Wednesday, May 23, 2018

IESE, IMD Once Again Top FT’s Exec Ed Rankings

Executive education programs aren’t cheap. The two-year EMBA program at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the price tag has eclipsed $200,000. 

One thing the rise in cost in executive education hasn’t done: stymie the expansion of programs, degree and non-degree alike. A survey last October by the Executive MBA Council found graduates of EMBA programs to be more desirable than ever, and female enrollment to have risen to its highest point ever at 30.1%. 

Smaller, non-degree offerings have flourished as well. Perceived usefulness is one reason; a target audience of established professionals who can afford to pay whatever is being charged — or who have deep-pocketed employers footing the bill — is another. Perhaps the biggest reason: Non-degree executive education is a big-time cash cow for universities. 

Most leading schools offer programs ranging from a couple days to a couple weeks that can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $40-, $50-, $60,000 or more. They can be scheduled for any time of year, feature any combination of professor or expert presentation, feature re-purposed or customized materials, and be staged at any satellite campus or (better yet) exotic location. An intense few days or few weeks and presto — a handful of certificate-waving grads go marching happily back to work and schools get an infusion of oxygen (read: a bundle of cash). Everyone wins!

As both open executive programs, which offer courses on specific topics directed toward professionals regardless of employer, and customized programs, which are tailored to the needs of the companies that commission them, continue their healthy expansion around the globe, some schools just seem to be doing better at this than others. According to the latest rankings from The Financial Times, released May 13, just as they have been for the last several years Switzerland’s IMD and IESE Business School of Spain are again the twin powers of executive education. In FT‘s 20th iteration of its executive education rankings, IMD, based in Lausanne, has been named No. 1 for open-enrollment programs while IESE, in Barcelona, tops the list in the category of customized executive offerings. That makes seven consecutive years at the top for IMD and four straight years at No. 1 for IESE, which also topped FT‘s composite ranking for the fourth straight year.


Stefan Michel, dean of the IMD executive education program, which teaches “business practices from different industries across the globe” and “how to lead in different cultures, expand your comfort zone, and develop your resilience to cope with the unknown.”

The new rankings signal some interesting developments for U.S. programs, as well. In 2017, Harvard Business School climbed into the third spot in the overall ranking for the first time, but this year HBS has slipped back to No. 5, supplanted by INSEAD at No. 3 and sliding below London Business School, which held steady at No. 4. The consolation for Harvard — whose battery of executive offerings runs from a four-day, $4,500 seminar on nonprofit performance management to a seven-month, four-module “alternative EMBA” for $50,000 — is that it remains the top-ranked U.S. program overall. Others, however, are gaining. Stanford Graduate School of Business, tied for No. 9 last year, moved up two spaces to take sole possession of seventh place in the overall ranking, and the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, 11th last year, moved up three places to land at No. 8. Wharton moved up four places, from 19th to 15th, and MIT’s Sloan School of Management, ranked 17th last year, inched upward to No. 16. Not every U.S. school is headed in the right direction: The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business dropped from No. 13 to No. 18, and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business stayed flat at No. 20.

In the separate open and customized rankings, Stanford — which in February added a new LEAD certificate and in August will add a new data course to its raft of executive offerings — returned to the top 10 in both for the first time in five years (seventh open, eighth customized), even winning top marks for its quality of participants and food and accommodation. Meanwhile, Michigan Ross rose from 20th to 11th in customized and from ninth to sixth in open (including a second-place in facilities), and MIT Sloan vaulted to 15th from 26th in customized even while slipping to 20th from 18th in open. HBS fell from fifth to ninth in customized and from No. 3 to No. 4 in open, despite second -place marks in teaching, quality of participants, and aims achieved, but remains the cream of the U.S. crop. Most other U.S. schools made their mark in one ranking but not the other: among them, UCLA’s Anderson School of Management rose from 20th to 16th in the open program ranking, while UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School moved up two spaces from 12th in the customized ranking. FT even singled out Kenan-Flagler for its consistency, noting that the school has ranked within a six-place range since 2012. UNC landed in the top 10 in six total criteria, including top marks for value for money.

Maybe UNC’s success in customized executive education is a Carolina thing. At No. 2 in that ranking this year, Duke Corporate Education moved out of third place and past IMD for the first time in three years, trailing only IESE. Created in 2000 as a carve-out from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, DCE’s facilities cover Durham, North Carolina, as well as San Diego, London, Johannesburg, Singapore, and Ahmedabad, India. In just 17 years, DCE has reached over 200,000 executives in 75 countries, which makes it the blueprint for every B-school looking to break into the space.


