Anxious business-school applicants have something to add to their to-do list: preparation for the new "integrated reasoning" section of the GMAT.
Although the new section was initially announced a year and a half ago, the Graduate Management Admission Council has offered scant details about what questions will look like and how they will be scored. With registration for the new test starting this month, many students are wringing their hands. Some test-prep experts say they may even see a rush of applicants wanting to take the test in the next few months just to avoid the new section, which won't appear on the exam until June.
The idea behind the "integrated reasoning" unit—which will be added to the existing verbal, quantitative and analytical writing sections—is to gauge how well applicants can extract and analyze complex data. The change comes as schools fall under increasing pressure from corporate recruiters to introduce more data-driven courses to better prepare students for the challenges they'll face after graduation.
"You're much more likely to have to analyze an integrated set of data than you are to do a geometry problem" in business school, says Andrew Mitchell, director of pre-business programs at Washington Post Co.'s Kaplan Test Prep. Geometry will still be covered within the GMAT's existing quantitative section.
So far, the council has published just four sample integrated-reasoning questions. One shows a table of data regarding flight traffic at various airports and asks the test-taker to determine relative passenger volume, flight landings and takeoffs at specific locations. Another question shows a scatter plot of ocean and air temperatures taken at a fixed location over the past year and asks test-takers to determine relationships between the two.
Many schools say GMAT scores, along with academic transcripts, are helpful predictors of how students will perform once they arrive on campus, but they are hopeful that the new section will provide an even more relevant data point.
"It's a step in the right direction," says Peter Zemsky, deputy dean of degree programs at INSEAD. Zemsky says that given the speed with which complicated decisions must be made in the business world, it's important to test applicants for such skills.
Still, admissions officers say they'll need at least a year before they know how to read results from the new section, as they see how test-takers progress through their first classes.
The test is still just a part of the total application package, which also includes interviews, references, essays and undergraduate transcripts.
Many admissions officers lament that students put too much emphasis on their GMAT scores, at the expense of other parts of their applications. "It doesn't matter what we say, applicants are going to stress out about the GMAT because it's (a) controllable, and (b) comparable," says Derrick Bolton, assistant dean and director of M.B.A. admissions at Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Data reflect that attitude: Admissions-consulting firm Veritas Prep found in a client survey that applicants already spend 71 hours preparing for the GMAT, but just 28 hours writing their essays and nine hours preparing for interviews.
The figure for test-prep likely will increase once the new version launches, say testing experts.
This past week, the Ross School of Business announced that it will offer its 20-month MBA Program in Los Angeles beginning in August, 2012. Following up on this announcement, the MSJ had a chance to sit down with Professor BillLanen, the Associate Dean and Head of Global Initiatives at Ross, and discuss this exciting initiative.
The 20-month program will offer the same curriculum as the current EMBA program, with classes offered once-a-month that offer a blend of action-based learning and leadership development initiatives. Michigan faculty will fly to LA once a month, adding authenticity to the program which should help to maintain the value proposition of a Ross MBA. The intent is to leverage the current Michigan alumni-base, with a worldwide network of approximately 500,000 members, to help build and expand the brand on the West Coast. Ross graduates will help to recommend candidates, sponsor employees, and recruit graduates. Currently, the EMBA program primarily appeals to business professionals in the Midwest and East Coast. This expansion offers an opportunity to expand the Michigan brand to a key market, and offer a unique opportunity to West Coast business professionals that could not otherwise participate due to travel restraints. According to Dean Alison Davis-Blake, "this West Coast expansion allows us to respond to a market need and replicate a model of delivery to future markets across the US and beyond."
One challenge that we raised to professor Lanen was how to maintain the Michigan / Ross culture in LA? He acknowledged that some connection will need to happen, but this challenge is not unique, and has been successfully addressed in other programs that Ross has rolled out. For instance, in the Brazil Global MBA program, students reside in Ann Arbor for two months, which helps to acclimate students to Michigan and permeate the Ross culture. Moreover, in the Global MBA program, where students complete the core curriculum in Osaka, Seoul, and Beijing, students get to enjoy a global learning environment, then return to Ann Arbor to complete the second year. One step that has already been taken to ensure the Ross culture in maintained is a student orientation in Ann Arbor, where students will get to come to campus and learn the "Ross way" on the ground.
After a very informative discussion, we closed with a pretty direct question…..can this work? Professor Lanen stressed the importance of the student base that is selected, and the impact that they eventually have on the local region. As with any MBA program, the ultimate success is typically predicated on the quality of the student base. Given Michigan's track record, expansive alumni network, and global brand, I am willing to bet that "Go Blue" chants in LA executive circles will be expanding for many years to come!
