Foster MBA top 5 in the world for brand value, innovation, entrepreneurship, diversity in Businessweek Recruiter Survey Ranking

Foster MBA students teamed with T-Mobile executives to develop solutions to company challenges via Foster’s Applied Strategy consulting projects.

Foster MBA students teamed up with T-Mobile executives to develop solutions to company challenges via Foster’s Applied Strategy consulting projects.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, recruiters rank the Foster School of Business among the top five of 131 business schools in the world on every aspect–brand value (#3), innovation and creativity (#2), entrepreneurial skills and drive (#1), and diversity of quality candidates (#5). The results from more than 2,863 surveys by 985 employers provide some insights into why the Foster School reports the highest job placement rates of all the elite business schools in the U.S.–98.9%.

A brand that opens the right doors

Foster’s move into the top-five rankings shows a dramatic transformation in recruiter perceptions of the Foster brand, moving from #12 in 2019 to tie with Stanford for #3 in 2020.

According to Businessweek, “If you want doors to open wide because of the sheen of your MBA, head to Lausanne, Switzerland; Cambridge, Mass.; Palo Alto, Calif.; Seattle; or Philadelphia. They’re home to, respectively, IMD, Harvard, Stanford, Foster, and Wharton, tops in the minds of recruiters for schools with the best brands.”

Companies that opened their doors to Foster MBAs are considered among of the most desirable destinations for graduates across the country:, Accenture, Boston Consulting Group, Concur, Deloitte, Google, Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, Microsoft, Nike, PWC, Salesforce, and Zillow to name a few.

Dave Zimmer, vice president of sales for entertainment devices, affirmed that the Foster alumni on his team are willing to jump in and perform. “They’re high energy…and bring a strong work ethic. They are looking to add value right off the bat.”

Foster MBAs excel as team leaders through collaborative problem-solving

Creative, innovative, strategic leaders

In its analysis of the Businessweek recruiter results, Poets & Quants named Foster “a recruiter darling” that elbowed its way into a tie with Stanford for third on high brand value.

“Certainly, Foster benefits from Seattle’s white-hot tech sector” writes Poets & Quants, “…just look at its 99% placement rate and record pay. However, it is the small cohort experience, with its feedback-heavy “We > Me” culture, that prepares Foster MBAs for the demands ahead.”

“The fact that [Foster MBAs] have access to top-tier faculty and great facilities makes Foster a destination school” says Brett Miller, director, global sourcing and procurement at Russell Investments. “The reason we really like Foster grads is that they are ready on day one.”

Exceptional entrepreneurial skills and drive

Foster alumni have founded more than 17,100 companies that employ more than 909,000 people and generate more than $100 billion in revenuePoets & Quants asks, why would Businessweek recruiters look for students with a startup mentality? “Simple: they’re seeking employees who are opportunity-minded and action-driven. These proactive problem-solvers aren’t afraid to take risks, fail, learn, and persevere. By that measure, Washington Foster is doing something right according to recruiters. They gave the highest average score to Foster…Stanford GSB…took home the silver after ranking first last year.”

Foster’s entrepreneurial spirit drives the region’s economy–from University of Washington start-ups like NanoString that advance scientific understanding of the coronavirus, to executives who innovate within their organizations, such as Yusuf Mehdi, Foster MBA ’92, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of modern life, who transforms how we collaborate in the cloud.

An entrepreneurial, economic powerhouse

Foster alumni have founded an estimated 17,000 businesses, resulting in more than 909,000 jobs and more than $100 billion in revenue, according to a 2016 alumni survey.

A career launching pad for diverse quality candidates

Foster has built partnerships with organizations that connect talented candidates from diverse backgrounds to outstanding MBA programs and advancement opportunities.

Committed to increasing the enrollment of underrepresented minority, LBGTQ, women, and veteran students, Foster provides a community of support for diversity and inclusion, including partnerships with the Consortium, Management Leadership for Tomorrow, the Forté Foundation, Reaching Out MBA, and the Veteran’s MBA Conference. The Princeton Review also recognized Foster as #2 of MBA Programs with the Greatest Resources for Women.

Businessweek Top 10 Recruiter Rankings

High Brand Value

Businessweek emphasizes that strong brand perception with recruiters gives graduates a big advantage in their careers.

Rank School Score
1 IMD 6.00
2 Harvard 5.83
3 Stanford 5.75
3 Washington (Foster) 5.75
5 Pennsylvania (Wharton) 5.74
6 Dartmouth (Tuck) 5.69
7 London Business School 5.67
8 INSEAD 5.66
9 Northwestern (Kellogg) 5.63
9 Virginia (Darden) 5.63

Exceptional Entrepreneurial Skills and Drive

Survey results illuminated Foster’s entrepreneurship ethos, which is integrated across the MBA curriculum, concentrated into a graduate certificate in entrepreneurship and realized in multiple business plan competitions through the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship and the Jones + Foster Accelerator.

Rank School Score
1 Washington (Foster) 5.56
2 Stanford 5.50
3 Maryland (Smith) Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) 5.38
4 Georgia Tech (Scheller) 5.33
5 Georgetown (McDonough) 5.30
6 Yale 5.29
7 Virginia (Darden) 5.27
8 INSEAD 5.19
9 UC at Berkeley (Haas) 5.17
10 Brigham Young (Marriott) 5.15

 Innovation and Creativity

“From day one, Foster MBA students tackle complex and ambiguous challenges that prepare them for long-term success in a disruptive global business environment,” says Naomi Sanchez, assistant dean for MBA Career Management. “Through rigorous academic and professional development programs, students learn to think on their feet,” she continues. “They understand the fast pace of technology and data analytics and are highly focused on the customer experience.” Recruiters apparently agree.

Rank School Score
1 Georgetown (McDonough) 5.79
2 Washington (Foster) 5.78
3 Brigham Young (Marriott) 5.64
3 Georgia Tech (Scheller) 5.64
5 Virginia (Darden) 5.61
6 Yale 5.60
7 Stanford 5.58
8 Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) 5.55
9 Maryland (Smith) 5.50
9 UC at Berkeley (Haas) 5.50

Diverse Quality Candidates #5

A Foster student responding to the Businessweek rankings remarked, “The best thing about Foster is the diverse group of students who work together and learn from each other in a collaborative environment.”

Rank School Score
1 INSEAD 5.74
2 IMD Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) 5.71
2 London Business School 5.59
4 Georgetown (McDonough) 5.56
5 Washington (Foster) 5.50
5 Yale 5.47
7 UC at Berkeley (Haas) 5.44
8 Northwestern (Kellogg) 5.43
9 Georgia Tech (Scheller) 5.42
10 Texas at Austin (McCombs) 5.36

For the complete ranking of schools, visit Bloomberg Businessweek

Learn more about Foster’s current rankings.

Related stories:

Businessweek ranks Foster #16 of Best Business Schools in the U.S.
U.S. News ranks Full-time MBA #20, Evening MBA #10; #1 for Placement of top schools
Economist ranks Foster MBA #20 in the world, #1 for job placement in U.S.
Foster #1 of MBAs with highest return for grads earning $100,000+
Tech industry’s favorite B-School for MBA recruitment: Foster


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