Harvard Business School Looks to Wellesley, Other Women’s Colleges, for M.B.A. Students

May 14, 2015
Wellesley students gathered around a classroom conference table.

Harvard Business School, and other top programs, are looking to women’s colleges for the next generation of business leaders. “Graduates of women-only colleges make attractive M.B.A. candidates because they have opted into an educational environment where women naturally hold campus leadership positions,” Dee Leopold, head of Harvard Business School’s M.B.A. admissions and financial aid, told the Wall Street Journal.

The number of women applying to business school nationwide has been declining for several years. HBS recently announced a new recruitment program, dubbed PEEK, which will host rising juniors, rising seniors and recent graduates in June for a weekend of case studies, presentations and discussions designed to familiarize students with the M.B.A. program.

Programs like Harvard’s are designed to give students a better understanding of what an M.B.A. program entails, and also clear up misconceptions about the types of careers graduates go on to pursue—so, yes, a “peek” at where an M.B.A. can take them.

“More women just need to see what [Business School] looks like,” Susan Harmon ‘67 told the Wall Street Journal. Harmon, who is a member of the Business Leadership Council of Wellesley College, is sponsoring 20 Wellesley students’ attendance in the Harvard program.

In an email, Harmon wrote, “I believe a liberal arts background of the quality provided at Wellesley is critical to leadership in business—private and nonprofit—and really in all professions. Young women might not be as familiar with the idea of going to B-School, as opposed to Med School, for example, where the numbers of women are pretty good. I supported PEEK to give more students the chance to see for themselves whether business school might be a fit after their time at Wellesley.”

More information about the PEEK program is available on the HBS website. Read the articles "Harvard Offers Students at Women’s Colleges a ‘Peek’ at an M.B.A." and "Business Schools Are Fighting to Recruit Top Women" on the Wall Street Journal website.