Rankings of Georgetown’s MBA program rose six spots in a recent Businessweek report, from 30th in the country in 2012 to 24th.
“These rankings are a result of the incredibly hard work that we have been working on for a few years now,” Elaine Romanelli, a senior associate dean in the McDonough School of Business, said. “We have been steadily improving both the admissions process and our career services.”
MSB Dean David Thomas attributed two main causes to the rise in rankings: improvements to the programs and changes in the number of employees surveyed.
“We have been making steady improvements to the MBA program in recent years,” he wrote in an email.“Student satisfaction accounts for 45 percent of the methodology of the Businessweek ranking, and the students surveyed this year by Businessweek were the first to graduate under our new MBA curriculum that we rolled out fall 2012.”
The new curriculum was more rigorous than its predecessor and integrated a variety of disciplines to cover certain concepts. The curriculum also took employer feedback into account so that the program could be more tailored to preparing students for jobs and internships.
Another 45 percent of the ranking calculation comes from a survey of employers.
“The changes in the curriculum, as well as the many programs and initiatives of the MBA Career Center, contributed to greater satisfaction among employers,” Thomas wrote.
Thomas said the second factor in the higher rankings were because of an increase in the number of employers surveyed, citing this as a large help to Georgetown in that category.
The new rankings support the notion that both Georgetown’s MBA program and the MSB as a whole have been on the ascent over the past few years. Although the rankings of the undergraduate and graduate programs are unrelated, both schools saw upward trends. There was a 23 percent increase in applicants for the full-time MBA class, and Businessweek also ranked the undergraduate program No. 1 in the country for finance this year.
Lacey Hatchett (GRD ’15), student government president in the MBA, observed a general increase in positive regard toward the MBA program.
“The student government regularly tracks social media mentions of Georgetown McDonough, and we’ve seen a rise in the quality of mentions we’ve received,” Hatchett wrote in an email. “We think the initial rise in the rankings, as illustrated by Businessweek, is a precursor to a general rise in esteem of the Georgetown McDonough MBA program.”
Hatchett also emphasized the MBA program’s continued efforts to rise in rankings.
“We see our aspirant peer group as the top 15 schools, and we’re working diligently to achieve an even higher ranking in the near future,” Hatchett wrote.
Romanelli credited the positive international perception of the MBA program as a reason for its rise in ranking.
“Around the world, the Georgetown business school has an incredibly strong reputation,” Romanelli said. “We are very excited about this event, but not at all surprised.”
Romanelli also emphasized that a general cause of the rise in the MBA programs rankings is the snowball effect — with higher rankings attracting better students who further raise the rankings.
These rankings will be beneficial to both the admissions for the MBA program and the opportunities for post grads.
“If we continue to deliver on our promise to provide transformational educational opportunities for our students, we will continue to attract the best employers,” Thomas wrote. “By doing that, we should continue our upward climb in rankings and reputation, creating a cycle that has the potential to elevate the school to preeminence as the premier destination for global business education.”
As the business school continues to work hard on improving its programs, curricula and prestige, the presence of recruiters on campus will also escalate.
“Our MBA rankings have been increasing in recent years, and so have the reputation and buzz around the program,” Thomas wrote, crediting the MBA Admissions Office, the MBA Career Center, the new curriculum and increased alumni engagement efforts as recent successes.
“The rankings were systematically produced by hard work,” Romanelli said. “The main point is that my staff and I have been looking at and analyzing the rankings for the last four years, and not changing to accommodate them, but continuing to do what we do with the rankings in mind.”