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


Latest features:

Coronavirus Impact On MBA Jobs Market Causes Concern

May 7 Roundup

Coronavirus raises MBA job market concerns for business school applicants 

If you are  wondering what coronavirus means for your career plans, a new survey shows that you’re not alone.

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) has surveyed than 1,000 business school candidates, documenting their concerns about how COVID-19 could affect their education and career prospects.

According to the survey, 35% of candidates are ‘very concerned’ or ‘extremely concerned’ about the impact of coronavirus on their pursuit of a business school degree. 

Worries have also emerged over how coronavirus will affect the job market when these candidates graduate. Since the IMF projected a 3% drop in the global economy in 2020—a worse slowdown than the financial crash of 2008—future employment prospects could be affected. 

GMAC survey results coronavirus uncertainty

Source: GMAC

According to GMAC’s survey, 50% of prospective business school students say that the post-coronavirus job market is a specific area of concern for them. MBA candidates seem to be more concerned about job prospects than their business master’s counterparts. 

53% of MBA candidates are concerned about the job market compared to 42% business master’s students. This may be due to the fact that MBA candidates typically have more work experience, which could make them less willing to leave their current jobs. 

Additionally, the coronavirus situation is prompting many to defer their business school applications. According to the GMAC survey, 44% of candidates are considering this alternative. 

Read more on GMAC’s survey

CEMS Partnership Announced With University of Cape Town GSB 

The Global Alliance in Management Education, CEMS, announced this week that the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) will be joining its network. 

As part of CEMS, students on the Master in International Management (MIM) at UCT GSB will be able to take part in exchanges with other schools in the network, facilitating knowledge exchange and greater cultural awareness.

UCT GSB will be the first business school in sub-Saharan Africa to become a CEMS member, and it is hoped that the partnership will help South African students tap into a powerful global network.

CEMS believes that UCT’s experience of fostering excellence in a challenging operating environment will be especially useful to students graduating in an uncertain world transformed by COVID-19. 

There are currently 33 schools, spread across every continent, in the CEMS network, which also incorporates 70 corporate partners and seven NGOs. 

What GMAT Score do you need for Harvard Business School?

When applying to business school, working out what GMAT score to aim for can be tricky. When setting yourself a target, looking at the average scores of students who were accepted into programs that interest you can be a good place to start.

Last week, we released our list of average GMAT scores for the FT’s top 20 MBA programs. This week, we delved a little deeper, looking at the range of scores accepted by the Harvard Business School (HBS) MBA in 2020.

The median total score was 730, split between a verbal score of 41 and a quantitative score of 48.

Harvard MBA GMAT range BusinessBecause

That being said, HBS accepted students with scores as low as 590 to their MBA program, demonstrating once again that while a good GMAT score supports your application, it isn’t the be-all and end-all. 

If you’re taking on the new GMAT Online, which forgoes the Analytical Writing Assessment section, you might be wondering how scores will be calculated.

GMAC, who administer the test, say that the online version will use the exact same scoring methods as its test center counterpart, however, so it’s best to stick with your test prep strategy and aim for the same score you would at a test center. 

Zhejiang University launches fintech webinar series

As the ongoing coronavirus pandemic forces more transactions online than ever before, fintech is set to play an increasingly crucial role in business. 

Hoping to help professionals prepare for the challenges and opportunities presented by fintech developments, China’s Zhejiang University International Business School (ZIBS) are launching a series of webinars on the topic. 

“We are delighted to launch this webinar series against the global backdrop of the fight against COVID-19, through which fintech solutions such as contactless payments have proven an important tool,” comments Dr Ben Shenglin (below), dean of ZIBS. Dr Ben Shenglin, dean of ZIBS

Each session will be hosted by a prominent thought leader, and cover a different aspect of fintech. The first webinar, taking place on May 13, will see Lesly Goh, senior technology advisor of the World Bank Group, discuss the role of fintech innovation in SMEs, and female empowerment.

GMAT Official Guide 2021 eBook Released

May 6 Roundup

GMAT Official Guide 2021 eBook Available Now

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) has launched a new e-book version of the GMAT Official Guide 2021 for GMAT test takers. It’s the only official resource for real GMAT exam questions and the 2021 version includes over 1,150 practice questions from past exams.

It will provide the opportunity to learn about the GMAT exam structure, format, and timing. The resource also allows users to customize by subject area and difficulty, so you can focus on the right areas of the test for you.

The GMAT is primary entrance exam for many business schools. Achieving a high score can be a great way into your program of choice.

Check out the average GMAT scores for the world's top MBA programs.

A Student's Perspective On The Coronavirus Disruption

Matteo Consigli is a student at MIP Politecnico Di Milano. Here he describes how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted his studies.

How has your study experience been disrupted by the coronavirus?

Covid19 had its first major spread in Italy starting on Friday, February 21st. The next day was the last day spent in class. Starting from the following Tuesday, all lessons and other School-Candidate interactions were completely shifted online. The school implemented this quickly and fortunately we didn’t miss a single day of class, keeping the MBA timeline student coronavirus

What changed the most was the opportunity to connect in person with people, especially professors, lecturers, and company guests. That’s something that you can still do by digital means, but it makes you miss the chance to welcome them and talk to them in private. At the time of Covid spread, fortunately, the connection between students was already well established. WhatsApp groups were ready to welcome our unexpected increase in free time with chatter, jokes, laughter, and worries.

How do you think your jobs prospects will be impacted by coronavirus?

