Alternative MBA Options: Part 2 (The EMBA)

A few weeks back we ran a post on part-time programs as part of a broader concept: finding and presenting alternative MBA options to those applicants who desire an MBA but do not fit the traditional profile for an elite, full-time MBA program. Today, we continue the theme by exploring the Exeuctive MBA (EMBA) and looking at some of the elite and interesting options available to students in that space.

As alternative paths go, EMBA programs aren’t as universally appropriate as part-time MBAs and the experience doesn’t come nearly as close to that of a full-time student, but for a select group of candidates, an EMPA is the ideal degree pursuit. Whenever applicants have north of eight years experience, are working in a management position, and simply need added fundamentals and pedigree, an EMBA is often a terrific choice. Another way to look at an EMBA is to think of it as a broader perspective on business issues — executive programs are often known as the view from “50,000 feet.”

Executive MBA programs often use a modular approach that takes students through all of the key functions of business and adds conflict resolution, ethical issues, EQ training, and presentation skills, which makes for a program designed to “round out” an already accomplished business professional. Ranging between 15 and 24 months in length, far more accessible from an admissions standpoint, and rather expensive (especially if the employer is not footing the bill), this is one way that quality candidates who are beyond the age range for full-time MBA programs can still get the kind of training, networking, and pedigree that they are seeking.

One the most interesting and noteworthy trends surrounding the executive MBA is that at present, fewer companies are sponsoring students (either fully or partially) than in years past. This is due in large part to current market conditions, but another theory suggests that employers are catching on to the fact that a large majority of EMBA students are positioning themselves for new jobs (either internally or externally) by attending the program. In other words, the return on investment is still worthwhile for the student, but is becoming less so for the company (at least in the short term) who might have sponsored that individual in the past. Many of the companies that are still aggressively sponsoring EMBA students are those that take a longer view on ROI and believe that they can create executives with advanced skills, networks, and problem-solving abilities by exposing them to the teachings, modules, and colleagues that an Exec MBA provides.

There are many attractive EMBA programs available, but the list is perhaps best split into two distinct groups: 1) Kellogg and Wharton, 2) Everybody Else. The primary difference is in the perception of the programs on the part of corporations, although that can be traced back to how closely the EMBA programs at Kellogg and Wharton emulate the training of the business schools’ full-time philosophies and methodologies. Actual students sometimes enjoy the experiences more at other great EMBA programs, but at present, the reputational prestige of “the big two” makes it hard to pass up Kellogg or Wharton in favor of another intriguing option.

As for gaining acceptance, most programs feature much lower average GMAT scores than their full-time counterparts or don’t require the GMAT at all, and favor far more management experience. Unlike part-time programs that can be a safe haven for both young and old applicants alike, EMBA programs are a much better fit for someone who is “too old” for traditional full-time work but has all the other tools and is looking for an edge in advancing his or her career. Most top programs feature a minimum work experience requirement ranging between five and seven years and often post an average work experience of 10 years and management experience of five years.

The Truly Elite EMBA Programs

Kellogg — A 22-month program that brings students to Northwestern’s Evanston campus every other weekend (Fridays and Saturdays), Kellogg features a dynamic curriculum housed in one of the best facilities the university has to offer. Group projects make up close to a third of the work in the Kellogg EMBA program, which provides for the sort of networking and leadership development often specific to full-time and part-time programs. Kellogg also offers an EMBA program in Miami and four partner programs (in Israel, Hong Kong, Germany, and Canada) and the total number of students in all seven programs (there are two in Evanston) comes to over 800 people. Average full-time work experience is 14 years and Kellogg requires a minimum of eight years of management experience (and 10 of work experience), resulting in an average age of close to 40. Only 15% of students self-fund and it is worth noting that the GMAT is not required. In other words, Kellogg is not the option for the traditional full-time student with a great GMAT score who is just a bit too old … this program is for honest-to-goodness executives.

Wharton — A unique aspect of Wharton is that the school offers two locations for its two-year executive program (“MBA Exec”): the Penn campus in Philadelphia and a second location in San Francisco that is known as “Wharton West.” Both locations feature a program that closely follows the blueprint of the full-time MBA, which is one of the things that makes Wharton so popular among EMBA students. Unlike other executive MBAs, this program “looks and feels” like a more traditional business school experience. While Wharton’s Exec MBA program does not feature the severe work experience requirements of Kellogg, the admissions process is quite competitive, with an acceptance rate near 25% and an average GMAT close to 700 (yes, the GMAT is required at Wharton). As for noteworthy industries, over half of the students in each class go into either finance or technology.

