Today’s business climate is more competitive than ever. Several highly qualified MBA grads are vying for fewer and fewer corporate jobs. According to a 2008-2009 survey by the MBA Career Services Council, business schools have experienced a drop in corporate recruiting of more than 10 percent affecting more than half of the 94 top-ranked business schools in the United States, Canada and Europe. Scary, isn’t it…especially if you’re one of the many contemplating a return to graduate school. So what would set you apart or give you the competitive edge to land that corporate gig? Corporate Social Responsibility
The Aspen Institute just released the 2009-2010 edition of Beyond Grey Pinstripes, a biennial survey and alternative ranking of full-time MBA programs that integrate issues of social and environmental stewardship into curricula and research. Did your school make the list?
The need for candidates with experience in the CSR field is growing at a fast pace as communications improve and a demand for increased transparency and accountability in the corporate sector increases. Consumers are demanding more information on everything from where and how their goods are produced to the environmental record of the companies they invest in. Both Dow Jones and FTSE produce indexes to provide investors with information on which companies score highly on CSR-related concerns. Companies, such as Timberland, Ben and Jerry’s, Stonyfield Farms, and Seventh Generation have put CSR performance at the center of their brand image. Job opportunities in CSR have expanded as a result, and companies are searching for qualified MBA’s. According the Aspen Institute Center for Business Education, here are the top ten business schools in the United States that integrate CSR into curricula and research.
Top 10 Business Schools Focused on CSR in the United States
- University of Michigan (Ross)
- Yale School of Management
- Stanford Graduate School of Business
- Notre Dame (Mendoza)
- University of California Berkeley (Haas)
- New York University (Stern)
- Columbia Business School
- University of Virginia (Darden)
- Cornell (Johnson)
- George Washington University School of Business
The schools were measured in four specific areas:
Availability of Relevant Courses counts the number of courses offered that contain social, environmental or ethical content. How much opportunity do students have to take courses with this content?
Student Exposure measures teaching hours and student enrollment in these courses. To what extent are students actually exposed to such content?
Relevant Courses on For-Profit Impact is a simple count of the number of courses that not only demonstrate their relevance to the survey, but specifically address the intersection of social and environmental issues in mainstream, for-profit business. Do any of the courses being taught on campus explicitly discuss how business can be an engine for improving social and environmental conditions?
Faculty Research counts the number of scholarly articles containing some degree of social, environmental or ethical content being published in peer-reviewed, business journals. To what extent do professors on campus explore these issues in their own research?
Above, I listed the top ten business schools in the U.S, but you can find the Aspen 100 List, which lists the top 100 schools from around the world. It may surprise you to find that the number one business school in CSR is the York University Schulich School of Business located in Toronto. School highlights from this Beyond Grey Pinstripes survey are featured in a new guidebook for prospective MBA students, titled The Sustainable MBA, which is available at the Aspen Institute’s publication website.
If you believe your school’s MBA program should have been included on the list, you may want to contact your business school and recommend they participate next year.