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Overlooked MBA Programs [#permalink]
24 Oct 2005, 16:17
Some Overlooked MBA Programs
I thought it would be useful to call the attention of GMAT Club Members to some MBA programs that tend to be overlooked or excluded from portfolios.
1) Columbia- Yes, it might seem odd to consider one of the ultra elite schools overlooked but Columbia seems to be conspicuous by its absence when students craft portfolios. Part of the problem stems from the image of Columbia as a "finance school" which seems to cause some students to prefer a more "well rounded" school along the lines of Northwestern/Kellogg. However, it is worth noting that Columbia is one of the strongest schools in the US in terms of general management and international business. Oddly, however, I have encountered a number of finance-leaning applicants who express strong interest in Chicago and Penn but seem to regard Columbia was suspicion. This borders on the bizarre since Columbia has one of the strongest placement records with major finance firms of the ultra elite schools in addition to being located in New York City.
Hmm, I agree wtih Hjort here. I did not even consider Columbia for some reason. Maybe I'll app to them in Rd 2 based on how my Round 1 goes. Hjort, For some reason, Columbia isn't really considered an elite school by the people that I talk to. That seems weird though. I did not know they had a good international business focus.
This person is certainly impassioned about MBA admissions.
A few speculative theories on why people are complaining about Columbia's admissions system:
One theory: The applicant believes that Columbia is beneath him. He applied to Columbia and failed to get the response he expected. Ergo, applicant expresses annoyance with Columbia admissions.
Second theory: Applicant is really interested in applying to "better" schools and views Columbia as a potential "safety" school. Applicant realizes that the admissions policies of Columbia complicate its use as a safety school. Thus, applicant expresses annoyance with Columbia admissions.
It should be noted that there are a number of reasons schools might want to increase their yield that have little to do with league table rankings. For instance, at virtually any institution it is valuable to have people who genuinely want to be there. It makes some sense to favor students who are excited about Columbia and are enthusiastic about becoming part of the student body over those students with slightly better admissions attributes who view Columbia as their penance for having failed to spend more on the GMAT and their essays.
Since this is a data-free argument, one could just as easily assert that students who genuinely want to attend Columbia are more likely to contribute as alumni than students who attend grudgingly.
In some ways Columbia is just being clever. One way to attract quality people who want a minimum of hassle with admissions is to give them a binding offer of admission early in the season. The applicants are happy because they are admitted to a quality school and the school is happy because it knows how many students are coming next year with greater precision.
what's ur take on this comments..( I can see loads of traffic about CBS tactics to improve yield etc )
Disclaimer: I am no way related to the Bweek poster..
From: I_HATE_GMAT Oct-12 6:53 pm To: ALL (1 of 60)
Rolling admissions. Why?
Simple, it decreases their acceptance rate and increases yield. These two data points positively contribute to rankings and give the illusion of selectivity.
Whats the problem with this strategy?
I would argue that Columbia necessarily gets 2nd tier candidates. One major component to Columbia's admission criteria (unstated), is their belief you will actually pick them. Hence they will reject candidates that they know are certainly superior but are afraid will choose other programs.
Seems like a brilliant strategy. Reject those who will reject you anyway.
Here is the problem. A number of applicants that CBS would otherwise like to have (short of their "liklihood" of matriculating at programs like HBS) are rejected each year. Instead they are replaced with lower caliber students who are more of a "sure" thing. Over the years, you really have an adverse selection problem and the quality of CBS's alumni base is bound to suffer.
I would argue that the hallmark of Harvard Business School (for example) is not their current admissions statistics but the profound impact that their alumni have had on the world.
You can't manipulate your way to the top. Top applicants are beginning to understand Columbia's little game so they are starting to avoid applying all together. WHY APPLY SOMEWHERE THAT WILL REJECT YOU BECAUSE THEY THINK YOU WILL REJECT THEM?
All you will be out is the application fee and a headache.
To CBS admissions - Really think through your strategy and ask yourself will this strategy really build CBS. My bet is this a good way to spike admissions statistics in the short run, but is hardly a way to really improve your institution. Stop being so cute and really get to the heart of the problem. Great institutions are built by getting the best possible people. Period. Even if that means taking your lumps and having great candidates reject you. You never know, one of them might accept your offer and do some amazing things for Columbia. One Jack Welch or a US president will advance the CBS cause much further than an extra point of yield (that everyone knows is bullshit anyway).
Cornell is another school from the top clusters that seems to be marginalized. Of course, Cornell does appear in portfolios but often as a "round out" school rather than a primary target. It is interesting that other schools in this cluster e.g. Michigan, Tuck, UCLA seem to appear so much more frequently and with far more enthusiasm.
Even the benefactor name usually draws little response- virtually everyone seems to recognize Haas, Tuck, Darden, Anderson etc. but when I mention "Johnson" people often stare blankly back at me.
Johnson has been viewed as strong in all of these fields:
The parent university of Cornell is extremely well known and respected, especially in technical fields.
It has done well on some league tables, appearing as one of the top elite schools for BusinessWeek 2004 (#7 overall) and #17 worldwide among ranked schools for EIU 2005.
It is interesting that even the mention of that fact that Cornell tends to be overlooked has not generated any controversy compared with a similar observation regarding Columbia.
One difficulty faced by Cornell is that the Ithaca MSA has a very small economy (around the same size as Yuma AZ or Altoona PA). This deters some applicants with spouses from attending Cornell. A related difficulty is that it is several hours away from any of the 10 largest metro areas. It is about 220 miles (5 hours by car) from New York City. Many of the other Elite Cluster schools are much closer to a major metro area (e.g. New York City (NYU), Los Angeles (UCLA), San Francisco/San Jose (UC Berkeley). Another small town school, Dartmouth/Tuck, is about 2.5 hours from Boston.
One of the strengths of Johnson is that students can take advantage of many strong offerings in other divisions of Cornell. Johnson allows students to take about a quarter of their required credit hours in other graduate divisions including the real estate offerings of the Department of City and Regional Planning and the School of Hotel Administraton. In addition, Johnson students can take part in a dual degree program in real estate studies.
This link provides an idea of real estate courses taken by Johnson students in other divisions of Cornell
Moving on to the Trans Elite cluster, Carnegie Mellon/Tepper is another school that seems to be overlooked by candidates. Perhaps it is something about the positioning of the Trans Elite cluster as a whole since many of the schools here seem to be a bit marginalized.
Carnegie has a number of strengths
1) It is is one of the very best schools in technology related fields of any cluster
2) A number of tracks that capitalize on the strengths of the entire university
3) A history of being an innovative and influential business school (Carnegie Mellon is one of the intellectual leaders of the Management Science paradigm of business schools)
Some of the strengths of Carnegie also led to some of its problems finding a more mainstream audience. The reputation for being a "tech" and "quant" school led many students to look elsewhere. The entire Industrial Adminstration nomenclature (including the Master of Science in Industrial Administration granted instead of an MBA until 2001 or so) did not help matters.
In a way, Carnegie Mellon is the Columbia of tech- a serious portfolio must justify its exclusion.
As far as Yale is concerned I have heard of people who have been accepted by kelloggs or Darden but have been put on a waitlist or have bee rejected by Yale. Hence one can be sure that the quality of students at Yale SOM is going to be premium.
Besides Yale is as selective as any other schools in the same cluster in choosing their students. If u dont trust apply and see !! Yale has a high rejection ratio I believe. all this definately makes Yale an equally great school. whts ur take on it hjort ?
I think people have a hard time with the idea that different does not necessary mean inferior. Yale has taken a somewhat different path to management education but it clearly the equal of its fellow elite cluster schools.