Other Great EMBA Options to Consider

Thunderbird — A program that students seem to enjoy and corporations also hold in high regard, Thunderbird is often viewed as a great international business school, but it also boasts an executive program that is among the very best in the nation. Shorter than some of the other top programs (16 months), Thunderbird features a high number of self-funded students (42%) and a broad range of management experience despite a fairly high number for average work experience (eight years). The school can request, but doesn’t require, the GMAT, and offers a great value at $75,000 ($50,000 less than Kellogg). Many EMBA programs go out of their way to create group projects and hands-on learning opportunities, but Thunderbird takes a page out of Harvard’s book and employs a teaching methodology that is heavy on case studies.

USC Marshall — USC Marshall more closely resembles Kellogg’s EMBA program than just about any other EMBA program on the west coast. Featuring averages of 14 years for work experience and 10 years for management, Marshall tends to attract a lot of “true executives” rather than near-miss traditional MBA students. It also features a very balanced teaching approach that includes simulations and team projects, with a lot of company-funded students. For those students who don’t have corporate backing, the price tag isn’t all that bad — just under $100,000 for a 21-month program based in Los Angeles.

North Carolina — The top-ranked school from the perspective of EMBA students, according to a recent Wall Street Journal ratings study, UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School is a top five overall option despite not receiving the same level of respect from many corporations that are polled for such rankings (UNC ranks 14th among corporations in the same WSJ poll). A 20-month program with pretty standard admissions requirements for work experience, Kenan-Flagler’s average GMAT score hovers just over 600, making it more accessible for many students. UNC is notable for the fact that 31% of students “self fund,” meaning they don’t rely on corporate sponsorship to participate in the program. People working in software and consumer goods seem to gravitate toward UNC, as nearly 50% of the class is made up of professionals from those two sectors. Finally, it is worth noting that the program cost — approximately $80,000 — is just over half that of Wharton’s, making for a very good deal.

Michigan — Ross is another EMBA program cut from the same cloth as Kellogg, featuring extensive work experience requirements (10 years total, five in management) and a high percentage of company-sponsored students. Perhaps not surprising, given its proximity to the major auto manufacturers, Ross stands out for the fact that over a quarter of the class works in the manufacturing industry (healthcare is another popular sector for Ross students). Ross isn’t cheap ($125,000) and it’s a pretty small class, but the GMAT isn’t required, so for someone with true executive experience, this could be a great option.

Name Brands with Quality EMBA Programs

The following are elite business schools with very solid EMBA options, with a notable comment for each:

Cornell (no minimum requirement for management experience)

Columbia (one of the most diverse EMBA programs)

Chicago Booth (huge percentage — 90% – of classes taught by tenured faculty members)

Duke Fuqua (a mere recommendation — 5 years — for minimum work experience rather than a requirement)

Haas (extremely diverse; extremely expensive)

NYU Stern (incorporates global studies better than almost any other program)

UCLA Anderson (extensive career service offerings)

Columbia-LBS (joint program that often requires a high GMAT score; only one-third of students are American citizens)

For more insight into part-time programs or MBA admissions, give us a call at (800) 925-7737. And, be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow us on Twitter!

HBS 2+2 Application Deadline Announced for 2010

HBS 2+2 ProgramHarvard Business School has just announced this year’s application deadline for the HBS 2+2 Program: June 15, 2010. Note that this is a couple of week’s earlier than last year’s deadline.

Harvard launched the HBS 2+2 Program to encourage high achieving undergraduate students who are not on a “business track,” to pursue careers in business. The program targets students focused on non-business concentrations such as engineering, liberal arts, science etc. Accordingly, they’re looking for students coming from those majors, rather than from undergraduate business programs. (If you’re in college now and fall into the latter camp, have no fear! That’s what the traditional HBS two-year MBA program is for.)

If you’re current a college junior, this deadline announcement is most relevant to you, since you will apply right after your junior year ends. To get a feel for what to expect in the coming months, take a look at the HBS 2+2 Program Timeline on Harvard’s web site. You’ll notice that the timeline suggests taking the GMAT or GRE this spring. If you haven’t yet gotten ready for the test, take a look at Veritas Prep’s GMAT prep options.

