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What Matters to YOU?

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What Matters to YOU? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2008, 08:50
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Nope, this ain't that wretched Stanford question....much better!

Help AAu with her marketing class. Tell me what matters to you when choosing a business school. What do you look for? What are your priorities?

Everything and anything goes.

cheers
aau
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Re: What Matters to YOU? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2008, 09:02
In order of decreasing importance:
- Recruiting: My MBA would be useless without a job in my desired field
- Strength of the program in the field I wish to pursue. In my case, it was operations/manufacturing so I looked for schools with such a specialization
- Class size
- Alumni involvement/size
- Reputation
- Financial Assistance for International Students
- Location
- % of International students

Last edited by clobo on 03 Feb 2008, 09:30, edited 1 time in total.
SVP
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Re: What Matters to YOU? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2008, 09:08
that's exactly what i'm looking for. thanks and keep it coming.
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Re: What Matters to YOU? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2008, 09:12
I'll go even though I'm fairly non-traditional.

1. Location: I want to start a certain type of business in an area that can best benefit from it. This means the school has to be in a large city. I would want to be able to network through the b-school with local business owners and people within my industry in order to get ready to launch my start-up.

2. Entrepreneurship Opportunities: The school has to have solid options for people who actually want to do start-ups. At the same time, I don't know that I'd want to go through a program where nearly everyone is trying to start a business of some sort. There ARE some benefits to being one of only a few people trying to start their businesses immediately, such as increased personal attention and less competition for resources. I also preferred a program that wasn't only focused on tech and internet start-ups. Brick and mortar is not dead, just harder to crack without access to funding...

3. Flexible Curriculum: As a young applicant, I need to be able to look at what courses are available and say "I'm ready for this class, but not yet ready for that one." I am not looking for a post-MBA position with a company, I'm looking to learn applicable business skills as I try to make my idea a reality. I also want to be able to take a decent number of courses outside of the business school, especially in areas of public policy and language classes.

4. Friendly to Young Applicants: I suppose if these are ordered, this should be one of the first things listed. But obviously if a school just doesn't see the benefit of admitting someone who is extraordinarily motivated straight from undergrad under any circumstances, then I wouldn't apply there.

Good luck on your class!
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Re: What Matters to YOU? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2008, 10:39
My 2 cents

1) Reputation of the school in the field i want to specialize - Dont want to end up at a school known for finance when my focus is general management.
2) Location, location, location
3) Admit rate for foreigners
4) Recruiting - Yup that sure is important, but recruiting is decent for most top 20 schools.
3) Student activities, especially changes for international travel and hands on exp (other than internships)
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Re: What Matters to YOU? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2008, 11:12
I'm also a little bit non-traditional. In order of importance:

1. Location, Location, Location.
2. Culture, Atmosphere, Student Body (collaborative vs competitive, how liberal is it?)
3. Is it strong (i.e. provide good education and opportunities for networking) in the programs I'm interested in (Entrepreneurship, Hi-Tech)?
4. How flexible the curriculum is.
5. Alumni support (quantity vs quality)
6. Class Size
7. Overall Ranking Tier (UE, Elite?)
8. Student Clubs
9. How friendly and professional the adcom is.
10. Facilities

For me, program strength/rankings is important, but not as important as where it is and who consists of the student body. If I'm not happy at the school for 2 years, then it's not worth going to that school, no matter how highly ranked it is.
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Re: What Matters to YOU? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2008, 11:20
1) Location...since my wife works in software the school had to have a job market for her. This immediately eliminated a lot of schools and slowly weeded out others as I thought about it. She is giving up a lot already, I cant ask her to give up her career too. We preferred a larger city but considered a few others where there were strong job markets for her. Didnt really want to go west coast or down south.

2) Fit. I immediately eliminated some great schools just because of their reputation. These may not be 100% accurate but more often than not they have a reputation for a reason. That said one of the schools I did apply to (I only did 3 since I had an early admit to a top choice) I think that one of the schools I applied to would no longer be on my list. I was torn between MIT and Kellogg, but after a lot of discussions with a few people I think had I gotten into MIT I would have taken Kellogg. Since I am an engineer, I have been told that MIT while its a great school would not round out my image as much. I would be pegged as a quant geek, and when everyone thinks of MIT they think engineer not business.

3) Reputation. Within the employer world not necessarily for what the school is like to attend since thats fit. We are all going to school to improve our career opportunities and hopefully give us a boost. That said any top 10 school will provide exceptional opportunities. Name recognition definitely helps open doors. Since I am not going into a traditional field post MBA having a well known brand name definitely will help. That said I think that some names would be more of a hindrance than advantage because of the image they have in some peoples minds.

