Venture Capital and Private Equity has surpassed Consulting as the top industry experience at HBS class of 2017, accounting for 17% of incoming students.
For the first time ever, Harvard Business School is enrolling more students with backgrounds in venture capital and private equity than those in consulting or any other field. For this fall's incoming group of MBA students, 17% of the entire class-or 166 out of the 940 first years-will hail from VC and PE firms versus just 16% from consulting, down two percentage points from last year. That's an even more significant decline in consulting types from the Class of 2012 when incoming students with consulting backgrounds accounted for 22% of the class.
Despite its continuing decline at HBS, consulting is still the top industry experience at other top schools like Wharton (23%), Chicago (20%), Northwestern (25%), and Berkeley (24%). After reading the class of 2017 profile at HBS and other top schools , here are couple of my observations:
- HBS accepted someone with a 510 GMAT??? What kind of experience does that guy have?
- U.S. business schools, even top schools like HBS or Stanford, are not that international. Harvard's percentage of international student is only 34%. That means 2/3 of the class is still U.S. citizens.
- The percentage of students from different regions (Asia, Europe...) remain mostly unchanged year over year, which means the application process is more of a diversity game than a meritocracy game.
- Contradictory to popular beliefs, adcoms actually favor candidates with business backgrounds, with business being the top major at HBS (45%), Chicago (55%), Kellogg (48%), Berkeley (49%), and NYU (45%).
Given how popular/desirable PE/VC is as a post-MBA destination, why would these PE/VC candidates apply to b-schools in the first place?