But FT‘s executive education rankings are usually a showcase for European and other non-U.S. schools, and in that regard, the 2018 version is no departure. IESE has held first place in the customized ranking since 2015, keeping its crown this year with top marks in new skills and learning, international clients, and faculty diversity, and near-top marks in just about every other category (see page 2 for an explanation of the rankings methodology). In fact, IESE, which last year rose to No. 2 in the latest Poets&Quants ranking of international business schools, is in the top five in 13 of 15 assessment criteria for customized programs. That was enough to earn an overall No. 1, as well.

IMD, a surprise winner of Forbes’ 2017 Global MBA ranking, was again the top open-enrollment program — as it has been every year since 2012 — thanks to earning the top spot in teaching methods and aims achieved. Demand has intersected with reputation, as the number of campus open-program participants in 2017 increased by nearly 10% to 2,700 from 2016, according to FT, all despite IMD being quite a costly venture: around $20,000 for its signature 14-week program. In the words of a corporate client quoted by FT, “They know what they are doing at IMD. I found the overall mix between training, teachers and participants highly relevant and extremely well thought-out and prepared.”

INSEAD moves up three places in the overall ranking, from sixth to third, thanks in part to its marks in customized faculty diversity (ranked third) and international clients (second). HEC Paris moved up to sixth from seventh in the combined ranking thanks to earning third-place marks in aims achieved and new skills and learning. Oxford Saïd Business School achieves its best performance in the open ranking, up to second, giving it a ninth-place finish overall. And London Business School marked its fifth straight year in the top 10 overall, landing at No. 4, just like last year. LBS has more than 10,000 new students in its exec ed programs each year.

“We are delighted to achieve this top-four position once again, incorporating results for both custom and open-enrollment programs,” Professor Julian Birkinshaw, deputy dean of executive education at LBS, told The Financial. “This ranking confirms LBS as a top performer within an elite group of world-class business schools.”

There were other notable achievements in The Financial Times‘ exec ed rankings. Renmin University of China School of Business joined the list of top customized programs at No. 13 after being unranked last year — and last ranked 49th in 2014. It is rated top for follow-up after the course and second for future use, and also had the highest growth in revenues over the past year.

Chicago Booth School of Business was lauded for rising 11 places to return to the top 10 after falling to 19th last year, its worst performance since 2010. The Booth School has improved on every metric rated by participants, FT says, and earned top marks for preparation and second-best in course design. One participant went so far as to say the program offers “an excellent opportunity for professionals to go back to the academic world and relate their experiences within an academic framework.”

And though it sits at 27th overall, Columbia Business School — whose MBA is ranked seventh by FT and its EMBA-Global Asia, run with LBS and the University of Hong Kong, was second in FT‘s ranking last year — earned special attention for a comeback of sorts. No. 1 in the customized ranking in 2001 and 2002, Columbia had fallen to its lowest rank of 61st in 2017 — but this year it reversed the trend and moved up 13 places to 48th.


A word about methodology. The Financial Times‘ customized ranking features the top 90 B-schools in the field of customized executive education; the second ranking includes the top 80 schools for open-enrollment programs; and the third combined ranking lists the top 50 schools for executive education, calculated from the customized and open tables. To be included, schools must be internationally accredited by either Equis or ACCSB and have garnered revenues of at least $2 million in 2017 from either of their programs. A total of 102 schools took part in either or both rankings this year.

In total, 1,100 clients participated, roughly the same number as the last two years, including 6,800 individual participants, a slight uptick over previous years. The 2018 survey achieved a 57% response rate from organizations, though the individual participation rate stood well below at just 41%.

In open enrollment, respondents evaluated executive programs on 16 criteria. The first 10, whose weight varies from 6.7% (Food) to 8.7% (Course Design, Faculty, and New Skills and Training) account for 80% of the weight and include the following: Class Preparation, Course Design, Teaching Methods and Materials, Faculty Quality, Participant Quality, New Skills and Training, Follow Up, Aims Achieved, Food and Accommodations, and Facilities. These areas are rated on a 10-point scale where a 10 represents the best performance. The remaining 20% of the weight covers school-supplied data like female and international participation, international location, overall revenue growth, partner schools, and faculty diversity.

The customized ranking follows a similar methodology, with aims achieved and facilities swapped out for value for money and future use. In both rankings, the 2018 data accounts for 55% of a ranking, with the remaining 45% stemming from 2017 performance.