After getting the GMAT or GRE score that you want, then you’ll need to focus on writing a terrific application. Fortunately, we’ve been helping applicants do that for years, and we have helped many HBS 2+2 Program applicants since the program’s inception in 2008. To get an early read on your own admissions chances, give us a call at 800-925-7737 and speak with a Veritas Prep MBA admissions expert today!

Four Important Characteristics of the Duke MBA Program

Business School Application Guides
Continuing our series of admissions insights clipped from Veritas Prep’s Annual Reports, our in-depth insider’s guides to 15 of the world’s top MBA programs, this week we investigate a few things that make Duke’s approach to graduate management education unique. (Our Annual reports are absolutely free with registration, but we thought we’d share some snippets here to help get you started in your Fuqua School of Business research.)

Like most elite business schools, Duke is focused on providing hands-on learning opportunities, global perspective, and a flexible curriculum. What makes Duke somewhat different is that the school is focused most of all on collaborative leadership. Other than Kellogg and perhaps UCLA Anderson, few business schools can cite that as the program’s most distinguishing feature to the degree that Fuqua can.

With that in mind, the following are the key elements of the Duke Approach:
  • Collaborative Leadership. Teamwork and leadership are common in every aspect of the Duke MBA experience from inside the classroom to clubs and activities. Each class includes group projects as a learning tool, so the ability to lead and work in a group environment is essential for success at Fuqua. Outside of the classroom, students are encouraged and almost expected to assume a leadership role in a club, activity, or Fuqua-related event. Fuqua is truly a student run program, which generates numerous opportunities to lead projects or even create new ones.
  • Global Perspective. “Global” is a major MBA buzzword in this day and age, but few schools boast an international emphasis and flavor that rivals that of Fuqua. Each incoming MBA class begins with “Global Institute,” a one-of-a-kind program that runs for three weeks prior to the first term and introduces students to the global business environment and the world economy structure. Students discuss current global business issues and are exposed to diverse backgrounds and perspectives while also gaining exposure to more traditional “orientation” concepts such as leadership and team building. Fuqua also offers study abroad programs and the increasingly popular “Global Academic Travel Experience,” a course where students study international business trends from select regions and then travel to designated locations for hands-on experience.
  • Diversity of Instruction. As has become increasingly common among innovative business schools, Duke’s courses feature a blended teaching approach that includes an almost equal distribution of case studies, lectures, and team projects. Each class is typically two hours and fifteen minutes long, allowing ample time for a highly interactive case discussion, followed by a course lecture. Duke professors conduct leading research and are adept at integrating relevant and topical business issues into every class. Team projects are absolutely an integral part of each course, and select groups are called upon to present insights and strategic recommendations as a way to launch a class discussion. Class participation is expected and is a prominent grading criterion.
  • Experiential Learning. While Duke does not boast of an experiential learning program as robust as that of Ross or Tuck, Fuqua does offer numerous courses which help students convert theory into application. These classes provide knowledge and experience by assisting real-world businesses in such areas as consulting, strategic planning, marketing strategy and business plan development. Faculty members guide and participate in strategy sessions with the students to reinforce the translation of academic concepts to real world solutions.

Today’s installment was clipped from our Duke (Fuqua) Annual Report, one of 15 guides to the world’s top business schools, available for purchase on our site. If you’re ready to start building your own application for Fuqua or other top MBA programs, call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today!

Alternative MBA Options: Part 1

MBA AdmissionsOne of things we are often asked to do is identify new trends and themes that emerge in the MBA admissions process. One theme we are starting to feel pretty sure about this year is that the notion b-schools are “skewing young” is legitimate. Not every MBA program is shifting as rapidly and aggressively as HBS, where over half the class enters business school less than three years after graduating from college, but the ideal age range seems to be either holding rigid or even shrinking.

For applicants on the plus side of 30, this is a cause for concern. And that’s before we get into GMAT scores that fall below the 20th-to-80th percentile range, or a lingering GPA that dipped under 3.0, or any number of flaws that are more often than not fatal for a candidate applying to elite business schools.

So what should candidates do when they are presented with these kinds of obstacles? It all starts with taking a realistic look at the available options. For starters, is the MBA really the right degree? More often than not, candidates have thought enough about this that they are committed to the degree. Okay, if the MBA is a must, how about looking lower in the rankings? This is often a smart option (and we plan to run posts in the future indicating strong “lower tier” options in various specialties) for students suffering from a mediocre GMAT score or a rocky GPA, but what about the candidate who is “too old” for a full-time program? In some cases, it doesn’t matter how far down the U.S. News list you go, if you fall outside the age range, there might not be a seat at the table.

