Tuesday, 2 December 2014

How to Choose the Best Business School and MBA Program


Like so many degrees before it, the MBA has become a leading choice for youngsters who want to create a successful career and future. Today, you will find numerous colleges around the country offering MBA programs. With so many choices, and with stories of MBAs unable to get jobs, has the MBA program lost its luster? The answer is ‘No’. It is not just the MBA program that matters it is the business school from where you graduate that is also important.

Finding the right business school and MBA program is not just about looking at rankings and choosing a prestigious institute. The program should help you gain knowledge, contribute to your personal development, and enhance your professional knowledge.

6 Steps to Finding the Right Business School and MBA Program

The following are the six main points you need to look into when searching for the right school and program.

1. Ask Yourself, “Why do I want to do an MBA?” - It is extremely important that you understand your own reasons for doing an MBA. Do you wish to specialize in fields like finance, marketing, or HR? Are you looking at a career change? Do you wish to break a glass ceiling that is preventing you from getting promotions at your workplace? Do you wish to start your own business or become an entrepreneur? These are some of the points on which you should have clarity. Once you understand them, you will know what kind of program to look for.

2. Check out the Location of the School and Program - Once you are clear on why you want to do an MBA, you will probably begin your research on finding the right school. The location of the school can actually help you advance your career.

For example, if you are looking to enter the world of finance, you should check the cities that are known for large financial institutions like banks, stock exchanges, etc. Also, the location will give better opportunities to get exposed to practical work situations, which can prepare you for your future job. You can also use the opportunities to create a strong network of contacts.

3. Ensure that the Program Provides All-round Development - The MBA program should not only focus on your strengths, but should also help you improve on your weaknesses. Be it the teaching methodology, intra and interclass activities, industry visits, or talks with guest faculty members, every experience should give you an opportunity to learn and expand on your knowledge and skills. They should also help you strengthen a skill that may not be your strength.

4. Speak to the Alumni - While researching on the Internet, speak to students and alumni to get information on the school and program. Try to contact as many people as you can. Ask a few general questions to all of them. You can also seek out an alumnus who has specialized in the same field you wish to work in, and ask him/her whether the program has added to his/her skills and knowledge. You can ask about other topics like placements, internships, etc. as well.

5. Consider the Overall Time and Investment - Let’s be frank. Doing an MBA program is not cheap, and it is time consuming. Ensure that the program will end up becoming a profitable investment in the future. If you are still not sure about a certain business school, you should look at the next point.

6. Consider Alternate Business School and Programs - While this may seem like an obvious point, sometimes, we are so confident or determined to get into one particular college that we may not consider other options. And God forbid, if we don’t get in, it would be a huge problem. So always, have backup colleges and apply to them along with your first choice.

Finding the right business school and MBA program can be time consuming. However, in the end, the right choice can certainly catapult you into a successful future.

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