During its 75 years of "business beyond usual," theUCLA Anderson School of Management has educated tens of thousands of students and served as home to hundreds of distinguished faculty members whose work and research have had a tremendous impact throughout the world.
But how to keep track of all those accomplishments?
In an effort to highlight these significant accomplishments, the school has launched its Global Impact Map, the first-ever interactive microsite designed to chart the achievements and advances the UCLA Anderson community has made throughout the world.
The site, AndersonImpactMap.com, was developed to encourage social interaction between current students, faculty and alumni, as well as to offer an ever-expanding look at the contributions they have made to corporations, organizations and various communities through their work, studies, research and discoveries, both during and since their involvement with the school.
"This is an exciting innovation of UCLA Anderson, introducing an interactive tool that tracks the extraordinary accomplishments of our students, alumni and faculty," said Judy Olian, dean of UCLA Anderson. "It's most impressive and heartening to observe the depth and breadth of our community's leadership and societal accomplishments."
The impact that students, alumni and faculty have had ranges from effective international business leadership and new business development to community service projects, including the promotion of children's literacy in Guatemala, research in Japan that has affected education in the U.S., and efforts to eradicate poverty.
To encourage interactive participation, the Global Impact Map allows users to document their own accomplishments, review those of others and nominate members of the UCLA Anderson community to be included in the map.
YOUNG mums shopping in the Copley Mall in downtown Boston last month found themselves being questioned about their use of soap by students from Harvard Business School. The students were not doing odd jobs to earn beer money. They were preparing to help a firm in Brazil launch an antibacterial cleanser.
Fieldwork—ie, going out and talking to people—is a big change for HBS. Its students used to sit in a classroom and discuss case studies written by professors. Now they may also work in a developing country and launch a start-up. “Learning by doing” will become the norm, if a radical overhaul of the MBA curriculum succeeds.
The 900 students arriving in Boston this summer for their two-year course were told they would be guinea pigs. The new practical addition to HBS’s curriculum is known as “FIELD” (Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development). Not all the staff and students are overjoyed to be experimented on. But the man responsible, Nitin Nohria, who became dean of HBS in July 2010, says that “if it works, the FIELD method could become an equal partner to the case method.”
Long before he became dean, Mr Nohria lamented the failure of business schools to fulfil their mission of turning management into a profession similar to law or medicine. Asked what should be expected from someone with an MBA, he replies that “obviously, they should master a body of knowledge. But we should also expect them to apply that knowledge with some measure of judgment.” MBA students have long been sent on summer internships with prospective employers, but HBS, like most business schools, did little else to help them with the practical application of management studies.
What happens in the second year of the new course is still being worked out. But the first year has three elements. First, team-building exercises. Students take turns to lead a group engaged in a project such as designing an “eco-friendly sculpture”. They learn to collaborate and to give and take feedback. These exercises are loosely based on ones used in the US army.
Second, students will be sent to work for a week with one of more than 140 firms in 11 countries. Already the new intake have had conference calls with these companies, ranging from the Brazilian soapmaker to a Chinese property firm, and gone off-campus to conduct product-development “dashes” like the one in Copley Mall. This sort of structured learning-by-doing is a world away from HBS’s traditional encouragement of students to “go on an adventure” outside of classes.
In the third novel part of the course, students will be given eight weeks, and seed money of $3,000 each, to launch a small company. The most successful, as voted by their fellow students, will get more funding. It remains to be seen if this amounts to much more than a souped-up business-plan competition, though Mr Nohria says he hopes some real businesses will be created. (If only HBS had thought of this when Bill Gates was thinking of starting Microsoft, or Mark Zuckerberg was creating Facebook—perhaps the school would have received shares in those firms.)
It is unclear how much the one-week working assignments will achieve. Pankaj Ghemawat, a management guru, says “the literature suggests that an immersion experience needs to be at least 2-3 weeks and be backed up with time in the classroom.” The HBS students’ classroom preparation will have to be pretty thorough, then, to make up for the brevity of their field trips. Moreover, some of the HBS alumni who have agreed to offer work experience at their firms say they are unsure what meaningful work they can offer the students.
Privately, some faculty members are sceptical that all this change will be worthwhile. In January, the vote in favour of trying the field method was “as enthusiastic as you could get from a faculty,” says Mr Nohria, wryly. He wisely ensured that ownership of the idea was widely spread by delegating design of the new curriculum to several faculty committees. The vote gave the go-ahead to run a “delicate experiment for 3-5 years to see if we can move the needle”, he says, compared with the 13 years it took to develop the case method into more or less what it is today.
