Kellogg World Alumni Magazine, Winter 2004Kellogg School of Management
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  Dean Dipak C. Jain

From the Dean

Dear Kellogg School Alumni and Friends,

As you already may know, the Kellogg School of Management is considered both the top MBA program globally and in the United States. The Economist Intelligence Unit and BusinessWeek magazine have both again named the Kellogg School No. 1 among all business schools in their 2004 rankings of full-time MBA programs.

Since the BusinessWeek rankings began in 1988, the Kellogg School is the only school that has appeared consistently in the list’s top three spots. This year was our fifth No. 1 ranking, the most of any school ever ranked in this survey. We believe these facts reflect our overall commitment to our students, faculty, alumni, staff and recruiters. We are very pleased at this recognition of our collective efforts.

It is important to remember that while each media ranking provides us with valuable feedback on certain issues, such information is just one component in a larger evaluation that we conduct to ensure satisfaction among all our constituents. Kellogg places special emphasis on creating a unique student experience and on delivering a world-class curriculum. Also central to our mission is our commitment to all our partners, including our faculty, staff, alumni, recruiters and corporate supporters.

Our success is truly a collaborative one, reflecting the hallmark of the Kellogg School culture of team leadership that distinguishes our alumni in the business world.

Indeed, and despite some recent arguments to the contrary, the MBA degree remains a valuable tool to achieve professional success and make important social contributions. In particular, the benefits of a Kellogg School MBA are perfectly aligned with the complex transformations evident in today’s business world.

It is important to take a holistic perspective on the value of an MBA degree. Here is why.

First, almost all the top MBA schools in the United States require their incoming students to have significant experience. That level of professional experience continues to rise from several years ago when the average was two years. Not only is this experience necessary for understanding the teaching in an MBA program, but recruiters are demanding that graduates have this pre-MBA experience, plus summer internships, before they hire them.

Second, most MBA programs provide students with various frameworks for solving unstructured management problems. Learning analytical techniques that develop sound solutions to problems means that managers must have a complete understanding of the basics when they face the task at hand. They obtain these fundamentals in the MBA environment, which complements any personal experiences. This advantage, for instance, is being recognized more and more by consulting firms who recruit top MBA school graduates who can provide their clients with structured, analytical solutions.

Finally, leaders need to go through a learning process that is acquired over the entire MBA academic experience. In fact, the curriculum in many MBA programs today focuses on both analytical skills and the importance of good people skills. In addition, several programs now incorporate real-time and real-world problem-solving projects (i.e. action learning, the theme of this edition of Kellogg World) for companies that provide students with even more experience, making them better prepared for the workplace.

Good leaders aspire to become CEOs one day, and an MBA education definitely provides them with the tools that point them in the right direction. All of us in the Kellogg School community remain dedicated to producing graduates who bring both strong theoretical frameworks and real-world understanding to the challenges facing today’s businesses.

It is gratifying to see our efforts recognized in the rankings. But it is even more gratifying to see the results of our curriculum in action as our alumni contribute their leadership to top organizations throughout the world.

Warmest personal regards,

Dipak C. Jain signature
Dipak C. Jain

©2002 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University