Live Updates: Coronavirus Impact On Business Schools

What is the impact of coronavirus on business schools? We bring you the latest updates including campus closures, changes to MBA admission requirements, and more


- New MBA application deadlines released amid COVID-19 disruption

European and US business schools plan to start classes on-campus in the fall

GMAT Online Exam appointments available through 2020

MBAs are still landing jobs despite coronavirus

Latest features:

Cornell MBA Gets STEM Designation & Harvard Offers Deferment For Incoming MBAs

April 27 Roundup

Cornell MBAs get STEM-certified

Two Ithaca-based Management Science MBA programs at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business have received STEM designation, taking the total number of STEM-designated programs at the school to five. The Class of 2021 in both programs will be the first to graduate under this new certification.

Johnson’s portfolio of STEM-designated programs now includes:

Two-Year Management Science MBA

One-Year Management Science MBA

Johnson Cornell Tech MBA: based in New York City

MPS in Management: provides students who have a non-business undergraduate degree with the rigorous business management education of a top MBA program.

MPS in Management – Accounting Specialization

STEM-designated programs are classified as such by the US government for their focus on science and technology. International students on an F-1 visa who pursue one of these programs are eligible for what is known as a STEM OPT (Optional Practical Training) extension, enabling them to work in their field for a total of up to 36 months in the US without an H-1B work visa.

Find out more about STEM-designated MBA programs

Cass Business School offers free coaching to doctors

London’s Cass will provide free coaching and resources to doctors and medical leaders during the coronavirus pandemic.

Harvard Offers Deferment for Incoming MBAs

Harvard Business School has announced it will offer deferment to incoming MBAs who want to delay their studies because of coronavirus, according to one report.

Admits will have a window between May 15th and June 1st to request a deferral to start the full-time MBA program in 2021—or potentially even later—instead of this fall. HBS will no longer accept deferral requests after June 1st.

The news comes as MBA programs are impacted by coronavirus with classes shifting online. HBS students who are happy to delay their plans and don’t want to risk jeopardizing their full-time MBA experience—studying on-campus, international trips and the like—may be drawn to defer.

3 ways an online MBA will advance your career

There’s never been a better time to study online. Using your time at home to complete an MBA can give you the rocket fuel your career needs. Read the full article.

Online MBA tips infographic

Coronavirus FAQs

With coronavirus closing test centers, preventing campus visits, and forcing interviews online, how can you keep your MBA application on track?

In this week's Applicant Question,’s Esmeralda Cardenal takes you through some common questions she'd been asked by applicants as the coronavirus outbreak continues. Read it here:

coronavirus faqs mba application

UNC Kenan-Flagler Fast-Tracks College Students Into MBA

April 28 Roundup

UNC Kenan-Flagler To Fast Track College Grads Into Their MBA Places

Recent college graduates could have the opportunity to go straight into an MBA, thanks to UNC Kenan Flagler Business School

The school has launched the NC Business Next program, which aims to boost career opportunities in the current economic crisis by offering spots to a small number of high performing college graduates, for an MBA usually reserved for those with three-to-five years of work experience. The program is open to graduates from UNC Chapel Hill, other UNC campuses, and North Carolina residents from other universities. 

“Recognizing the difficult and uncertain career opportunities for new college graduates in North Carolina, we decided to launch an initiative that provides a route to career success for new college graduates in North Carolina,” explains UNC Kenan-Flagler dean Doug Shackelford. 

The program is willing to offer a GMAT or GRE waiver to those unable to prepare for or take a GMAT in the expected time.

Find out the average GMAT scores at the world's best business schools

Our annual report of average GMAT scores at the world's top 20 business schools according to the Financial Times is out. 

Stanford tops the list, with an average GMAT score of 734, with Wharton in second place on 732. There's a three way tie for third place, between Harvard Business School, Chicago Booth, and Kellogg School of Management. 

Check out the full article here.

How online learning is equipping us with remote working skills

IE Business School professor Enrique Dans spoke to us about how MBAs moving online is actually a blessing in disguise. It’s the perfect opportunity, he says, to get to grips with technology and software that will come to define the workplace. Read the full article.

Professors from Asia School of Business give their reading recommendations

Check out our Self-Isolation Reading List here.

Coronavirus thought of the day—is the COVID-19 lockdown a bit like a social experiment?

In a matter of weeks, all of our human interactions have moved online, through platforms like Zoom and Slack. It’s a massive test, to see how well business and humans can cope with online technology; on the flipside, whether technology can adapt to suit our needs. 

It’s a little bit like a social experiment, suggests London School of Economics professor Carsten Sorensen. 

“We are all being forced to battle with digital platforms when they refuse to do what we want; perhaps you can’t figure out how to view all participants in a call or your video isn’t working. I have a doctorate in computer science and still spend time on IT support.”

But perhaps it might cause some revelations about the way we used to live.