4) Career Services. Since the companies I am hoping to work for arent going to be the ones showing up on campus. I will be calling and pursuing opportunities on my own. I have heard great things about some career services and negative things about some. Some go all out for you and others pretty much leave you on your own if you want to do anything different.

4) Diversity. Having a rather unique background, having a school that really appreciates that was something I was looking for. All schools preach they love that but that may or may not be true.

5) Strengths in majors. I want GM so I was looking for schools that were strong in that, and also what activities and extras available that would help round out my education. At MIT they have an energy research center which intrigued me greatly, if I could get a research position there second year it would be great on my resume. Kellogg has a very strong GM and marketing program, which I think combined add a great perspective for people heading in the corporate world...more so than for someone heading into IB.

6) Facilities. Not that it is necessarily important to me...which is obvious since I am going to a school that has notoriously crappy facilities. BUT, I think that for what schools have for endowments and what some alums are willing to pay to have a building with their name on it. There is no reason not to have a very nice building. It improves the image of a school. I know that if a recruiter goes to GSB and then goes to Kellogg its a start contrast in what the schools offer in terms of facilities.
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Re: What Matters to YOU? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2008, 11:23
I guess I'm still looking, but so far my factors are (in order):

1. Number of recruiters who hire at the school in my field of interest (consulting)
2. International reputation
3. Strength in general management
4. Nice facilities
5. Location
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Re: What Matters to YOU? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2008, 11:36
1.) Location - As far as I am concerned, this means a school with easy air or rail access to New York.
I've spent time in a lot of big cities in the U.S. - New York, Chicago and San Francisco and New York is the only place I feel truly comfortable in. Most of my family and friends are also in the area.

2.) Diversity - I'm quite certain I don't want to go a school that's renowned for being an i-banker or big 3 consultant factory. A good mix of people with different backgrounds AND varied future career plans would be ideal.

3.) International Exposure of Student Body - I find I fit in easiest with people who have also lived abroad for a considerable amount of time, speak multiple languages, and have a good general awareness of the world around them.

4.) Facilities - I see my time in business school as a 2-year break from the daily tedium of the workplace. So I'm pretty sensitive to being in a learning environment that's also convenient, comfortable and relaxing. Essentially, I want my money's worth.

5.) Career Services - but only to the extent in that I'd ideally want my b-school to place the significant majority of its graduating class through on-campus recruiting.
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Re: What Matters to YOU? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2008, 12:44
Its hard to give a straight order of factors in descending order. But the school I want to go should cross minimum threshold in all the factors.

Strength of program in desired field
Post MBA career options
Reputation of school
Location
Financial assistance

I haven't seriously considered it but If my goal was part time MBA then location will be on the top.
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Re: What Matters to YOU? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2008, 13:21
1) Asia focus or asia options - Since I intend to go back to Asia after the MBA it is important that the school has an international focus, preferably with asia specific parts of the curriculum or clubs which look into asia business

2) Curriculum/Faculty - Decent options and choices which will provide me with the tools for Product management and GM. Finance focus is not on my radar so finance focused schools are not on my list.

3) Diversity. I don`t want to be stuck learning with people who are limkited in their vision on either an international level or where there are not enough people from different countries to cover different cultural aspects. I honestly believe that these type of people will fall by the wayside due to the increased globalisation of business. Therefore at least 30-40% international student body is a key criteria.

4) Student body. I want a decent set of students who have decent work experience so that the flow of discussion and ideas are continous. I don`t want people who leach of others knowledge without contributing their real world working knowledge. I honestly believe that i can learn more from my fellow students using the curriculum as facilitation.

5) Fit. the school needs to have a culture which suits my own. I am not someone who will spend 50% of my time in the library. Experential learning is important for me, and teamwork is also importany. A school which is highly competitive is not for me. Teamowrk is much stronger than individual work.

6) Location - I`ll be bringing my family with me. The wife works in international schools, so staying in Asia will give us the opportunity to continue a ex-pat lifestyle, and means we can give the kids stellar pre-school options as her emplyer would potentially cover all schooling costs for the children as well as subsidise our apartment which means we would be able to have a full time nanny or cook. Alternatively somewhere where there will be family support would be good or a strong child friendly atmosphere
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Re: What Matters to YOU? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2008, 13:30
1. Reputation and brand name/alumni network in India - where I will eventually work.
2. Strong general management focus.
3. Family-friendly atmosphere
4. Career opportunities - important to pay off my loans quickly.
5. Culture - I wanted a not too snobbish down-to-earth student body.
6. Entrepreneurship research centers - I plan to start my own business in a few years and wanted to go to a school which has accomplished faculty with a great track record of running their own businesses.
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Re: What Matters to YOU? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2008, 14:27
Ok, here goes:

