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# Deciding best colleges for myself.

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Intern
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Deciding best colleges for myself. [#permalink]  03 Jul 2012, 03:17
Hi,
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.
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Manager
Joined: 25 Feb 2012
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Re: Deciding best colleges for myself. [#permalink]  03 Jul 2012, 04:27
ketan1605 wrote:
Hi,
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.

School visits
Conversations with alumni/current students
Conversations with people surrounded by many MBA graduates
School homepages

and of course, limited internet googling
Intern
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Re: Deciding best colleges for myself. [#permalink]  03 Jul 2012, 04:54
Thanks for responding!
I am actually based out of India. So a few options you mentioned, such as visiting schools or meeting alumni, are difficult for me.
What do mean by 'limited' googling? Can you tell me some great places online where I can talk to people who've made it into good schools?
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Re: Deciding best colleges for myself. [#permalink]  03 Jul 2012, 05:08
ketan1605 wrote:
Thanks for responding!
I am actually based out of India. So a few options you mentioned, such as visiting schools or meeting alumni, are difficult for me.
What do mean by 'limited' googling? Can you tell me some great places online where I can talk to people who've made it into good schools?

Some international applicants do invest time and  to visit US schools. In the grand scheme of things, \$3-4k might not be much in the long run.
However, situations are different for everyone. So, if you can't visit the schools, try to find aforementioned people and exchange emails or give them a call.
and I am pretty sure there are tones of MBA graduates in India you should be able to find.

Also, school's homepages usually have alumni/current students contact information.
If anything, current students on this forum should have good advices.

Do attend information sessions in India as well.

Online, I am always cautious about what I read. Some people just spread rumors, unverified facts, etc. and completely false information.
Often, many online posts are written by people who "heard-this-from-someone-who-heard-from-someone."
Also, people tend to place more than necessary emphasis on the "rankings." If you do the same, I am sure you'll go crazy, and if you find ranking A places school X higher than school Y, and ranking B does the opposite, you'll find yourself googling "ranking A vs Ranking B". lol

Good luck
Intern
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Re: Deciding best colleges for myself. [#permalink]  03 Jul 2012, 09:36
Hi,
Even I do believe that rankings are not a very good measure for deciding schools to apply.
Your advice to not follow online posts blindly is really welcome! And yes, I shall try finding alumni from India itself.. maybe I can find some on LinkedIn
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Re: Deciding best colleges for myself. [#permalink]  03 Jul 2012, 10:01
ketan1605 wrote:
Hi,
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/ International) 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.

Good luck!
_________________
Re: Deciding best colleges for myself.   [#permalink] 03 Jul 2012, 10:01
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