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How to choose a Business school that best fits you?

MBA and Beyond 0

Choosing the right MBA program is one of the most important decisions a B-school student will make. Who doesn't need assistance when hundreds of b-school members claim to be the best? But how do you choose the best business school that helps you achieve your career goals?

Business schools are the best place to learn about different aspects of business, make the best connections, and strengthen your network when entering the real world. Making an informed decision about which b-school to attend can help you bring the closest to your goals and get the maximum ROI for the huge investment.

Learn how you can calculate the ROI of your target school. 

Why is it critical to choose the best-fit B-school?

Choosing the right business school for yourself may make or break your career. It doesn't matter if it's one of the greatest schools in the world; if it doesn't meet the requirements for your post-MBA ambitions, then it's a waste of time. Because your business school will act as a bridge to take you from your current position to the career growth you’re aspiring for. Hence, it's critical to determine how well it aligns with your post-MBA professional objectives. If you want to work for a certain firm, you should see if the company hires from the B-schools you've chosen. Check the B-employment school's placement and statistics report if you want to enter another profession like finance or consulting. Considering this, several factors must be considered when selecting the best B-school.

How to choose the right B-school?

Self-reflection is the first step in selecting a business school. While characteristics such as ranking and popularity might help you, the best fit is determined by your requirements and aspirations. Therefore, you should ask questions about your ambitions and the ‘why’ behind them. Only then can you develop criteria for comparing different b-schools and choose the one that aligns with your goals.

 Determine your post-MBA job objectives.

As noted above, without understanding (in-depth) your goals, you can’t choose the right b-school. Now, an important thing to note here is that you should not think about your short-term and long-term goals in terms of the professional position you aspire to but also how you want to grow as a person, what you want to achieve in your life and how a b-school can contribute to these qualitative goals of yours. 

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Self-evaluation.

While introspecting, there are two more things you need to focus on-

  1. Is there any other way for you to achieve your goals without doing an MBA degree?

  2. Nuances of your profile and values

Let’s understand them in-depth-

1. Is there any other way for you to achieve your goals without doing an MBA degree?

You will stay out of the job market for a considerable period. However, you will put a lot of money into your MBA and probably repay loans for the next few years of your life. 

An MBA is a huge investment to make. And before you do that, you need to understand if there is any other way you can achieve your goals? 

2. Nuances of your profile and values

You need to be self-aware of your profile and values. When we say choosing the ‘best-fit’ schools, it does not mean just selecting the one that has good career stats for your post-MBA goals but also that can help you build a network and connections in the industry you aspire to go and nurture your personality and interests to shape you into the ideal person to go in the said industry.

And for that, you need to evaluate yourself and figure out- 

  • The strength of your profile (GPA in college, GMAT score, career progression)

  • Your Values (through your ECS, interests, and passion)

Comparing B-schools on different parameters

Choosing a business school is challenging, and making a selection without conducting research and comparisons is a risk that no one wants to take with their future and career.

Questions on academics to determine business school choices – 

  • What kind of classes, extracurricular activities, and learning opportunities pique your interest?

  • Do the school's strongest areas of study correspond to your goals? What are the program's admittance requirements, and do you (or can you) meet them?

  • What kind of learning environment do you prefer?

  • Do you like huge lectures with more solo study, or do you prefer small group discussions and discussions?

Programs

Many students apply to universities based on the programs they offer. The programs available are divided into two categories:

  • General Management Program- General Management Program allows students to work in any industry, providing maximum diversity and placement prospects. 

  • Specialization-based Program- A specialization is a particular field of study linked to a certain major and includes coursework separate from the major requirements.

Location

The geographical location of the B-School is referred to as location. The best schools do not care about location; only the lower-tier institutions do. Therefore, the influence of location on a school is minimal for the top-tier schools, but it gets increasingly significant as you progress down the rankings list.

What role does location play in B-school? - The importance of geography depends on your target companies/industries. For example, if you want to work in banking, you should reside close to New York City. Baruch sends a lot of graduates to Wall Street. For IT on the West Coast, oil and gas in Houston, etc.

ROI

The return on investment is the most significant factor to consider while choosing a B-school. We must assess how much money (in terms of pay) we anticipate making after earning an MBA from a certain school and how much money will be spent obtaining the degree. It's important to remember the following.

Business school rankings:

When comparing different B-schools, orders are significant, but they should be used with discretion because they are based on other techniques and may assess different characteristics. As a result, paying attention to the ranking procedure and criteria utilized to construct the rankings is crucial.

Choosing a business school is a personal decision that should be taken after considerable reflection, self-evaluation, and consideration of your priorities and objectives. Identifying the "must-have" attributes may save you time, energy, and effort during the application process.

I hope this post has given you a better understanding of how to go about selecting the right b-school. Choosing a business school may be both complicated and stressful. However, with the right people and approach, you can ace this process; if you'd like, we can set up a one-on-one Profile review call to help you understand your strengths and weaknesses and build a strong roadmap to tackle each aspect of your applications.