Judging B Schools: Some Hidden Criteria

As someone with the dual perspective of a recent MBA graduate and current role as a student recruiter for a leading British business school, I read "The Best B-Schools," (Special Report, Oct. 19) with great interest. However, I noticed the omission of reference to overseas business schools as an attractive option for students who want a global view of today's business environment.

As the only American in my graduating class, I found an overseas business education provided experience I wouldn't have found in America. With the continued globalization of many businesses, an overseas MBA provides many tangible benefits. By conducting my MBA abroad, I developed an understanding of how the U.S. is viewed from other countries, which profoundly shapes attitudes and understanding of business practices.

In addition, by conducting my studies in England I was able to witness the historical impact of one of the key factors influencing the business environment this decade: increased European economic integration and the onset of the single currency. Furthermore, the high number of foreign students in our program (60% international students representing 20 different countries) provided a diverse learning environment, as well as long-lasting friendships and networking opportunities throughout the world.

Barbara Coward

School of Management

University of Bath

Bath, England

The principal greatness of America lies in the astounding salaries companies pay to its "do-nothing special" MBA graduates. The principal question I ask myself: What is going to happen in the future if more and more Americans are attracted to these faculties? Who is going to do the really important work, like a good auto mechanic, a good auto electrician, good carpenters, good plumbers, good construction workers? Luckily, in Mexico we don't have this problem, because there are too many people without education who go for the jobs mentioned.

Instead, due to the same fact of poor education, we have other problems, like corruption, low wages, political criminals. (Bill Clinton's misdemeanors with Monica Lewinsky are nothing compared with what our late President Salinas did to us: doing deals with the country's public utility companies like telephones, highways, etc.)

But returning to the principal theme, I believe that to have high earnings there must be some kind of a risk, especially financial risk, as there was by the great entrepreneurs of the past who started today's big companies. With the Harvard guys, or MIT or Kellogg or wherever, the only risk they are taking is whether, after their studies, they can find a $100,000-a-year-plus salary.

Pablo Sanchez Gomez

Cuernavaca, Mexico

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