It’s time to reinvent the MBA

Are MBA programs still viable? Are their graduates still valued by employers? Despite these questions, demand for MBA programs is growing: 84 per cent of companies worldwide plan to add new MBAs to their work force in 2015 – up from 74 per cent in 2014 and 62 per cent five years ago, according to a global survey of employers published by the U.S.-based Graduate Management Admission Council. The MBA is hardly dying, and certainly far from dead. But it needs an overhaul. When MBA programs originated in the United States in the early 20th century, the country had industrialized and companies wanted more scientific approaches to management. Today, most MBA programs – about 10,000 and growing – still use pedagogical approaches designed to legitimize management as a science, lecturing in classrooms and teaching cases on topics derived from disciplinary silos. This is true of even the most established and prestigious MBA programs. The boom of new programs around the world, and increasing competition for the brightest students, ought to spur innovation in curricula. The complex challenges confronting contemporary society, such as addressing climate change, reducing inequality and ensuring the sustainability of health systems, demand it. As leaders of organizations who today employ MBAs around the world, and MBA graduates ourselves, we have insights into what this innovation should look like to ensure MBA programs fulfill their responsibility to prepare leaders able to meet these challenges and have positive impacts on their organizations, communities and society more broadly. At a recent conference celebrating 50 years of the MBA at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management in Montreal, we listened to and learned from more than 200 successful MBA alumni, professors and students from around the world in order to...

The 19 best-value MBAs from Europe’s elite business schools...

Europe has some of the best business schools in the world, and the graduates getting MBAs often see their salaries explode in the years after graduation. But which are the most financially worthwhile for the students attending? How quickly can they make back the money they spend on the MBA after they finish? We took the recently published tuition-fee data from the QS/Top MBA global rankings, and used the top 25 European institutions in the ranks as the elite schools. We also looked at the salary data from the Financial Times’ 2014 European Business Schools rankings. The FT looks at the salary of graduates of each school’s MBA programme three years after graduation, compared to salaries before the course began. Nineteen of the 25 best Top MBA schools were covered by the FT. With this, we worked out what proportion of the total fees you could have paid off with the salary increase you saw over the three years after you finished the course. Of course, that salary increase can’t all be put down to the school, but it’s a good gauge of how quickly graduates are able to recoup the cost of the fees. 18. Imperial Business School: Salary gains pay for 64% of fees in three years. Salary three years after graduation: $103,604 Salary gain in percentage terms: 68% Salary gain in nominal terms: $41,935 Initial MBA fees: $65,691 MBA ranking (Top MBA): 22nd London-based Imperial Business School comes in at No. 9 for the most affordable MBAs in the UK alone. With the increase in salaries seen three years after getting an MBA at Imperial, the average holder could pay for 64% of his or her total tuition fees. 17. University of St. Gallen Business School:...

10 MBA Programs That Stick Grads With the Most Debt...

When it comes to student loan debt, graduate students get slammed. In fact, about 40 percent of the approximately $1 trillion in outstanding student loan debt comes from graduate and professional degrees, according to a 2014 report from the New America Foundation. Unfortunately for prospective MBA recipients, those programs don’t buck the trend. Among the class of 2014, the average debt load for those who borrowed was $56,157, according to data reported to U.S. News by 84 ranked schools. That amounts to about $635 in monthly student loan payments over the course of a standard 10-year repayment plan, according to a student loan repayment estimator. That figure assumes 6.41 percent interest, which was the 2013-2014 rate for federal Graduate PLUS loans. And that doesn’t include any debt borrowed for an undergraduate degree. If that sounds tough, imagine graduating from New York University, where the average loan bill for borrowers in the class of 2014 was $116,533. Repaying that debt – the most of any b-school reporting data to U.S. News – would require more than $1,300 per month on a 10-year plan at 6.41 percent. With an average annual base salary of $112,096, some NYU graduates may be able to handle those monthly bills. For those making less, enrolling in an income-driven repayment plan can help make payments more palatable. On average, 44 percent of 2014 graduates borrowed to earn their MBAs, according to the 77 ranked schools reporting that figure to U.S. News. Of the eight schools among the 10 most debt-ridden reporting that number, 55 percent of 2014 graduates borrowed to earn their degrees. [Discover the eight student loan repayment myths experts want to see disappear.] The following business schools had the highest debt among 2014 full-time...

20 interview questions Harvard asks MBA candidates...

