Kelvin Ma/Bloomberg

Heard On Campus: Today's Business Students

  1. Today's Business Students

    Today's Business Students

    When it comes to commenting on current events and trends in the B-school marketplace, we hear a lot from administrators, professors, even employers, but rarely do we hear from the business students themselves.

    In this recurring feature, called Heard on Campus, Bloomberg Businessweek has recruited student journalists at some of the top university newspapers in the country to capture the B-school pulse from the people who are actually living it. In this installment, we ask the question "How do you think your generation of business students is different from those of the past?"

    Here's what business students had to say.

    (Some responses have been edited for length and clarity.)

    Kelvin Ma/Bloomberg
  2. University of Michigan's Ross School of Business

    University of Michigan's Ross School of Business

    Allison Berman, 20, undergraduate business student: "I think it's a little bit different. The startup culture is so prominent. I can't say it wasn't like that before because obviously businesses have always been starting, but the business school doesn't have a Center for Entrepreneurship and the College of Engineering does. I think there's a slow trend toward more of that innovation. We are like the 'me,' social generation. I have a friend at another university majoring in entrepreneurship. I think that's something different you really didn't see before. It really was finance, marketing, accounting, consulting." — As told to Stephanie Steinberg of the Michigan Daily

    Photograph by Marissa McClain/The Michigan Daily

  3. University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School

    University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School

    Lauren Allen, 28, MBA candidate: "I think more of us come from diverse backgrounds now. It's not your typical investment banker and consultant. There are a lot of people coming from areas outside of finance. That makes for a more interesting student body and people bringing different experiences about different areas they've worked in. I think people are getting MBAs for different reasons these days. It's not to carry on the family business; it's to make your own way." — As told to Jennifer Sun of the Daily Pennsylvanian

    Photograph by Alice Lee/The Daily Pennsylvanian

    Alice Lee/The Daily Pennsylvanian
  4. UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business

    UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business

    Panpan Wang, 28, MBA candidate: "What I think may differentiate our generation of business leaders is how we define success. For most people I know, it's about much more than getting a bigger paycheck or climbing the corporate ladder; it's about new experiences and creating lasting impact. We're very fortunate that we get to think in these terms and pursue our goals accordingly." — As told to Jamie Applegate of the Daily Californian

    Photograph by Kevin Ho Nguyen/The Daily Californian

  5. Duke University's Fuqua School of Business

    Duke University's Fuqua School of Business

    Minming Gu, 28, MBA candidate: "There are a lot of differences. One is there are more international students. For example, my study team, I have six team members from five different countries who can speak seven different languages, which is amazing, amazing. And people in general are more and more diverse and the acceptance rates of those of different races and different backgrounds is higher and higher. This is something I am happy to see." — As told to Lindsey Rupp of the Chronicle at Duke University

    Photograph by Taylor Doherty/The Chronicle

  6. Harvard Business School

    Harvard Business School

    Joseph T. Ferrer, 26, MBA candidate: "I think the lines are starting to blur between what's an MBA job and what's not. I think if you look at past statistics of folks going into new industries from business school, compared with now, you'll see there's a lot more variety in terms of the types of roles, the types of companies, the types of functions, and even geographies that MBAs tend to go into. I think we're starting to see there's a need for an MBA mentality all over the world and across all sorts of functions and companies. There's a lot more diversity in terms of pathways that MBAs decide to pursue, and I think that's great. Ultimately, that is a really beneficial thing for the students who don't feel they have to go to finance firms or consulting firms. They feel they could go elsewhere if they want to." — As told to Gina Hackett of the Harvard Crimson

    Photograph by Gina Hackett/The Harvard Crimson

  7. Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management

    Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management

    Aaron Holiday, 30, MBA candidate: "I see a shift happening. I think as a result of the recent economic downturn we're seeing people who are less interested in traditional career paths out of business school, like banking, and more interested in more value-creation career paths that do well for the economy—like entrepreneurship, sustainability, private equity, or venture capital. I think business school is getting back to its core, which is the core operations of business, instead of wealth distribution from one wealthy group to another. It's still a small percentage of the student population that has that type of focus, but that population of people is growing." — As told to Michael Linhorst of the Cornell Daily Sun

    Photograph by Michael Linhorst/The Cornell Daily Sun

    Michael Linhorst/The Cornell Daily Sun
  8. University of Michigan's Ross School of Business

    University of Michigan's Ross School of Business

    Paul Belin, 32, MBA candidate: "I don't think it's very different. I think what separates Michigan from a lot of other schools is not just the size of the alumni network, but how avid they are as supporters of the network. That is something I can definitely see my classmates being a part of as alumni, and I think the school spirit in that aspect is very similar. I think that's the main thing that has been shown in the past, and I think it's very similar today. The school spirit of Michigan is people's extreme desire to stay with the school, and their support while they're here and afterward. That's something that really resonates with me, and that's one of the reasons why I liked the idea of coming to Michigan vs. some of the other schools." — As told to Stephanie Steinberg of the Michigan Daily

    Photograph by Marissa McClain/The Michigan Daily

  9. Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business

    Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business

    Adrien Germain-Thomas, 31, MBA candidate: "I think our generation is much more socially responsible. I think there's a will for our generation to do well while doing good. The '80s were all about making money, and our generation is the one witnessing huge demographic trends in the world. It's the one being confronted with theories of scarce resources on our planet, and it's also the one being brought up in more challenging environments than our parents'. We're more responsible for our actions." — As told to Katie Gonzalez of the Dartmouth

    Photograph by Katie Gonzalez/The Dartmouth

  10. Emory University's Goizueta Business School

    Emory University's Goizueta Business School

    Jeff Docherty, 20, undergraduate business student: "Students continue to be very interested in and excited by traditional career paths, but I think more are open to taking non-traditional routes - working for a start-up or as an entrepreneur. Students are placing a premium on finding the career path that allows them to use their business education to do something that fulfills them, whether that means working for a large or small company, a for-profit or non-profit." -As told to Stephanie Fang of the Emory Wheel