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Tuck Business School

The numbers of women and minorities in MBA programs remain low. Overall, women make up approximately half of the population and only about 30% of top MBA programs. Minorities make up about a third of the population of the United States, and yet only 7% of top MBA programs. Many schools and organizations are working to improve these numbers.


Minorities, especially African-Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans, are not well-represented in business schools across the United States. The reason for their low numbers has to do with many complicated factors—including historical, social, and educational ones. The National Society of Hispanic MBA’s suggests that the lack of representation in business school is due to a lack of role models, difficulties financing the degree, and lack of knowledge about the worth of an MBA (compared to the clear understanding of what a Medical degree or Law degree leads to). The National Society of Hispanic MBA’s and the National Black MBA Association are also working to increase the numbers of minority MBAs through grants and scholarships, mentor programs, GMAT preparation assistance, and admissions consulting.


Women too are not well-represented in business schools across the United States. Interestingly, women do make up an equal proportion of undergraduate business graduates, but somehow these numbers drop dramatically in MBA education. The most commonly suggested reasons are concerns in the late twenties and early thirties about starting families and the “biological clock.” Law and medical schools tend to attract younger applicants and thus maintain pretty much equal proportions of men and women. However, some schools, in particular Dartmouth’s Tuck Business School, have noticed an increase in the number of women attending. Through mentor programs and an impressive female alumni network, Tuck Women in Business has been successful at increasing their proportion of women to 33% more than any other business school. The lack of women in MBA programs contributes to a lack of women later on in corporate leadership roles. There are currently approximately 11 women CEOs at Fortune 500 companies, but groups like Tuck Women in Business are working to improve these numbers in the future by providing women with mentors and encouragement to return to or stay in the business world as they fulfill family roles.

Your first year of business school is likely to be a busy one. Adjusting to a new place, meeting new people, learning new things, and opening new doors will make it an exciting, even thrilling experience. Yet, the best way to ensure that you will enjoy your first-year of business school is through preparedness. There are essentially three key ways in which to prepare, and thereby easily clear some of the main hurdles of the first-year.

1: Math Prep

Before you arrive on campus, you should focus on academic preparedness for the Math aspect of business school. If you feel a little weak on your quantitative skills prior to beginning your MBA, you are not alone. Approximately a third of MBA entrants need a full Math review course before they begin classes, and an additional third are weak in some area—whether accounting, statistics or excel spreadsheets—and need to spend some time working on it in the summer prior to beginning school. This does leave an additional third—these engineers, accountants or “traditional” candidates, who have been working in the finance industry prior to starting their study. If you fall into this category, you are unlikely to need much additional quantitative before your first-year classes begin. There are also diagnostic tests you may consider taking if you are uncertain of whether or not you are ready for MBA math.

Review Options

o Many business schools offer a math camp or quantitative review to students prior to entering the fall semester. Check with the school you will be attending to see what summer programs they offer. (It’s also a good networking opportunity.)

o GMAC sells a Quantitative review program called MBA Survival Kit, including 4 CDs covering finance, accounting, math and statistics skills. Each CD may be purchased separately. Available for $60 each or $155 for the complete set.

o MBA Math is an online math review course modeled on the Math Camp at Dartmouth University’s Tuck Business School. It’s available for $99.


o Seek out a program that is approved or recommended by the school you are going to attend. Many schools offer their own Math Camps during the summer.

o If you do fall into a category like “career-changer” (those out of practice in terms of quantitative skills), take a course. Not doing so will leave you in a position of having to catch up with your classmates, many of whom are accustomed to using analytical or quantitative skills daily. Not taking the time to review will make your first-year a much less pleasurable experience—academically, professionally, and socially.

Posted on January 5, 2009 by Manhattan Review

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