MBA

MBA Mondays: Financial audits

auditOn Mondays, sometimes I like to discuss business topics when I have the chance.

MBA Mondays is an idea I got from Fred Wilson.  The issue this Monday is financial audits. I have been thinking about audits recently, since we spend a lot of time going through them for deals that we work on.

See below for a few short tidbits on a financial audit.

What? A financial audit is an audit of a financial statement.  An audit means the verification of the accuracy (e.g. truth) and reasonableness of the financial statements.  The audits usually (but not always) result in an opinion band the opinion is intended to assure various parties that the financial statements are fair and that they give a fair view of the company based upon the accounting standards.

Are they a guarantee? No. An audit is intended to provide reasonable assurance, but it does not give a guarantee.

Who? Audits are usually done by audit firms. These are firms with licensed accountants who are experts in the field. They are almost always independent third parties.

Why? An audit (and the opinion) is intended to assure various parties that the financial statements are true and reasonable.  More specifically, it is intended to ensure that the company is not doing anything that is materially misleading its filings. This is why it is done by an independent third party.

Why does it matter?  These can be important in transactional work. In any sort of transaction, one company usually needs to be valued, because it is being sold or acquired, or its stock is being sold or acquired.  In order to value a company, a buyer and seller should understand things like assets and liabilities, cash and cash equivalents, property and equipment, and the short and long term debt of the company, among other things. Financial statements presented by the company have these numbers, thus the financial audit are important to help prove that the numbers the company gave are reasonably correct.

Layman’s Terms:  Think about it like your tax return.  You could purposefully put misleading information in to save money ever year. Moreover, even if you try to get it right, you may accidentally still get things wrong or mislead the readers. In many cases, the government will do an audit, to make sure what you submitted is correct.  That’s why tax firms will often audit the forms first, to make sure everything passes the test of reasonableness.

Keep in mind that this is the short version. The audits can become quite a bit more complicated than this.

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Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013 Business School, MBAMondays No Comments

Best Brands in the US

US MapVerizon, AOL, Apple and Starbucks all have something in common.  In a recent study, each of the companies was listed as its state’s most famous company by where the company was founded.  Just one question: what happened to McDonald’s in Illinois?

Here’s a map of the U.S. by each state’s most famous company.  If you go to MBA programs, many of these companies will recruit on campus, like Starbucks, Nike, Apple and Coke. In fact I have friends at all of these companies.

If you go to law schools, these companies tend to have big GC’s offices but don’t usually do any formal recruiting.  But these are the companies you will probably want to go after one day to pay your law firm bills. I know people at firms who work with Aol, Verizon and Bank of America.

My one comment and concern is trend with the size and purpose of most of these companies.  While many of these companies have done well running their businesses over time, I would also love to see more innovative and socially conscious companies make the list. Start-ups, nonprofits or bigger companies who care more about the world around them and are doing more about it. Starbucks does come to mind as one of those companies that did make the list. Otherwise, it’s a pretty interesting list to discuss.

Do you see any companies that should be on the list but didn’t make it? Dell, Google, and again McDonalds? I’d be curious to hear your thoughts.

NOTE:  By the way, a hat tip to my friend PJ Leonard, who recently started as a Product Manager at Starbucks corporate headquarters in Seattle on Monday.  

US Map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLICK HERE for the full article.

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Thursday, June 27th, 2013 Business School, Leadership 1 Comment

Most MBA Applicants …

… apply to business school the same way. They have very similar backgrounds, use the same stories, focus on the same parts of the applications and hope to get into the same schools. Most MBA applicants are smart but here is the problem

 

Most MBA applicants apply to the same business schools and dont think as much about fit

Most MBA applicants write about making a difference but won’t consider a job in that field post-business school

Most MBA applicants are more eager to get high paying jobs than to do what they are passionate about

Most MBA applicants are persuaded heavily by money when it comes to choosing school and careers

Most MBA applicants don’t focus enough on the essays and overall story when applying

Most MBA applicants talk a lot about leadership roles in their applications instead of leadership experiences

Most MBA applicants aren’t afraid to embellish if it will help get them into school

Most MBA applicants don’t write a clear compelling story about who they are in their application

Most MBA applicants get rejected from more than one school

 

Fortunately, if you like reading my blog (and not blogs about “odds” of getting in), then you’re probably not like most MBA applicants

 

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Thursday, August 30th, 2012 Admissions, Business School No Comments

Now what?

