Thursday, September 18, 2008

Notre Dame MBA

I got a few comments and emails about the Notre Dame MBA program not being "top tier". Most coming from dummy email addresses or from people who won't put their last name to a statement...that says it all.

Last I checked -

1) The ND Mendoza program ranking was 9th from one of the big ranking rags.
2) Notre Dame was the FIRST business school globally to REQUIRE ethics courses (plural) in its business school - considering our current business climate - I think that is something to brag about. Especially when you consider where the executives went to school from places like MCI World Comm, Enron, Ameritech, Bell Labs, etc.
3) In the admission process, we were asked various questions about our career and plans and how a Notre Dame education would fit in there. Compare that to Northwestern University asking me about what my high school SAT and grade point average was.

Northwestern is so concerned about it's status with who gets in and what their standardized test scores are (along with their ancient history) high school grades - that somewhere along the way they forgot about education and social responsibility. I've worked with some NU, U of C, Harvard and MIT grads. They can study a book and give you chapter and verse the next day...but cannot apply it in the real world.

Several of these people report to me today.

So to those who sent nasty comments - haters - undergraduate sports are for the undergraduates and folks who need a life. Are they fun to watch? Sure, but to judge a school because of how many football fans it has is pretty shallow. Look at Miami (FL). The football team is one thing...but academically the university is quite good. *Some decisions they have made I whole heartedly disagree with, but it is a good school.

So as I attend class and look around the room I see a cover of a newspaper business section, a Crain's Chicago Business feature story, a Time story. Movers and shakers from around the area. You're so right. It's not a top program.

Judge this program by the people it produces. I do.


  1. The only two lists that matter (to the extent that ranking matter) are US News and World Report and Business Week. ND is 34th and 26th respectively. It just isn't a top tier MBA program. There are very few, if any, people who would choose ND over the real top tier schools - Harvard, Stanford, Kellogg, Wharton, Chicago, and MIT. I'm sure ND produces some good people but the aforementioned people produce a lot more and have for a much longer time. ND has a long way to go before it's even in the same league as those schools and I'd bet the people who run it would even admit that.

  2. How RUDE of people to make comments like that to you! I WENT to the U of C and I can't disagree with your assessment of many of its grads at all. The common complaint for many of us science majors there was that it was all theory and no practical application. Sheesh. The fact is qualified intelligent people can come from all sorts of schools - getting the big name education is worthless if you don't do something with it.

  3. BOB! You need a beer, my friend! Come on, it is ok...just roll with it all!! :) Jen H.

  4. Hi everyone -

    Dave - yep, those are the rankings. I was accepted to NU and chose ND. Mainly - the arrogance of the folks at NU is something I just cannot stomach. My friend Karen is very rich and successful and you just would never know it - those are "my people". As you know, there are sub-specialties for each school - Chicago = finance, NU = marketing and small biz start up, ND = operations.

    Muppet - I shouldn't lump all the U of C folks into one bucket. You're right. The 8 people I know from U of C...all the same - just cannot think on their feet and move with the speed of business here. The folks from NU...I wonder how they are able to convert air to CO on their own most days...seriously scary book smart and dumb in many other ways.

    Jenny - I need a beer in the worst way!

    Haters - get a life! Even if I was going to St. Lorrie's of the coffee is still better than spankin' it to college football

  5. Hey, my dad is the same way about Stanford MBAs. He's a longtime CEO, CTO, VP, etc out here in Silicon Valley and has just encountered too many who he felt had their heads up their arses.

    I was an undergrad at Chicago (and like I said, in science) so I really didn't interact with the MBA folks...but FWIW nobody liked them because they were all a bit spoiled. :)

  6. To Dave,

    While it is true that Notre Dame is not ranked as high as Harvard or University of Chicago. I still think that it gives its students the same opportunities as those from your top tier MBA programs. Big companies stil recruit from ND like Proctor & Gamble, GE, Booz Allen. And many times during final round interviews for these companies, many ND MBAs are in the same room as the people from your beloved top ranked schools. I know this for a fact, since I was an ND MBA and went through these rounds. So, while rankings may matter, it's also the type of career opportunities made available to you while you are an MBA student. Also, it is true that the top programs produce more people. I mean they have class sizes of 800 to a thousand. ND has a class size of 133. That is roughly 10% the size of these programs and yet the same set of employers recruit from us as well. This is a clear indication of the quality of people in the program. So, don't make bold assertions that people won't choose ND over a Northwestern or Wharton, because of the rankings. There are many other factors involved in the decision to go to b-school. Apparently, you know nothing of these.