The experiment does not come cheap, adding 10-15% to the course’s cost (students pay at least $84,000 a year), which HBS will bear while it figures out what works. A lot is at stake. For where Harvard leads, other universities may follow.
(Poets&Quants) -- Getting an MBA degree from a top-tier business school in the U.S. now costs more than a third of a million dollars. That's the unmistakable conclusion of a new analysis by Poets&Quants that takes into account the opportunity costs of quitting a job to attend graduate school for two years.
The highest total cost comes from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where students typically leave jobs that already pay them more than $88,000 a year. If you tack two years of forgone earnings to the school's recommended student budget, the total cost of getting an MBA is now a whopping $351,662.
Stanford is hardly alone. There are eight U.S. business schools where the cost of earning an MBA now exceeds $300,000. They include Harvard ($348,800), Wharton ($326,400), Columbia ($322,590), Dartmouth ($316,200), Chicago ($315,608), MIT ($313,264), and Northwestern ($310,378).
Even MBAs from the best public universities barely lighten the load. The total cost of a two-year MBA from the University of Virginia's Darden School is now $279,650, while the University of Michigan MBA costs $271,448. The only relative bargain on this list of top 25 schools comes by way of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. The total MBA price tag: $195,380, the only school below $200,000.
Plenty of income left behind
The cost of earning an MBA has escalated as many students' pre-MBA salaries are quite high. Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management says that students who enrolled at the school this fall left jobs that paid them an average of $73,960 a year. At Berkeley's Haas School of Business, the school said its students had earned $66,345 annually before enrolling in its MBA program this year. And at Duke's Fuqua, the school said its newest MBA candidates had been making $64,087 a year.
In some cases, the "average" figures fall below the median numbers reported by the schools. At the Haas School, for example, the median is $68,000 a year, versus a $66,345 average.
Many of the top business schools recently reported these figures to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, along with their recommended student budgets. A student budget includes tuition, required fees, books and case study materials, as well as room and board. In some cases, schools declined to provide data on the forgone pay of their latest students. Poets&Quants estimated their numbers based on previously disclosed pre-MBA salary data.
Harvard MBAs leave most on the table
Harvard Business School MBA students had earned the most money before heading off to Cambridge, Mass.: an estimated $90,400 a year. Of the top 25 U.S. business schools, 23 have students who earned in excess of $50,000 a year before enrolling in their full-time MBA programs.
It's relatively rare to see the forgone pay numbers of MBA students, but those numbers also are an important measure of the quality of students at a business school. The larger the salary, the more likely it is that the candidate left a meaningful job in a demanding environment. In any case, applicants to the top MBA programs have to give up a lot when they decide to go to an elite graduate school.
How have these numbers changed over the years? Some 10 years ago, an MBA student at Kellogg left a job that paid $65,000 a year versus today's average of $73,960. Back then, the two-year recommended budget for the degree came to $105,066, compared to $162,458 today. The total bill for a Kellogg MBA was $235,066 10 years ago. Today, it's $310,378.
And the reward? Kellogg MBAs graduating in 2001 pulled down median starting salaries of $90,000 and median starting bonuses of $25,000 each. MBAs in Kellogg's class of 2011 reported median salaries of $110,000 and signing bonuses of $20,000 each. So over the past 10 years, the total cost of getting a Kellogg MBA has risen by 32%, while the starting salary and bonus has increased by 13%.
The comparison looks even less enticing against the 54% rise in the recommended student budget over the past 10 years. The bottom line: What an MBA now spends to get the degree has increased more than four times the post-degree starting salary in the past 10 years. It's yet another look at the diminishing returns of the degree.
It's not merely the fact that the costs of an MBA have far outpaced inflation. A stagnant economy has also kept both pre-MBA and post-MBA compensation down.
LOS ANGELES, Nov 18, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Amid reports that an increasing number of Americans are living below the poverty level, UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Institute (HCI) is expanding its efforts to help low-income families.
The HCI, in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), along with several other partners, was chosen by the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to establish a center of excellence for Head Start to serve the nation. HCI will receive $1.4 million dollars out of the $12 million grant over four years for its role in the Office of Head Start National Center for Health.
HCI plans to expand its work in health literacy, educating teachers, parents and children on a range of health care topics. These activities will include live training sessions, customized simplified multi-lingual handouts for families on topics ranging from prenatal education for a healthy pregnancy, management of common childhood illnesses, good oral health practices, accident prevention in the home, and nutrition, training manuals for staff and teachers, and technical assistance to Head Start agencies to help them meet low literacy needs for health promotion for the vulnerable populations they serve.
