Now, this is definitely an off-your-beaten-path type of MBA. The Ivey School is up in Canada. You know, that big land mass to the north of the U.S. of A.? Where they talk a little funny? Even, sometimes (gasp!) in French? U of Western Ontario is where we’re pointing. The Richard Ivey School. (No, sorry, not an “ivy league” school. Sheesh.)
Obviously Ivey isn’t a top 10 school. (Why “obviously”? Well, because you probably haven’t heard of Ivey before. Right?)
Most would say it’s barely a top 20.
But, we like ’em.
For a certain kind of candidate, this school, and others in this band o’ the rankings, might be wholly appropriate — nay, even PERFECT — for pursuit of their MBA. (If you are Canadian, it’s a no-brainer that you may want to go to Ivey if you plan on staying in-country for your graduate studies, as this is in our opinion the best option there.)
One MAJOR reason we like this school’s adcom is due to their very-helpful, very-direct, very-informative blog postings.
In recent months they’ve provided insights into why they make you write essays as part of the application process.
They had a great post full of tidbits for kids still in college, detailing how they can start preparing for their MBA now (and also explaining why they require work experience at all).
They also offer the same analogy that we do about school visits: you wouldn’t buy a car without test-driving it first, so how the h3ll can you apply to bschool (a US$100k+, 2-years-through-the-rest-of-your-life investment) without visiting the darn place.
What else do we like? They’ve got this super-awesome fun and informative “Are you a fit for us?” quiz on their website. Go ahead. Take a run through it now (it’s the link in the righthand column). See what it says about you. It’s engaging and cute and they offer real feedback (sure, it’s canned responses, but it’s tailored to you) based on how you answer those simple questions. And, they’ll review your resume and give you an assessment. (It’s often the schools/programs that are scrambling for good candidates who offer this, but it’s proof they’re on your side and working with their candidates proactively.)
They’re working hard to network with you Brave Supplicants and be accessible. They’re ahead of the pack in terms of deploying technology — even that little quiz is small proof of that. They’re publishing their cases on iTunes. Heck, they even followed us back on Twitter! (Not all of the oh-so-important bschool adcom types bother doing that. We notice when they do.)
Now, we absolutely are not recommending Ivey to everyone. We wish we could endorse a school that way, but we can’t. This is a lower-ranked program. It’s been beaten into our heads that the rankings do matter, and we agree that it changes the opportunities that you get coming out of school, and later, and it’s going to affect your lifetime earning potential. BUT: Ivey is DEFINITELY right for certain Brave Supplicants. If you’re an older candidate with more work experience, if you’re not afraid of the case method (they produce more cases at Ivey than any school but HBS), and if a one-year program in Western Ontario might work for you based on your own geographic preference during/after your MBA… this is definitely one to consider.