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Chicago-Booth Graduate School of Business retained the top rank in Bloomberg Businessweek's 2011 MBA Rankings, followed by Harvard Business School and The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Along with UC Berkeley - Haas, Duke - Fuqua and Stanford, Wharton is one fo the four schools in the top 10 that have risen up the rankings. On the other hand, Kellogg, Michigan-Ross and MIT Sloan have dropped ranks.
A Fortune article reminds that although MBA tuition fees have been soaring in the US, the average salaries coming to graduates have not kept up commensurately. It reads,
"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 ($315,60, MIT ($313,264), and Northwestern ($310,37."
And how are the returns?
"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%."
Of course, the article does not delve into the long term and intangible benefits of career development after 10-15 years after graduation and the strong network that an Ivy-League MBA degree could provide.
It is common for older and married MBA participants to join an MBA program. While a lot is written about a b-school's preparedness to host such students, what is the view from the side of the spouses of MBA students? An article in Financial Times offers the view from the side of MBA spouses. The author, the wife of a Michigan-Ross student writes,
We found much to like in Ann Arbor, but other adjustments were more difficult. I was used to the intensity and stress of graduate school work, but I was unprepared for the business school experience. While I had been able to prepare for the next day from home, Jeremy often found himself on campus, in group study rooms late into the night. Social, recruiting and professional clubs events - again, unable to be completed from our home - also contributed to Jeremys packed schedule. As a result, I found myself doing both the cooking and the after-dinner cleanup, duties that we had typically split.
Even though b-schools are becoming more gender-inclusive by admitting more women, there are still things that women could do proactively to make the most out of MBA programs, says John Hopkins graduate Selena Rezvani in a Forbes article. For example,
Its interesting how often women will find themselves somehow serving as the secretary on team projects. Its a comfortable role for many of us to fill, but regardless of whether youve got the best cursive handwriting or filing system, just dont do it. Being the organizer/scribe takes away from your own participation and ability to generate the ideas. Plus, youll never be seen as the visionary on your team if you keep volunteering for busywork when nobody else does.
Make sure your team takes turns writing and coordinating details, and keep circulating this role after B-school (until you can hire your own Admin). Remember, as you learn about how successful companies strategically position their brands, youll need to do the same for yourself. Think through how you want to be remembered (i.e. as bottom-line oriented or an idea fountain versus nice or helpful) and execute on that every day.
Now that the CAT is over, the next step is the IIFT Entrance Test next Sunday. We wish everyone taking the test the best, hope you do well.