Don’t reduce your MBA experience into a number

On Monday, the Financial Times released its 2016 MBA rankings and the Cambridge MBA moved up three places to 10th. This was a great result and it meant that we have been ranked in the top 15 schools globally for three years in a row now.

Looking at the data, the big increases for us this year were weighted salary (from US$146,664 to US$156,323); career progress rank (from 12th to 6th), our percentage of female students (from 30% to 38%) and our FT research rank (from 39th to 12th).

Of course, this is great news that our alums (the MBA class who graduated in 2012) have done so well in the three years since they graduated and also that our faculty research has improved.

On the other hand, we don’t know for sure why that MBA class did that well compared to other classes. At least with the faculty research, we as a school know which areas our faculty are conducting our research in, and we can see a pipeline of papers that either have been, or will be accepted by one of the 45 journals that the FT uses for their research ranking.

Ultimately, as I told some of the current MBAs on the day that the FT released their results, MBAs should not reduce their entire business school experience into a number that will definitely fluctuate over time. But rather, they should think of how they can contribute to the MBA programme, the school and the alumni community, and thereby continue to invest in their MBA brand.

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