What do I do now? That’s the question people a lot of people are asking themselves.  MBAs that just finished business school. Law students that just finished the bar exam. Friends and colleagues that finished their big project that kept them captive at work.

Often times, we encounter big taks and we have to go face to face with really hard work. And the harder the work the busier we all become.  And I suspect that the trend never really ends. But  every time there comes a point where it all comes to an end. Life has to go on. And we have to figure out what to do next.

In most cases that’s easy with a little advanced planning. That’s why most people plan trips after a big exam. Family vacations after your big project at work. Places you’ve always wanted to go if you decide to finally quit the job you’ve always wanted to quit.

But what happens when the work is harder than you thought? When time slips away? Then you find yourself asking, “now what.”

Advice from someone smart that has been there: “Enjoy your freedom. It’s not going to last.”

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Thursday, July 26th, 2012 Business School, Careers No Comments

MBA Internship Success

Thousands of MBAs finished their first year of business school just last week and went off into the workforce to start their summer internships. Some of them went into consulting. Others into banking and finance. And another group went to marketing, operations, general  management and a variety of other positions. But no matter which industry people went into, most of them do have two things in common. Not only do they want to do enjoy the experience but they also all want to  get an offer at the end of the summer.

Sure, it might still be early, but there’s a lot of things you can do now to make sure you get your offers. But don’t take it from me, take it from this great article I found on BusinessWeek.com.  See the MBA advice they gave.  I did this morning and it looks pretty solid to me.

CLICK HERE for the BusinessWeek article. See below for the first few lines.

 

———

Avoiding MBA Internship Blunders

By now everyone living in the world of MBAs knows that the summer internship is really a two-month interview to determine if the candidate fits in well at the company and merits a full-time job offer.

“If a student completes the internship without (a) acquiring new skills, (b) developing a list of new contacts and professional relationships and mentors, it was time wasted,” writes Vicki Lynn, senior vice president for client talent strategy and employer branding at Universum USA. “The internship is an opportunity to grow and develop professionally, add to skill sets, and acquire mentors and references—for the next opportunity.

But like any opportunity, an internship can also be a potential minefield. Mistakes that can sabotage any hope of a future with the employer are shockingly easy to make. Here are seven of the biggest blunders MBA interns make and how to avoid them:

Mistake No. 1: Partying Too Hard

CLICK HERE to read the rest of the BusinessWeek article.

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Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 Business School, Careers No Comments

Our MBAs 25 Years From Now

As recent grads from business school, we all can’t help but wonder how the next few years will be. And how they will be different than if we hadn’t chosen to come to business school, or to Kellogg. Will we be happy? Will we make enough money over the next two decades? And will it be more now that we went to business school? And will we be married, will we stay in touch, and will we be glad we went through the journey? While those questions are undeniably hard to answer, one recent survey did get some good information from one class of MBAs 25 years ago.

In short, members of the Harvard Business School class of 1968 were asked 85 questions about their professional and personal lives years after graduation. Alums were asked if their lives have been easier or harder than expected, whether they were happy and how they thought about business school and life in general.

I’ll note that I can’t speak for the survey in any capacity. Not the methodology, result, legitimacy, accuracy of the reposting online, validity or anything else about the survey.  Rather, the reposting and analysis was created and posted on a website called, Poets and Quants.  And I simply reposted here as I know a number of my readers will find it interesting.

Below is the result of the survey and an analysis. The results were originally posted here  at this link: http://poetsandquants.com/2012/06/15/25-years-later-class-portrait-of-the-lives-of-harvard-mbas/

 

Can an MBA from a top school make a big difference in your life?

