Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Derrick Bolton Interview

There is a new Derrick Bolton (Stanford GSB Admissions Director) interview published in Business Week this month. Interesting new info (for me):

1. Applications being way up is a myth.
2. 21% of the class of '08 accepted a job abroad up from 14% of the class of 07. (Let's see if this emerging trend continues in '09)
3. The new curriculum has twice as many international course offerings.
4. The new Phil Knight campus WILL open during the 2010-11 school year! (Recently, it looked like the opening date might be pushed back to fall 2011)
5. Internship search for class of 2010 has been similar to that of prior classes. (No hard numbers offered)
6. Stanford GSB accepts the GRE as an alternative to the GMAT. (Actually I knew that, but I thought it was worth mentioning)

Mildly outlandish statement: "[The Stanford GSB curriculum overhaul has] been among the most exciting developments in management education in probably the last 20 or 30 years." Way to set expectations high, DB! (PS - is "mildly outlandish" an oxymoron?)

Annoying attempt to pull in younger applicants: "As a school, we see a lot of people waiting because they think business schools want them to wait. [They] think they won't be competitive until they have four or five years of work experience. And that's not true."

I am one of those stubborn people who thinks that experienced classmates are a huge asset in business school. One of the things I liked about Wharton is the higher average age and work experience of its matriculating students. The average number of years of work experience at Wharton is six, with just 2% of students having 0-2 years of work experience and 40% having 7+ years of work experience. By contrast, Stanford's median work experience is 4 years; HBS's average is 4 years. (More detailed HBS age distribution info here. Scroll down to the Oct 1, 2008 entry)

Great answer in response to the question, "As Stanford moves ahead, what is the biggest challenge it faces?":
...If you look at students who are applying to medical school or law school, they're applying for the education. There's certainly a credential element there, but when you talk to those students and look at the publications from those schools, they're about the education. Business schools have in the last couple of decades gone astray and really put too much emphasis on the post-school benefits and not enough on what transpires while you're there. I think our industry overall has made a really big mistake of overemphasizing those ancillary benefits. Applicants have interpreted that as being the reason you go to school. That's probably the thing I worry about the most at Stanford. How do I make sure that we're picking people who and want to take this [education] and make themselves better people, managers, and leaders, in support of our society?...


paragon2pieces said...

As a joint degree student, I couldn't agree more with the answer to the "biggest challenge" question. The distinction discussed here is palpable as I move between b-school and law school classes on any given day.

On another note, it's hard to believe that the new campus will be finished that soon!!! Having just taken a good, long look at the site about three weeks ago, I would never have guessed it. That's great news.

Anonymous said...

Thanks PaloAltoforaWhile. Andy Chan has some info on his blog about the job hunt for both second and first years I think: http://andychan.stanford.edu/

From what I remember, his report of the job hunt during admit weekend was not as rosy.

Great to know the Knight Center will be ready next year.

I'm also one of the older admits who is not too happy about the trend of schools looking for younger and younger candidates. I felt very old in the middle of many '05 and '06 admits at the weekend.

Anonymous said...

Mildly outlandish is certainly contradictory, but does that make it an oxymoron? It’s sort of a rhombus / square debate, meaning oxymorons are by definition contradictory, but does any pairing of contradictory words automatically constitute an oxymoron?

Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxymoron) breaks oxymorons down into 3 types: Deliberate (e.g., deafening silence, sweet sorrow), Popular (e.g., controlled chaos, jumbo shrimp), and Expression of Opinion (e.g., honest politician, clean coal).

If oxymorons are strictly limited to those forms, then I’m not sure that mildly outlandish qualifies; it might simply be contradictory.

Palo Alto for a While said...

Thanks Sri Lankan. I hadn't seen his blog before.

The.Grey.One said...

True. If i wanted to study with people with no work-experience, then i would instead choose to get admitted again to an undergrad college. Why bother working your ass off for 4 to 5 years, then go to school together with someone who is just out of UG. I don't find any value. I hope b-schools (esp HBS and Stanford) would start realizing that more and more.

Palo Alto for a While said...

here's another Derrick Bolton Q&A: http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052970203388804576613400483449420-lMyQjAxMTAxMDIwNDEyNDQyWj.html?mod=wsj_share_email

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