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Researching the Schools

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Joined: 20 Oct 2003
Posts: 63
Location: Houston, TX
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Researching the Schools [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2004, 18:04
You guys continue to do a great job of posting very informative tidbits about the MBA preparation and research process.

My question now is: How did you research your schools, and eventually settle on the group you applied to?

Right now I've got a large list that I'll hopefully chop in half by the end of the summer: (Wharton, Harvard, Kellogg, Chicago, Tuck, Columbia, Duke, UVA, Cornell, Michigan, MIT). Most seem to offer considerable exposure to the field I want to pursue (entrepreneurship and/or strategic mgmt), and all of their websites tout how great they are and how each is the premiere choice for an MBA education. I dont think any is a stretch for me, do you? (6 yrs exp, 3.5 GPA @ Cornell, 690 GMAT, former employers include Accenture and Goldman Sachs).

In no-nonsense terms, how did you guys filter down your list, cut through all the BS, and choose your target schools?

I have visited a # of schools, and that does help. However, most adcomms tell me that the October/November timeframe is the best time to visit (new students are settled in)......but the early round deadlines are already long gone by that time.

Any feedback/advice you have would be most appreciated. Many thanks.
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Joined: 31 Oct 2003
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New post 21 Jun 2004, 22:06
Great question.

Yes, it sounds like you'd be competitive for getting admission to these schools. I started off with a pretty long list too (12 schools). What was helpful to me in reducing that list was to create an evaluation matrix. The first step was to list all the criteria that I valued in a business school (e.g., academic fit with my interests, reputation, avg. compensation for graduates, location, cost of living, etc.). I then applied percentage weights to those criteria (they totaled up to 100%). Next, for each criterion, for each school, I gave a rating out of 100. So for example, Tuck, I rated the academic fit 80 out of 100. When you compile the results you get a number out of 100.

While I didn't follow the rankings to a "T' it was very helpful in showing me what I valued more than other things, and a bunch of schools fell out of the running. Looking back at the process and the schools that I selected, it makes a lot of sense and was really helpful in crystalizing which schools I really wanted.

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Researching the Schools

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