Articles from Business Insider

Here’s where MBA students want to work the most...

More than a quarter of business school students want to work for large investment banks, but increasingly more MBAs are setting their sights on startups, too. That’s according to an annual survey from Training the Street, which provides financial training courses to students and professionals. It asked 293 first- and second-year MBA students which type of firm would be their top employment choice. Bulge-bracket banks and global financial institutions came in first as the workplace of choice for 26.28% of respondents. 13.65% of respondents chose private equity firms, while 7.51% chose boutique banks. Of note, 7.17% of respondents chose startup companies as their choice place of employment – the highest percentage since Training the Street started providing that option in 2012. The percentage of MBAs looking to work for hedge funds was 4.78%, down from 4.9% last year. Here’s a look at the full tally…Read full story: Business...

6 career moves that are worth more than an MBA...

If your career plan is to become a hedge fund trader or play some other role in the financial services business, you probably need an MBA just as the price of admission. If that’s you, don’t bother reading this post. For everyone else, you may be considering an MBA program as a way to increase your business acumen, enhance your personal brand, and make yourself more competitive. If that’s the case, there may be some cheaper and better alternatives. Let’s run some quick numbers. Tuition and fees for a two year degree program at a top private college will cost you about $120,000. If you earn $50,000 a year, you won’t be making $100,000 during that time. If your living expenses are $45,000 a year, you’ll still need to pay that $90,000. In other words, an MBA from a top business school could cost you as much as $320,000. Invest that amount at an annual return of 5%. and you’ll have roughly $2.3 million when you retire in 40 years. With an MBA, of course, you will earn more in the future. According to New Accountant, an MBA will earn a CFO an estimated $463,440 in extra lifetime income. But that’s only an extra $11,586 a year, which compounds over 40 years to only $1.6 million. Of course, if you get your MBA from a lower tier school, tuition and fees will be less, and you may get your current employer to pay some of your costs. Still, even if you earn the degree in your spare time, there’s still lost opportunity cost. With that in mind, here are six career moves that cost lest than earning an MBA but will probably do more to advance your career and...

3 interview questions every applicant to Columbia b-school must nail...

If you have your sights set on Columbia, it pays to be ready for the kinds of questions they’ll ask during the interview process. Columbia is unique among top business schools in that they don’t require an applicant to undergo an interview as a requirement for admission. However, being granted an interview can be a good sign in Columbia’s notoriously competitive process. Typically, between 5,500 and 7,000 applications to the business school are received each year. In 2010, for example, only 15% were accepted. So answering questions in the right way is key. Here are three sample interview questions from Columbia business school interviews — and tips on how to navigate each. 1. What kind of leader are you? Although this is an open-ended question, it’s best to respond with a concrete example. Giving a list of adjectives, such as “goal-oriented,” “collaborative” or “future-focused,” won’t set you apart from the crowd as much as a brief yet specific story that illustrates the kind of leader you are. Columbia is looking for high-impact leaders who seek out to achieve results — and who get them. However, the way you pursue those results is also important. The school wants students who can work well together on teams and who can leverage the best of what each person brings to the table; after all, these are skills that will serve well not only in the learning community but also in the business world beyond. Make sure to include results in your response. Since Columbia wants high-impact leaders, show how your efforts made a positive impact on a situation or group of people. A good response might include something like, “I am proud to report that we were able to raise $75,000 in...

The best business school for your money may surprise you...

In December Business Insider released its sixth annual list of the 50 best business schools in the world — the schools whose MBA programs have the best reputations, highest starting salaries, lowest tuitions, and best job-placement rates. Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management came in at No. 44 on our overall list. It’s the least expensive US program and least expensive two-year program, and it took first place on our list of the best business schools for your money, making it one of the most underrated MBA programs out there. “When you consider the low cost of the degree, scholarships and high starting salaries, the quality of the education — it’s a very economical MBA program choice,” BYU MBA program director John Bingham told Business Insider. We decided to take a closer look. BYU Marriott School of ManagementFacebook/BYU Marriott School of Management The cost of the degree The tuition and fees for the entire program totals just $47,900. That’s less than half the price of top MBA programs at most private schools in the US and three times less than the $144,340 price tag of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the top school on our ranking. Brigham Young, which is subsidized by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is even cheaper for members of the church: LDS students pay less than $25,000 for an MBA. On top of that, more than 80% of students receive additional scholarship funding of at least a few thousand dollars, so many graduate with little debt. High placement and competitive salaries Three months after graduation, 92% of students have accepted job offers, and another 5% start their own viable companies. BYU puts a large emphasis on entrepreneurship, and...