"These funds come at a time when our nation still seeks ways to improve health literacy and control health care costs," says UCLA Anderson Senior Associate Dean Alfred E. Osborne. "This will provide more families with the appropriate tools and skills to empower them in their health decision making, and the net benefits will follow -- not just for common childhood ailments, but also in nutrition to fight childhood obesity and diabetes, improved oral health status and prenatal health education."
This health literacy program was developed by Dr. Ariella Herman, UCLA Anderson senior lecturer and HCI research director, and the HCI team. Together they created a series of low-literacy learning materials, manuals and protocols supporting this education process to enhance the fundamental skills of health literacy.
"People often do not recognize the importance of health literacy, which makes a coalition like this so important," says Herman. "The combination of renowned partners in the medical field with management expertise from the Anderson School brings extraordinary opportunity to improve the health of children and families in Head Start, with implementation of strong health education and prevention programs.
"Just knowing the appropriate response for concerns arising during pregnancy, when a child is sick, or how to provide one's family with a healthy diet on a limited budget can be powerful; this low-cost dose of prevention is important for improving health and is what the new legislation of the Affordable Care Act calls for," she adds.
The 2010 HHS National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy recognized the significance of health literacy in the nation's health agenda. "It is the currency for everything we do," said Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH, Assistant Secretary for Health for the US Department of Health and Human Services in the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy, Forward 2010.
To date, Herman estimates 50,000 families in the U.S. have benefited from HCI's work over the past decade. With this new grant, HCI is preparing to double that number nationally in the next four years.
"Health knowledge and awareness is one thing, but the successful implementation of behavioral change in Head Start agencies and families is quite another," says Conrad Person, Johnson & Johnson's director of corporate contribution. "J&J is delighted with the impact and influence of Dr. Herman's research and is pleased to see this effort continued on a larger scale with the establishment of a National Center for Health."
"UCLA is known for its public mission and service to communities," says UCLA Anderson Dean Judy Olian. "Dr. Herman's application of management principles to health education achieves powerful impact by addressing societal challenges through business theory and advanced practices. That's what we do at UCLA Anderson."
About UCLA Anderson School of Management
Celebrating 75 years of Business Beyond Usual, UCLA Anderson School of Management is among the leading business schools in the world. UCLA Anderson faculty members are globally renowned for their teaching excellence and research in advancing management thinking. Each year, UCLA Anderson provides a distinctive approach to management education to more than 1,800 students enrolled in its MBA, Fully-Employed MBA, Executive MBA, Global Executive MBA for Asia Pacific, Global Executive MBA for the Americas, Master of Financial Engineering, doctoral and executive education programs. Combining selective admissions, varied and innovative learning programs, and a world-wide network of 37,000 alumni, UCLA Anderson develops and prepares global leaders.
In the two years since Bloomberg Businessweek last ranked the nation's top part-time MBA programs, it would appear there's been little change in the established order. In five of the six regions, the No. 1 school remains the same, with only the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business becoming a new No. 1 in the Midwest, ousting the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
But just below the No. 1 schools, a transformation is under way. Villanova surged from No. 9 to No. 2 in the Mid-Atlantic region, putting it within a hair's breadth of No. 1 Carnegie Mellon. Chicago Booth moved up two spots in the Midwest, while Georgia State did the same in the South. Babson, unranked in 2009 because of a low rate of response to our ranking survey, made a startling debut at No. 2 in the Northeast. In the Southwest, the University of Denver advanced to No. 5 from No. 8. And in the West, the University of Nevada, Reno, is now at No. 2, moving up three spots and nipping at the heels of No. 1 UCLA.
GMAT scores, work experience, class size and completion rates are self-reported by schools. Grads reporting salary increase, average salary increase, and information on career goals are based on students responding to the ranking survey and do not represent the entire class. NA=not available. NR=not ranked.
The gangbuster growth of business school applications during the recession appears to be a thing of the past for two-year full-time MBA programs. This year, application volume was down at 21 of the top 30 full-time MBA programs, according to data collected by Bloomberg Businessweek. The decline in applications is a trend that appears to be accelerating, with eight additional schools reporting declines in application volume this year over 2010. Applications were down at seven of the top 10 business schools, including the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, Harvard Business School, and Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.
Stanford saw the biggest dip in application volume of the top 10 schools, with 586 fewer applications this year, an 8 percent decline from 2010. Still, some of the top 30 schools managed to buck the downward trend. Dartmouth University's Tuck School of Business, University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and University of California, Los Angeles'Anderson School of Management, reported substantial increases in applications, with each school receiving more than 200 applications over last year's total.