At the time of writing, I am about to start an MBA summer internship in a prestigious global strategy consulting firm. This company was my target before the MBA and I’m very proud of the result. I have to admit, I’ve been very lucky with timing, having completed the selection process before the Covid spread.

As for after the summer, if the whole economy continues struggle, I don’t know for sure if I’ll be offered a full-time job. This is my major concern at the moment, but given that I’m planning to stay in the consulting industry I have a positive outlook.

Consulting services have been hit hard by the crisis, but are the backbone of the recovery. The school is helping me in managing, providing me not only specific pieces of advice and updates on the economic status, but also in planning a potential September Plan-B.

What would you say to anyone considering applying to business school in this difficult time? 

A B-School’s number one lesson is 'the higher the risk, the higher the possible return', and with an MBA you are betting on yourself. Before enrolling on an MBA program, I would make sure that there are no major changes in terms of the program and traveling schedule. But most of all, I’d make sure that the school has a solid and tested online learning backup. That’s something that I didn’t check in the beginning, but It turned out that it has saved almost completely my MBA experience.

Stanford MBAs Give Back To Those In Need

Students from the Stanford Graduate School of Business are rallying together and innovating to help those in need through a number of initiatives.

Split the Check is a campaign empowering people who do not have immediate need for their stimulus checks to donate part of the funds to the people who really need it. Part of the team are two Stanford students, Isabelle Fisher and Erin Washington.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, many internships were forced to be cancelled. To help students, Kamil Ali and Martin Aguinis launched AccessBell which matches students who have lost their internships with working professionals.

A group of students have also launched Giftcard Bank, which is donating gift cards to those who have been hit hard by the damage done to local economies across the US.

Business School Hosts An AI Graduation Ceremony

Graduation is sure to look different this year. But at Thunderbird School of Global Management things are going to feel super futuristic. Using telepresence robots, or 'avatar robots', students will be able to virtually walk in on their ceremony.

On May 11, the live video and audio of each individual robot will give the opportunity for students to experience graduation as close to the real as possible. The school is, however, allowing students to still attend in person next year once lockdown measures have been lifted.

Virtual Summer Internships & Consulting Projects For MBAs

May 5 Update

Aston Business School expands its Virtual Internship Program

For those dismayed at missing out on the opportunity to work or intern at top companies around the world during their MBA, Aston Business School has a solution. 

The UK school’s Work Global, Stay Local program offers postgraduate students the chance to work remotely for real companies around the world related to their career path of choice. Students can complete up to 300 hours of work there. 

Students will also get access to the virtual internships training platform, with access to one-on-one career coaching, including advice on building your resume and how to leverage your internship experience in interviews. 

UK Government to cancel MBA apprenticeship scheme

UNC Kenan-Flagler MBAs to offer Consulting to Businesses this summer

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, for the first time, is opening up consulting opportunities to its MBA students over the summer. Many of these will be conducted online.

The Student Teams Achieving Results (STAR) program matches up MBA and undergraduate business students from Kenan-Flagler to businesses looking for assistance or insights into challenges they may be facing. 

The school has seen an increasing demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions, from students whose international internships may have been cancelled, as well as corporate partners facing additional challenges. 

7 Ways To Make Business Sustainable Post-COVID

B-school expert Matt Symonds offers his insight into how to make businesses sustainable after the pandemic. 

Is it still worth doing an MBA this year?

Uncertainty and instability surrounds MBA applications. Is it worth the investment? Will there be a job for me at the end of it?

For this week’s Applicant Question, we spoke to Chris Healy, head of MBA marketing and recruitment at Alliance Manchester Business School.

Read the full article here.

Is Now The Right Time To Go To Business School?

May 4 Roundup

Is Now The Right Time To Go To Business School?

Martina Beermann, career development director for HHL Leipzig, is offering advice on considering whether to go to business school during the current crisis. She explains that now could actually be the perfect time to study, with b-school programs offering future-proofed skills that could bolster your career.

Including factors like gaining crucial management skills, digital knowledge, a global network, and most importantly an investment in your future, she suggests investing in a business school program could make you better prepared for leading in uncertain times.

“Especially now you should invest in knowledge to broaden your digital and strategic competencies, thereby securing a competitive advantage over other candidates in the job market of the future,” Martina says.

French Business School Emlyon Launches eSports Courses

The eSports industry has been rapidly expanding over the last few years, with a valuation in 2018 of $138 billion. With the coronavirus suspending global sporting events like Wimbledon and the Premier League, could eSports benefit?

Master’s students at emlyon business school, in France, will now be able to take courses in eSports with credits counting towards their degrees. Mickael Romezy, director of emlyon’s Sports Makers program, thinks now is a great time for students to get into eSports.

“Even if we do not yet know when we will be able to restart different sports this year and next year, eSports is still expanding and is not hampered by the context.”

Read the full article here.

B-school Professor Predicts Coronavirus Future 

Dr. Markus Rudolf, dean of WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, has worked to produce statistical modelling showing the estimated development for the coronavirus pandemic. As well as projections on prospective death tolls, the model shows when new infections could reach zero—the point where various lock-down measures could be relaxed.

Warwick Business School Offering Free Webinar For Leading In A Crisis

A reminder that Warwick Business School is giving candidates a free taster lecture on some of the core qualities of leadership. Increasingly relevant during the coronavirus pandemic, business leaders are currently facing an unprecedented task. This provides a great, and free, insight into a class at a top business school. Leadership is one of the key skills that any business school program will develop.

On May 7, Dr Dimitrios Spyridonidis will outline six principles for leaders to allow them to best cope with the challenges thrown up in a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic.

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