To pile on with all the talk about MBA Rankings (you can check-out the podcast here) The Economist released a different type of rankings report last week: This one measures the impact and influence of a program’s Alumni network.
Every school talks about how amazing and successful their alumni are, but which ones really put their money where the mouth is? The Top 10 includes some rankings stalwarts such as the Tuck, Stanford GSB, Ross, Harvard Business School, and my very own UNC Kenan-Flagler. Fun Fact: Tuck has over a 70% giving rate amongst alum, most likely the highest of any U.S. MBA Program. Most hover around the 20% range.
Given that Alumni are critical to the MBA programs, investing in relationships with alumni is in the best interests of the school. In addition to donating money that can help provide scholarships, programs, and resources, Alum are often instrumental in securing internships at their company and getting their company to recruit consistently at their MBA program. Furthermore, many alum provide ad-hoc support to students, such as informational interviews to students, hosting students on company visits and treks, and often using their network to help students find the career help and resources they need in their own career search.
Why this matters for prospective students
As I mentioned previously, every school talks about the strength of their alumni, so making sure that you have a sense of what industries, geographies, types of companies and backgrounds the schools you are targeting have alumni in is really important. If you’re looking to settle on the West Coast, you’ll want to make sure that your target school has a good alumni base.
Some Advice for Prospective MBA Students
Tip 1: Check out the LinkedIn Universities page to do some brief analysis
Tip 2: Check out the past years’ employer report of your prospective school(s) See where students are going, both industry and geography wise. You’ll want to make sure that you are going to a school that has an alumni network that’s aligned with where you think you want to go.
Tip 3: Talk to students about how they used their alumni network. Ask for specific examples of how alum have helped them or their classmates.
Why this matters for current MBA students
Your MBA brand goes with you for the rest of your life. These are the people who will help you get your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th job after business school. Being associated with a network where people are active, look out for one another, and generate positive impact for others is an incredible benefit that is hard to quantify. Furthermore, you are going to be one of those alum fairly soon, and in many ways you will be the alum that you had to setup an informational interview with when you were exploring that role in CPG marketing, so take note!
Some Advice for Current MBA Students
Tip 1: If you know where you are interning, do a quick search to see what recent Alum are in your city of choice (1-5 years out)
Tip 2: Reach out to your Alumni/Development Office to see what Alum are particularly active in the area/city you are going to for full-time employment.