Is Duke’s Fuqua School of Business the best business school in the country? According to BusinessWeek, which has jumped on the ranking of MBA programs bandwagon, yes. Obviously, many of you are going to have thoughts about this as well as other things on the list that may have touched a nerve (perceived slights like finding out your alma mater is not in the top ten or making the top three but having to suffer the indignity of an inferior institution being too close for comfort). We’re listening.
20. University of Virginia, Darden School of Business
19. University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business
18. Emory University, Goizueta Business School
17. University of Maryland, Smith School of Business
16. Indiana University, Kelley School of Business
15. Dartmouth College, Tuck School of Business
14. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management
13. Cornell University, Johnson Graduate School of Management
12. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Kenan-Flagler Business School
11. University of California, Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management Read more »
To be sure, it shattered a lot of dreams. Dreams whose seeds were planted, for some, as far back as the early nineties, when the Institute was formed. On visits to the hallowed halls of CFA headquarters. In conference rooms, where colleagues discussed the merits of MBA versus CFA. Upon receiving an email from a friend who’d just updated his signature to include those three little letters and a note to “please see my updated credentials,” when the urge to vomit was strong, but was no match for the realization, “I want that.”
On a Saturday in June, men and women around took a couple of tests. They were the Level I and II of the CFA and while outsiders, family members, MBA grads and the like would never understand how much these exams meant, test-takers knew all too well. Hundreds of hours of studying. Thousands of dollars in test prep books and classes. Social lives sacrificed. Memorial Day weekends uncelebrated. Relationships with neighbors on the receiving end of multiple requests to “Shut the hell up in there I’m trying to study!” more than a little be strained. Episodes of Ladies of London never watched. The downside would be that it was all for nothing. The up? The thrill of one day putting those three little letters next to their name.
The ensuing weeks have undoubtedly been torture. Going over the answers in one’s mind and then going over them again. Comparing notes with a friend only to find you put down the exact opposite, comforting yourself with the knowledge that this guy is the dumbest person you know, only to wake up in a cold sweat with the terrifying thought that he might be an idiot savant whose brilliance lies in taking standardized tests about asset valuation, financial reporting and analysis, and portfolio management techniques.
So while today, and the days leading up, have been full of nerves, it also brings sweet relief. No more second-guessing. No more excusing yourself during conference calls to go throw up. No more alienating your friends by trying and failing to explain to them the concept of CFA Camp.
Harvard and Kellogg MBAs (well, four of them, anyway) love to make a few million by day and catch some college hoops/eat beef sandwiches together by night. Penn State, Princeton, UT and USC alums, too. For Whartonites, two years at West Philadelphia’s College of Capitalism were more than enough time in each other’s company. Read more »
…some argue that students who have completed all three levels and won the right to put the three letters CFA after their names and be called a chartered financial analyst have an advantage over those with an MBA. “I think there might be a crossing point soon – I think the CFA in the financial industry might soon eclipse the MBA,” says Mark Shackleton, professor of finance and associate dean of postgraduate studies at Lancaster University Management School…While it can be very difficult to get into a top-flight MBA programme, once accepted, students can be confident they will finish. “If people sign up for an MBA qualification, there’s an expectation that they are going to get through or be helped through,” says Prof Shackleton. [FT]
As many of you know, the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute is a group that takes itself extremely seriously. While MBA programs may be content to have any old degenerate representing them, Team CFA holds its members and would-be members to a much higher standard. The organization has zero qualms about throwing one of its own out on his or her ass, and in the past has stripped charterholders of their designations or “publicly censure[d]” them (via CFA Institute Magazine), and rained down fury on people in the midst of attempting to earn their charter, for infractions that include:
As no one needs to be reminded, tomorrow is judgment day for 150,000+ financial services employees hoping to one day add 3 little letters to the bottom of their email signature. If you’re feeling prepared, confident, and calm, that’s nice for you. If on a scale of 1-10, 1 being “I have zero anxiety whatsoever about tomorrow’s exam” and 10 being “I’m screaming into a pillow right,” you’re somewhere between 9-15, take heart. Read more »