Just about all the applicants to Harvard, Stanford, Wharton and other top business schools in the world believe that’s the case. Otherwise, they wouldn’t quit their jobs and attend a prestigious school in a two-year MBA program that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. And the research largely conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council shows that the vast majority of MBAs have no regrets. GMAC’s 2012 survey showed that 95% of MBAs and business school alumni rated the value of their degree as outstanding, excellent, or good. Nine out of 10 alumni say their graduate management education prepared them for their chosen careers.

Aside from such vague macro data, however, there’s generally little information that reveals what really happens to those who earn an MBA from a top school years after they’ve entered the workforce—until now. Poets&Quants obtained the results of a survey of Harvard Business School’s Class of 1986 that was done for its 25th reunion last year.

Members of the class were asked 85 questions that yielded revealing answers about their professional and personal lives at mid-life. Alums were asked if their lives have been easier or harder than expected, whether they believe America is a better place to live and work now, and if they ever had to hire a defense attorney. They were asked how they met their life’s partners, whether they divorced or stayed married, how much money they make, and what their personal net worth is.

A CLASS PROFILE THAT IS RICH IN DETAIL AND EXTRAORDINARY FOR ITS CANDOR 

Because the answers were only intended for the class and not the public, the results are extraordinarily candid and frank. Some 271 members of the class responded to the survey, representing 35% of the total class and 42% of the alums for which Harvard had current street or e-mail addresses.

This is a class that has endured three recessions, including the recent economic collapse that has been the most severe downturn since the Great Depression. It is also a class that has seen vast changes in the world of work, from the sizable impact of international competition to the growing use of technology in every aspect of life. The class has seen dramatic upheavals in societal and cultural norms, from marriage and divorce to the decline of Corporate Elite and the rise of the entrepreneur.

In the year the class graduated, Ronald Reagan was President and Mike Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history. A gallon of gas cost 89 cents and the average income in the U.S. was $22,400. A Tandy 600 portable computer cost $1,594 (Apple had only introduced the first Macintosh computer a year earlier). Computers ”were so heavy we all needed help getting them into our dorm rooms and since we were the first class in the history of HBS to have computers, the spreadsheets were incredibly buggy,” recalls Pamela Meyer, one of the ’86 women who made up 24% of the class.

SOME 47% OF THE CLASS HAS BEEN FIRED FROM A JOB, 14% HAVE BEEN DIVORCED

The result of the reunion survey is a fascinating profile of a class, a rich mosaic with both substantive and frivolous facts. Some of the more telling tidbits:

  • Even Harvard alums are not immune from downsizings and firings. Some 47% of the class said they had been involuntarily dismissed from a job, while 13% said they have been fired twice and 4% reported having lost a job three times in their 25 years since graduation.
  • Sex isn’t a very high priority for the Class of 1986–at least not that they are 53 to 55 years of age. Just 3% of the alums say they want more sex. The highest priorities? Time (31%), health (18%), and peace of mind (13%).
  • More members of the class have hired personal trainers (43%) than therapists (41%) or cosmetic surgeons (7%).
  • Slightly more than one in four alums have gained 11 to 20 pounds since they wore their cap and gown. Some 15% put on 21 to 30 pounds, while 5% tip the scales with weight gains of 31 to 50 pounds.
  • A third of the class (33%) admitted to having slept with someone whose last name they didn’t know (37% for men, 17% for women).
  • One in four own 25 or more pairs of shoes (58% of the women and 15% of the men).
  • One in five (20%) have skydived, while one in three (32%) completed a marathon.
  • About 21% met their spouses at their undergraduate schools, while 14% found their spouses at Harvard Business School (12% in the same Class of 1986 and 4% in the same HBS section). Another 12% met at work.
  • The Class of 1986 apparently wasn’t into the bar scene. Only 3% of the class met their spouses at bars. Some 6% said they met at a party, and 4% met randomly on a plane or in a taxi.
  • Some 14% of the class is divorced, with another 1% separated. About 5% divorced and remarried.
  • Some 18% dated someone they met online, but only 3% of the class married the person they met on the Internet or by some “other commercial means.”

