>Completing our diatribe about Kellogg’s shift from the traditional two-year MBA to an increased focus on the 1Y, what this move says to us about them is essentially one of two things:
- Either Kellogg is acknowledging that they’re not quite at the level of a Harvard or a Stanford, programs which turn away gobs of qualified candidates every year (you can check out our commentary on this from last summer to see what we’re talking about);
- Or, Kellogg is reading the tea leaves of the marketplace and ACTING ON IT before any of their peers.
There’s lots of talk about a bubble in the MBA industry. Bschool deans have been rubbing their hands over this for a couple years now. But has anybody done anything? No. Most schools are busy expanding themselves (did you know that you can go to Michigan Ross — in LA?) This change at Kellogg is, in our opinion, part of the Think Bravely initiative that Dean Blount is putting out there (gah! wasn’t it called “Think Boldly”?? guess not. maybe that was an Apple campaign? it’s unfortunate that this new Kellogg tagline is so reminiscent of such an iconic brand).
Anyway. All the bschools have been talking behind closed doors about the shifting demographics of the applicant pool and many have expressed nervousness about this bubble. To be incredibly simplistic, bubbles are formed due to oversupply. The odd bait-and-switch behavior that Columbia has exhibited in the past few years where they try to push full-time applicants into their EMBA program is proof that there’s too much capacity in the marketplace.
From the Economist article:
[I]t has been difficult for the powerhouse business schools to come to terms with the idea that the model on which they have relied for decades might be creaking. Many have been in a state of denial, merrily admitting more and more students while increasing tuition fees well above the rate of inflation.
So, in case you didn’t gather this from our previous posts, EssaySnark’s interpretation of these facts is that Kellogg is being “brave” in taking the first public steps to acknowledge the shifting realities and adapt to them.
But you know what? All of this is pretty nonsensical. The Kellogg brand name has weathered nearly a decade of the school languishing. (Previous leadership at the school seemed a little asleep at the wheel, if you ask us.) If you go out on the street of any city in the world and ask a stranger to name three top MBA programs, we’re betting that Kellogg will make it onto that list. It’s just a name that people know. And THAT carries weight. Kellogg could slip completely off the Top 10 lists that BSers obsess over and its reputation in the real world would not be diminished. However it got there, “Kellogg” is synonymous with “MBA” for many people.
Now, having a great reputation, and a student getting a great education, are obviously not the same thing. But if you’re looking at pure ROI numbers, yes, the reputation of your school is going to grease the skids for you. It will open doors in your future.
This juggling of capacity at the school? Not a factor in any of that. It’s the same profs who teach the 2Y and the 1Y, and we are hard pressed to see how this change will matter in the educational experience for current or future students in any respect whatsoever.
Just our very long and involved $0.02.
Tell us what you think.