It seems as if the business school and our football team go in opposite directions these days. While the boys in maize and blue pwned Notre Dame this weekend, the WSJ went kinda-sorta Coaches Poll on Ross, dropping it to #7 in the recruiter-assessed MBA rankings for 2007.
We talked about this a little bit in class, especially since our accounting professor decided to bring it up prior to our first exam of the term (which is, by the way, 33% done…GAH!). We weren’t terribly fazed until she mentioned the key reason why WSJ believes this happened: arrogance. In the meantime, I think I saw some classmates hording dozens of copies of the Journal (free in the Executive Lobby!) and taking them over to the Law Quad to be burned in effigy. Paaaaandemonium!
I decided to have a look at the article myself — because, ya know, I’ve learned to not believe everything I read in the two weeks I’ve been in b-skool — and I’m not really buying it. Heck, I think rankings in general are dum and stoopid. Here’s a few issues that stand out:
1. Lack of knowledge about the industry. Let’s first ignore the fact that WSJ used the response from one – uno – recruiter regarding a perceived, ahem, lack of knowledge about the auto industry. Without going into specific details, amount of students interviewed, etc. etc., we can’t really glean much from this response. However, I should also note that the companies have the choice of whom they want to interview — and although a resume can only reveal so much, it’s the responsibility of the company to screen students. Ross can improve this by offering both web- and forum-based rundowns of various industries, and we students need to take better advantage of the resources that already exist.
2. Arrogance. This issue is creating a buzz; the typical reaction is as follows:
— WSJ tells Ross student he/she is arrogant.
— Ross student stands/sits there, stunned.
— Ross student looks to his/her peer on the left/right and snickers a little bit.
Granted, the interaction with a corporate recruiter, one who maybe spends a total of ten hours at Ross once a year, may be different from the UMBSA happy hours. But the claim that Ross students seem “too relaxed”…I didn’t know that being hardcore and faux-gung-ho for a job were the qualities a recruiter really longed for. Ross can counter this by pointing to the thousands of hours of interaction with the Ann Arbor community Ross students engage in each year, as well as the insane amount of students involved with Net Impact. I don’t think arrogant students would demonstrate a commitment to the community and environment, personally.
3. The Building.
Several recruiters also complained about the disruptions caused by construction of a new business-school building on the Michigan campus in Ann Arbor.
I have to address this, because it nearly throws the WSJ rankings from my “Irrelevant” pile into the “Will Use This Paper for Dog Training” pile. To harp on the development of new facilities, something that will provide an even better interactive learning experience, is frustrating. It doesn’t affect, in any way whatsoever, the quality of instruction and the programs available for recruiters and students alike. And when it’s done, I can’t waaaaaait to hear recruiters rave about it, even though they considered its construction as a nuisance. Maybe we should have just added a bunch of trailer homes outside the school; it sure what have been much less of a headache!
These are just my knee-jerk thoughts. We’re not crying too much over here, probably because we’re too relaxed to worry about it.