The survey addressed most of the obvious questions any applicant would want to know, including what contribution did a Harvard degree make toward a successful life, how much money does an HBS graduate make 25 years after graduation, and how much personal wealth can a Harvard MBA accumulate in a quarter of a century. The answers are all here as well and they are eye-opening.

MEDIAN NET INCOME: $350,000   MEDIAN NET WORTH: $6 MILLION

For a group that has lived through three recessions, including the worst since the Great Depression, the Class of 1986 is doing pretty well, thank you. The median annual income of a ‘86er last year was $350,000. Slightly more than one in four class members reported annual income of $1 million or more, while 8% of the class said they earned more than $5 million last year.

The median personal net worth for the class was a heady $6 million. But that number only tells a small part of the story. Some 19% of the class reported net worth between $20 million and $100 million. About 4% of the class said their personal net worth exceeded $100 million.

As for other material toys:

  • Nearly one in eight (77%) owned a second car.
  • Four in ten (42%) owned a vacation home.
  • One in four (25%) owned a boat.
  • One in ten (10%) owned a full or fractional share of a private airplane.

What about the hard luck cases? About 8% said their personal net worth was below $1 million, with 3% in the under $400,000 bracket. Some 5% said they were making $100,000 or less last year. Asked if the post-2008 recession caused them to “consciously economize or otherwise had a tangible impact on your lifestyle,” only 18% of the class said “yes, meaningfully.” Some 41% answered “yes, somewhat,” while the 40% said “no.”

36% FOUNDED A COMPANY THAT EMPLOYED 25 OR MORE PEOPLE

Very few members of the class are traveling on the rocky ground, to paraphrase a recent Bruce Springsteen song. About 36% of the class founded a company that eventually employed 25 or more people, and an extraordinary 14% have been climbed into the C-suite at a Fortune 1000 company with the title of chief executive, chief financial officer, or another C-position.

How did their lives, 25 years later, match up with their expectations of what would happen? When asked how similar or different has life been from what you expected, only 17% said it was pretty much what they expected. Some 24% said it was “different,” 12% said “extremely different,” and nearly one in ten (9%) checked the box with the statement “What the hell just happened the last 25 years?” The largest single group of the class, 38%, said life has been “reasonably similar with a couple of curve balls.”

PERSONAL LIFE HARDER THAN EXPECTED AT GRADUATION FOR ONE IN FOUR

When asked if life had been harder or easier than expected, only one in ten (10%) of the class said their professional lives have been easier, while 16% thought their personal lives have been easier. A surprising number of Harvard alums believe their lives have been more difficult than they ever imagined. Some 38% said their personal life was harder than expected, while 30% said their professional careers have been harder. (Some 46% said their personal life has so far turned out as expected, along with 59% for their professional life.)

As for the bottom line answer to was the Harvard MBA worth the sacrifice, the class was understandably in agreement that the degree was an important ingredient in its success. Only 1% of the class–three of 271 respondents–believed their Harvard MBA was “not a particularly productive use of my time or money.” Nearly half (48%) described it as “one of the best decisions of my life.” Another 34% said it was a “very important contributor to my career.” Only 13% admitted that going to Harvard for an MBA was “a responsible move professionally but not a big impact on my overall life.” On a less serious note, 3% of the class agreed to the statement “when I meet people who went to Stanford, I am secretly envious.”

What did the class find to be the most valuable part of getting an MBA from Harvard? Some 28% of the alums said the top answer was the “ongoing professional credential” of the degree, while 22% said it was “placement in job after school” and 21% said it was mainly the “education.” About 13% believed the degree’s primary benefit was the “personal self-confidence” it bestowed. One in ten (10%) identified “classmates for social reasons” and 6% said the “network of alumni professionally.” Some 3% said it was “something to drop into cocktail party conversations.”