That’s when it is time to explore alternative programs; specifically, part-time and EMBA programs. With that in mind, we are running a two-part series on alternative options for students who desire an MBA, but might not fit the full-time profile. Today, for Part I, we will focus on the best major cities in which to pursue part-time programs. Part II will focus on the rest of the options: other part-time gems, EMBA programs, and even online degree paths.

Part-time programs are always a great place to start any exploration of alternative MBA options, because this is the path that most closely resembles what a client desires from a full-time program. The structure obviously differs and it can take longer to achieve the goal, but part-time programs aren’t always a massive departure from their full-time counterparts. For a candidate who wishes to retain his or her job during business school, the part-time program is perfect, obviously. However, even if an applicant does not fit that archetype, part-time programs might still present a great opportunity to get into a fantastic b-school, to build a network, and to gain access to critical on-campus recruiters.

Perhaps the easiest way to get a quick handle on the part-time landscape is to look at it geographically. There are basically five cities that offer nearly all of the best options in this space:

  1. Chicago. There is probably no better city in which to pursue both a career and an MBA than Chicago. In addition to boasting plenty of industry and many nationally headquartered companies, the city is teaming with quality part-time options. Chicago Booth, housed in the state-of-the-art Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago, is famous for offering a part-time program that closely approximates the full-time course work – even blending the classes and mixing and matching professors. Kellogg is among the most innovative business schools in the world and the part-time program is no exception, as the school offers both a traditional evening and weekend program as well as a unique “Saturday only” option that was built purely as a response to student demand. In addition to the two big guns, Chicago also offers high-quality programs at more accessible schools such as DePaul and Loyola. If you are having a tough time cracking the code at full-time programs and you can take your career to Chicago, go there as fast as you can.
  2. Los Angeles. L.A. is best known for UCLA Anderson’s fully employed MBA program (“FEMBA”) and for good reason, as it is one of the truly elite part-time options available, but candidates can also find attractive options at USC (high level coursework that is reflective of the full-time program and a distinctive study abroad option), Loyola Marymount (top-notch entrepreneurship program and very diverse student body), and Pepperdine (good ties with the entertainment community). UCLA Anderson is the crown jewel though and it offers one of the closest approximations to a full-time program anywhere in the part-time space, complete with quarterly course requirements, dedicated career services counselors, a cohort system, and a truly unique international field study program. For candidates with elite credentials but a little more work experience than full-time MBA programs want to see, UCLA Anderson’s FEMBA program is a great place to start a search, as is the city of Los Angeles.
  3. The Bay Area. Okay, we are cheating a little here since “The Bay Area” isn’t technically a city, but there are enough program options here that candidates should think seriously about Northern California. Between San Francisco and the Silicon Valley, there is enough industry to support a career move and with two great programs of varying prestige – Haas and Santa Clara – there are attractive options for a large number of part-time candidates. Haas is well known for its part-time program, but with an average GMAT score of 689, it isn’t exactly easy to get into. Enter Santa Clara. The underrated private school is often overlooked in MBA circles, but it has a great reputation with companies in the area and a strong track record for producing quality graduates.
  4. Atlanta. This might come as a surprise on this list, but Atlanta offers two terrific part-time options. As a city blessed with plenty of industry and home to several massive companies, Atlanta is a good place to maintain a career while earning an MBA. Emory (great classes, evening office hours, on-campus recruitment, the works) is the most notable program here, but Georgia State is an underrated option. This is especially true if the candidate is seeking knowledge more than networking or recruiting options. The quality of the overall class at Georgia State won’t measure up to Emory or most of the other schools in this blog, but the quality of the faculty is quite good, the style of instruction is extremely practical, and the location (in the relatively new Aderhold Learning Center in downtown Atlanta) is convenient. Plus, as a rule of thumb, there is always opportunity when you can find quality without the brand attached, because it tends to cut down on the competition.
  5. New York. NYU Stern offers a competitive program with top faculty members and solid recruiting options … alas, it might be getting too competitive as getting into Stern’s part-time program is proving to be nearly as difficult as the full-time option. That, coupled with the relative lack of attractive secondary options, knocks New York down this list a ways. That said, for would-be MBA students with portable careers, Manhattan presents a massive amount of industry and at least one elite option for part-time study.

