MBA Networking

It is not what you know, but who you know. One of the most often mentioned advantage of an MBA is the quantity and quality of people you meet. You will probably forget what you learn a few years down the road, but your contacts will remain.

The Top Business Schools for Networking

Online graduate school guide graduateprograms.com has published its list of the top 25 business schools for networking. Over 13,000 business school students and alumni were surveyed and asked to rank their schools’ network quality on a scale of one to 10. Networking is amongst the foremost components of professional life. For MBAs, a business school is a networking nirvana; a melting pot of aspiring business leaders, experts and entrepreneurs providing an endless pool of potential partners, colleagues, employers and employees. Stanford GSB took first position with a network quality of 9.90. Columbia and Harvard made up the top three. INSEAD came close behind in fourth position with 9.75; its Fontainebleau campus the chief networking hub in Europe. With the rankings dominated by US schools, INSEAD along with London Business School in ninth fly the flag for Europe. Making up the rest of the top ten are Texas A&M University and Chicago’s Booth School in joint fifth; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in seventh; the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in eighth; and Cornell University: Johnson in tenth. Exposure to a strong network of business professionals is crucial for an MBA’s future career development. MBA applicants choosing and comparing business schools will always have networking opportunities at the forefront of their minds. The top business schools for networking boast an impressive array of high-level alumni. Stanford’s influential MBA alumni include the CEO of eBay, John Donahoe, and the chief executive of General Motors, Mary Barra. Harvard yields an impressive amount of top CEOs including the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, and the CEO of General Electric, Jeffrey Immelt. INSEAD is also a breeding ground for successful professionals, including the CEO of Lloyds Banking Group, Antonio Horta-Osorio,...

Building a network just as valuable as the MBA degree itself...

If I had to choose one takeaway to share as I make the transition from my MBA into the corporate world, it would be that relationships matter. Period. Looking back on my journey submerged in textbooks, case competitions, formulas and all-nighters puts a smile on my face. I acquired a top-calibre education, instilled the proper work habits, refined my teamwork aptitude and, most importantly, expanded my network in all the right ways. Mission accomplished, right? Absolutely. To me, my network is everything. But let’s rewind and unravel this topic further. It’s fascinating how what’s important changes based on immediacy and circumstances – and both graduate school and life thereafter can certainly attest to this. Let me give you an example. As a sales and marketing professional now, my to-do list is far from building pro formas, balancing income statements or calculating the EBITA of a potential investment. But a few months ago this stuff was important and consumed me. It’s incredible how fast-paced and volatile life and business are these days. Having a quality, diverse and expanded network with meaningful relationships can act as your foundation no matter the flavour of the week. A constant and stabilizer, if you will. The old saying “it’s not what you know, but who you know” is fundamentally changing the way we conduct business. I make sure to invest, cultivate and nurture my network every chance I get by keeping up-to-date. There’s really no point in having a network if you only reach out to it when you need something. Relationships take work and attention, and your circle of colleagues and acquaintances is no exception. I jumped into an MBA to gain business acumen and came out with the network, tool set and...