News, advice and resources for business school applicants

MBA News

A collection of news items from MBA programs and about the business school admissions process.

A PEEK Is All It Takes: HBS’s Innovative Initiative to Woo Women


HBS Professor Youngme Moon teaching PEEK students Photo credit: Evgenia Eliseeva

For Priyanka Krishnamoorthy, a 2015 Mt. Holyoke graduate working in investment banking at Bank of America, a recent weekend at Harvard Business School (HBS) helped set her sights on pursuing an MBA. The Sri Lankan native majored in economics and minored in math and had been thinking about business school for a while. She originally read about PEEK—an innovative weekend program HBS debuted last month for students from women’s colleges—in an article in the paper. She decided to apply after attending an information session HBS held at neighboring Smith College. “They pitched it really well as a way to see what HBS is like,” she recalls. “On campus you hear a lot about PhD programs and law school, but not about business school.”

For Krishnamoorthy, the highlight of the weekend was getting to meet current HBS students and alumnae and hearing about the decisions they made both before and after business school. Just a few weeks into her own first job, she found their choices really eye-opening. “I thought there was a set path to it, but they all said, ‘No, you can come from anywhere.’” She was encouraged multiple times throughout the weekend to think of the MBA more as a master’s in leadership than a master’s in business administration. Continue reading…

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NYU Stern Ranked Number One in Support of LGBTQ MBA Students

stern LGBTQLast week’s momentous Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality helped more people than ever before feel like the United States is a great place to be part of the LGBTQ community. Maybe it got you wondering about which business schools are the best places to be part of that community?

As it turns out, there’s a ranking for that. And this year, New York University (NYU) Stern School of Business soared to the top, winning recognition for getting more of its student body involved to help foster an LGBTQ-inclusive campus culture than any other top business school.

The MBA Ally Challenge rankings, released in June, are the culmination of a year-long competition launched by nonprofit organization Friendfactor as part of an effort to encourage straight people to become visible and active allies in their workplace and campus communities.

Twenty-three schools participated this year, shattering prior records. Together, the business schools involved 9,000 students as allies—more than double last year’s participation of 4,300—and hosted more than 280 events and activities. Collectively, the schools improved LGBTQ inclusiveness on campuses by 30 percent based on measures taken at the beginning and again at the end of the school year, Friendfactor reports. Continue reading…

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Fuqua Admissions Dean Dishes on Essays and Life

fuqua admissionsIt’s not every admissions director who will make time during her vacation to discuss how prospective business school applicants should approach their essays. And yet Liz Riley Hargrove, associate dean for admissions at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, did just that. Speaking from North Carolina’s Outer Banks this morning, before the kids woke up ready to head to the beach, she shared insights with Clear Admit on the essay prompts released last week.

Not a lot has changed this year in terms of Fuqua’s application, it turns out. Applicants will find they have twice as much space in which to answer three short-answer prompts—one on short-term goals, one on long-term goals and one on an alternative plan should that first short-term goal not pan out. This year candidates get 500 characters for each response, up from 250 last year. “We wanted to give candidates a little more opportunity to expand upon their responses,” she says of this year’s doubled answer field. Continue reading…

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Kellogg and Wharton Lead Schools in “Snapshot” Appeal

snapshotClear Admit’s latest series of School Snapshots—free overviews of the leading business schools’ MBA programs—have been out for just over two weeks, with more than 1,000 downloads to date. For the quants among you, we thought we’d have a little fun with the data.

If the Snapshots are a proxy for which schools are most appealing to those in the early stages of exploring MBA options, then Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania tie for first place, with 72 downloads each. Continue reading…

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MBA Provides Both Immediate and Lasting Value, Say Graduates

Type “the MBA is” into Google, and the autocomplete box fills with inauspicious indicators of the degree’s value. “The MBA is losing its magic” is followed by “the MBA is worthless” and “why the MBA is a waste of time and money.” Students graduating with an MBA disagree—and quite emphatically—according to a survey report released today at the annual Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) Conference in Denver.

“Business school graduates are clear in their judgment that their degrees not only provided immediate value, but lasting value,” Bob Alig, GMAC’s executive vice president for school products, said in a statement announcing the results. Indeed, nine out of 10 of the more than 3,000 graduating business school students who responded to the GMAC Global Management Education Graduate Survey (GMEGS) rate the value of their degree as good to outstanding, and 88 percent would recommend their program to others considering a graduate business degree. Continue reading…

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Today’s Mobile Generation Wants Business School Admissions on the Go

smartphoneBusiness schools that aren’t meeting prospective applicants on their mobile devices and via social media may need to rethink their strategy—and fast. This according to a recent survey measuring how today’s mobile generation consumes media as part of the MBA admissions process. Results of the survey, conducted by Southwark Consulting and the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), were released last week.

