Extraordinary Individuals from Business Schools: INSEAD, Harvard, and Stanford

I had dinner with the President of INSEAD North America few nights ago and I learned that the North America alumni forum is coming up. The forum list reads like a group of really accomplished and well known people.

This got me wondering. How many alumni from business schools will actually make it big? Who will be truly world famous?

Unlike many business school ranking on career satisfaction survey or international metrics, this has a bit of raw, cut to the core, kind of feeling to it. Fashionable MBA ranking metric changes every year (to sell more papers???). This metric tends to be more stable overtime. Having said that, this doesn't measure the ROI of a particular MBA program or the responsiveness of the alumni network. If you're interested in which school you should apply to, you can read more from my classmate here.

Rather, my goal here is very simple - which business school is graduating extraordinary individuals - ignoring whether the school is really nurturing them or just simply good at picking them among the applicants.

To find graduates who have made it I ran a search on how many executives with profiles on Forbes and Businessweek with mentions of each institution. I only ran this for INSEAD, Harvard, and Stanford. I was going to do Wharton, Kellogg, and IMD too, but these schools have names that are a bit harder to filter out (e.g. Wharton has a huge undergraduate program). Feel free to add these in the comment section.

This is the raw data:

You can use this method to do it for your favorite school with these keyword combinations - e.g INSEADHarvard, or Stanford with their many strange name combinations (is this an intentional branding strategy...?)

Note that this method includes everyone with references to the school (e.g. who worked for the school or graduates with EMBA, PhDs, etc...). I also included the # of alumni and the size of the class in case you want to figure out the "efficiency" of a school at churning out extraordinary people. MBA/year is taken as of 2010. For INSEAD, this has increased gradually over time from ~50 MBAs/year five decades ago to 980 MBAs/year today. What I really want is number of living alumni who are between 40-65 years old, but I don't know how to get that.

If anyone knows a cleaner data source, a more global data source, or a more comprehensive data source (e.g. includes politics) feel free to leave me a comment :-)

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