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1. How important and reliable are these rankings? What difference does it make for me as a student whether I choose a school ranked 4th or 42nd? 2. Could you please provide an indication of companies that recruit MBAs from your school on a regular basis (especially strategy consultancies)? What are the job prospects for MBAs like at the moment?

Dear Sirs,

Recently new MBA rankings got published.

1. How important and reliable are these rankings? What difference does it make for me as a student whether I choose a school ranked 4th or 42nd?

2. Could you please provide an indication of companies that recruit MBAs from your school on a regular basis (especially strategy consultancies)? What are the job prospects for MBAs like at the moment?

Your help is much appreciated.
Regards
Stefan Pichler (Dortmund)

Answer from Cranfield:

Dear Stefan

The MBA Rankings are the bane of the business schools' lives! The methodologies used vary widely. Cranfield, for example, does extremely well in the EIU ranking which is based largely on student/alumni feedback on the quality of the programme. We do well in this area in the FT Survey too (11th in the world for Aims Achieved, for example), but the FT weighting is mainly on academic research (our research is of a practical nature, which we would argue is of more benefit to MBA students) and percentage increase in salary (our students entry salary is amongst the highest in the world, as is the salary three years on, but the percentage increase is consequently less), so we do not do so well in the FT Survey.

The best thing I can do is refer you to an article on our web site, written by our Admissions Director, Dr John Mapes, in which he describes the methodology behind the main rankings: go to www.som.cranfield.ac.uk/som/mba/advantage/quality.asp and click on the blue box on the bottom right of the page entitled How to choose the right business school - the information on rankings starts at paragraph 3.2. The important thing is to find an MBA programme that suits you best.

For a list of companies that recruit from us regularly go to: www.som.cranfield.ac.uk/som/mba/careers/index.asp# Our Careers Manager tells me that the consultancies are beginning to recruit again this year, and may have to compete with the manufacturing industries to attract our students this year!

Hope this information helps.
Maureen Williams

Answer from Warwick:

Dear Stefan

Thanks for your enquiry regarding the Warwick MBA.

Your question regarding rankings is an interesting one and a subject that continues to be debated all over the world! To assess the reliability of rankings, you must look beyond the headlines and look at the actual data that is used to compile the tables. There is a wide variety of criteria used by the different publishers of rankings - some rely heavily on alumni salary data, for e.g., others rely more on the recommendatations of recruiters. Only you can judge whether the criteria that they use is relevant to you.

Whether a schools's ranking makes a different to you as a student depends on your objectives in studying for an MBA. Whilst rankings are a good indication of a School's quality, you should also look at accreditations and perhaps most importantly, visit the School. How does it feel? Will you fit in? Can it meet your objectives?

We have a long list of companies that recruit our MBAs, which I won't list here! But they include Accenture, Arthur D Little, Hay Management Consultants, CAP Gemini, Citibank, Deloitte Consulting and McKinsey & Co. The job prospects for MBAs currently varies according to which sector you want to work, and also by geographical region. On the whole though, we are little more optimistic about recruitment then we have been for the last couple of years.

I hope that this helps. If you would like more information about the Warwick MBA, please visit www.wbs.ac.uk.

Kind regards
Rachel Killian

Answer from Cambridge:

Thank you for your email,

Please find responses below.

1. How important and reliable are these rankings? What difference does it make for me as a student whether I choose a school ranked 4th or 42nd?

LF: There are many things to be said about rankings, we love them and we hate them, BUT if we as schools live by them , we also die by them. Lets think for a minute about what rankibngs are for........ Rankings are there to sell issues of newspapers or magazines...... the rankings issues always have the biggest circulation of the year. BUT they are also important to schools, we want to do well but many schools are very reluctant to be rankings drive. We are one of those schools.

Rankings reflect the methodology used to formulate them. What you should do is consider whether the things the publications rank are the things you are interested in. The FT this year has provided an interesting feature on their ranking. You can chhose which criteria is right for you and reorder the rankings accordingly.

As for 4th or 42nd......

I personally think it would be a mistake to choose a school based only on rankings. You should choose a programme that meets your needs, is where you want to study , that provides the focus that you want, the class size you are comfortable with, has the culture that is right for you etc......

2. Could you please provide an indication of companies that recruit MBAs from your school on a regular basis (especially strategy consultancies)? What are the job prospects for MBAs like at the moment?

LF: It used to be common practice for recruiters to come regulalry to schools to recruit numbers from MBA programmes. This as the downturn has persisted has become less and less frequent. If companies are laying off staff they are unlikely to come to recruit fresh MBAs! We do have recruiters coming each year, companies such as Tesco, World Bank AT Kearney, Ford Europe etc......

However even if recruiters are coming to some schools , this method assumes that an MBA programme produces a limited range of MBA (product) students. You will find that the smaller more boutique programmes provide very tailored ways of getting students jobs rather than just shipping recruiters in to pick up 5 at a time.

If your student input is diverse, the interaction in the class is diverse AND then your output is diverse. Such programmes are not suited to mass recruiting.

This does not mean that we do not get our people employed, on the contrary......what we do is try to connect people with the right jobs, help students craft their subjects/projects according to the outcome they desire. Maybe they do not want to work in McKinsey for example but are much more interested in working with small high tech startups in the Silicon Fen. Have I painted a picture?

Hope this has been helpful. Louise Freckelton

Answer from Ashridge:

Dear Stefan

Thank you for your enquiry. The Rankings published by the Financial Times are indeed very reliable - statistics schools provide for the survey are audited by Price Waterhouse Coopers - indeed , we, at Ashridge, have just had such an auditior visit us to ensure honesty and accuracy. Any school found providing false information will not be included in the report.

Our MBAs take positions in a variety of industry sectors including Consulting (many set up as Independent Consultants and are very successful), Financial Services, Pharmaceuticals, Telecommunications, etc.

Job prospects are not the best they have ever been but with an MBA they are better than without !! Recruiting organisations for Ashridge MBAs include SmithKline, Royal Bank of Scotland, Orange, etc.

Ashridge offers a Consortium MBA with Lufthansa, Deutsche Bank, Merck and Bosch, so we do have many current students and alumni in Germany.

Hope this helps.
MBA Admissions

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