2018-2019 Michigan / Ross MBA Deadlines & Essay Questions

The University of Michigan has announced the Ross MBA deadlines for the 2018-2019 admissions season. The school operates its admissions process in three rounds, with decisions being released within a few months of the application deadline.

Michigan / Ross MBA Deadlines for 2018-2019
Round 1
Application Due: October 1, 2018
Decision Released: December 21, 2018

Round 2
Application Due: January 7, 2019
Decision Released: March 15, 2019

Round 3
Application Due: March 18, 2019
Decision Released: May 10, 2019

For more information, applicants should visit the Ross MBA admissions website.

Part 1: Short Answer Questions
Select one prompt from each group of the three groups below. Respond to your selected prompt in 100 words or fewer (<100 words each; 300 words total).

Group 1

I want people to know that I:
I made a difference when I:

Group 2

I was humbled when:
I am out of my comfort zone when:
Group 3

I was aware that I am different when:
I find it challenging when people:

Part 2: Essay
Michigan Ross is a place where people from all backgrounds with different career goals can thrive. Please share your short-term career goal. Why is this the right choice for you? (300 words)

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Columbia Announces New App, Essay Questions

Columbia Business School’s application for 2019 will be available this Monday, May 21, the school announced Friday (May 18) in an email. And it will include two new essay questions among the three required.

CBS joins Harvard Business School as the two schools that have released application deadlines and questions for next year’s entry. The early-decision deadline will be October 3. The Merit-Based Fellowship application deadline will be January 4, 2019, and the final regular decision deadline will be April 10, 2019.

Columbia’s “goal” question precedes its essay questions; similar to last year’s, it opens with: “What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal?” with a 50-character limit. Also similar to last year, the next prompt states: “Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3-5 years and what, in your imagination, would be your long-term dream job?” That question has a 500-word limit.

Essay two varies slightly from the previous year. This year’s prompt, which allows 250 words to answer, is, “How will you take advantage of being ‘at the very center of business’?” Applicants are further asked to watch a minute-and-a-half video featuring Dean Glen Hubbard. Last year’s second essay prompt stated: “The full-time MBA experience includes academics, recruiting, and networking. What are your personal priorities and how do you anticipate allocating your time at Columbia Business School?”

The biggest change comes in the third essay prompt, which states: “Please provide an example of a team failure of which you have been a part. If given a second chance, what would you do differently?” Applicants applying to last year’s entry are asked to pick one of two prompts, which were: “Please tell us what you feel most passionate about in life” and “If you were given a free day and could spend it anywhere, in any way you choose, what would you do?”


According to Betsy Massar, owner and operator of Master Admissions, the second question could be “problematic” for applicants.

“Even with the video of a very animated Glenn Hubbard, the second question is problematic because students get discombobulated by trying to understand what CBS is really looking for,” Massar wrote Poets&Quants in an email. “It also is difficult for students to articulate an authentic answer to this question that shows much differentiation. So that increases anxiety.”

Massar says she is unsure how applicants will respond to the third prompt.

“Unless they are an athlete, I think students will need to think really hard to come up with anything that wins the readers’ hearts and minds,” she says. “I’m sorry they removed the ‘CBS Matters’ question, because that one and last year’s question about being passionate really got people to be introspective. I worry this is just a process question, so we’ll have to see how it goes.

“On the good news side: I’ve been a big fan of the first question; yes, it is the same as last year’s, but that ‘in your imagination’ part really encourages students to think a little bit beyond, and to try to incorporate some vision or purpose in their goal. It’s also a good question for students to start with as they approach the entire business school application process, because if they think about it right, they can connect the dots between their past and their future.”

CBS is the second prominent school to announce application deadlines and essay questions so far this year. Earlier this week, Harvard Business School made big news by not only announcing application deadline dates, but also announcing the termination of the Round 3 application period. 

Harvard’s Round 1 application is due on September 5, a month earlier than CBS’s first round deadline. But the Round 2 deadlines for both schools fall on January 4.

During last year’s application cycle, nearly 6,200 people applied to CBS and 1,019 were admitted, for an acceptance rate of around 16.5%. The average GMAT score for last year’s entering class was 724, with a range of 530 to 790. The average work experience was five years and average age of students enrolling was 28. The class boasted 41% women, 43% international students, and 34% under-represented U.S. minorities.