Also consider: Boston (Boston College and Boston University), Philadelphia (Villanova and Drexel), and Dallas (SMU). For “one-hit wonder” locations, consider Ross (Michigan), Nebraska in Lincoln, Elon in North Carolina, and Carnegie Mellon in

For more insight into part-time programs or MBA admissions, give us a call at (800) 925-7737. And, be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow us on Twitter!

Round Three or Not Round Three: Part Two

Part One of our series about applying to business school in Round Three, today we look at a couple of other factors to consider when planning your Round Three admissions strategy.

Another key consideration is the business school to which you’re applying. Schools vary greatly in how they approach Round Three. While some are upfront about the fact that seats go fast and there aren’t many left in Round Three, others (such as UCLA Anderson) make a point of holding seats for the last round, knowing that there will still be many great applicants applying then.

According to Anderson’s MBA Insider’s Blog:

Contrary to the belief that the 3rd round of the application process is so vast and competitive that your chances of being admitted are significantly reduced, you should know that each round is evaluated independently. You only compete with other people in your round. If your application is reasonably strong your chances of being admitted to the UCLA Anderson full-time MBA program are as good as any other previous round.

Why do Anderson and some other top schools use this approach? A big reason makes a great deal of sense, although it may not be obvious at first glance: Schools like Anderson compete with many top international schools to attract great candidates, and many of these schools have deadlines that run much later than American schools’ deadlines. LBS, for example, will accept applications as late as April 21 this year. Anderson doesn’t want this simple fact to be why a strong candidate chooses LBS over its own program. Admissions officers know that a great application can come in any time, and they want to be ready.

Why, then, would you wait until next fall before applying? Ultimately, how successful you will be depends on you more than anything else. If you can’t pull together a VERY strong application between now and the Round Three deadline — and this includes everything, from your GMAT score to your essays to your letters of recommendation — then waiting will always be your best strategy. Additionally, if waiting will allow you to significantly improve part of your application — this most often applies to your GMAT score or your academic record, which can be bolstered through additional college coursework — then it also normally makes sense to wait.

What if you say “What the hell,” and apply, anyway? Will that dramatically hurt your chances if you don’t get in and want to re-apply in the fall? At most schools, no, it won’t, but keep in mind that you can’t submit the same application next year — something will need to be new, or better, or more interesting, compared to what you submit now. So, applying now and getting rejected is not the kiss of death, but in some ways it will in fact raise the bar for you if you choose to reapply.

Of course, as Wayne Gretzky says, “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” So, for some of you, applying now will indeed be your best strategy, although it won’t be an easy task unless you can put all the pieces in place and craft a truly strong, memorable application.

Everyone’s case is different, of course. If you need more help, call us at (800) 925-7737 and speak with a Veritas Prep admissions expert today. And, as always, be sure to subscribe to this blog and to follow us on Twitter!

Six Must-Have Professors at Chicago Booth

Chicago Booth Admissions GuideContinuing our series of admissions insights clipped from Veritas Prep’s Annual Reports, our in-depth insider’s guides to 15 of the world’s top business schools, this week we take a look at six professors who have earned Chicago Booth students’ love. (Our Annual reports are absolutely free with registration, but we thought we’d share some snippets here to help get you started in your Booth research.)

Among Chicago Booth students, there are a handful of professors who are considered “must-haves” during one’s time in Hyde Park. Note that, while Booth is best known for finance, some of the school’s most popular professors come from other departments:

