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F1GMAT: William & Mary’s MBA program has put emphasis on leadership development and experiential learning. How is the curriculum structured to help MBA students?

Mason School of BusinessThe structure of our program mirrors the business world by combining theory with practice. The 1st year core curriculum is fast-paced and rigorous, but supportive with diverse learning teams which allow our students to exchange ideas and achieve their full potential. William & Mary’s Leadership Development Experience fosters mentorships from day one, pairing every MBA with their very own personal coach through our truly unique and expansive Executive Partner Network, a cohort of over 100 senior business executives from more than 20 different industries. Active, semi-retired or retired, these leaders are like no others. They are an integral part of our community and Mason Family.

Following summer internship, the 2nd year MBA experience immerses students into the business world. They take part in two Career Accelerations Modules,...


Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) was founded in 1967 by the Government of India in collaboration with business visionaries. Today, it has cult status among Indian B-school aspirants and has grown into an EQUIS-Accredited internationally recognized management institution. Indian School of Business (ISB) was founded by a group of eminent industrialists and academicians in association with Kellogg and Wharton. The first student intake was in 2001, and in just a decade, the school is now nipping at the heels of IIMA for the title of India’s best B-school in most international rankings.

Although Indian B-schools rankings do not rate the AACSB-accredited ISB, students both in India and abroad have a fuzzy perception of how these two MBA behemoths compare with each other. Some say it is like comparing apples and oranges; which is partially true, but we have undertaken the challenging task of sizing them against each other.

Do note that in India, MBA degrees can only be given by universities. That is why B-Schools here offer management diplomas equivalent to an MBA, and both IIM and ISB call theirs – PGP or Post Graduate Program.

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Google Trends gives us insight into the search demand for various keywords. We have collected data for Top 5 MBA Programs to learn how the MBA programs are measuring up against each other in online search space, and the general demand for these MBA programs from Feb 2004 to Sep 2016.

The top 5 searched MBA programs in Google are:

1. Harvard
2. Stanford
3. Wharton
4. Columbia
5. MIT

Here is the screenshot of the search demand for these five MBA programs.

Google Trends
 
As you would have noticed, interest in Wharton MBA peaks whenever there is a fluctuation in the Economy. Finance professionals consider Wharton MBA as a go to jail program whenever the job markets are down.
So has the demand gone down?

From the highs of 2004, the demand for top MBA programs have gone down, but from 2012, the demand has stabilized, but we noticed an increased search volumes for Booth MBA,


Booth MBA (Search Demand Spike after Nov 2008)

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Post MBA in ItalyItaly is among the 9th largest economies, with the 2015 GDP reaching $1,814 billion. More than 90% of Italian companies are small and medium-sized entities that manufacture top class consumer goods all over the world. The industrial belt in Italy is centered in the Northern part of the country. This belt extends from Turin to Venice via Milan. It is one of the most prosperous areas in Europe and accounts for more than half of the national economy.

Around 85% of Businesses in Italy are family owned contributing over 68% of the employment. The case is similar in France, UK, Spain, and Germany, but what makes Italy unique is that in 66% of such Businesses, Managers are handpicked from the family, and this has allowed the Businesses to survive over 100 years. In fact, 15 of the world’s 100 oldest Businesses are in Italy. For MBAs, this means, the resistance to entering the largest market of small and grand old Businesses in Milan or any part of Italy most likely would not facilitate unless you have some connection with the family. The other options include world-renowned global brands that encourage recruitment with the intention of placing MBAs in Asian markets.

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HHL MBA Admission Team InterviewF1GMAT: HHL MBA has put emphasis on balancing theory with practical experience in its curriculum. Tell us how the curriculum is designed to help MBA Students.

Raluca Modoiu(HHL Full-time MBA):
At HHL we try to structure our program in the way that would best prepare our MBA students to the real world practices. Because our class is very diverse and not all students have the same background and practical experience, our practice-oriented courses and projects allow them to apply their knowledge to real business scenarios even before they leave HHL and thus prepare them for their professional career after the studies. This includes company visits as part of some program where students get a chance to analyze real cases using the skills and knowledge acquired during the course.

Another special feature of the MBA curriculum is a practical consulting project offered as one of the electives and run together with one of the chosen partners in the industry. During the student-consulting project, students are engaged in the development and implementation of a company project solving real problems.
It is also worth mentioning that HHL is deeply intertwined with the private sector and...


