The Goizueta Business School rose to seventh place in the BusinessWeek rankings among undergraduate business schools, a move that leaves students hopeful.
Last year, the B-School was ranked ninth, down four spots from a fifth-place ranking in 2008.
Associate Dean and Director of the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Andrea Hershatter wrote in a memo released on Wednesday that “while the BusinessWeek ranking serves as an important benchmark, it does not define [the B-School] as a program.”
B-School junior Shawn Shivalkar said that he is pleased about the new ranking, which he said recognizes the B-School’s strength.
“It’s a testament to the academic rigor and culture that embodies Goizueta,” Shivalkar said.
The rise, he said, emphasizes the success of the small community at Goizueta, which fosters learning on multiple levels.
Emory’s B-School has a relatively small faculty, Shivalkar said, and its ability to work for a large student body and maintain a ranking in the top ten is impressive.
Despite the higher ranking, however, Shivalkar said, rankings are just statistics.
“The program, professors and intellectual capacity of Goizueta is tremendously strong and continues to improve, regardless of rankings,” he explained.
B-School senior Jordan Silton said he is excited about the new results, adding that students can hope for more good rankings to come. But the B-School is based on more than just these numbers, he said.
“We’re not going to let the rankings define the program,” he said.
Although B-School junior Jerry Chen said he is pleased with the rise, he added that he is not completely satisfied with the results because Goizueta is not back to where it was two years ago.
“I’m glad that we rose as opposed to dropping, but we’re not back to the top yet,” Chen said. “We didn’t drop out of the top 10, but I’m disappointed that we didn’t make top five.”
Chen said that he does not expect that being ranked the seventh best school in the nation as opposed to the ninth will affect students’ job prospects, because the rise was “just two spots up.”
The rankings are “overrated,” according to B-School sophomore Jimmy Jia. The drop in rankings last year was a surprise, but even that was not a big deal, he said.
“The top 10 are all in the same ballpark,” Jia explained.
Jia added that he does not think employers and interviewers will focus on the distinction between a school ranked seventh or a school ranked ninth.
“It’s more about personal drive than about school ranking,” Jia explained of success in the career world.
Hershatter wrote in Tuesday’s B-School memo that while Goizueta hopes to remain among the top 10 BBA programs in the nation, the rankings are “a byproduct, not a goal, of our program.”
“The value of your Goizueta experience must be measured by your intellectual, personal and professional growth and the degree to which you are prepared to pursue your educational, life and career goals,” she wrote.
In an e-mail to the Wheel, Hershatter noted that the B-School has remained among the top schools consistently from year to year.
“Despite an enormous amount of shifting among schools, we remain among the most elite group every year,” Hershatter wrote.
The increase in ranking is giving students a “drive to rise,” according to Shivalkar.
“It’s really strong encouragement for current students and student leaders to continue working hard to prove themselves and to continue adapting as the business world changes,” he said. “We should use this as a stepping stone to further ourselves and rise higher.”
BusinessWeek ranks schools based on a student survey, a recruiter survey, median starting salaries for graduates, the number of graduates admitted to 35 top Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs and academic quality of the school as measured by faculty-student ratios, average class size in core business classes, percentage of business majors with internships and the number of hours students spend preparing for class each week.
— Contact Alice Chen