  • Sanjay Dhar – Professor Dhar primarily teaches the basic marketing strategy class and is very active in all Chicago Booth MBA programs. Professor Dhar makes this list because his passion in teaching is infectious. He makes the effort to truly know his students and it is not uncommon for Professor Dhar to have all 65 (or more) students in his class remove their name cards so he may recite their names back on the first day of class. Dhar is the recipient of several awards such as the McKinsey Award for Teaching Excellence in 2000, and was cited among the outstanding faculty in BusinessWeek’s Guide to the Best Business Schools.
  • Steven Kaplan – Professor Kaplan primarily teaches entrepreneurial finance and private equity. A quarter does not go by without students complaining that they were unable to get into his class prior to graduation. His courses are highly completive choices during the bidding process and students are only able to take his courses late in their program, when they have accumulated enough point “wealth.” Professor Kaplan consistently attains top scores in Chicago Booth’s internal faculty rankings by students over the last decade.
  • Eugene Fama – The percentage of students who take Professor Fama’s class is relatively small, but the reason for this is that his course content is highly specific, highly rigorous, and has a scope that may go beyond the average Booth student’s interest. Professor Fama has been called the “father of modern finance.” Professor Fama is highly respected both in academic circles and in the outside investment community. Taking a “Fama course” and doing well does wonders for the credibility of a Booth graduate in the field of finance, but truth be told, only highly skilled Booth students with an interest in analytical finance tend to enjoy his classes.
  • Art Middlebrooks – Art Middlebrooks is a prime example of a great adjunct faculty member. His teaching method of “learning by doing” is appropriate in his services marketing and product marketing classes. As a Booth alumnus, he really connects well with his students and continually gets top marks in faculty evaluations. Mr. Middlebrooks is also the current Executive Director of the Kilts Center for Marketing and is the coauthor of Innovating the Corporation and Market Leadership Strategies for Service Companies.
  • Harry Davis – Harry Davis is the type of professor who brings balance and perspective to the MBA experience. His Business Policy course is not at all the typical Chicago Booth fare.
    While most courses at Booth tend to dominate the left brain, Professor Davis focuses more on right brain activity: being intuitive, holistic, and metaphorical. Part of the Chicago Booth faculty since the mid-1960s, Professor Davis was once co-dean of the program and was integral to Booth’s push to establish campuses in other countries. Booth is not really known for emphasizing leadership topics, yet Professor Davis does just that.
  • James Schrager – James E. Schrager’s New Venture Strategy is another highly sought-after course at Chicago Booth. His credibility in the business community equals his reputation as
    a faculty member at Booth and his expertise is on display in multiple mainstream media formats, such as the Wall Street Journal and various major television networks. Booth students across the board absolutely love taking his class.

Today’s blog post was clipped from our Chicago Booth Annual Report, one of 15 guides to the world’s top business schools, available for purchase on our site. If you’re ready to start building your own application for Chicago, Harvard, Kellogg, or any other top MBA programs, call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions consultant today!

Five Things That Make UCLA Anderson Unique

Business School GuidesContinuing our series of admissions insights clipped from Veritas Prep’s Annual Reports, our in-depth insider’s guides to 15 of the world’s top MBA programs, this week we investigate a few things that make UCLA Anderson’s approach to graduate management education unique. (Our Annual reports are absolutely free with registration, but we thought we’d share some snippets here to help get you started in your Anderson research.)

UCLA Anderson’s methodology is composed of a multi-faceted approach primarily delivered through lectures. The following are five key aspects of a UCLA Anderson education that comprise the framework of the MBA experience:

  • The UCLA Anderson Culture. The emphasis on teamwork inside and outside of the classroom is the hallmark of the UCLA Anderson experience and the foundation for the rest of the school’s approach. Student collaboration and leadership within teams is the attribute that ties everything together at UCLA Anderson. There are several schools with great student cultures

Financial Times MBA Rankings for 2010

Financial Times
The Financial Times has just released its 2010 business school rankings, with London Business School remaining in the #1 spot. This comes after LBS and Wharton actually shared the #1 position in last year’s rankings.

Accompanying the rankings, FT release an article called How to Choose a Programme, in which our own Director of MBA Admissions Research, Scott Shrum, is quoted. As is always the case, we strongly advise applicants to focus on many other things besides just the rankings when selecting a business school”

“Begin with the end in mind,” advises Scott Shrum, director of MBA admissions research at Veritas Prep in California. “Where have other students landed jobs? Call the careers office to find out which companies recruit at the school. If you’re an international student, find out how many of the recruiters are generally willing to sponsor work visas.”

As you whittle down your list of prospective schools, be sure to leave time for campus visits. Take a tour, sit in on a class, eat lunch in the dining hall, meet the professors and talk to students and alumni. “The best way to figure out whether a school is a good fit is to visit it,” says Shrum. “Most people know within the first hour whether they love a school or whether it’s just not clicking for them. The culture of the school is going to dictate how happy you are.”

The FT’s top ten programs in 2010 are:

  1. London Business School
  2. Wharton
  3. Harvard Business School
  4. Stanford GSB
  6. Columbia Business School
  7. IE Business School
  8. MIT Sloan
  9. Chicago Booth
  10. Hong Kong UST

Big gainers vs. last year include Booth (which cracked the top ten), HKUST, Indian School of Business, and HEC Paris. Meanwhile, CEIBS, NYU Stern (which dropped out of the top ten), and Cambridge saw the biggest declines among the top MBA programs.

For a deeper comparison of how the programs performed in this year’s rankings vs. the previous year’s, offers this handy downloadable document.