How much did the degree actually change their lives? Just 8% of the class believes their lives are not at all different by having a Harvard MBA. Some 46%, however, said their lives were “somewhat different,” while 40% said their lives were “materially different” as a result of the degree. Another 5% agreed with the statement “I don’t want to think of my life without HBS.”

EIGHT OF TEN CLASS MEMBERS WOULD HAVE GONE FOR AN MBA ELSEWHERE IF HBS HAD REJECTED THEM

One of the most interesting questions asked of class members was what would they have done if Harvard had turned them down for admission. Eight of ten members of the class (82%) said they would have gotten an MBA from another school. The largest percentage of ’86ers, 27%, said they still would have gone to business school but were uncertain which school they would have attended. However, about 19% said they would have gone to Stanford, 9% to Wharton, 6% each to Chicago Booth and Dartmouth Tuck, 5% to Nothwestern’s Kellogg School, and 4% to MIT Sloan. About 4% of the class said they would have continued to apply to Harvard until accepted.

Politically, the Class of 1986 is the complete opposite of the old adage “Those who are not liberals when young have no heart.  Those who are not conservatives later in life have no head.” The class reported a strong preference for Reagan in 1984 and then Obama in 2008, even compared to popular vote totals. Some 63.5% of the class backed Reagan versus a national popular vote of 58.8%, while some 64.3% backed Obama, versus a popular vote of 52.9%.

Most of the class thinks it was lucky to graduate from Harvard when it did. More than half the class believes that America is not a better place to live or work than it was when they graduated in 1986. Some 21% of the class thought the country was “significantly worse,” while 37% said it was “slightly worse.” One of four of the class, however, had a very different view. About 18% said America was “slightly better” than it was and 7% said it was “significantly better.”

ADVICE: FOLLOW YOUR PASSION, TRUST YOUR GUT, GET DIVORCED NOW!

Five common themes emerged when class members were asked what advice they would give others. The most common was expressed in such quotes as “follow your passion, “the money will work itself out,” “pursue what is most fun to you,” “do what you love” and “enjoy the ride.”

Oddly, though, the second most common theme appeared to be in conflict with the first. “Focus on making money earlier,” advised one ’86er. “Ignore that pursue your passion stuff,” said another. “Make more money,” added one ’86er. “Get promises in writing,” advised another.

A third theme evolved over the importance of picking a spouse. “Be more careful in choosing a spouse,” warned one’ 86er. “If he seems like a jerk, he’s a jerk.” Said others: “Marry someone else…a screwed up marriage screws up everything else.” And finally one obviously burned class member put it simply: “Get divorced now!”

Many members of the class wished they had taken more risks. “Trust your gut….take some career risks…be more ambitious…think big…there is never a good time” were among the comments.

And finally, many alums emphasized the value and importance of family. “Spend time with your children,” advised one. “There is nothing more rewarding than investing in your children,” said another. “Time will fly by and your children’s lives will never be repeated.”

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Saturday, June 16th, 2012 Business School, Careers 2 Comments

MBA Graduation Tomorrow

Tomorrow, I’ll join 600 of my Kellogg classmates at Ryan Field to officially finish off my MBA degree.  More than simply one defining moment, tomorrow will be the cumulative result of many engagements in opportunities and challenges, many of which we never imagined before coming to campus.

This achievement was especially gratifying, as much for the sense of being getting through classes like finance, marketing and operations as it was for thinking about things like teamwork, leadership and decision-making under pressure.

It was also immensely satisfying because I’ve also had to balance Kellogg with also graduating from law school.  One of the 600 students to graduate this year, only 27 will have had to make that balance. At times it was tough. We often felt busier than many of our peers. But we all passed the “test” with flying colors.

We look forward to walking across the stage tomorrow. To getting our official degrees a few days after. And being part of the Kellogg family for a long time to come.

Stay tuned for more updates and pictures over the next few days.

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Thursday, June 14th, 2012 Business School, Careers 4 Comments

MLT Support Education Matters Campaign

I spend a lot of time talking about one non-profit I am part of: Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT).  MLT is a great organization and our Education Matters campaign is working closely with them. Not only because we share a similar mission but also because MLT is one of our strongest allies.