MIT vs Stanford MBAMIT Sloan and Stanford GSB are two of the top Business Schools in the world. Both are next door to exceptional undergraduate programs that regularly usher in radical new technologies. Along with other schools on campus, both Sloan and GSB are well known for its world-class entrepreneurial environment. Students with a tech background and an entrepreneurial attitude are naturally drawn to the schools, at times facing the dilemma of choosing one over the other. We have picked five factors for your consideration before picking one over the other.

1) Location

Stanford is in sunny California, while MIT is in the colder city of Boston. For many this might not be a deal breaker, but knowing that Bostonians have to weather, an 8-month of depressively low temperature while Californians can find warm weather in all four directions is a deal breaker for MBA applicants who want to experience the city while sharpening their negotiation and leadership skills in the class.

Stanford has a large campus, and is located in Palo Alto, a suburban area, with fewer transport options, and almost no other college students around except for those at Stanford. Sloan is in the city, with all major...


Diversity trends in MBADiversity is not a differentiating factor anymore. It is the norm with schools setting targets on bridging the gender gap every year. Getting the right mix is not restricted to nationality, gender, or minority groups in each host country, but also includes candidates with different undergraduate degrees, pre-MBA experience, and post-MBA goals.

Why Diversity?

A recent study conducted by Peterson Institute for International Economics and EY evaluated 21,980 publically traded companies spread in 91 countries. The sectors were diversified to avoid any bias. Companies with minimum 30% women leaders in C-suite position increased their net profit margin by 6%. Business Schools have a bigger role in bringing women leaders to the mix as from the massive study only 4.5% companies had female CEOs.

1) Differing opinions in class

Most Business Schools agree that a healthy debate fuels quick learning and wider perspectives. Take the case study method for example. The primary learning comes from the differing opinions in the classroom. So having a variety of voices from different undergraduate streams, workplaces, and cultures adds new dimensions to what students...


Between January and March 2016, a record $15 billion was pulled out from Hedge Funds, the second highest outflow since 2009, when the economy was going through a downturn. Investors were responding to the inability of some of the superstar fund managers to protect their assets. When we hear stories of AI robots taking control of our lives, the image of panic is ingrained in us, primarily contributed by Hollywood movies, but popular culture fails to measure the nimbleness of high net worth individuals. Their fickleness changes demand in a market and subsequently freezes hiring. Perhaps, super-specialization is not a good idea in domains where innovation is disrupting the daily responsibilities of a well-established hierarchy.

Babak Hodjat, one of founding members of Siri, before Apple acquired the team, shares how the AI Hedge Fund Managers will disrupt the space. Like any other AI agents, the trading agents or digital stock traders uses historical data, market sentiments, and risk factors, before purchasing an instrument in a segment.

After the purchase, instructions are also provided on the risk of the sector, the exposure, and the exit price. Unlike the annoying digital assistants that you saw with Microsoft...


MBA in Luxury ManagmentContrary to popular belief, the luxury sector does not perform badly when the economy is in a downturn. It is recession-proof and does better. Sales CAGR for the 2007-11 period for Hermes has been at 15%, Gruppo Prada at 16% and LMVH at 9%. The luxury market is highly correlated with the demand from Chinese customers (the largest growth market) and currency fluctuation. With air travel becoming affordable year on year and over 400 million citizens from developing economies expected to enter the middle class in the next three years, opportunities for Luxury brands to tap into new markets in Asia looks even more feasible.

Currency Fluctuation

Jet fuel prices dropped by 20.4% in July 2016 compared to the same period a year ago. Airlines are likely to come up with special travel packages for global luxury goods shoppers. On top of the low flying cost, Euro has been plunging in value from 2015, dropping to a low of 1.05 against the dollar in March 2015, and continuing to hold low at 1.11 in July 2016.

The Fall-Winter 2015 Worldwide study on Luxury Goods confirms the trend. In Europe, there was a 64% increase in purchase for high-end luxury goods courtesy of the Chinese shoppers while the...


Case StudyDuring the global economic crisis of 2008, MBAs were everyone’s favorite punching bags. The financial meltdown was blamed on their arrogance, excessive competitiveness, and obsession with profits. Although profits should be the prime focus for a Business, other factors like impact on society and environment should also be considered. We disagree with branding everyone as dishonest because of a few black sheep, but an in-depth look at management education shows that something is missing. This led us to research into the most practiced teaching methodology - the case study, and another popular alternative learning tool – Experiential learning. Here is what we have found:

The Case study method

Pioneered by Harvard Law School in 1870, and taken up by Harvard Business School in 1920, Case Study Method is the most popular means of teaching at Business Schools across the world.  Case studies present complex real life business scenarios to the class with data such as market share, product differentiation, purchasing trends and overall market growth. Students have to analyze the scenario, and come to class with a detailed...


