Targeting schools is a thoughtful process. I always advise clients to go to the best school they can get into as long as that school has the right culture and fit. Given your profile, I would say you would fall in the second tier of b-schools, that's somewhere in the 25-50 range. This narrows your search to 25 schools. within this range, you should look at things like curriculum and teaching method, to see which schools offer the kind of learning environment that best suits your desired style. Beyond that, there is of course industry expertise and reputation. Your post MBA vision is broad, so you will need to narrow down your focus since some schools are better known for finance or strategy than, say marketing or operations. This should help you narrow school list down to 10 or 12. Since you should ideally apply to 5 or 6, you could further pare your list by looking at where you want to work (sometimes it's good to choose a program near your targeted work city, since the network will likely be strong there). Also many of the recruiters travel only regionally, so using geography and logistics in some cases can be a good approach. Finally, I would reccomend you visit your top 5 in person, do a class visit and if possible, meet some professors or admissions folks. Most b-schools will have a tour program to allow this. There is no better way to pick your school than through a personal visit, plus it gives you a potential leg up on the admissions process, since the adcom will appreciate your making the effort to check them out.
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