MLT is committed to preparing minority students for careers in business by prepping them for college, graduate school and beyond. By providing students with networking opportunities and career coaching, MLT is making leadership positions available to a much more diverse group of people.

A few weeks ago we attended an MLT conference in Houston to talk about grad school with up and coming fellows as well as to talk more about the education matters campaign. At the conference, we collected videos from some MLT’s rising stars, who shared not only their own personal stories but they also answered the question that everyone answers, “why does education matter to you?”

See below for the video.

And as always, visit http://www.ml4t.org/ to learn more about how you can get involved with MLT.

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Sunday, May 13th, 2012 Business School, Diversity, Education No Comments

Business Plan

One thing we do a lot of in business school is think about business plans. We think about a company’s background and research the sector. We perform financial analyses and evaluate potential outcomes.  We speak extensively with customers about our product and spend hours with lawyers thinking about liabilities.  We quantify risks, do competitive analyses, and calculate profit using different sets of assumptions. But I can’t help but wonder … how useful are these business plans?

In some ways, business plans can be extremely useful. Sometimes need them to apply for funding. You often need them to clarify your thoughts when things become more complex. And you nearly always need them to remember the most nuanced parts of your business idea.

On the other hand, nobody really requires them. You don’t need them to run a business. VC’s hardly ever ask for them. And customers could care less if you had one.

I propose the idea that mission statements are FAR MORE IMPORTANT than business plans. Missions keep you up late when everyone else is sleeping. Missions keep you focused when you are surrounded by chaos. Missions are what bring game-changing employees on board. And sometimes you can win a customer with a terrible product but with a beautiful mission. Plans don’t do any of those things.

So while you’re staying up all night wondering how to finish parts of your business plan, just remember your mission. In fact, write in your mission first, print it out, put it next to you and then memorize it.  It’s the only way you’ll do great work.

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Sunday, February 5th, 2012 Business School 2 Comments

Businessweek 2010 MBA Rankings

Over the past few years, six-figure jobs out of business school have become harder and harder to obtain given the way the economic environment has impacted MBA recruiting.  With that in mind, applicants have recently become more concerned than ever about MBA rankings. For the typical applicant, being in a higher ranked school not only impacts the way colleagues will perceive them when they graduate but more importantly the way employers will read their resumes during the recruiting process. But there’s just one problem. Given the large number of sources of MBA rankings, most of which disagree with each other and use different methodologies to rank, how do you know which rankings are correct?

Fortunately, recent times has brought some good news – the MBA job market is picking up, and students are starting to get jobs in large number again (click here to see the pace of consulting recruiting). Top programs, like Kellogg, have a lot more companies coming to campus than they did a few years ago and they’ve also starting reporting higher percentage of students with summer and full time offers. This means students across all the top schools are benefitting, which for some applicants, helps take off some of the pressure to get into a top five ranked school.  On the other hand, this still doesn’t stop a lot of applicants from closely following a school’s  national rankings. After all, everyone that graduates from an MBA program carries with them a school’s reputation and resulting alumni network for decades to follow.

My personal view on the topic is threefold. First, that U.S. News tends to be the most widely used source for business school rankings, and for all other program rankings. Though over the past decade or so, a lot of people have also increasingly began referencing BusinessWeek.  Second, that all sources can be good data points and provide different perspectives in the market. This is especially true because most sources use different methodologies, so you can look at things such as return on investment, post MBA salary, students survey responses, rankings based on prestige, and international reputation. And finally, my experience is that most similarly-ranked schools have access to very similar job roles after business school, whether banking, consulting, marketing, general management, or anything else you can think of. Because what really matters to recruiters is not a magazine’s ranking of the school on your resume but instead the experiences (and results) on your resume, and future potential as an employee at the firm.

Because of that, my view is that fit is especially important when selecting a business school. That means understanding what school appeals to you most and has the highest number of classes you find interesting. Which students you fit in best with. Where did the energy levels inside and outside of the classroom best match your energy level? And what place will not only set you up personally to be most successful after graduation?

