WashU Olin shot up 17 spots in the latest Bloomberg Businessweek MBA ranking released on September 15. Olin was ranked 21st, largely on the strength of improvements in post-graduate MBA compensation figures and the learning, networking and entrepreneurship dimensions of the survey.
The ranking also recognized Olin’s strength in entrepreneurship, where the school ranked third—a marked increase from its 54th-place ranking for that dimension in 2019 on the heels of three consecutive No. 1 rankings for MBA entrepreneurship by Poets & Quants.
WashU Olin last participated in Bloomberg’s ranking in 2019, before the pandemic. The publication canceled its 2020 ranking because of the pandemic; Olin opted not to participate in 2021. Bloomberg’s “Best B-Schools” ranking is based predominantly on student, alumni and employer surveys.
Those surveys are supplemented by school-provided data on student diversity for the diversity index and employment data used in its compensation index, which also includes alumni salaries.
WashU Olin showed improvement across the board in the ranking, with particular strength in learning, networking and entrepreneurship. The diversity index is a new component of the ranking this year. Olin ranked 29th in that dimension.
“I’m gratified to see the continued hard work and dedication of Olin’s students, faculty and staff recognized with the improvement in this key ranking,” said Anjan Thakor, Olin’s interim dean. “We don’t chase rankings, but we’re always thrilled when they affirm what we know is great about Olin’s programs.”
Bloomberg’s compensation index factors in median compensation figures for graduating students and alumni and signing bonus data, as well as the percentage of students employed within three months of graduation.
“The experiential learning aspect of the program coupled with a class size which makes it easy to have engagement and forge alliances,” one student said in the survey. Another said, “Learning from some of the best academicians in the country. Diverse and collaborative culture. Strong emphasis on critical thinking, problem solving, and leadership skills.”
In its surveys of students, recruiters and alumni, Bloomberg asks what was most important to them across a dozen options including “increase my earnings potential,” “build my professional network” and “learn how to start or develop a business.” The publication spells out its methodology here.