BASHED B-SCHOOLS BITE BACK
By Justin Martin

(FORTUNE Magazine) – We're moving into the high recruiting season for MBAs, and guess what? A survey of FORTUNE's 100 Most Admired Corporations finds that some put little stock in a business school's curriculum, placing emphasis instead on such factors as a candidate's prior job experience. Based on responses from 46 companies that actively recruit MBAs, Hanigan Consulting Group of New York City concluded that such employers view business schools as mere hiring halls. , Says President Maury Hanigan: ''Companies do not believe B-schools impart any special wisdom, knowledge, or magic.'' Needless to say, school administrators don't buy this, if only because it's difficult to charge tens of thousands of dollars for a product that doesn't do anything. Retorts William Pierskalla, dean of UCLA's Anderson School: ''They should send some employees to one of our classes to learn about conducting research. They could learn a lot.'' Adds Dan Nagy, director of career services at Duke's Fuqua School: ''It seems ludicrous. If there's no value added, why not go to the open market and avoid the premium paid to MBAs?'' Students with substantial loans and two years of their lives on the line were similarly peeved. Says Sunder Aaron, 26, a second-year student at University of Michigan business school: ''Of course it may be hard for an interviewer to determine that the source of something I learned is Finance 617. But as someone investing $60,000, I'm certain the program adds value.'' -- J.M.