GME: Today & Tomorrow Fall 2019

Erin O’Brien (second from left) works with tomorrow’s principled and insightful leaders (and today’s UB students).

Assessing Outcomes and Decoding Data at University at Buffalo School of Management I n her almost six years as assistant dean and director of graduate Tests of the Times:

Quantifying Success O’Brien is an advocate of continuing to harness data after students have been admitted. For that reason, UB will soon begin updating its internal validity study, which links full-time MBA students’ GMAT and GRE scores to in-program academic success and post-MBA career outcomes. “The validity study we originally conducted was designed to predict academic success in the MBA program by using an algorithm that incorporates all the quantitative data we generate during the admissions process — including test scores, GPA and number of months of work experience,” she explains.

entirely adequate and 2) Leveraging new sources of data-driven insights is essential for program survival in today’s student market. For instance, consider the ramifications of the evolution of the standardized test score-focused application review process, the gold standard of the past: “Test scores have long been a chief data source for strategic decision- making in our schools and programs,” O’Brien says. “What happens to those data sources if we move into a test- optional world? Having multiple strong graduate management data sources is going to be critical.”

programs for the University at Buffalo (UB) School of Management, Erin O’Brien has witnessed changes in the world of graduate management education. Whether she’s talking about the dramatic shift in international applications away from U.S. b-schools, the increasing number of non- traditional MBA students considering a wide range of educational options or the growing trend of schools creating barrier-free pathways into their programs, O’Brien circles back to two themes: 1) The old ways of pursuing organizational goals are no longer


GME: Today & Tomorrow | Fall 2019

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