Harvard Business School is one of the most sought after B-schools in the world. It is also one of the schools with the lowest acceptance rate. While IIMA in India boasts of an acceptance rate of just 0.1%, among US B-schools, HBS has the lowest acceptance rate after Stanford. The rate has historically hovered around the 10-12% mark. The class of 2017 has seen a slight dip in acceptance to 11%, the result of an increase in application volume.

Standing out from 9600 other applicants requires strategic thinking and the power of storytelling. We will teach you how with our essay guide.

Note: When we mention a year, we refer to the year of graduation – the class of that year. The year of admission would be 2 years prior.

Class Size

Over the past 10 years, class sizes have fluctuated from a high of 889 in 2009 to a high of 941 in 2011. The class of 2017 saw 937 enrolled students. Although there are no targets as such, the growth of the class size is three per year.

Diversity

Diversity is not just a buzzword for...


Algebra Method Benjamin FranklinThere is a myth on how we make decisions and the information we collect to reach a conclusion. Analysis paralysis is often associated with the vast amount of information that is under our disposal. The truth is different. We are not paralyzed by the additional information but by the narrower choices that we have reached after eliminating several other equally viable options.

The time invested to reach the fewer choices is high and we are not ready to go through the process again to consider other equally viable options that we had earlier eliminated thus increasing the stake to pick one option over the other.

Chip and Dan Heath explain in their new book, Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work, about Moral Algebra technique that Benjamin Franklin recommended for decision-making. It is a modified Pros and...


HEC Paris MBAWe interviewed Benoit Banchereau, the Director of Communication, Development and Admissions for the HEC Paris MBA. The interview covers questions related to the MBA program, Post-MBA trends, unique courses, visa policies for International students, and what makes HEC Paris MBA different from Insead.

1. F1GMAT: What is the biggest misconception about HEC Paris MBA Program?

The biggest misconception about the HEC Paris MBA program is that most of the students on the program are French. This is not the case. Due to the international approach at HEC Paris MBA, the student body is made up of 90% international students from over 40 nationalities. All students are also given the opportunity to learn French, which will help them if they choose to remain in France after their MBA.

2. F1GMAT: HEC Paris full-time MBA has given emphasis on Career Management and Leadership Development. How is the curriculum structured to give students the ability to choose their career path?

Our curriculum, which was redesigned in partnership with Bain and Company has two phases; the Fundamental Phase and the Customized...


The first year focuses on the foundation of General Management: Finance, Leadership, Marketing, Operations, Human Resource Management, and Informed Decision Making.

First Quarter Courses (Autumn)

Ethics in Management


Post-2008 Financial crisis, MBAs were labelled as the “Wall Street Crooks,” even worse, one of Stanford’s own MBA - Mathew Martoma, was sentenced to a 9-year jail term for profiting his company a whopping $276 million in a single transaction through insider trading. It is not just that Martoma profited through unethical means, he even lied his way through MBA Admissions.

Although Ethics in Management as a required MBA course might be in the pipeline before the 2008 crisis, the course provides a framework for making ethical decisions on a day-to-day basis, and in, group decisions where ethical perceptions of people collide. To avoid scenarios where group decisions override ethical decisions, the course offers guidelines for ethical analysis, to overcome ethical dilemmas, and to deal with the practical issues of convincing people, who have to make a decision between choosing an ethical decision that generates lower profit or an unethical decision that accumulates a windfall profit.

Financial Accounting


Reading and understanding corporate financial statements can be completed as...


European MBA not Good for Career Switching“Millennials will leave, because they get bored! They want to learn & grow” proclaimed a speaker, and MBA marketers agreed in Chorus. Mr. X just completed 1-year in a European IT firm, post-MBA, in the same pre-MBA role that he despised. He is not leaving anywhere. He is stuck in a bad loan, and a career risk that will cost him another 3 to 5 years (the average time required to earn a return on investment from an MBA). This despite tall promises by Business School marketers about career switching. Mr. X did not find the right job offers despite the early finance focus in the MBA program. As a last minute effort to avoid the shame of returning to his home country without a job and over 55000 euros in debt, the candidate took the IT job.
 
3-Month Post-MBA Job Offers: Numbers Lie

A column that MBA applicants often see in brochures and ranking publications is the % job offers within 3-month of graduation. Most European schools score upwards of 80%, but time has come for applicants to question the usefulness of this data. Mr. X might have also been included in that percentage. He was forced to accept a job offer within 3 months.

Last time, I...