Selecting the Right MBA program

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Planning to pursue an MBA is an important decision for one’s career. The right school will help you fulfill your career goals. School selection is a primary and important step which marks the commencement of your efforts of getting into your dream school. Choosing the right program is an iterative process which can be lengthy and tiresome. To achieve this target, you need to embark on the business school admissions process early.

How to lay the foundation stone?

Researching schools should start months before the application process so as to give you clarity and also a head start in the application process. It is advisable to have areas of interest, skills you would like to develop during the MBA program, which are immediately related to your career goals, figured out beforehand. Based on these goals, one should list what one expects from the program. Select the programs which bear the potential to best serve your career ends. The rankings give you a starting point but may not provide a holistic view. Do check the rankings from leading publishers to ensure consistency in the assessment parameters.

Choosing the right business school should include several parameters like:

  • Curriculum upgrades
  • Flexibility in choosing courses
  • Academic rigor
  • Student-to-faculty ratio
  • Faculty who have industry experience
  • Industry associations
  • Active student bodies
  • Infrastructure
  • Alumni network
  • International student bodies
  • Placement assistance
  • Value of the school name across other countries
  • Profile of student bodies
  • Leadership of the school

Engage with potential schools

Do visit the school if possible to get first-hand experience. Most business schools encourage prospective candidates to visit the school and spend a day in the class, meet the current class and talk with the professors. It would provide insights on the course-delivery, allow students to meet the faculty, learn about student engagements like clubs and life on campus. In case you can’t visit the school, there are other ways to clarify doubts through discussions with the admissions’ committee/professors and current students via webinars, school sessions in select cities, or emailing for any clarifications.

It is important to apply to an adequate number of schools. Too few schools would mean an aggressive stance. Too many would mean a pessimistic and tiresome process. You can look at applying to about 5-7 schools, further dividing them into three categories: Dream schools, Best fit and Likely. If you apply to schools that are placed in only one category, you might lose out on other opportunities. It is a good idea to apply to schools spread across categories to make the most of your profile and in order to minimize risk and ensure an admission and maybe, also a scholarship.

To understand more about the school selection process, get a free assessment of your profile.

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