4 characteristics Wharton looks for in top MBA candidates...

Every MBA program has a personality — and some candidates are a better fit for certain schools than for others. The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School is no exception. After more than 15 years of helping our clients receive highly coveted admissions letters to Wharton, we’ve pulled together some key characteristics that, together, paint a unique picture of what Wharton is looking for in MBA students. Before we launch into the list, one caveat: Knowing what a particular business school is looking for isn’t an opportunity to re-make yourself into what you think their “ideal” student would be. Rather, it’s a chance to find a learning community that values your strengths and where you can make a positive contribution with the unique skills, experiences, and perspectives you bring to the table. If you have your sights set on Wharton, here are a few qualities that successful MBA candidates often have in common. If your values and Wharton’s line up, Wharton might be a great fit for you — and you might be a great fit for their world-renowned MBA program. Here are four characteristics that Wharton looks for in MBA candidates: 1. An innovative mindset “Innovation” is such a buzzword today that it’s commonly used to describe almost everything. But at Wharton, the willingness to take an innovative approach is something they not only look for in prospective MBA candidates — it’s also a standard they hold themselves to, starting with their MBA admissions process. For example, Wharton was one of the first business schools in the US to pioneer a new team-based conversation as part of the interview process, to gauge how candidates express their ideas and relate to others in a conversation that mirrors those they’d have...

The 19 best online MBA programs

An MBA can be a shortcut for ascending the career ladder and boosting your salary. While attending one of best b-schools in the world can be an attractive option — Business Insider published its list of the world’s 50 best business schools in December — for some working professionals it’s not feasible, making online programs a great alternative. U.S. News & World Report recently released their ranking of the best online MBA programs, evaluating schools based solely on data related to their distance education MBA programs in five categories: student engagement, admissions selectivity, peer reputation, faculty credentials and training, and student services and technology. (You can read a full breakdown of the methodology here.) Note that because of multiple ties, the ranking only goes through No. 15. Temple University’s online MBA program took the top spot, followed by Indiana University at Bloomington, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Read on for the rest of the 19 best online MBA programs in the country, according to U.S. News.Read full story: Business...

20 top MBA programs whose grads land jobs right out of school...

Our sixth annual ranking of the 50 best business schools in the world evaluated MBA programs based on reputation, average starting salary after graduation, job-placement rate within three months of graduation, average GMAT score, and tuition and fees. (Read our full methodology here.) Because business school is such a hefty investment, the ability to get a job soon after graduating is an important factor in choosing where to go. To come up with our list of the 20 top business schools for getting a job right away, we broke out the schools by job-placement rate. Some schools that ranked highly on our main list didn’t make this ranking because of lower job-placement figures, such as Harvard (91%) and Stanford (86%). It’s worth noting though that many students at these schools decide to start their own businesses — an employment result that schools don’t factor into their overall job-placement statistic. Keep scrolling to see the best business schools for finding a job after graduating, listed here in ascending order by job-placement percentage. Columbia University — Columbia Business School Location: New York, New York Job-placement rate: 93% Students begin crafting their network and community within the business world the minute they arrive at Columbia, thanks in part to the school’s cluster system, which places first-year students in “clusters” of 65 to 70 people who take all their core classes together. Columbia also counts some of the greatest minds in finance among its alumni, including Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett and former Bank of America executive Sallie Krawcheck. University of London — London Business School (LBS) Location: London, England Job-placement rate: 93% University of London’s business school is once again the best outside the US. With 75% of the top-500 global companies...

Facebook actually does want MBAs – no matter what Sheryl Sandberg says...

