Mendoza ranks No. 3 on The Economist's list of top b-schools with the "most useful" alums
A FORMER boss at The Economist—an INSEAD alumna—once confided that, although she prided herself that her door was always open, fellow graduates from the French business school might find the door "slightly more ajar than others". Business school gives one many advantages—a framework with which to analyse problems, a sturdy knowledge of business theory—but perhaps the most important of all is a network of other successful people to tap into. Whether searching for jobs, seeking funding for a start-up or on the hunt for someone to help with a project, friendly help is always at hand.
Every business school makes a fuss about how wonderful its alumni network is. But the reality isn't always so rosy. Maintaining a close-knit community of graduates takes effort. It means keeping in contact with people as they pursue successful careers across the globe. It means running events and top-up classes for them for many years after they leave. And perhaps most importantly, it means convincing students while they are on campus that the institution is worth maintaining a passion for throughout their lives.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, American schools do this best. They, after all, have the biggest incentive, being the world leaders at tapping into their alumni networks to secure huge financial gifts. Such schools spend a lot of resources on maintaining relations with ex-students. And, as the best schools also tend to be old and big, this means keeping tabs on an awful lot of people. Harvard Business School, for example, has 44,500 registered MBA alumni.
But which school has the most useful alumni? Each year, The Economist asks students to rate their school's network. The top ten from our 2014 survey are listed below. Nine of the ten are in the US.