You may be surprised to learn that Chicago Booth is making inroads into an area that its crosstown rival (Northwestern Kellogg) is known to dominate: marketing. Through the James M. Kilts Center for Marketing—named for the Chicago Booth alumnus who was formerly CEO of Gillette and Nabisco (and is now a partner at Centerview Partners)—Chicago Booth offers students roughly ten marketing electives. In particular, the school is growing its experiential opportunities in the marketing field, with students taking part in marketing management labs (semester-long consulting projects) at such companies as Abbott Laboratories, Bank of America, and Honeywell International. Further, professors in the department saw opportunities for increased practical involvement and created “hybrid” classes in “Marketing Research” and “New Product Development” that involve a lecture component but also allow students to work on shorter-term consulting projects. Students can also sign up to be paired with an alumni marketing mentor or apply for Marketing Fellowships, which provide scholarship funds and a two-year mentoring relationship.
Another potentially overlooked destination for marketing-driven MBA applicants is the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, which might be best known for its reputation in finance (as its original name, the “Wharton School of Finance and Commerce,” would imply). Nevertheless, the school prides itself on its breadth and depth of expertise in a multitude of business areas.
For instance, consider these facts about Wharton’s highly regarded marketing program:
- Wharton has “the largest, most cited, and most published marketing faculty in the world,” according to the marketing department’s Web site.
- The school’s marketing department was ranked #2 in the 2018 U. News & World Report MBA rankings by specialty.
- A Wharton marketing professor developed conjoint analysis, a tool that has helped shape 20th century marketing practices.
- The Marketing Club’s annual conference brings together approximately 300 students, faculty members, alumni, and leading marketing experts to explore various themes central to the industry. In October 2016, the conference—themed “Building Brand Affinity: How Companies Move Beyond the Product”—featured keynote speeches by an editor at the CMO Network at Forbes, the account lead of luxury fashion brands at Google, and the chief marketing and brand officer at Chobani. Panelists hailed from such companies as Unilever, Vroom, and Thinkwell Marketing. Indeed, to dismiss Wharton as simply a finance school would be a mistake.
For a thorough exploration of what Chicago Booth, UPenn Wharton, and other top business schools have to offer, check out the free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.