“Everyone has read stories and surveys about this newest generation shifting its media consumption habits,” says Southwark consultant Alex Brown, who co-authored the study. “The interesting thing about this study is that it is the first one to specifically target people applying to or considering business school.” The survey’s 743 respondents from around the world were all registered on, the official website of the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), which is the primary entrance exam for business school applicants. Continue reading…

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Cornell’s Johnson School Admission Director Shares Excitement about Forté Conference

Judi-Byers-2Current MBA students and alumni from leading schools around the country and the globe convened yesterday and today for the 2015 Forté Foundation MBA Women’s Leadership Conference, held this year at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Representatives from Forté’s sponsor schools are as important a part of the conference as the student attendees. Admissions directors and others from Forté’s 48 sponsor schools attend in order to meet students, learn from speakers and network with sponsor companies. They also share their own challenges and triumphs as they relate to enhancing the experience of current and prospective female MBA students.

Judi Byers, executive director of admissions and financial aid at the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, shared her excitement via Twitter about attending this year’s conference. Clear Admit caught up with Byers, who joined the Johnson School earlier this spring, to learn a little more about what she most hoped to gain from the event. Continue reading…

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Forté Foundation Women’s Leadership Conference Draws Record Attendance

Forte Foundation conferenceCurrent female MBA students and alumni have come out in droves this year for the 2015 Forté Foundation MBA Women’s Leadership Conference, taking place now at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Kicking off with a sponsors meeting on Thursday for school and company representatives, followed by a career-focused day of programming yesterday and a day centered around professional development today, the conference this year has welcomed 459 MBA women and alumni, in addition to more than 100 speakers and presenters. For those who don’t know Forté, it is a nonprofit consortium of leading companies and top business schools devoted to launching women into successful business careers.

“I think we have pulled together some really interesting topics that a lot people want to hear about,” says Elissa Sangster, Forté Foundation executive director, when asked what contributed to this year’s record attendance. “We are excited to see it all come together.” Continue reading…

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A European MBA: Right for You?

european MBA

IESE in Barcelona, Spain

With the dollar reaching a 12-year high against the euro earlier this spring, much ink has been spilled about how the time is right to head to Europe for an MBA. Indeed, pursuing a graduate management education abroad can present a range of advantages for American students—with cost savings chief among them, especially given the recent relative strength of the dollar. That said, the decision of whether or not to head to one of Europe’s top business schools is a highly personal one best made after careful consideration of many factors that extend well beyond any savings tied to currency rates.

“Oh yes, I definitely did benefit from the exchange rate,” says Alexander Eldred, a Washington, DC native currently completing his MBA at France’s HEC Paris. As luck would have it, Eldred paid the bulk of HEC’s 52,000 euro tuition in March, right as the euro dipped to 1.05 to the dollar. Had he paid the entire tuition then, it would have amounted to $54,600 for a degree that just a year earlier would have run him $72,280. Add to that living expenses, which are similarly lower than they have been historically thanks to the exchange rate, and the savings stack up.   Continue reading…

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Berkeley Haas Center Expands Social Sector Leadership Focus

social sector leadershipA new name and a new logo help trumpet the expanded mission of a center devoted to advancing social sector leadership at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business. Previously known as the Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership, the renamed Center for Social Sector Leadership (CSSL) seeks to help develop a new generation of business leaders focused on fostering social impact across the public, private and nonprofit sectors, the school reports.

“The future requires collaboration between these sectors, and Berkeley-Haas is arguably the best place to define how this next generation of problem solving works,” Ben Mangan, executive director of the rechristened Center for Social Sector Leadership, said in a statement. The center focuses on training MBA students to become multi-sector leaders, helping them build skills that will serve them as corporate leaders, public advisors and members of nonprofit and social enterprise boards. Continue reading…

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Stanford GSB Students Single Out Marketing Professor for Distinguished Teaching Award

Jonathan Levav

As part of commencement exercises last week, MBA students at Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) celebrated an associate professor of marketing for his contributions in teaching and student impact, the school reports.

Jonathan Levav, who joined Stanford in 2011, teaches a management foundation class entitled “Project Launch,” in which students learn how to analyze market situations to determine whether a product launch makes sense. He also teaches an elective called “From Launch to Liquidity,” which calls on students to examine the challenges start-ups face in achieving liquidity from the perspectives of organizational behavior, marketing and finance. His research—which combines laboratory and field experiments with secondary data analysis—focuses on consumer behavior and behavioral decision theory. Continue reading…

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