To get a feel for your chances of admission to a top MBA program, try Veritas Prep’s Business School Selector, an absolutely free resource for all MBA applicants. If you’re ready to start planning your candidacy, give us a call at (800) 925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert. And, as always, be sure to follow us on Twitter!

Yale SOM Names Edward A. Snyder New Dean

This morning the Yale School of Management announced that Edward A. Snyder, currently Dean and George Shultz Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, has agreed to become the next Dean of the Yale School of Management. Snyder, who last fall announced his decision to step down from the role of Dean at Chicago Booth on June 30, 2010, won’t actually begin his term immediately. He will take a year off, and then step into the Dean’s office at Yale SOM on July 1, 2011. Current Yale SOM Dean Sharon Oster will continue on in her current role until then.

When Snyder announced that he was leaving Chicago Booth, it made a lot of waves in the education space, since he had put together one of the most successful tenures of any business school dean in recent memory. Under his leadership, Chicago Booth almost doubled its number of endowed professorships and more than tripled its scholarship assistance to MBA students. He transformed Chicago Booth by overseeing the move to the school’s new Hyde Park campus and establishing a new campus in London. The school is now expanding its presence in Singapore and is playing a significant role in the University

Six Must-Have Classes at Stanford GSB

Stanford GSB GuideContinuing our series of admissions insights clipped from Veritas Prep’s Annual Reports, our in-depth insider’s guides to 15 of the world’s top business schools, this week we take a look at six classes that are universally popular among Stanford GSB students. (Our Annual reports are absolutely free with registration, but we thought we’d share some snippets here to help get you started in your Stanford research.)

Among Stanford GSB students, there are a handful of courses that are considered a “must” in order to have the full GSB experience. Not surprisingly, many of the top courses are related to entrepreneurship and venture capital, although there are a few that fall outside of that scope:

  • Entrepreneurship and Venture Capitalwith Peter Wendell, Andrew Rachleff, and Eric Schmidt. Peter C. Wendell is the founder and a Managing Director of Sierra Ventures and has been recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the top 100 technology venture investors in the United States. The class is co-taught by Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Andy Rachleff, founding General Partner of Benchmark Capital. This is one of the top classes at the GSB and provides an opportunity for second-year MBAs to learn about all aspects of the venture capital business from industry giants. This is a class known for its strong guest speakers and engaging class discussion. Also, the all-star faculty of entrepreneurship and Venture Capital is often willing to go to lunch with students after class.
  • Managing Growing Enterprises with Professor Harold Grousebeck. Professor Grousebeck founded Continental Cablevision, where he served as Chairman until 1985, has served on numbers nonprofit and corporate boards, and is a principal owner of the Boston Celtics. His course places MBA students in the role of CEO and challenges them to deal with difficult managerial situations through a process assessment, prescription, and execution, including frequent role-playing. He brings a mixture of industry credibility and an engaging teaching style to the class, which sets the tone and brings out the best in his students. Grousebeck is well-known for coldcalling in almost every class. This course is a common “Round Zero” pick for Stanford students.
  • Entrepreneurship and the Formation of New Ventures with Professor Garth Saloner and Professor Jim Phills. Professor Saloner is one of only two faculty members to twice win the Distinguished Teaching Award at the GSB, first in 1993 and again in 2008. He was recently named as the GSB’s new Dean and was instrumental in designing the new curriculum. His focus is e-commerce, entrepreneurship, strategy and strategic management. He teaches the Entrepreneurship course with Jim Phills, who is the Director of the Center for Social Innovation at the GSB. There is another section of this course taught by Andrew Rachleff (another GSB favorite) which is more “tech heavy,” but Garth Saloner is one of the best teachers at Stanford. Professors Saloner and Ellis are known to bring in a formidable line-up of speakers, many of whom are “GSB traditions” who visit year after year.
  • Investment Management and Entrepreneurial Finance with Professor John McDonald. Professor McDonald is known internationally for his work on investment in the context of global equity markets. He is one of the first professors to serve as vice chairman of NASDAQ, and also represented the public’s interest on the Board of Governors of the National Association of Securities Dealers in Washington, D.C. His private equity, venture capital and principal investing courses are some of the best at the GSB and provide insight into the grown of Silicon Valley and other venture capital hotbeds. This is not a technical finance course, but an opportunity for students to listen some of the best financial minds in the industry. It has been described by some students as one of the best finance speaker series in the world.
  • Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability with Professor James Patell, Professor David Beach, and Professor David Kelly. This relatively new course, offered in conjunction with the Stanford School of Design (“”), is quickly becoming one of the top course offerings at the GSB. It is difficult to get into and requires an application. However, the professors teaching the course are very enthusiastic and this helps create a great classroom atmosphere. Professor Patell is one of the seven core founding faculty of the He also served as the GSB’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 1985 through 1991, and was Director of the MBA program from 1986 through 1988. The class takes place over two quarters. While the coursework is exceptionally demanding, it is known to be one of the most rewarding classes at the GSB because the work results in a tangible output and
    students get the experience of working on a project with a multidisciplinary team. Each year, several class projects are taken forward and have real-world impact. In 2006, a team won the Draper Fisher Jurvetson Venture Challenge and $250,000. They launched their company, d.light designs, in June
  • Interpersonal Dynamics. While its name marks it as one of the “softer” classes at the GSB, Interpersonal Dynamics (aka “Touchy-Feely”) is a perennial favorite of GSB students. Almost all MBAs take this course at some point during their second year, with most taking it during the spring. If you have ever heard a GSB alumnus talking about their “t-group”, then you know it is a not-to-be-missed part of the Stanford GSB experience. Interpersonal Dynamics is offered as part of the Stanford GSB’s leadership curriculum and is focused on improving the way managers and individuals communicate.