Goal: What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters)

Essay #1: Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3-5 years and what, in your imagination, would be your long term dream job? (500 words)

Essay #2: How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? Please watch this short video featuring Dean Glenn Hubbard (250 Words)

Essay #3: Please provide an example of a team failure of which you have been a part.  If given a second chance, what would you do differently? (250 Words)

Optional Essay: Is there any further information that you wish to provide the Admissions Committee?  If so, use this space to provide an explanation of any areas of concern in your academic record or your personal history.  This does not need to be a formal  essay.  You may submit bullet points. (Maximum 500 Words)

The Financial Times List of Top MBAs for Finance 2018

While big tech has started to attract top MBA talent over the last few years, the finance sector is still holding its own. Although the types of jobs students are gravitating toward within the industry has shifted some. While banking is still a big draw, there are also new opportunities to work for fintech companies or as part of in-house teams developing digital strategies.

And so the question on many prospective applicants’ minds remains: What’s the best MBA program for a finance-minded student? And the second annual Financial Times ranking of Top MBAs for Finance 2018, released last week, sets out to answer it. The latest list is a spinoff of the FT Global MBA ranking published every January. The difference with this ranking is that it only surveys alumni who work in finance, banking, or fintech three years post-graduation.

To arrive at this year’s ranking, alumni responses were weighted (out of 100 possible points) based on 13 specific criteria. The methodology for ranking included a focus on average salary as well as the average difference in salary pre- and post-MBA. Among the other criteria considered are finance research, value for money, and career progress.

Top Finance MBAs — Where Are They Located?
Overall, U.S. schools dominated the top 50, claiming 27 slots total and all of the top five. As for the best location in the United States, California’s Bay Area took top honors, followed closely by New York and Chicago. British and Chinese schools trailed U.S. schools, with six schools from each landing a spot on this year’s list.

Stanford Tops the Finance Charts
For the second year in a row, Stanford Graduate School of Business ranked as the best Finance MBA. It’s well-paid alumni helped it hold onto its top spot, with an average salary of $252,000—$7,000 over the next closest, Harvard Business School. Also, interest in finance among Stanford graduates is on the rebound, growing from 27 percent to 38 percent between 2017 and 2018.

That same rise in interest can’t be claimed by the two runners-up: the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business (second and third place respectively). At each of those schools, interest in the finance sector is down, while interest in tech is on the rise.

Top 10 MBAs for Finance 2018
1.  Stanford Graduate School of Business
2.  University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School
3.  University of Chicago, Booth School of Business
4.  Harvard Business School
5.  New York University, Stern School of Business
6.  MIT Sloan School of Business
8.  University of Cambridge, Judge Business School
10. Columbia Business School

CEIBS, Columbia Business School, and MIT Sloan all made it into the top 10 for the first time this year. CEIBS moved up 14 slots (from 23rd to ninth), and Columbia rose five places (from 15th to 10th). MIT Sloan was not ranked last year. Meanwhile, three other schools—Oxford Said, Dartmouth Tuck, and Northwestern Kellogg—all slipped out of the top 10.

To learn more about the latest Financial Times rankings, check out the FT article on how finance and banking are fighting against tech giants for MBA talent.






1. 経験を積む方法は、MBA以外にもある

雇用主がMBA取得者を求める理由は、批判的な思考と複雑な問題解決の能力を持っていることにある。こうしたスキルを集中的に磨けるコースやプログラムに参加してはどうだろう? 問題解決スキルを強化するため、現職でできることはないかについても考えること。


2. 応募したい求人にMBAが必須とは限らない

職務内容記述に、MBAを持っていることが「好ましい」ではなく「必須」と書いてあったことはあるだろうか? 求人広告でたとえ自分が持っていないスキルが求められていたとしても、ためらわず応募してほしい。


3. キャリアの目標を見つける方法は他にもある

ネットワーキング(人脈作り)を始め、自分が関心を持っていることは何かを見極める。あなたが心から情熱を燃やすものは何だろう? そのことを既に手がけている人に話を聞き、キャリアチェンジのために何をすべきかについて見識を得よう。今から習得でき、持っていれば変化に一歩近づけるような特定のスキルはあるだろうか?


4. 必ずしも投資回収できるとは限らない


英紙フィナンシャル・タイムズによると、世界の経営大学院トップ100校の現在の学費は、卒業から3年後の税引前給与の8.7か月分に相当する。その他のコストや生活費を加えれば、米国の一流MBAコースに2年間通った場合の費用は総額30万ドル(約3200万円)を超える。これを相殺し、利益が得られるようになるまでにはどれくらいの時間がかかるだろう? 学生ローンの返済がどうなるかなど、考えたくもない問題だ。

たとえ雇用主が授業料を肩代わりしてくれるとしても、それには時間という代償が付いてくる。雇用主へのコミットメントとして、その会社で働かなければならない期間は何年になるだろうか? 5年以上も転職できないのであれば、新たな学位を得る意味などあるだろうか? 時間をあまり浪費せずに済むような他の方法で自己投資を開始しよう。



Friday, May 18, 2018

Harvard Eliminates R3

With more and more MBA candidates filing their applications in the first and second rounds, respectively in September and January. HBS is eliminating its third and final round. The school will retain a spring round, however, for applicants to its 2+2 deferred admissions program.

