3 CA MBA entrepreneur programs among world’s best

stanford-mbaThe Financial Times of London, one of the most influential global business publications, recently assessed all the MBA programs in the world for their record in developing successful entrepreneurs. Three private California schools — Stanford, the University of San Diego and the University of Southern California — were ranked first, third and fourth in the newspaper’s global Top 10.

The rankings were based on 10 factors relating to how many graduates started successful companies and to how much help they got from their schools and alumni networks.

Stanford being tops in the world comes as no surprise, given how much it is linked to the emergence of Silicon Valley as the world’s technology center. From the students who launched Google to the hundreds of other science, finance and business whizzes who attended the Palo Alto school, the university, its Graduate School of Business and its Center for Entrepreneurial Studies have served as an enormous economic engine.

USD’s and USC’s presence on the list might seem surprising to those unfamiliar with their histories.

The University of San Diego, like Stanford, also benefits from geography. The La Jolla/Torrey Pines area seven miles from its campus is one of the world’s leading centers of the interconnected fields of biotechnology, nanotechnology and life sciences, along with San Francisco and Boston. The university’s business school has won raves from Business Week and U.S. News and World Report for its “custom” MBA program that provides students who know what fields they want to enter or who are already with a company with coursework that precisely aligns with their needs.

The University of Southern California, located in Inglewood, doesn’t have such a geographic nexus with a tech center, and the prominence of the university’s football team has long cast a shadow over USC’s very ambitious academics programs. But USC’s Marshall School of Business has won vast praise for its Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, which puts a heavy emphasis on having aspiring entrepreneurs develop extensive relationships with successful entrepreneurs, both those from USC and other academic backgrounds. It’s won kudos from Princeton Review, Entrepreneur Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, and Business Week.

Three other U.S. MBA programs — all from Massachusetts — made Financial Times’ Top 10. MIT was second, Harvard was fifth and little-known Babson College — which offers only business degrees at its Wellesley campus and has successfully focused on entrepreneurship since its 1919 founding — finished eighth.

Chris Reed

Chris Reed

Chris Reed is a regular contributor to Cal Watchdog. Reed is an editorial writer for U-T San Diego. Before joining the U-T in July 2005, he was the opinion-page columns editor and wrote the featured weekly Unspin column for The Orange County Register. Reed was on the national board of the Association of Opinion Page Editors from 2003-2005. From 2000 to 2005, Reed made more than 100 appearances as a featured news analyst on Los Angeles-area National Public Radio affiliate KPCC-FM. From 1990 to 1998, Reed was an editor, metro columnist and film critic at the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in Ontario. Reed has a political science degree from the University of Hawaii (Hilo campus), where he edited the student newspaper, the Vulcan News, his senior year. He is on Twitter: @chrisreed99.

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