Being among the small percentage of applicants admitted to the No. 1 business school in the world immediately puts you in some seriously good company. Of the nearly 10,000 applicants to Harvard Business School’s class of 2017, only 11% were admitted. What made them stand out? As with any interview or exam, preparation is key. And when applying to Harvard, it’s vital. Stacy Blackman, founder of Stacy Blackman Consulting, helps clients earn admission to top MBA programs. She has an undergraduate degree from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Over the past decade, Blackman has studied successful Harvard interview transcripts. She put together an interview guide featuring sample questions, which are broken into three categories: past experiences, present attributes, and future goals. We’ve selected interview questions in each category from Blackman’s Harvard interview guide. Past experiences Your past experiences can tell a lot about how you’ve dealt with success and failure. When interviewing with Harvard, “expect to be asked a number of questions that will help interviewers gauge how life has tested you and how you responded to that test,” Blackman writes. Sample questions include: Why did you choose to work for your current company? Many people go straight from investment banking to a private equity firm. Why do you feel you need the MBA in between? Describe a situation where you successfully responded to change. Describe a time when you helped someone at work. Describe a mistake you’ve made within the past three years. Describe your greatest accomplishment. How would you describe your style for teaching peers? Tell me about a time you failed. The interviewer wants to know the rationale behind all...

The 5-Minute MBA: Takeaways From Top Business Books...

Who has time to read anymore? Except for billionaires of course, somehow they always find time to read books, newspapers, and the Robb Report. It must be nice to be one of the few lucky people with the financial freedom to spend an hour each day for reading, thinking, and self-improvement. How can ordinary mortals with less than 3 commas ever catch up to them? Getting an MBA at business school helps, but that costs $100,000 and two years. Reading a lot of books is equivalent to an MBA, but then again, if people had time to read entire books they would already be financially independent and not need to read said books. The rich only get richer, because they read! So, as a small personal contribution to the struggle against wealth inequality, we came up with a solution. Compile the top investing and business books and summarize each with a one-sentence takeaway. Absorbing our list of takeaways provides almost all the benefits of reading the books, but only requires five minutes. For example, if we were listing the best movies of each decade and its key takeaway, the first entry would be: The 5-Minute MBA: 90’s movies Passenger 57, starring Wesley Snipes: Always bet on black Now, for your education and amusement, “The 5-minute MBA”. The 5-Minute MBA: Stocks Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd: Use fundamental analysis and buy below intrinsic value The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham: Buy with a margin of safety from Mr. Market Berkshire Hathaway Annual Letters by Warren Buffett: Value investing works Money Masters by John Train: Value investing works with different investors Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits by Philip Fisher: Buy companies that grow Margin of Safety by Seth...

How to Pay for Your MBA Program

Getting into a masters program for business is the first step in achieving your post-graduate education. However, finding out how you are going to pay for your Masters in Business Administration is integral in making the whole plan work. Here are the various costs associated with an MBA program and ideas on how you can affordably pay for it. Masters in Business Administration Costs: While calculating the costs of an MBA program, you should keep in mind that there are many additional costs other than tuition. To get an idea of the comprehensive costs associated with an MBA, factor in all of the costs listed below. Tuition & Fees Registration Fees Loan Fees Room & Board Books & Supplies Miscellaneous Cushion Keep in mind that many school related costs increase each year. A conservative approach is to estimate an increase of 5% in school tuition and fees each year. Other living expenses may increase as well, such as your rent or the price of gas. How to Pay for Your MBA program: There are several ways that you can pay for your MBA program and you’ll likely use all or some of the methods. The first thing every student should do is utilize as many scholarships and grants as possible. Next, you may be eligible for federal assistance for your school fees. You can cash flow a portion of the expenses if you continue to work and allocate some of your income for schooling. If you have money in savings set aside you can use that for school fees as well. Whatever balance is remaining after scholarships, grants, and personal contribution can be covered by student loans. Ways to Cut Back on Costs: One of the best ways to...

Google Most Popular MBA Employer Amid Migration To Tech Sector...

Google has topped the list of the most popular MBA employers in research that confirms a significant shift in business graduate job destinations to the technology industry. Tech has become a magnet for MBA students, who are energizing businesses from e-commerce group Amazon to Apple, the world’s most valuable company. “Technology companies are seen to be the place of innovation and creativity. This is really attractive to MBA candidates,” Paula Quinton-Jones, director of career services for Hult International Business School, told BusinessBecause. Google bested all other companies for the ninth consecutive year to the title of most sought after company among MBAs, with nearly 30% saying the internet search giant was among their top companies to work for. The annual list is compiled by Universum, the employer branding company founded by a graduate of Stockholm School of Economics. Google has doubled the number of business schools it recruits from. Google is already a leading recruiter at top schools including Berkeley Haas, Kellogg and Stanford. Apple, the record smashing iPhone maker, came second in Universum’s list. Apple is looking for MBAs to join its marketing, operations, sales, and internet software and services teams. In its last fiscal year, the company added nearly 9,000 non-retail jobs to its 100,000 strong workforce. At Duke Fuqua School, Apple has hired 74 students and graduates for internships and full-time roles over the past five years alone. Amazon came in at fifth and is highlighted by 12% of MBAs as a desirable employer. The e-retailer has become a symbol of the tech shift at business schools. It is a leading recruiter from most of the top-ranked MBA programs. At Michigan Ross, for example, Amazon hired more MBAs last year than any other company — including...