Round three accounts for fewer than 5% of Harvard’s incoming class of roughly 930 MBAs in recent years. But students who get dinged by HBS are then more likely to accept offers from other top MBA programs.

The impact of the decision will more likely fall on rival schools who often hold out more seats in their classes as HBS decisions cascade down to their MBA programs. HBS will no longer need to carry candidates on a waitlist into a final round. The earlier release of those applicants will speed up admission decisions at a number of schools.

HBS already had announced that its Round 1 deadline for the 2018-2019 admissions cycle will be Sept. 5, with a round two deadline of Jan. 4th. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Is A One-Year MBA The Right Fit For You?

So, what’s the difference between a one-year and a two-year MBA program?  The answer is much more complex than 365 days. Four crucial differences are outlined below, which should all be carefully considered when determining the most appropriate program to pursue.

1. The cost

Less time spent in a program means less cost-of-living expenses and only one year of tuition to fund. If you’re looking for a high ROI based on both time and financial commitment, the one-year MBA is an excellent option.

Keep in mind, however, that just because the one-year MBA takes half the time, it won’t necessarily cost half the money. When calculated on a ‘cost-per-hour’ basis (believe it or not, a few of my fellow MBA students did indeed use this calculation to decide whether waking up for an 8am class was literally ‘worth their time’), one year MBAs are almost always marginally more expensive.

After factoring in an entire additional year’s salary, however, that increased cost is typically made up several times over.

2. The content

I like to think of the one-year MBA as diving straight into the deep end of a swimming pool, while a two-year MBA is metaphorically easing into the shallow end and taking time to get your feet wet, adjust to the temperature, and contemplate exactly what you are about to plunge yourself into.

One-year MBA programs typically do not waste time with an overview of the basics and instead jump into the deeper content within the first few weeks. This means students must either choose their areas of focus sooner or do a lot of research on the basics on their own.

Consider this when reflecting on your purpose for pursuing an MBA in the first place: career switchers may find more value in an extended exploratory phase, while those looking to advance at a more rapid pace may prefer one-year MBAs.

3. The jobs

An obvious difference between the two types of programs is that a two-year MBA requires students to be away from the workforce for double the amount of time. This means one year less salary, one year away from coveted promotion opportunities, and one year of potentially missing out on chances to build a long-term reputation in the workplace.

However, one critical benefit of the two-year MBA is that the course structure is literally built for pursuing a summer internship. Having an entire summer dedicated to trying your post-MBA position before fully committing can be instrumental for a person switching industries, changing geographies, or trying a new type of role.

Speaking from experience, I feel obligated to warn prospective students that they will likely have to do a lot of cold-calling and independent searching to even have a chance for an MBA internship if they are pursuing a one-year program. When weighing the two types of programs, consider what is more important to you: another year in a full-time position, or an opportunity to test the waters before diving into a new role?

4. The people

Having only one year to form bonds with classmates is both an upside and a downside to the one-year MBA. A massive benefit of earning an MBA is building relationships—both personal and professional—that will last long after graduation.

A two-year MBA offers the opportunity to cultivate those bonds gradually and meaningfully, with ample opportunity to find your crew and experiment with new groups along the way. By the last few months of your program, you’ll undoubtedly start to feel a sense of nostalgia for the memories you’ve made and develop a sense of tenderness for your classmates.

What surprised me about a one-year program, however, is that those inevitable warm fuzzy feelings started early—the intensity of the program, the sense of urgency in an accelerated timeframe, and the jam-packed schedule of a one-year MBA quickened the pace of the relationship-forming stage and lit a fire under students to reach out to each other proactively in ways they never would have if they had an entire year more to get to know each other.

While there was certainly less time to bond, there was a sense of camaraderie almost from the start in my one-year program. That feeling of community was special, and likely could not have been achieved in a longer program. andrea-oxford
There is no perfect MBA program and no definitive answer for which type of MBA structure is ‘better’; but there is absolutely an answer for which is best for you—the guidelines outlined here can help you start to discover it.