Rob Katz

Cap it off with the right MBA program

OK, so you want to change the world–from the inside. Not a bad idea, considering that some corporations? annual gross revenues are larger than the yearly GDPs of most developing countries. With that kind of cash, business can make a difference–hey, you?re reading, you probably get it–we?re glad.

Back to changing the world, one company at a time. A good way to start might be business school, but you want a business school that will prepare you for a world-altering career that aligns with your passion for development. At the same time, you’ve got to make some money or all your world changing idealism will be for naught–hey, paying off loans is no way to make a difference out there.

Stuck? Maybe not. I’ve taken a look at some recent business school rankings to come up with an unscientific list of the best places to go to business school–places that will train you to make a difference, but that will also help you get that first job. The top school? Spain’s ESADE, followed by Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

How’d I put the list together? I started with WRI/Aspen Institute’s Beyond Grey Pinstripes that ranks MBA programs based on their environmental/social curricula. Then I added the Wall Street Journal/Harris Interactive business school rankings that measure how appealing certain schools are to recruiters.

After some back-of-the-envelope calculations, eighteen schools emerged as winners from both surveys. The top seven are rounded out by UNC-Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, York University (Canada), and UC-Berkeley. The rest, in order:

  • Western Ontario (Canada)
  • Stanford University
  • University of Virginia
  • Yale University
  • Cornell University
  • Erasmus (Netherlands)
  • INSEAD (France)
  • University of Notre Dame
  • George Washington University
  • Georgetown University
  • University of Colorado

What does this mean? First of all, don?t take it for more than its worth–I was just playing around with the rankings, and this is NOT a scientific method. That said, it’s interesting that the WSJ/Harris poll had Dartmouth at the top–which failed to place in the top 30 for Beyond Grey Pinstripes. Other notable absences include Harvard (didn?t participate in Beyond Grey Pinstripes), University of Pennsylvania (ditto), and MIT (did participate; didn?t place). Check out each set of rankings (Pinstripes, WSJ/Harris) on your own–let me know what you come up with.