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What is the 'right fit'?

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What is the 'right fit'? [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2009, 02:30
Hi Alex,

I have recently started with my GMAT perp.

Could you please give me a few tips regarding 'How can one find the 'right fit' college for oneself?'

Thank You.
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Schools: Columbia, Haas, IESE, Yale, Fuqua, Darden, NYU, Georgetown
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Re: What is the 'right fit'? [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2009, 10:46
visit schools that interest you
Talk to alum
Talk to current students
read some current student blogs
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Re: What is the 'right fit'? [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2009, 12:40
There's no substitute for visiting the school itself and sitting in on a class - most schools will allow you to do that. Being in that environment can tell you a lot, especially if you've visited a few of them so you can compare.

One of the things to ask yourself is "which of the schools I visited do I feel I'll make the most meaningful friendships?" And it's those schools that are likely the best fit for you, simply because that is your *real* network, not a bunch of random people you exchange business cards with. Networking is about building relationships, not a transactional exchange of business cards (although there are people like that in b-school...). You'll learn more or less the same things at all schools.

Also, "fit" can be dictated by your individual circumstances as well. If your spouse or partner is going to relocate with you, his/her situation will also be a huge factor. If they're an ambitious career type, you are limited to schools in major cities (or, you may have to split and find a school that is at least convenient to go back and forth on the weekends to visit). If you have kids, certain schools are easier on families than others simply because of their location -- for example, no matter how hard Columbia or NYU tries to provide resources for MBAs with families, they are still limited by the difficulties of raising a family in New York City, compared to say schools in suburban (Kellogg, Michigan, Stanford) or in smaller cities (Darden, UT-Austin, etc.).

As for recruiting and jobs, talk to current students and alums. You'll get far better intel on this than reading the career placement stats or relying on rankings. This is why it's important to have some idea of what you want to do post-MBA - maybe not a specific job, but at least some potential career paths you want to pursue. That way, you will be able to ask more specific questions which will yield much more intelligent info. Keep in mind that MBAs tend to cluster around the schools they graduated from -- those who went to school in the Northeast tend to stay in the Northeast, those who attended a school in Europe tend to stay in Europe post-MBA, and so forth. This doesn't mean you can't get a job beyond the vicinity of your school - it's just again a matter of "fit" and self-selection; most students tend to choose schools that are in the region they want to work in post-MBA; and especially at lower-ranked schools this regional clustering becomes even more important.
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Re: What is the 'right fit'?   [#permalink] 08 Jan 2009, 12:40
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