How to Choose the Right School for Your MBA

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Some of you want to go in for an MBA but may be confused by the wide variety in choice of schools and programs. It would always be a good idea to plan early and draw up a roadmap to ensure that you get into the program of your choice in the right type of business school to meet your career aspirations.

How does one go about it? Do a Google search to draw up a shortlist of schools. Take a look at the rankings but you need not necessarily to start applying to the top 10 schools that may not align with your academic scores, specialisations or career goals.

Ask friends who have already gained some experience in the field by way of having filed their applications or appeared for the admissions test or interviews. Colleagues at work, alumni of target business schools may also provide useful inputs. Another source would be those who had graduated in recent times who could be tapped for the reason why they chose a particular school and their overall experience during the program.

The school websites will provide details about the courses, concentrations, special research centres for entrepreneurship and social innovation. Some of them even have specialisation in real estate, health care, luxury goods, data analytics and global operations.

Look up the profiles of some of the professionals in those areas you are targeting in LinkedIn and other such business and employment-oriented social networking sites. Just by including the word MBA in the search box in LinkedIn would throw up enough results. Have a look at the profiles of executives at the firms you would like to join in. Note down the details of their qualifications, work experience and career paths.

From TwoYearMBAWorld33% Students with Humanities & Social Sciences in Yale SoM Class of 2018

LinkedIn’s database stores a tremendous amount of information. If you search by B-schools, the search results would help you check out a particular graduating class and garner facts about where they got jobs by region, by industry, and by company. It also would provide details of how many found roles in marketing or business development or product management.

The next step is to search out the schools. Go to their websites and take a close look at their employment/placement reports. You would be able to gather details of the companies that recruit the graduates.

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It is a good idea to visit the campuses of the target schools and attend admission events. The presentations have participation by admissions officers, current students, alumni, and sometimes senior faculty. You could also get your email added to the school mailing list so that you would get updates of all upcoming events.

The school websites will provide details about the courses, concentrations, special research centres for entrepreneurship and social innovation. Some of them even have specialisation in real estate, health care, luxury goods, data analytics and global operations.

Take a look at the class profiles. It will provide details about the average grades or scores, years of work experience, geographic breakdown, previous industry, and other statistics.

Since MBA programs are expensive, go to the fees and scholarships section that provide a detailed break-up of the expenses. Since the number of scholarships are always much lower than the number of applicants, it would be a good idea to find out about the other financing options.

Location of the school is another consideration. Some of the cities are well-known for being technology, finance or start-up hubs. You could consider these options according to your individual needs.

Have a look at the rankings but do not depend entirely on them. The rankings are subject to variations as organisations adopt different parameters and methodologies in compiling the list.

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