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Recruiters’ Top MBA Schools

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Extract of the article by Ronald Alsop published in Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business in Hanover, N.H.
Tuck received its highest ratings this year for its “well-rounded” students, their personal integrity, interpersonal and communication skills, and teamwork abilities.

University of Michigan

Michigan had rivaled Tuck with its consistently strong showing in the survey in previous years, but some recruiters now complain about both the students and the career-services office. One survey respondent said more Michigan students are demonstrating a “what’s in it for me?” attitude.

“Students weren’t as prepared for interviews and were somewhat more arrogant than in the past,” says David Gallon, a survey respondent and senior strategic research consultant, truck and SUV, for Toyota Motor Corp. in Torrance, Calif.

Northwestern University

Northwestern University is another school that tumbled in the 2007 ranking — to 12th place from sixth — after a number of years near the top of the ranking. Recruiters said they were displeased with the pompous attitudes of some students at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. Some students also proved disappointing in their financial knowledge.
The Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Sloan made a notable gain in the ranking, jumping six places to No. 4. It also moved up three places in the International ranking, to No. 5. Recruiters gave MIT its highest marks for students’ analytical skills and work ethic, and named it more than any other school for excellence in teaching information technology and operations management.

Anderson School of Management – UCLA

Anderson School rose to No. 15 after three straight years in the cellar. Recruiters said they are most impressed for its diversity and energy and for students’ strong leadership, interpersonal and teamwork skills.

Harvard University and Stanford University

Two schools that typically rank low despite reputations for academic excellence — again were criticized for what recruiters said were their students’ inflated egos and excessive expectations. Nevertheless, their graduates still end up landing some of the highest paying jobs.


Brigham Young, in Provo, Utah

Year in and year out, recruiters rave about graduates’ maturity, competitive drive, integrity and international experience, especially from their missionary work for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Academically, the Marriott School receives high marks in the Journal survey for its accounting program. Some recruiters also are finding that more Brigham Young M.B.A.s make a good fit for investment banking. “BYU has put much more emphasis in preparing their students for investment banking,” says Steven Potter, a survey respondent and managing director at Banc of America Securities in New York. “At both the B.A. and M.B.A. levels, they have had outside firms come to the school to give a course on valuation techniques that is much more practical than theoretical.”

Thunderbird School of Global Management

Last year’s top-rated Regional school, experienced quite a turnabout, slipping 10 spots in 2007. Recruiters said the school produces some stars but that it admits too many students who lack enough work experience. Survey respondents also were critical of the many international students with weak communication skills and the need for visa sponsorships to work in the U.S.
“Thunderbird attracts good students who want ex-pat careers, but also average students who can afford the steep price and want to ride Thunderbird’s above-average reputation,” says Tom Kondo, a survey respondent and human resources manager for L’Oréal Paris in New York. “Often times, the average students will claim interest in international or ex-pat careers, but don’t really have the skills or desire to follow through. When we interview there, we always have to weed these students out.” Recruiters said they still consider it the top school in the world for teaching about international business.

Among the biggest gainers this year were three Boston-area schools: Boston University, Boston College and Babson College. Babson placed highest of the three at No. 21, up 14 spots from last year.

Three new schools broke into the top 10: Indiana University, the University of Florida and Emory University. Indiana jumped 10 places to No. 5 this year, as recruiters noted that students are more polished and sharper, especially in their marketing skills, and that the career-services office has become more responsive. The survey respondents awarded Indiana higher scores this year for incorporating experiential learning into the curriculum, faculty expertise and course content, and overall recruiting value.

ESADE and Switzerland’s International Institute for Management Development (IMD) held on to first and second place again this year, while No. 3 London Business School and No. 4 IPADE Business School in Mexico swapped places.
This year, ESADE was rated highest for students’ personal integrity, their teamwork abilities and the career-services office.

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