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Do Grades Matter in Business School?

Students, b-school officials, and employers discuss whether MBA grades make a difference.

MBA students don’t necessarily need to worry about poor marks in their courses.
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That realization hasn't stopped Monica Giffhorn, chief marketing officer at WeLearn Educational Software and an MBA graduate of Johns Hopkins University's Carey Business School, from mentioning her 4.0 b-school GPA "front and center" when she has applied for jobs. Prospective employers never asked her about it, she says.

[See why one undergrad professor grades students based on Klout scores.]

Sandy Arons, a divorce mediator in Nashville, says her academic achievement award from her MBA studies at Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management "does look impressive," but getting jobs has come down to whom you know, not what your grades say you know.

"Here's a joke for you," she says. "What do they call the person that finished last in their medical school? A doctor. Same goes for business school."

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Clarified 12/10/12: An earlier version of this article referenced a business school graduate who is not an MBA.