Choosing the right Business School
An MBA program is a turning point for your personal and professional life. The Business School you choose will help you reach your career goals, make lifelong friendships and find new opportunities for growth. It is important to focus on your aspirations and interests and do proper research so you can find the right fit for you.
Choose and compare Business Schools
It is important to choose and compare Business Schools so you can make the best decision. Consider the following aspects.
Your MBA career goals: Your Business School will influence the future of your career so it is essential to make sure it is in line with your post MBA career goals. For example, it is helpful to check the job placement and statistics report of the school, or do research in order to know which schools the company you are interested in recruits.
Aspects of the Business School that are important to you: Do you have family and already have a strong network of friends in London? Or do you value a particular strong starting salary? A Business School is much more than just a classroom experience! Take time to identify what makes business schools different and which ones align with your values.
Application process and your chances of getting into your target schools: It is important that you fully understand the application process and requirements of the school you’re interested in. You must also make sure that your application proves the qualities and skills that that business school looks for in applicants.
The cost of an MBA: In addition to the cost of tuition, you should consider other costs, such as pre-MBA and living costs.
How to Start Learning About business schools
You may be asking yourself, ‘where and how can I learn more about MBA programs? There are so many of them and there’s so much information, I don’t know where to begin!’ Here are 5 extremely important aspects to take into consideration so that you can better shortlist your target Business Schools:
1) Post MBA career goals
There are many different reasons to apply for an MBA program: switching to a different industry that interests you more or has a better long-term outlook, looking for a future promotion from your current employer, receiving an international experience, and many more. Whatever your reason is, this should be one of the top things that you take into account when determining which Business Schools to research.
Having a clear idea of what you want regarding your career will help you make the pre-selection process much more efficient. Ask yourself the following seemingly simple, but actually very serious questions.
Why do you want an MBA?
What do you want to achieve once your MBA program is over?
Why did you choose that school?
Identifying your career goals, your motivations and creating a plan to accomplish them in the future is an essential step before you start your application process. since various application questions will revolve around them. This is also something you should to ensure that an MBA is the right path for you.
You should conduct a self-assessment to know where you are standing now, and identify potential improvements to your candidate profile. You should consider, at least, these minimum aspects:
Your GMAT score
Your undergraduate GPA
Academic and professional skills
If you believe you need to strengthen an aspect of your profile, think about how how much time you have to work on it. For example, if you are an engineer with extensive analytical skills and want to take on projects that are more client facing to show the admissions teams that you have strong people skills. If you’re unsure when to start studying for the GMAT, here’s some advice!
3) Business Schools selection
Once you’ve completed the previous two steps, begin your school search by consulting MBA programs’ websites, students profiles and employment reports. Also, ask for recommendations from peers and colleagues that have an MBA.
Here are some aspects to consider when evaluating schools:
Program and career opportunities
Business School Rankings
Return on investment
Business School Rankings: These are useful to compare Business Schools. Just keep in mind that methodologies and criteria to rank schools may vary according to the different outlets and publications, so make sure you understand the aspects considered for the evaluation.
Program and career opportunities: The specialization of the program should align with your career goals. For example, if you want to become an entrepreneur then you should find a program that offers specialization in this field. Talk to alumni about their experience, review the program career and check the employment report. E.g. If you are determined to become a consultant in an elite firm, then you should review which consulting firms regularly offer recruiting events at the programs that you are interested in.
Scholarships: You can check the financial assistance offered by the school either through their website or by contacting the admissions team.
School location: Location has an influence on recruitment and school strengths. For example, if you want to work in finance in New York, you will have an easier time getting to the city if you attend schools on the east coast such a Yale, Darden, Columbia, Tuck or Wharton. Or if you are set on becoming the CFO of a popular brand in the fashion industry, then it would be convenient to consider a school programs such as Bocconi in Milan, the hub of the fashion industry.
Return on investment: It is advisable that you check rankings that consider the ROI of the different programs, always keeping in mind the different criteria considered for the evaluation, since it may vary depending on the publication. MBA programs are expensive, yet studies have shown that individuals who attend business school go on to earn earn considerably more than their colleagues who did not.
4) Other Factors
The following aspects should be considered to help you reach the final list of schools:
Faculty: Get to know the faculty of the program and see if they have access to the network you need to reach your dream job.
Teaching method: It is important to take in consideration the methodology of the school. For example, Harvard is well known for the “case study” method, while other schools prefer experiential learning and simulation teaching methods.
Alumni Community: Check if the school has alumni who are currently working in your dream job or dream industry. Or if there are a large amount of alumni living in the city where you hope to live in the future.
Student Services: When talking to students and alumni, make sure to ask about the students and career services of the school.
5) Additional information about Business Schools
You can get additional information attending meet and greet events, visiting campus (you can interact with students and faculty if it is an open-house), through webinars and information sessions conducted by the schools, networking with alumni and current students, participating at GMAT Club and getting in touch with other applicants.