Getting your MBA from one of the world’s top business schools will provide you with the coveted distinction and therefore Choose a Business School which is in your favour. Because no two programs are alike, taking a strategic research approach means carefully and effectively assessing your options. So what elements should be considered most important when making your choice?
First, your shortlist of MBA programs should reflect your unique priorities and requirements. All business school admissions committees try to understand why you want to study at a business school and why their program is right for you. To answer confidently and sincerely, you need to take some time to think about it.
To do this, think about your talents, values, goals, and career aspirations. The first filter for highlighting the most relevant, useful, and practical information for you is your future goals and personal ambitions.
While the process of choosing a business school may seem straightforward, there are many factors to consider. Even if you have already completed your MBA and think you are going nowhere, you should still do your homework, as this is very important to Choose a Business School.
Differences between Business Schools
When comparing the brochures and websites, it appears that there is little difference between them. They all have comparable content, teaching approaches, and course goals. However, careful examination of the brochures alongside discussions with alumni may show significant differences in emphasis between institutions. The following are a few examples of these nuances to Choose a Business School.
Teaching Excellence versus Research Excellence
All business schools are concerned with teaching and research, so this is a question of balance. Is senior faculty so involved in research that most of the teaching is handed over to junior staff? Is academic and theoretical research or applied and relevant business study? Is it better to prioritize excellent teaching over significant research if a school focuses on teaching rather than leading edge?
Customisation and Standardisation
Some universities hold that all MBA students must have a similar set of abilities and skills. These programs include a high number of mandatory classes, with a large, non-optional project at the end. Standardization is not an issue as long as your own needs are satisfied by what’s on offer. If, on the other hand, you feel your unique and individual needs warrant a more customized program, consider one that is simpler to customize to suit your specific demands. If this is the case, seek a course with a large number of electives and plenty of flexibility in terms of project selection and taught courses.
Personal development is a crucial aspect of an MBA education, according to many institutions. Personal development should be integrated into the MBA curriculum, according to several schools. Students are now more aware that a personalized approach to their growth will help them be more successful. Some institutions have a defined method for enabling students to determine the next stage in their life and career.
Practical Skills versus Academic Theory
The MBA is seen by some as an academic degree on a par with master’s degrees in other disciplines such as physics or ethics. Such courses will cover a significant amount of academic depth and typically necessitate students to complete an academic dissertation as part of the coursework. Individuals who liked being stretched intellectually during their first degree would enjoy such classes.
Some business schools regard the MBA as a professional program that helps students to acquire practical abilities that senior executives and managers need in order to be successful. This sort of MBA will interest you if your aim at the conclusion of the course is to be better at leading and managing, rather than simply understanding management concepts.
Teamwork versus Competition
Schools that place a strong emphasis on teamwork believe that the contemporary leader and manager achieve success as part of a multi-disciplinary team (usually a board of directors or its equivalent). Such schools will often group students into learning teams, and many of the tasks will be team-based.
Factors for a successful MBA research process
Geography is a powerful factor in the success of any institution, especially when it comes to attracting top talent. Not surprisingly, Columbia and London Business Schools have a solid reputation for finance. Schools in California have distinct advantages because they are immersed in Silicon Valley’s tech and startup industry.
There are several advantages to city life compared to rural life. Dartmouth Tuck schools in Hanover, New Hampshire, are recognized for their close-knit, collaborative communities. Cornell Johnson has the advantages of both schools in a picturesque location in upstate New York, close to the technology campus in New York.
Duration of the program
The length of your planned curriculum determines the speed at which you will learn and enter the job market. Accelerated programs promise about six hours a day in class, but two-year courses require half that amount of time. If you want to know more about the differences between accelerated and accelerated study, keep reading.
Some applicants want the more traditional two-year program of study that most top US b-schools offer because it allows them to study a subject in greater depth over a longer period of time. The best schools, such as INSEAD, Cambridge Judge Business School, and Oxford Saïd University, offer an accelerated program in which you can complete your bachelor’s degree in just one year.
Strengths and specializations
You can make a reputation in certain sectors. Entrepreneurship, finance, real estate, technology, non-profits, and luxury goods are just a few examples. They may offer incubators attracting venture capital for individuals or provide internships with immersive NGO experiences. Some programs have a flexible curriculum that allows you to choose.
The strength of a university’s alumni network provides significant validation of its professional opportunities. Some alumni networks are more geographically concentrated than others. Stanford GSB will provide you with a strong network in Silicon Valley, while INSEAD will offer an unrivaled global perspective. Other factors affecting the strength of an alumni network include how students view the networking opportunities of their alma mater.
Prestige and brand recognition
Prestige is inherently subjective, but university brand recognition can be an important door opener. How can a university’s network, reputation, and strength help you achieve your professional goals after graduation? Sure, Wharton, HBS, and Stanford GSB have solid reputations, but MIT Sloan graduates gain unique access to the consultancy industry, especially Bain & Company. Not surprisingly, recruiters often value brand recognition; they want to work with the best of the best.
Universities that are popular with CEOs are also popular with students, and vice versa. For example, Yale alumni told Poets&Quants that one of the reasons they chose their university was its popularity.
Culture and atmosphere
What is the “personality” of the school as a whole? Who is it attracting? Do you feel a collaborative or competitive atmosphere when interacting with current students or alumni? You get the most subtle sense of the institution’s culture after a tour of the campus. Connect with students and alumni who share your interests through networking, MBA fairs, or information sessions.
We recommend that you aim to reduce your short-list of candidates to around three schools. Because entry to the top institutions is highly competitive, you need a backup if you are denied admission by your first-choice institution (some institutions have a rolling admissions policy, allowing applicants to apply early and then only submit applications to other schools should they be rejected).
Make sure you only apply to a suitable number of institutions. The application process and the interview can be time-consuming. It is preferable to prepare thoroughly for a few schools than to prepare less thoroughly for a larger number of institutions.
What if you are fortunate enough to be accepted by all of the colleges to which you have applied? How do you decide which one to attend when you are admitted to all of your top choices? Start by visiting each of your short-listed institutions. Many educational institutions organize preview days during which current students may sample the experience of studying at that institution.