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B-school diversity – how important is it?

Katie Schenk - June 09, 2015

Multi ethnic business team at a meeting. Interacting. Focus on woman

There’s a lot of talk about the global marketplace and the interconnectedness of world economies.  And, that’s certainly true; it’s never been easier to connect with anyone and everyone else.  It’s even more consequential to prepare tomorrow’s business leaders which is why b-school ad-comms place so much importance on creating a diverse class year after year.

What defines business school diversity?

At top business schools, diversity means different things.  At some programmes, the emphasis is on gender diversity while at others it is more about including as many different cultures and backgrounds as possible.  According to TopMBA, American schools also face a mandate (legal or implied) for inclusion of underrepresented groups such as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans.  This is a second level of diversity – the legalities and forming a class out of the available candidates.  There are motives behind this that extend far beyond the short term.

The world of business requires more than strategy and lessons.  Leadership is the crucial yet unexplainable aspect that drives the motivated to apply to business school.  And, it’s impossible to lead without understanding those that require direction.  You can’t learn diversity from books, but you can learn about other perspectives in group discussions and intense travel with others.

So how important is diversity when choosing a b-school?

Not everyone feels that diversity plays a significant role in their choice of business schools.  And, it doesn’t necessarily need to be for applicants; ad comms will always take this aspect into account while forming a class.

Fortunately for MBA hopefuls, many of the top schools are known for diversity as much as they are for their coursework.  Business Insider Singapore sites INSEAD as the most diverse business school in the world.  Check any global ranking and you’ll find this school listed near the top of their list.  Other schools in the top 25 include IE Business School and ESADE, both in Spain.  Yale also features prominently as does Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.  It almost doesn’t matter where you do your MBA; you will find diversity comes with the territory.  And that’s a good thing if you’re one of tomorrow’s future leaders.

Learn more about Prodigy’s international MBA loan programmes here, or read more about Prodigy's investment community here.

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