Though Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg got an MBA from Harvard Business School, she has questioned whether such a degree actually helps people in the tech industry. In a recent Quora thread, she even went so far as to say: “MBAs are not necessary at Facebook and I don’t believe they are important for working in the tech industry.” Whether or not this is true is hard to pinpoint, partially because Sandberg’s wording is vague. What does she mean by important? Important to get a job, to do you job, to move up the ladder, to start your own business? But there is one part of her claim we can check, one that is useful for anyone considering either an MBA or the tech industry. Do hiring managers in Silicon Valley agree with Sandberg? In other words, does having an MBA matter in getting a job? Research suggests that, in fact, hiring managers don’t agree (even at Facebook itself). Silicon Valley wants MBAs. Tapwage, a job discovery startup, analyzed over 100,000 job listings to find out whether having an MBA mattered in Silicon Valley. They started from this premise: “If hiring managers don’t believe in the value of an MBA, there wouldn’t be any point in stating it as a criteria for selection on job postings.” Looking at Facebook in particular, they found that the company had 75 jobs (9% of total openings) that either had a preference for an MBA (or required one). They found similar or higher percentages at other tech giants like Google, Amazon, and Apple. When Tapwage compared tech companies to Wall Street banks, they found that MBAs were actually in higher demand in tech companies. An example: Facebook looks for three times as many MBAs...

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg says you don’t need an MBA to be successful in tech...

There’s a longstanding Silicon Valley stereotype that MBAs are risk-averse, entitled, and brainwashed into being boring, and are therefore not suited for the fast-paced technology world. The idea of foregoing a formal education to pursue an entrepreneurial venture is furthered by tech leaders like billionaire investor Peter Thiel, who has a $100,000 fellowship for students who drop out of college to start a business. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg may have dropped out of Harvard as an undergraduate, but his COO Sheryl Sandberg followed a more traditional path. She not only graduated from college but also received her MBA from Harvard Business School. She worked for a year as a McKinsey consultant and then spent time in the US Treasury before joining Google in 2001. Zuckerberg recruited her in 2008 to help him take his company to the next level. In a recent Quora post, Sandberg weighed in on the MBA debate, saying that her b-school experience gave her a solid business foundation but that she and the rest of Facebook’s leadership think “degrees are always secondary to skills.” “While I got great value from my experience, MBAs are not necessary at Facebook, and I don’t believe they are important for working in the tech industry,” she writes.Read full story: Business...

7 books every MBA should read before they look for a job...

I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have spent my summer in Palo Alto, California, interning on the data science team at Wealthfront, a startup innovating in the financial services sector. I learned an incredible amount over those 12 weeks, not only about the job I was doing but about the many other areas of our business that are crucial to building a world class company. And while I had fantastic resources and opportunities to learn about startups and hypergrowth companies during my first year through Wharton and Wharton FinTech, living and working in Silicon Valley showed me that there is so much that goes into making a successful technology company that my peers and I don’t get exposure to as MBA students. Working with world class designers, engineers, product managers and the rest of my colleagues over the summer gave me a sense for where some of these gaps in my knowledge were. The many conversations I had with my Wealthfront teammates over Blue Bottle Coffee in downtown Palo Alto gave me insight into what they do every day and where I can learn more. And because Wealthfront is led by executives from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Greylock, and many other Silicon Valley institutions  —  people who have built and invested in billion dollar businesses  —  I felt I had to take full advantage of their knowledge. So I also reached out directly to them to get recommendations on the best places to read about their respective domains from the perspective of someone without specific knowledge of their role and how they think. As a result, I’ve put together what I now call the MBA Startup Reading List: a collection of books (and a few blog posts) that constitute the...

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:...

11 Reasons Why Getting An MBA Beats Getting A CFA...

One of the hottest debates among young Wall Streeters involves six letters — MBA or CFA. We’ve looked at it from the perspective of recruiters, comparing compensation and time spent getting each accreditation, but nothing beats hearing it straight from the horse’s mouth. We reached out to sources who hold either CFA charters or MBA degrees to find out what makes one better than the other. In this particular story, we’re presenting the MBA case. Agree to disagree if you want. Better networking during the process. According to our sources, Business School is where you meet people — your classmates, faculty, speakers, recruiters. They all come to you. A better-connected alumni base. The CFA Institute is trying to get better, but it just doesn’t have the close-knit alumni community that business schools around the country have been fostering for decades. If you think you’ll need that, the MBA is a better option. Better for working in a variety of sectors. Yes, you’ll most likely concentrate in a certain skill set, but with the variety of business classes at your disposal, the MBA is better for working in different kinds of jobs, from business journalism to the C-suite. Better on work-life balance. Yes, a lot of people do business school part time along with a job, and that’s tough, but CFA candidates always do it. To them, full-time business school students probably look as if they’re having the time of their lives. Better name recognition. More people simply know what an MBA is than the CFA. And one CFA charter-holder told us it really hadn’t helped him get a job. “You kind of get it, and then you tell your mom,” he said. Better for mentorship. At business school you...