“Perhaps a prolonged period of social distancing will lead to deeper reflections on how we live, on whether being crushed into a claustrophobic tube line is really worth it, on the importance of physical communities over virtual interaction, and on the importance of a balanced working life.”

Harvard MBA Secures STEM Designation

April 29 Roundup

Harvard MBA Gets STEM certified

US business schools are rushing to get STEM-designation for their full-time MBA programs to attract more international students. STEM-designation qualifies MBA graduates for 36 months of Optional Practical Training, allowing them to work in the US without an H-1B visa.

Now, according to one report, Harvard Business School has confirmed its request to create a track of the MBA Program designated as Management Science has been approved. To pursue the Management Science STEM track, HBS MBA students will take a series of first and second year courses in STEM-related topics.

The STEM MBA trend is largely in response to a drop in international applicants to US schools, a result of strict visa requirements and anti-immigration rhetoric by the Trump administration. It’s also linked to a significant STEM job shortage, with 2 million jobs expected to go unfilled by 2025. 

Find out more about STEM-designated MBA programs

How an MBA will get you jobs post-coronavirus

The disruption caused by coronavirus has seen economies suffer and companies reduce staff. To ensure you stand out in the post-coronavirus jobs market, an MBA can help. Read the full article

mba jobs coronavirus

MBA employers recruit online

LBS online course helps you pursue a career in tech

Do you have an idea for an app or a web-based business, but no idea how to build it? A new online course, taught to students at London Business School, is helping people with non-tech backgrounds pursue careers in technology.

Sophia Matveeva (pictured below), who teaches the course, is a Chicago Booth MBA grad who started her own fashion tech company Enty with no background in technology. Despite this, she managed to create several tech products and lead a successful tech team. “As a result of what I've learned, I created a course on what non-technical founders need to know about tech,” she says.

The course covers the basis of how apps and websites are made, with the next course date set for May 11th.

sophia matveeva london business school enty

Working from home won’t save the planet

A university study has found a mass move to working-from-home accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic might not be as beneficial to the planet as many hope.

The majority of studies on the subject analyzed by University of Sussex academics agree that working-from-home reduced commuter travel and energy use, by as much as 80% in some cases. But a small number of studies found that telecommuting increased energy use or had a negligible impact, since the energy savings were offset by increased travel for recreation or other purposes, together with additional energy use in the home.

Studies indicate it would be better for workers to continue working from home for all of the working week rather than splitting time between office and home once lockdown rules are relaxed. Similarly, companies will need to encourage the majority of staff to switch to home working and to downsize office space to ensure significant energy savings.

Deans make coronavirus predictions

London Business School Professors Share Leadership Lessons

April 30 Roundup

LBS Professors Propose Good Leadership Habits

The world is changing, and leaders need to change too. A group of London Business School professors have put their heads together to propose what they believe should be the habits that leaders embrace in these uncertain times. 

“Give gifts of unequal value,” suggests professor of finance Alex Edmans. “Life is not a finance textbook.” He praises businesses that are going above and beyond to deliver services and goods that will help those most in need. 

Gillian Ku, professor of organizational behavior, suggests that leaders “embrace different perspectives.” People should invest this time in trying to understand how other people function and live—which in turn will feed cooperation and collaboration. 

How b-school professors are learning to teach online

It's estimated that over a billion learners have had education disrupted by the pandemic. Business schools and professors from around the world have had to move teaching online. Dr Anna CohenMiller, from Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan, shares four ways professors are mastering online teaching.

1. Managing expectations

While online learning has been a trend in higher education, most faculty members have not been trained in this practice. Teaching online for the first time may not be the best lessons they have ever delivered, but this is a learning opportunity for everyone. 

2. Being flexible in assessment

It is important to decide out how to achieve learning outcomes via online teaching; professors will likely need to help students demonstrate their knowledge in new ways. For assessments, they can decide if they want or need to change examinations during this period of online learning. Perhaps there are some forms of assessment that could be removed altogether.

3. Choosing technology strategically

There are digital platforms offered by universities (Canvas, Moodle, Blackboard) and also other tools, such as Google docs or Whatsapp groups. Experimenting with different technology systems may take some time, but professors should find the ones that they feel most comfortable using.

4. Creating an inclusive, supportive environment

While some students may be technologically adept and comfortable with online tools, others may not be. Students may be anxious about their abilities in an online setting, concerned about having consistent access to the internet, or worried about demonstrating their learning online.

Saïd Business School offers insight into leadership during times of crisis 

Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford broadcast their latest webinar, on Leading in Extraordinary Times. You can watch the panel, led by Saïd professor Tim Morris, here.  

How One Business School Moved Entirely Online

For EGADE Business School, the transition to remote learning was completely seamless. Within 24 hours of the lockdown announcement, the entire school had moved online. 

Find out how their different online offerings and teaching methods, as well as online networking opportunities, are keeping their students and alumni active and engaged. 

Read the full article here.

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