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MBA Student Glossary

April 9, 2021 2:48 pm0 commentsViews: 337

360 Degree View

A term used to describe that a thorough analysis, usually of customers, has been completed.

30,000 Ft View

The ability to take on a perspective on a problem that is broader, without having to focus on details.

% Women

The number of women admitted to an MBA program expressed in percent.

% Financial Aid

The number of students receiving financial aid expressed in percent.


AACSB – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International

AACSB International was previously known as the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business. It is the main organization that accredits MBAs in this country. There are now a few hundred programs across the country that are accredited according to the stringent AACSB standards. This means the faculty, the curriculum, the library, the student body and more all meet certain standards. Because there is more interest on accreditation now, and because there are now so many different programs around the world, the AACSB has also started to provide accreditation for international programs. They only do so for programs where they believe it is important to check that it meets the American standards because there are strong international relationships, for instance.

Being a member of the AACSB is different from being accredited. Additionally, there are schools who state that they are, or were, ‘candidates’ for accreditation. This does not mean they hold accreditation. Do be aware that the AACSB is not the only accrediting body. Some programs are accredited with the ACBSP, for instance, which is also nationally and regionally recognized.

ABS – Association of Business Schools

This is the ‘trade’ association for business schools in the United Kingdom. Most of the schools offering MBAs in that country are members of the ABS. Membership is not necessarily a quality indicator, although there are several criteria before a school can become listed. New and smaller schools are often not members, but their programs may still be very good. The UK is one country where the AACSB also accredits.


Depending on where in the world you are, this can mean different things. It is important to be aware of this, because so many MBA programs are delivered fully online. As a result, you may believe that you are studying with an accredited program, but that accreditation may be meaningless in this country. The majority of degree awarding establishments, including universities, are licensed or accredited through a government agency, which allows them to offer degree programs, as well as award degrees.

It is also possible that universities provide accreditation to other institutions, enabling them, in so doing, to deliver part of their programs. This is known as ‘validation’. Additionally, most countries, including ours, have a number of independent accrediting bodies. These can accredit entire establishments or individual programs.

Generally speaking, being accredited means being ‘approved’. In our country, the AACSB is the main accrediting body for national programs. Most accepted international programs are accredited by the AMBA. When an accrediting body becomes very respected, like the AACSB, most schools will try to receive accreditation through them, usually for their individual programs. As a result, however, there are schools that offer programs that are accredited, while also offering non-accredited programs. If, however, the entire school is accredited, it means that every program they offer meets the necessary standards.

ACBSP – Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs

The ACBSP operates mainly in this country. Its main aims are to establish, promote and recognize various education standards that are proven to contribute to the continuous improvement of education specific to businesses. They generally accredit small to mid sized degree programs.


This term means that something is ready to be taken action on.

Admissions Requirements

The minimum standards a prospective MBA student must meet in order to be accepted onto a program.

AMBA – Association of MBAs

The AMBA was initially set up in the United Kingdom in order to represent those with an MBA. However, it quickly grew and became an accrediting body in 1967. It accredits only programs and not entire schools. AMBA accreditation is an accepted standard in this country.

Over 10,000 MBA degree holders are now members of AMBA. They are the voice and representatives of the interests of business schools and employers. They are a registered charity, which means their advice, information and guidance are completely impartial. They are particularly good in providing information for those considering to take part in an MBA program.

AMA – American Management Association

The AMA is one of the biggest membership associations in our country. They provide services for corporate and individual members around the world and now have four different regional centers. They also have a center in Brussels, Belgium (the AMA Management Center Europe or MCE). Here, online education and customized company courses are offered to managers in all industries and levels.

Area of Concentration

The specific element of business management that an MBA focuses on. More and more MBAs have very specific areas of concentration, such as marketing, international business or finance.

Average Post Graduation Salary

The average salary graduates of the MBA program earn per year after completing the program.



The resources that are required in order to successfully complete a project.

Best Practice

The technique or way of working that is classed as superior to any other, because it is believed that it will offer consistently good results.

Blue Ocean

A market that is fully uncontested, which means that there are many new business opportunities to be found.



A word used before the delivery of bad news, usually to somewhat soften the blow.

C-Level Executives

High-level managers of a business, such as chief executive officer, chief financial officer and chief operations officer.


Decreasing the demand that exists in the current market for a product by introducing one that is very similar.

Core Competency

The thing that makes a certain business unique and what they are very good at. Generally speaking, core competencies in a business are impossible or very difficult to mimic.


