B-Schools Should Learn From Corporate Hiring Says HEC MBA
This year’s i2i competition asked entrants: “What one idea would improve graduate management education?”
This year’s i2i (Ideas for Innovation) competition invited students and academics to answer the question: “What one idea would improve graduate management education?”
Following this year’s competition, BusinessBecause caught up with third-place winner and HEC Paris MBA Orsolya Oszabo to hear her views on the MBA admissions process.
More than 500 proposals were received and over $250,000 was awarded to the top contestants. Competition organizer GMAC also has an additional $10 million to help fund the most actionable ideas.
Orsolya, who recently began her part-time MBA at HEC Paris, was placed third for her suggestion that universities should adopt ‘novel tools’ when assessing prospective graduate management students. She had already carried out PhD research into the question of which organizational cultures foster innovation.
Speaking from her home in Budapest, she explains: ““The admissions process for an MBA is based around tests and essays. Most schools at least give you a 20 minute interview, which is a good thing.
“But I really felt that I was writing the same essays five times at each school. Why test the same reading and writing skills over and over again?
“A lot of companies use assessment centers and competency-based interviews for selection. If companies are putting a lot of trust in methods that have high predictive validity (i.e. accurately predict future performance). Why aren’t MBA schools using these?
Orsolya Szabo says that changing the way business school applicants are assessed would improve graduate management education
“It's the 21st century, after all; most people get by without essays in the professional world. You use web 2.0 instead, so essays are somewhat out-dated as an assessment tool.
“Maybe it's just that they've never really thought about it. I think b-schools have been using the same methods forever. The only thing that changed is sending applications online instead of by mail.
“The top 20 schools set the standard for the entire MBA industry. If they don't do something, the rest aren’t going to do it either.
“I think part of the reason the schools are slow to change is that they’re much more concerned with their curricula and getting people jobs.
“But they rely too much on the GMAT. I'm absolutely for GMAT because it's a really good tool to test people from extremely different backgrounds. But it's treated as the most crucial assessment tool, when there are so many ‘soft’ management skills that could be overlooked with the current methods."
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