2011, MBA and Masters Programs offering specialization in Luxury, sensing the trends in China, were proactive when they included learning opportunities in China. When a market that is responsible for half the revenue is hit by a slowdown, the recruiting rates are likely to go down. Strategies are developed and expansion plans postponed. Kering and LVMH have both reported sales slowdown in China and put on hold their...


Canada - Oil & Gas IndustryCanada is the world’s 3rd largest natural gas producer, 5th largest crude oil producer and accounts for 13% of the world’s total oil reserves second to only Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. The Industry is the single largest private investor in Canada.

Oil and gas companies constitute about 20% of the value at the Toronto Stock Exchange and the industry contributes 5% of the total GDP for Canada, a big number considering that Canada is mostly a service driven country.

Canadian Oil & Gas Industry – Supply & Demand

Though the Oil & Gas industry as a whole is quite developed in Canada, there continue to be parts of the country which are under exploration for its petroleum reserves – namely the Arctic and offshore regions. Natural gas production in Canada was at 13.7 billion cubic feet per day – one of the highest volumes. Canada exported about 8.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in the year 2012 with a reported $62 billion spent in the year 2012 alone of which $18 billion were paid in taxes and royalties to the Government in 2012.

History of Canadian Oil Industry


To trace back the history of the Canadian oil...


MBA Research Dont Follow your HeartI wanted to be an astronaut when I was in 2nd grade, a writer in 3rd grade, a medical doctor in 7th grade and a businessman when I was 25. Only two dreams became a reality. When you compare the difficulty of achieving each goal, astronaut was a little far-fetched. Starting your own Business, becoming a writer, or dedicating 7-10 years for being a Doctor was difficult but achievable. So why do career experts keep repeating the mantra “Follow your heart”?.

What they really mean is “Follow your heart but figure out your real strengths”. Our heart’s desires are many and the career paths after an MBA diverse. If you follow ‘Expert’ advice, you will be miserable after 2-3 years. Resentment of investing $1,75,000 and 1-2 years on an MBA won’t die down even if you get a high-paying job. The question of “What if” I had taken “that” career path will haunt you. If you define your MBA career path by Employment report then you are limited by the job functions and industries.

Avoid Herd Mentality

Don’t discard the trends in employment but don’t either define...


Bocconi vs MIP MBAWe had written about top MBA in Italy but MBA applicants planning to complete their MBA from Italy have requested us to compare SDA Bocconi with MIP Milano. In this first part of the Bocconi vs MIP MBA series; we will look at three key comparative factors: course structure, exchange programs, & ranking. In the second part, we will look at post-MBA statistics and class profile.

Course Structure

MIP Milan International MBA is a 14-Month Full-time MBA program with 11-month of classroom and 3-month of project experience. The program commences in May and concludes in June, the following year. A day in the classroom is divided into two three-hour sessions – one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Although there is no scheduled daily after-class time, students are required to stay back for the speaker series or activities according to the curriculum.

Bocconi, on the other hand, is a 15-month Full-time MBA program with classes starting in October and concluding in December, the following year. A typical day in the classroom is divided into three hours in the morning and six hours in the evening. The 4.5...


Tuck MBA Employment Report 2013Tuck MBA students have retained the median salary at $115,000 with the lowest salary dropping further by $9,000 at $56,000 compared to last year’s trend and highest salary reaching $175,000 a jump of $6,000. What most MBA applicants have asked us about the trends in Tuck MBA Employment report is the demand for Finance and Consulting jobs.

Job by Industry

30% of the job offers are in Financial Services, the majority of which are in Investment banking (14%) and a distant 2nd and 3rd are in Investment Management (7%) and Private Equity (2%). Incidentally, the lowest paying industry is Investment Banking with the low at $56,000 and the high at $130,000. 27% of Tuck MBAs looking for employment opted for consulting with the median salary at a healthy $135,000, the highs reaching $140,000 and the lows at a respectable $86,000. Technology and Consumer Goods/Retail were the third and fourth popular industries with 13% and 10% opting for them.

Job By Function

As expected 35% of the MBAs opted for consulting roles that paid a median salary of $132,500. The high...


MBA Program Selection Apply this RuleSuzy Welch, Business Writer, for BusinessWeek has popularized the 10-10-10 rule. According to the rule, before making any tough decisions, ask three questions: How would you feel after 10 minutes, How would you feel after 10 months, and How would you feel after 10 years. We would like to modify the rule, by a touch, and apply it while selecting MBA programs: MIT vs Stanford, Wharton vs Harvard, Kellogg vs Booth, LBS vs Insead, IE vs IESE, and other close ones.

The 10 Minute impact of the rule seems a little stretched unless they are decisions like proposing to your partner, saying yes to non-refundable products, and other decisions where backtracking is not encouraged, or consequences are catastrophic. Although selecting MBA programs is a 1 month to 3-month process, the decision should be reviewed and changed if...




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