6 Factors To Look For While Selecting A Business School – #6 Overall Research
Last updated on January 30th, 2013
We hope this series has helped you realize that the answer to an ‘ideal’ B-school is quite subjective.
Thus, methodical research on B-schools is crucial to make this process more objective than vague!
In fact, no school is good or bad by itself. It is your aspirations and requirements that make it suitable for you. Always remember that the definition of ‘Quality’ is not being ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, it is actually, ‘Conformation to requirements’. Thus, if an average B-school fulfills your requirements, it is the best B-school in the world for you; otherwise even a Chicago Booth would be a bad choice!
Let’s quickly glance through some other significant factors that usually get ignored during B-school selection:
1. The faculty
Whichever school you pick, if the faculty do not inspire you or add value to your aspirations, no MBA program can help you out. So, do a meticulous research on the faculty profile, their areas of expertise and testimonials from past or present students to get a fair idea of the quality and credentials of the faculty.
What is the first thing that attracts you towards international B-schools? You may not realize this, but the infrastructure and ambience of B-schools greatly influence your subconscious choice. Great resources, a world-class campus and the latest research facilities, offer a conducive environment for study and also make your learning experience enjoyable and worthwhile.
3. Teaching Methodology
Method of teaching also makes a great difference to your learning experience. Do you want a case study-based program, simulations, team projects, role-plays, simulations or research, or any other specific method of study? Each B-school has a distinct preference for some of these pedagogical approaches – make sure you do your research on which of these your dream schools practice.
4. Class size
Did you always wish for a small group of peers where you will get personal attention or are you the one who wants to be a part of a big classroom with rich discussions and a larger alumni network? Be very clear what you want with regard to class size.
5. Career Statistics
This is probably a no-brainer, and is possibly the first thing that most applicants look for. Yet, we will reiterate: career statistics are also an important factor to consider while selecting schools. The number and kind of companies that approach your B-school for placements, the number of students placed each year, what career services are offered, what are the starting salaries etc. are some of the questions you need to find answers to. Off-campus recruitment should also not be ignored in this process.
6. Return On Investment
An ideal MBA aspirant will not look for a low cost or ‘less expensive’ MBA but an MBA program which will provide him/her with maximum returns. It is not the program costs that matters so much as the pay-scale that he/she will be earning after graduation. Thus, the debate on 1 year vs. 2 year programs is a valid one! ROI gives you a long-sighted view of managing your finances than a short-run expense or benefit.
It is highly likely that there will be no single B-school that will fit all your requirements – it is here that you will need to prioritize what is important to you!
We will conclude this series with this thought – just like on the GMAT, the process of elimination will help you spot the right B-school! 🙂
After discussing so many factors involved in choosing the right B-school for you, let’s see how you can make the research process easier and more fruitful.
1. Read the official websites a couple of times
The first and the most convenient way of researching for B-schools is the official website of the B-schools. Even before you google to find extra information, first read through the official website of the B-schools thoroughly! This will answer most of your questions! Don’t miss the FAQs section of these B-schools.
Instead of relying on any other internet source, the official website will give you very authentic and up-to-date information. Once through with this, even the B-school ranking websites are a great reservoir of latest facts and figures pertaining to the B-schools world over (as we covered this in our ‘rankings’ blog)!
Forums provide a friendly platform where you can interact not only with experts but also people sailing in the same boat as yours. You can get some really valuable information shared by others with respect to MBA, B-schools, MBA admissions, the deadlines, important announcements and so on…The thread that runs through many people makes the discussions very rich and productive.
Some of the best MBA forums include:
3. Attend Info Sessions
Once you get a fair idea of the B-schools you have shortlisted through the internet research, the next step is to attend info sessions. Info sessions are nothing but B-school authorities and alumni coming together and addressing the key features of their school with MBA aspirants. As most of us cannot visit campuses of B-schools in U.S. or U.K., such info-sessions form a bridge between the B-schools and the MBA aspirants.
Info sessions are great avenues to learn more about the B-schools, their latest happenings, career placement opportunities, MBA specializations, etc. You expand your networking by personally meeting the authorities, alumni and other MBA aspirants. This helps you to craft your essays precisely, follow the MBA application process in the right direction and choose the right B-school program for you! Rendezvous with representatives from the B-schools makes a lot of difference in influencing your B-school selection.
I believe the 5 factors that we already discussed in previous blogs, plus an overall research will be sufficient for you to create a list of 3-4 B-schools you are targeting at. A methodological approach will definitely help you to make a pragmatic selection!
Don’t miss our post on B-school selection based on MBA specialization!
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