b-school, Business, Henley, Management, MBA, Thoughts

Henley Management College MBA in the rankings

I do not believe in rankings, or at least I do not idolatrise them, but I just thought I could share this one with you. It’s from the Economist Intelligence Unit and ranks a selection of 100 top business schools in the world.

These are the results for Henley Management College:


Not bad, isn’t it? Henley is located in the highest notches of the second, third and fourth categories, but not on the first one (open new career opportunities).

henley-map-clean.gifWhy? There can be many reasons of course, but I can offer you one of them: Henley doesn’t accept any student without a fair share of experience. No recent graduates are admitted. They only give executive programmes. That means that the MBA is really an Executive MBA. And that also means that there are no newcomers to the management world. So all the students do already have a job. We are required to have one.

If you read this blog, or you have read Mintzberg, the idea is not new. Learning management requires to be able to apply what you learn everyday, and only makes sense if you have already experienced management.

That’s why we are all managers there. All of us.

Of course that’s just a point of view. There could be others that could think that being two years away from the real world is good for your management skills. I tend to think it is not.

Don’t get me wrong, it can be great for developing your analytical skills, or as a personal experience towards self growth. There are many MBAs out there that produce great graduates although they are usually focused on other skills that are not management. Which doesn’t mean they cannot be great managers either. This is something you must develop, mainly, by yourself and in the real world.

And of course there will be things, many things that can be done better at Henley. I don’t want to skip self-criticism. But that’s one of the reasons you won’t see Henley in all the rankings: because of its specificity. As in life, everything is a trade-off. And learning amongst managers means that personal development, the educational experience and the networking potential are amongst the best in the selected pool of business schools.


A different view, the top ten schools in every category, from The Economist. No Henley in the first column, #1 in personal development, #3 in increase salary, after Ashridge and IESE, and #2 in potential to network, after EM Lyon.

For those who asked me to write this. Let me insist: I do not believe in rankings. I think there are many good business schools, each of one with its particular flavour. And you must choose your b-school because it fits you, not for any other reason. I just made a choice, the same one than my fellow students did. You must make yours.

Begin by managing your own career.


14 thoughts on “Henley Management College MBA in the rankings

  1. I do not believe in rankings too, even though I’m relatively famous by an article I’ve recently published…on rankings. Having said that, my view on MBA programs is that is a tool to (i) get a piece of paper certifying your abilities; and (ii) get a fair amount of new contacts to develop your network. (i) and (ii) will probably (not always) mean a promotion and a substantial wage rise.

    If you want analytical skills, my best advice is taking a Ph.D. program, better in economics, and learn as much game theory and microeconomics as you can.

    And if you are 25, have finished your college and don’t know what to do in your professional life… better start working. After a few years, ask yourself if you still need that MBA program…

  2. I agree. But there are many kinds of MBAs with different focuses.

    In any case, as a suggestion, another good way to get a fair share of skills is to be a consultant.

    Best regards 😉

  3. Pingback: ¿To MBA or not to MBA? at economing

  4. barun moitra says:

    I personally feel that MBAs should not be judged solely based on their ramkings. It is very important for an individual to match his career progress and his past experience with his future aspiration even before he finalizes a MBA progarm. I have seen many MBA apsirants select schools just based on the ranking in various business publication. I do agree that rankings are important else schools will not strive hard to give their best to the students, but it should only be considered to shorlist b-schools and the ranking criterion should not be the only criteria.

    Now about the MBA program. Lets be honest here, an MBA program is not a thoeritical course where you just read books and write exams. It has to be put to practice. You have to carry forward all that you have learnt at school and use it at your workplace. EMBA provides you that very opportunity.

    You are lucky Gabriel to be amidst people who are well-versed in their respective areas of management. I personally you learn a lot via interaction than by books.

  5. I agree with you Barun, the practical approach is very important. But in any case, whatever you choose to do it’s personal and as long it matches your needs and expectations, will be a useful solutions. What’s not reasonable is to worship these three letters and think they are the holy grial, because there’s no such thing. (IMHO)

    Best regards 😉

  6. Pursuing MBA used to be one of my dreams. But after thinking it through….i realized that my top priority is actually to be my own boss, to start my own business. I don’t think i need a MBA anymore. Better for me to use the money in my own business. 🙂

  7. I decided to do the same long ago. And I don’t regret the decision. But time goes by and things change. This is the moment for me 🙂 maybe some day you’ll feel it’s your moment too.

    Best regards 😉

  8. Helena says:

    Hi everyone!

    It’s a really interesting article!
    I just have one question: Is Henley Management College good if we want to do a master’s program?? I have been accepted at Henley Business School, Nottingham Uni and Birmingham uni for a msc in Management but I really don’t know where to go!
    Thx you in advance!

    Best regards,


    • Of course it’s good 🙂 but, if you’re in France, my recommendation is to take a flight, visit them, get the feeling of the places and the people and then choose. That’s what I did, and thats how I chose Henley in the first place 🙂

  9. Helena says:

    Thx you Gabriel!!!

    I’m in London now 🙂 I am planning to go to Reading next Wednesday!!

    It will help me to make a decision because I’m quite confused now..
    Nottingham and Birmingham uni have a really good reputation in the business field and they also have a pretty good ranking according to Uni league table. (Nottingham: 10; Birmingham : 20; Reading: 27)

    But, according to FT, Henley has a better ranking than Nottingham and Birmingham. (Henley: 39; Birmingham: 61; Nottingham: 66)

    It’s really confusing! But as you said, we can’t judge a business school just on its ranking. So, I will see next week how it is! ^^

    • You know what? forget all that ranking stuff, which is more about sudoku training than academic quality, and just follow your gut feelings 🙂 select a few, visit them, and ask yourself which one makes you feel at home… rankings will come and go, but whatever brand you wanna have in such a visible place of your CV, it has to resonate with you 🙂

      best regards from India

  10. Helena says:

    Hi Gabriel!

    I just wanted to let you know that I’m going to Henley Business School from October onwards for my master!!
    Thx you again for your precious advice! ^^

    Best regards from Paris!!!!

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