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:

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 unchanged. 17e8ee650764aa141aa7fd8736a0b2099566b9f1.jpg

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

7895441aae73c4746c1df1643fee2412260bdb6a.png 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.

GMAT Online Exam | 5 Things I Learned Taking The Test

You can now take the GMAT from home after the GMAT Online Exam was launched in April 2020 as a temporary solution for candidates applying to business school during the coronavirus pandemic.

The GMAT is typically taken in test centers, although these have been closed by the pandemic. 

Here, GMAT expert Stacey Koprince, from Manhattan Prep, describes what she learned from her online test-taking experience and explains why the online whiteboard tool—which you need to use to take notes and do calculations during the exam—shouldn’t hold you back.

Stacey scored 740 on the GMAT Online Exam.

Note: The GMAT Online Exam now includes a physical whiteboard option. From June 2020, you can take physical notes during your exam.

5 lessons from the GMAT Online Exam

1. You should practice with the GMAT online whiteboard—a lot!

Going into the exam, I was laser-focused on the online whiteboard as the biggest challenge—and 90% of my five to six hours of practice with the whiteboard was on quant problems. 

That focus paid off: My quant score actually went up one point (from 48 the last time I took the official test to 49 on the GMAT Online) and my IR score stayed at 8.

Most people are going to need a couple of weeks of practice, until the online whiteboard feels comfortable enough for you to take the exam. Using the whiteboard is not a direct translation; you can’t always do the same things you’d do on paper. So there’s a learning curve to figuring out how you want to organize your workspace, track your overall time, and solve individual problems.

Watch more of Stacey’s GMAT prep videos

2. Mental fatigue and physical comfort are real factors

I paid far less attention to the mental and physical aspects of taking the test at home. I barely practiced for the Verbal. When I took my one practice test, I did the Quant section sitting at my desk, but then got uncomfortable and moved to the couch to finish the test.

Big mistake! During the Verbal section of the real thing, my shoulders and neck got so tense that I had to take time to loosen up; I could’ve done that on a smaller scale throughout to avoid that issue. I also should have bailed on another one to two hard Quant problems to save mental energy and finish the section early, allowing me a mini-break between sections. 

My Verbal score (my strongest section) dropped from 50 on my last official test to 42 on the GMAT Online. It’s true that we’re locked into the Quant-Verbal order and can’t have a real break between sections, but I think I could have gotten to 45 or 46 with better preparation—and that would’ve gotten me an overall 760 or 770 score versus the 740 that I ultimately earned.

One extra tip on this: Taking the test at home could help some anxious test-takers to feel more comfortable, but don’t get too relaxed. Do wear comfortable clothing, as you would in the testing center, but avoid pajamas or something you’d wear to veg out on the couch; that may lower your adrenaline and focus. Dress for success!

3. Hope you don’t need the proctor—but they’re there if needed

The woman who helped me walked me through everything and then patiently answered my multiple questions. Her calm demeanor actually helped to calm my nerves a bit and she even wished me luck—and I felt that she was sincere. 

At my break, I pulled up the chat and was talking to someone within 15 seconds. A colleague of mine waited longer—maybe two to three minutes—to get a response. This is similar to a testing center, though; in both cases, one proctor is helping multiple people and you may have to wait a few minutes for someone to get to your request. 

In general, some proctors are more conscientious than others; this is true in testing centers and is going to be true online as well.

Check out: Average GMAT Scores For The World’s Top MBA Programs


4. The GMAT test content really is the same

Except for the fact that there was no essay, the test content felt exactly the same as it always does. I’ve taken the official GMAT many times and there was no discernible difference in the question type, content, composition, or anything else. The likely hundred-plus hours you’ve been putting into your preparation has not been wasted in any way.

It’s true that you’re going to need some time to adapt to the online whiteboard, but as with anything, good practice will get you the skills that you need to succeed on the GMAT.

5. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t take the GMAT Online Exam

Now that I’ve done it once, I think there’s a decent chance I’d choose to take it from home over the testing center, even with the online whiteboard. 

I do need to practice more with the whiteboard to feel fully dialed in, but I don’t think there’s any reason why I can’t get there. So I’m telling my students to start building skill with the online whiteboard now and decide in a couple of weeks whether you want to go for it or wait to take the test in a testing center. 

Ultimately, I’m really happy that my preparation with the online whiteboard tool did what it was supposed to do on Quant—and that means other test takers can learn to do what they need to do, too—but I didn't pay enough attention to other factors on Verbal.

So learn from me and do better!

Read more about the Online GMAT Exam:

GMAT Online Exam | Release And Reaction

GMAT Online Exam | Your Questions Answered

5 Steps To Mastering The Online Whiteboard

Register for the GMAT Online Exam

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