I gave my GMAT last year and will be applying to universities this year, most probably in R1. Currently, I am in the process of selecting colleges to which I should apply first in R1 but am in some sort of a fix.
I don't know exactly how I can research the colleges and decide on which college would be best for me- by best, I mean a college that I can get to for the 2013 batch and a one which would have a good course for me.
My question, then, is this: what is the best way to research colleges/college-curriculum etc.? I am a little skeptical about the many mba rankings (businessweek, financial times etc.) because I believe they are not the best way to decide which college I should go to.
You're absolutely correct in that rankings are *not* the best way to decide which business school to attend.
The Veritas Guides
(you can get 3 for free) give a pretty comprehensive overview of the different schools and the business school guides (US
) here in GMATClub.com are also pretty useful.
That said, you need to list out all the ways in which schools differ, decide what you prefer and ultimately rank your schools accordingly.
For example, my thought process/conditions were as follows:
1) Prestige: Top 10 School (based on most rankings)
2) Size: Small class (<400)
3) Network: Strong alumni network
4) Career: Good for consulting
5) Experience: Prefer college-town
6) Misc: Exchange opportunities
Tuck hit all those points for me, and everyone I met from the school was great. Over time, you'll understand different schools' "cultures" a little bit more, and that can/should weigh pretty heavily into your decision. It's 2 years of your life that you're committing to spending with your classmates in a particular area, so you should really think about where you see yourself "fitting in".
Some schools allow you to connect with alumns that are in your area or share your background/interests. I know Tuck has "Tuck Connections
," not sure about other schools.
Hope this helps. I know it's difficult to really "get" what each school is about without visiting/spending time there, but hopefully the more reading you do and the more you get to interact with people associated with each school, the better understanding you'll get. Ultimately, certain qualities/characteristics will be emphasized more for each school and you'll have to decide which you value most.
Glad I Retook: 730 (Q44 V46) to 760 (Q50 V44)