Today’s blog post was clipped from our Stanford GSB Annual Report, one of 15 guides to the world’s top business schools, available for purchase on our site. If you’re ready to start building your own application for Stanford, Harvard, Wharton, or any other top MBA programs, call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions consultant today!

More Women Than Ever Are Going to Business School

MBA Admissions
According to a new article by Rebecca Knight in the Financial Times (free registration required), the typical MBA classroom now has more women in it than ever before. The article cites a study by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which shows that women now make up about 37% of the student body at traditional full-time business schools in the U.S., up from 33% just five years ago (and up from 30% ten years ago).

This steady progress in closing the gender gap is the result of constant effort on the part of top business schools. In the last decade, schools have started to aggressively recruit students before they even graduate college, host more women-oriented events on campus to help prospective applicants get a taste of life at business school, and partner with organizations like the Forte Foundation (a Veritas Prep partner) to meet more female applicants in their hometowns.

Even better news is that this is not a uniquely American phenomenon — most top business schools in Europe also have attracted more women. INSEAD’s most recent graduating class, for example, was 34% women, up from 23% in 2000.

Admissions officers interviewed by the Financial Times all pointed to one significant disadvantage that MBA programs have in attracting women, compared to other professional graduate programs: Most schools expect applicant to have at least several years of full-time work experience before applying. For some young women thinking of starting a family soon, the idea of needing to build up a few years of professional momentum before even applying to school means that they may have to wait longer than they would like before having children.

This partly explains top business schools’ push to attract younger applicants (such as Harvard Business School’s HBS 2+2 Program). Early results seem to suggest that these programs are in fact attracting more women: About half of the 116 students in the program’s first year are women, compared to the full-time MBA program’s Class of 2010, which is 38% women. (And we’re proud to say that we helped a few of those women get accepted to the program!)

For more advice on getting into the world’s top business schools, be sure to subscribe to this blog and to follow us on Twitter. If you want to get your candidacy started immediately, call us at (800) 925-7737 and speak with a Veritas Prep admissions expert today!

Veritas Prep iPhone GMAT Prep App Reaches More Than 50,000 Downloads!

iPhone GMAT App
With our GMAT prep classes starting around the world this week, we were so hard at work that we almost missed a huge milestone: Our Veritas Prep GMAT Practice Quiz iPhone App has been downloaded more than 50,000 on the iTunes store!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the app, it lets you practice all five GMAT question types — Data Sufficiency, Problem Solving, Sentence Correction, Critical Reasoning, and Reading Comprehension — and do it on your own terms with multiple customization features.

With the GMAT Practice Quiz, you can:
  • Take timed practice exams or focus on subject mastery without worrying about time
  • Use the complete diagnostics provided to better understand your strengths and weaknesses
  • Customize the quiz to practice all five types of GMAT questions or focus on one question type.

The Veritas Prep iPhone GMAT app is 100% free… All you need is an iPhone or an iPod touch and an iTunes account.

Also, we should address the question that we get a lot: “When will the GMAT Practice Quiz iPhone App be available on Android and Blackberry?” Don’t worry… We hear you loud and clear… Stay tuned!