But it also means understanding which “program” might be best for you.  Today, more students than ever are more interested in programs, such as study abroad programs, skill-based training programs, and most notably dual degree programs, such as the Northwestern JD-MBA which I’m a huge proponent of.  But being in the program isn’t necessarily the same experience as being at Kellogg, nor does it draw the same reaction from recruiters.  So it pays to understand the program more deeply and see if actually makes sense for you to apply.

In sum, if you want to select the ‘best’ business school for you, you should not only look at rankings but also look at fit and program options before making your final choice.

Without further discussion, here below are BusinessWeek’s 2010 MBA rankings. And below that, are links to the articles on the BusinessWeek website.

Top Ranked U.S.
1  University of Chicago (Booth)
2  Harvard University
3  University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
4  Northwestern University (Kellogg)
Stanford University
6  Duke University (Fuqua)
7  University of Michigan (Ross)
University of California – Berkeley (Haas)
Columbia University
10  Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
11 University of Virginia (Darden)
12 Southern Methodist University (Cox)
13 Cornell University (Johnson)
14 Dartmouth College (Tuck)
15 Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)
16 University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler)
17 University of California – Los Angeles (Anderson)
18 New York University (Stern)
19  Indiana University (Kelley)
20 Michigan State University (Broad)
21 Yale University
22 Emory University (Goizueta)
23 Georgia Institute of Technology
24 University of Notre Dame (Mendoza)
25 University of Texas – Austin (McCombs)
26 University of Southern California (Marshall)
27 Brigham Young University (Marriott)
28 University of Minnesota (Carlson)
29 Rice University (Jones)
30 Texas A&M University (Mays)

Click here for BusinessWeek’s interactive rankings table

Click here for BusinessWeek’s profile on Kellogg

Click here for BusinessWeek’s slide show on the programs

Click here for BusinessWeek’s article about the rankings

Click here for BusinessWeek’s ranking methodology

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Saturday, November 13th, 2010 Admissions, Business School, Careers 1 Comment

Midterms Are Over at Kellogg

At long last. Midterm week in our first quarter at Kellogg is finally over. Although most students here did not spend the entire time immersed in their books and outlines, there was certainly a difference in the energy here on campus.  In large part, students spent less time hanging out on campus, spent more time reading and doing problem sets in study rooms, and walked around campus with more purpose and less time to chat. But this doesn’t come as a surprise. After all, some people are recruiting for banking and consulting, where sometimes grades can factor in.

Over the last two weeks, all the first years here at Kellogg partook in their first exams here at business school. Surprising was the number of students that stayed here and studied here on campus in the in the study rooms. I suspect that the number of people studying on campus will change over the course of the year, as space is a bit limited and as people start to have other priorities as the school year goes on

For the most part, I’ve did a good job of staying out of the studying frenzy. I think many of the JD-MBAs do that well, in part because we’re used to taking exams now given our experience last year in law school. But that doesn’t mean the week was easier for everyone in the program. After all, not all the JD-MBAs have quantitative backgrounds, nor do all of them have the same levels of business experience.

On the other hand, a number of my MBA peers have pretty significant finance and quantitative experience, and some of them put in much less time studying than I did. My hypothesis is that the number of hours people spend here at Kellogg is very different for everyone individually and that it largely depends on the specific subject.

It’s been a pretty interesting past few weeks, but the journey isn’t over yet. Since Kellogg is on the quarter system, rather than semester semester, the pace of the quarter is fast and final exams are looming – my first final exam is only four weeks away.  In fact, we’re already starting to bid on classes for next quarter.

But the good news is that we’ll be able to start new classes soon and that after final exams, we’ll all be headed to Aspen for the school wide ski trip.

Stay tuned to hear how the rest of the quarter plays out.

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The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect the views or position of Kellogg, Northwestern Law, the JD-MBA program, or any firm that I work for. I only offer my own perspective on all issues.
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