Yet again, Booth tops BusinessWeek rankings

Booth was named the nation’s best business school by the magazine, as it was in 2008 and 2006.

By Rebecca Guterman

The Booth School of Business was named the top business school in the nation for the third consecutive time in BusinessWeek’s biennial rankings, published November 11.

Booth took the top spot in the 2006 and 2008 rankings as well. The 2008 rankings followed a $300 million gift from alumnus David Booth (M.B.A. ’71), the largest gift ever given to a business school.

Booth was followed by Harvard, still at number two from 2008; University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, up from number four; and Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, down from number three.

The rankings of full-time M.B.A. programs are based mainly on polls of graduates and corporate recruiters, dean of the full-time M.B.A. program Stacey Kole said in an e-mail interview. Corporate recruiters ranked Booth students higher than those of any other school, she said.

“[Corporate recruiters] said our graduates have the highest management skills and the highest analytical skills. And the recruiters said Booth has the most effective career services office,” Kole said.

Graduates gave Booth A+ grades in teaching and career services, and the school ranked second overall in a pool of graduates, according to Kole.

The number of faculty publications and other achievements also factor into the rankings, according to Bloomberg News Service, which publishes BusinessWeek.

Kole cited the faculty’s relentless quest for critical thinking by pushing the students to their academic limits as a contributing factor to the rankings. “We constantly question and test ideas, and seek proof. Our rigorous approach to the fundamental disciplines of business means students leave here ready to excel in challenging assignments for a wide variety of employers in the U.S. and abroad,” Kole said.

Jakub Mleczko, vice president for Alumni Relations of the Graduate Business Council and a full-time M.B.A. student, said that he sees the high national standing reflected in his time at Booth. “You go here, you get a feeling that it’s a truly special place, between the students, faculty, and the buzz of the campus and Chicago,” he said. “There is a nice kind of melding of what [the school’s] doing now and how it leverages its huge history.”

Still, Kole said, the Booth School constantly strives to improve, regardless of its national standing. “The level we are at today is, in some sense, a floor from which we intend to rise up in the coming months,” she said.

BusinessWeek also discussed the increasing competition for jobs in its summary of the rankings, citing some of the lowest percentages in years of employed graduates across all schools. The amount of unemployed students three months after graduation has risen from four to 12 percent since 2007, according to BusinessWeek.