Decision Tree

A management tool in which the consequences of different decisions are mapped out. This tool helps managers determine which course of action presents the least risks.


The various tasks that have to be completed, or objects that have to be delivered, in order for an agreement to be fulfilled.


When a problem occurs in which multiple sides are involved, this is classed as a ‘delta’.


Exit Strategy

The strategy that is used by a business owner in order to leave an investment. Usually, businesses will set up an ideal exit strategy, which means that they know when they have earned as much as they can from an investment and have to leave at that particular time. There is also a catastrophic exit strategy, which is used when an investment is not going according to plan.

Expert Ranking

The average and weighted ranking calculated based on the individual ratings of five different sources, namely US News, Forbes, The Economist, Businessweek and Business Insider.


First Mover

The first company that is able to enter a new industry or a new market.

Free Rider

Companies or individuals that only utilize resources that are provided by others.


Game Changer

A company, person or idea that is truly visionary. Implementing the thoughts or ideas that stem from this have the potential to revolutionize the way a business works.


Home Run

When an investment, project or any other enterprise is completed with great success.


Invisible Hand

Whatever force actually guides the market. Common examples include politics, economic stability and even the weather.



A strategy used within business management that looks specifically at maximizing customer value and minimizing waste at the same time.


The ratio of the debt (loan capital) of a company compared to the value of its equity (ordinary shares). Leverage is also known as gearing.

Low Hanging Fruit

An opportunity or piece of very easy work that can be done quickly.


Market Penetration

This is generally a mathematical figure that shows how many customers were reached through a certain action or campaign.


The awareness consumers and customers have about certain products and brands.


The ability to take an idea or product and turn it into an asset that brings money in.


Online MBA Offered

Whether or not a school offers their MBA program online. In many cases, those that do offer online programs have certain limitations on that. For instance, they may require students to attend certain seminars or school days, while offering the rest of the curriculum through a computerized program. Many international schools do offer fully online programs. However, overall, the areas of concentration are more limited.


‘Offline’ conversations are held in private. Within journalism, these conversations would be called ‘off the record’.


Paradigm Shift

A dramatic, revolutionary or very sudden shift in the ways things have been done before, or how they were perceived in the past.

Perfect Storm

An event with disastrous consequences, which have been caused by a range of different forces and factors coming together at exactly the right time.


ROI – Return on Investment

This measures how quickly an investment has paid for itself. Sometimes, it is expressed as a percentage, for instance, when it is not possible to receive a full ROI.

Rolling Admissions

The ability to enroll in an MBA school at different points during the year.


School Type

Indicating whether a school is publicly or privately owned. If private, it will also state whether the school is for profit or not for profit. As a rule of thumb, for profit private schools tend to have the most expensive tuition fees. However, they also tend to have higher post graduation salary and job opportunities.

Scope Creep

When management decides that a certain project will need to have a wider remit or limit, but does not increase the available resources for that project. Resources include money, employees or time.


Parts of an organization that seem to work completely independent from others. Others who are not within the silo often feel that it is impossible to find out what is being done or what the purpose of that particular group is.

Six Sigma

The business management strategy that was developed in 1986 by Motorola and continues to be relevant today.

Smart Rank

The ranking a certain MBA school based on six different institutions. These are US News, Forbes, The Financial Times, The Economist, Businessweek, and Business Insider. Smart rank also takes into consideration the rankings a school has achieved over several years, thereby measuring consistency.


A stakeholder is any individual, group of people or other organization that has an interest in a company. This includes the community, government, suppliers, customers, employees, investors, board members and so on.

STP – Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning

A popular process that is used by businesses to develop their marketing strategy in particular.


The value or benefits that are achieved when certain parties or stakeholders are put together. This would not have been possible if these parties operated individually.


Total Enrollment

The total number of students who are currently enrolled in an MBA school.

Total Faculty

The total number of faculty staff who are employed in an MBA school.

Take Away

The things that people are supposed to learn from a meeting or seminar.

Take a Deep Dive

Review certain things in great detail.


The open information that is provided by businesses, generally in their methods of working and their finances.

Triple Bottom Line

The three things that matter in the triple bottom line are people, planet and profit. The ‘triple bottom line’ is the strategy that is used to measure these three things.


Value Add

Unintentionally providing a benefit to something.

Value Proposition

This is an official statement that explains why a customer would benefit more from choosing the product or service offered by one company instead of that of a different company.


A specific area of a business or a niche market.



A strategy or situation in which three different parties benefit. This is often used to describe a very positive triple bottom line.