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Wall Street Journal honors COBA

Katherine Gales | Thursday, September 25, 2003

The Wall Street Journal has again recognized the excellence of the University’s Medoza College of Business, ranking it thirty-first among the nation’s top business schools for the second consecutive year.

The school’s grade of 61.90 out of a possible 100 points placed it in the thirty-first spot, between Stanford University and Southern Methodist University. Leading the pack was the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, with a score of 71.25. The article appeared in a special section of the Sept. 17 edition of the Journal.

Carolyn Woo, Dean of the Business School, said the rankings were useful in “seeing what we need to do better – whether we are doing the job we want to do. Our goal is to improve what we do, and that usually leads to higher rankings, [which are] not our primary objective.” Although the school’s rank stayed the same, its score decreased slightly, from the score of 62.21 in 2002.

According to the publication, the Wall Street Journal/Harris Interactive Business School Year 3 Survey was based on the online interviews of 2,191 MBA recruiters from November 2002 to March 2003. The Journal “focuses on the opinions of recruiters who hire full-time business school graduates,” and dealt with 183 schools in the United States and 73 institutions abroad.

“[This poll] was tabulated from data which has a lot of noise,” Woo said. “Recruiter polls, alumni responses, sample sizes, which particular person you’re talking to … this type of calibration is not very accurate, but gives a general sense of where the school fits.”

Among rating criteria, most recruiters considered communication and interpersonal skills, teamwork, analytical and problem-solving skills, and ethics to be “very important,” the Journal said.

In today’s uncertain economy, a degree from a well-regarded business school gives graduates an advantage in the job hunt.

“To be ranked is better than not being ranked,” Woo said. “It’s a good thing, but recruiters’ knowledge is so much deeper than the polls.”

The Journal claims the poll to be “the best objective source of information about U.S. business schools.”

“We focus on the best educational experience,” Woo said. “The curriculum is good, our teaching is excellent and there are three things we stand for: academic rigor, implementation skills and values. We know if we keep on doing a good job on those three things, the rest will follow.”