December 21, 2015

Joined: Sep 14, 2013

Posts: 251

Kudos: 187

Self-reported Score:
720 Q44 V44



This review is for Owen

Program Full Time MBA

Class of 2016

Experience during the program

Some of the high points of the MBA program at Vanderbilt are:

1. Career Management Center
Read McNamara and the CMC team at Vanderbilt are outstanding. As a career switcher with an unconventional background, this was really important to me. Vanderbilt has had excellent on-campus recruiting, it has had enormous success placing people in internships, and the job rate is among the highest in the country. Vanderbilt also does not mess with the job numbers like some other schools do. You can see the complete report/PDF for each of the last several years on its website.

2. Student Body
Vanderbilt students are inclusive, helpful, and fun. Like the school says, they "check their egos at the door." I have been very impressed with my classmates and appreciate the many times they have helped me. The student body at Vanderbilt has all of the brains of the bigger programs and all of the kindness and hospitality that the Midwest and South have to offer. Because the class is small (approx. 170 per year), it is a tightly knit community. MBA students at Vanderbilt are great in the classroom and the kind of people you would want to go out for a beer with.

3. Curriculum
The course options available at Vanderbilt are great. The MBA program offers seven concentrations, five specializations, and a few emphases. It is fantastic that the Vanderbilt MBA program runs on a quarter system (it calls "Mods"). You can fit in more of the classes you enjoy and get through some of the tougher core classes quicker. It is a fantastic set-up that has allowed me to experience a broader range of electives than I would have otherwise been able to take at a program that runs on semesters.

Some areas that the Vanderbilt MBA could continue to improve:

1. Facilities
The Owen Graduate School of Management building at Vanderbilt is old. It is adequate for the school's needs but is not as big, bright, and shiny as some other B-Schools in the US. Study rooms are a bit cramped but students manage.

2. Rankings/Prestige
The Vanderbilt MBA program has been rocketing up the USNWR rankings in previous years. The program ranked #36 in 2010 and it rose to #27 in 2014 (a nine-place gain). This is tremendous improvement. Still, the school should push for further growth and recognition as it continues to improve its incoming classes' GMAT scores, GPAs, and Work Experience numbers while also churning out great employment statistics in both placement percentages and Mean/Median salaries and bonuses.

Advice for future applicants:
Visit Vanderbilt if at all possible!! It is difficult to convey the atmosphere on campus through a keyboard. If you get to see the student body first-hand, attend a class, meet the admissions team, and get a taste of Nashville, you will see what a wonderful place it is to pursue your MBA. Also, be prepared to demonstrate in your application why you are specifically interested in Vanderbilt and how you could contribute to the collaborative class there.

About professors, classes and curriculum

Vanderbilt allows students to waive certain core requirements (Financial Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Statistics, Micro Economics, and Macro Economics) if students can demonstrate competencies in these areas from their previous educational or work experience. Some students have chosen to take these courses in spite of their eligibility to waive the requirement(s). They thought they could use the classes to "brush up" in each of these areas. Generally speaking, the students who do this regret the decision. My advice would be to waive whatever you are allowed, and take other electives in their place. Repeating material you have covered in the past is pointless.

About job placement process

Vanderbilt is a highly ranked national university and the MBA program places students coast-to-coast. The top metro areas are Nashville, Atlanta, NYC, Dallas, SF, LA, Chicago, Seattle, and Columbus. You can definitely pursue your MBA at Vanderbilt even if you intend to ultimately end up in New York, California, or anywhere in between. That said, some students who move to Nashville with these plans end up liking Middle Tennessee so much they then try to recruit locally in order to stay. (The economy in Nashville is booming at the moment and truly is a pleasant place to call home--especially if you are interested in Health Care.) This can make the recruiting process a little bit tricky for people deciding which companies to focus on and what geographies to prioritize. There are ample info sessions with companies on campus, but students need to be conscientious of where they ultimately want to end up.

Overall BSchool experience (5.0)
Schools contribution (5.0)
Classmates rating (5.0)

Strengths of the program:

Student body, diversity
Career opportunities provided by school

Best fit at this program:


Can be improved:


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