The downward spiral in application volume at the top 30 schools is mirrored in the business school world at large: 67 percent of two-year full-time MBA programs surveyed by the Graduate Management Admission Counil (GMAC) reported a decrease in applications this year, up from 47 percent in 2010. A skittish economy, coupled with candidates unwilling to leave their jobs, may be causing some to hold off applying to business school, GMAC noted in its latest survey of application trends. "The impact of economic uncertainty on admissions trends for full-time MBA programs may still be underway," GMAC said in the report.
The smaller pipeline of MBA applications this year meant that getting into some of the top business schools has become easier. Two-thirds of the top 30 business schools admitted a larger percentage of applicants this year, up from one-third the year before. The University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management had the biggest slip in selectivity of the top 30 schools, admitting nearly 41 percent of students, up from 30 percent in 2010. More typical were the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business and Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management, both of which saw selectivity slip five percentage points. Even Stanford, the most selective of the top 30 business schools, became slightly easier to get into, accepting 7 percent of all applicants, up one percentage point from 2010.
The following list provides a more comprehensive picture of how application trends shook out at each of the top 30 schools, with a breakdown of application volume, selectivity, and yield or the percentage of accepted applicants who ultimately enroll. The University of Pennsylvania'sWharton School, where applications fell more than 5 percent this year, to 6,442, declined to supply selectivity and yield figures and is not included in this slide show. The schools are listed from least selective to most selective.
In a year that saw the volume of applications to full-time MBA programs decrease by nearly 10 percent nationwide, the Tuck School of Business bucked the trend, and was instead one of three top-10 MBA programs to experience an increase in the number of applications, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
Over two-thirds of MBA programs nationwide surveyed by the Graduate Management Admission Council reported a decrease in the number of applications they received in the 2011 admissions cycle, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. This is a dramatic change from 2010, when only 47 percent of full-time MBA programs saw a drop in their application numbers. Tuck received over 200 more applications this fall compared to last year, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Tuck received 2,528 applications for the current freshman class, 20 percent of whom were accepted, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Tuck Dean Paul Danos said the increase in applications is due to the school’s world-class reputation, high job placement rate for graduates and the natural cycle of application numbers.
Tuck continues to attract prospective students due to “a reputation for having a very good placement track record and a learning experience that some people really like,” Danos said, citing the fact that 97 percent of alumni in last year’s graduating class are currently employed.
After seeing other schools’ statistics, Danos said he was surprised that the application numbers for Tuck — a small school of roughly 500 students — increased.
“I was expecting to have pretty much a steady state,” he said. “These things cycle. One year we might get less applications and sometimes we’ll do better than most.”
The increase in applications also comes during tough economic times, a sign that students believe a Tuck education is worth both the financial and time investments, Danos said.
Danos said there is always a need for “highly talented” people who have an MBA degree, even when the economy is suffering. Internationally-focused schools like Tuck, which “have a portfolio of places [graduates] can go to,” continue to place students in jobs abroad regardless of the state of the national economy, Danos said. The Economist recently ranked Tuck the number one full-time MBA program in an international assessment of business schools.
Even though Tuck’s application and admissions numbers remained unscathed this year, Danos said that admission numbers could decrease next year as a result of the continued stagnant economy.
“If economic times continue, I think over time it’s going to affect everything — all programs, including Tuck,” he said.
Vibhuti Nayar Tu’12 said the strength of Tuck’s community makes it such a popular program. After interacting with various community members throughout the application process, Nayar realized that Tuck was her number one choice, she said.
“Tuck offered one of the strongest skill sets,” she said. “When I spoke to current students, I got a sense that the school is warm and people look out for you.”
Kate Head Tu’13 said she applied to business school after working at a non-profit for three years in order to ease the career transition. After applying to three MBA programs, she chose to attend Tuck after discussions with admissions officers convinced her that Tuck alumni are “value-added.” Head said the strong Tuck alumni network is important in a business job market that is often “about who you know.”
Nayar and Head agreed that the small size of Tuck was one of the school’s most appealing aspects. The tight-knit community encourages students to work closely together in study groups, a skill that recruiters look for in MBA graduates, she said.
The national decrease in applications has raised the admission rates for many graduate programs, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. Of the top 30 business schools, 21 have seen higher admission rates than last year, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
Danos said that while extremely selective schools can afford to receive fewer applications, less competitive graduate programs are hurt by a smaller pool of applicants.
Despite current admissions numbers and worrisome prospects for future admissions rates, Tuck will continue to focus primarily on providing a high-quality education, Danos said.
“Over time, we’ve pushed to have a higher quality of experience, a high quality student body and a larger and deeper faculty,” he said. “We have to stick to this high quality of education, regardless of the application numbers.”