1. Location - I've only applied to places my husband and I had discussed as possible for us to move to.
2. Post MBA prospects in GM and reputation internationally
3. Fit - to the extent of the alumni I have personally known (which is only a couple). The theory was that if people who I have known for years and am friends with can enjoy the two years at the school and also claim it would be a good fit for me, there must be an iota of truth to it. It still remains to be seen if the schools feel the same about me though :)
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Re: What Matters to YOU? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2008, 15:45
That it overlooks the Charles River, is located in Alston and has a gazillion $ endowment... :lol:

L.
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Re: What Matters to YOU? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2008, 17:41
1. Educational experience - i.e. how well will it equip me to transition to Finance. I am in the school to learn first and all the other things are secondary.
2. Placment - How effective the program will be in placing me to my desired career path
3. Brand recognition - Especially when I return to Australia, my MBA needs to give me a strong brand such that employers here take notice - this rules out several very good regional schools for me.
4. Alumni network - How friendly are they ? How active are they ?
5. Non tangibles - How well would this school develop my soft skills
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Re: What Matters to YOU? [#permalink] New post 04 Feb 2008, 11:05
ok, guys, awesome, thanks.

try this:

Do you think WEMBA students have different priorities when looking at b-schools? Do any of the above not fit in with what you think WEMBAs would be into?
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Re: What Matters to YOU? [#permalink] New post 04 Feb 2008, 15:40
1. Potential - Everyone has potential. I want a school that can help me achieve my potential, or atleast arm me with a skillset that enables me to achieve my potential post b-school

2. Location - Currently, it has to be in the UK

3. Brand/Prestige/Ranking factor - Eventually I am planning to go down under to NZ or Australia, so a well known brand will definitely help in securing A++ rated job.

4. People - I consider myself a people person. The people I will work with for 1 year (pay a small fortune on top of that), have to be people persons too. I want to come out of b-school with good friends in a business capacity. I guess the buzzword for this is "networking"

5. Placement - Lets face it, if the above 4 points get achieved, this point #5 is a given. But i thought I'd mention it here

6. On a lighter note, I can't wait to get out of employment and "experience" the university days again.
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Re: What Matters to YOU? [#permalink] New post 04 Feb 2008, 16:25
I'm assuming WEMBA means Exec MBA (not sure what the "W" means)

Here's my list again and what I think they may not care about as much (and based on people from my company being sent to Sloan for the 1 year Exec MBA).

I'm also a little bit non-traditional. In order of importance:

1. Location, Location, Location. - Probably not a big deal because it's a 1 year program and the company dictates that you go to certain schools.

2. Culture, Atmosphere, Student Body (collaborative vs competitive, how liberal is it?) - Probably not important to them as the company is paying for it, most schools have very good executives and the admissions criteria does not focus on "fit" that much.

3. Is it strong (i.e. provide good education and opportunities for networking) in the programs I'm interested in (Entrepreneurship, Hi-Tech)? - This is probably still important, but mainly the company picks a few potential schools for their execs to choose from (at least that's how it works here)

4. How flexible the curriculum is. - Not really important, as it's mainly a fast, compact business training to round out already extensive experience.

5. Alumni support (quantity vs quality) - probably important.

6. Class Size - I think it's important, but the school probably limits the size for optimal learning, since companies are paying big $$.

7. Overall Ranking Tier (UE, Elite?) - Important for the company sending the execs.

8. Student Clubs - not important at all

9. How friendly and professional the adcom is. - not important at all

10. Facilities - Important, they're paying big $$ and it should be fit for an exec. =)

Hope that helps!

For me, program strength/rankings is important, but not as important as where it is and who consists of the student body. If I'm not happy at the school for 2 years, then it's not worth going to that school, no matter how highly ranked it is.
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Re: What Matters to YOU? [#permalink] New post 04 Feb 2008, 17:34
aaudetat

Not sure if you were looking for statistics (for example, 25% of the survey sample prefers XYZ factor, so on )- If you are, you could set up a poll with some options - I am sure you will get a lot of responses. Some of us are a little shy. :oops:
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Re: What Matters to YOU? [#permalink] New post 05 Feb 2008, 06:23
For me, it's about quality of program for my future goals, location, brand name, career services, alumni, and extracurriculars. When making a big decision like this, I think every piece of the puzzle is important.

In college, I was really involved with my a capella group. I know B-school is much busier, but I think where ever I go I'd like to start a B-school a capella group.


My brother is applying to EMBA programs. For him, location is #1. He has a wife and a two year old son. We also run a family business. Therefore, it has to be close enough that he can commute. I'd say brand name is #2 for him.
Re: What Matters to YOU?   [#permalink] 05 Feb 2008, 06:23
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