Many of you who intend to climb the corporate ladder, intend to pursue a Master’s in Business Administration Programme. But it requires lot of your time, expense and your energy. Selecting the right MBA programme is one critical factor and beyond that is selecting the right business school. It’s not wrong in reviewing the culture and the atmosphere of the campus before finalising. It’s to ensure that you can fit in to that easily. By making comparison of the various strategies below you could narrow down your choices and arrive at the specific school that you intend to graduate in.
To get to know which would be the suitable programme to take up, it is imperative to discuss or talk with professors, students or alumni members to get thorough knowledge of the aspects of the course. You would also need to assess if it’s suitable for the present job market and trends. This needs to be your priority to be able to define your strategy to get you further in life.
Know your interest:
This is one of the foremost options that you would need to focus on before starting on selecting the school. Each individual has his/her own interests of pursuing MBA programme. Some of you might want to develop entrepreneurship skills while some want to enter into a big company as marketing head. Some of you prefer to work in hospitality sector, while some in marketing or human resources related. Whatever be your desire, write them down to know which courses offers or caters to your needs. This will help in getting to know which schools offers them and where they are situated. Focussing on specific skill set will allow one to select right MBA programme. If you are looking out to switch over, then consider for taking up specialized MBA.
Whether Full-time or Part-time MBA?
Many schools provide courses as full time and part time, making it flexible for those who would like to improve their specific skills or for those who do not intend to give up their job. Some of the applicants pursue to get an advancement in their career while at work, then taking up part time course is only option. But for those who intend to move out into new realm, then a full time course is the best option.
Your location of work:
It is better to decide where you intend to work as sometimes studying in that place will help one to adapt oneself to the climatic conditions there and hence forth for work as well. There could be lots of choices in this field but you would have specific interest of work area. Try to fit that category in your search as well to make it feasible while making your selection. This should in fact allow one to evaluate the type of industries available in that area.
Tips for Choosing a Business School:
1. Check out the alumni:
Getting into the alumnus groups and being a part of it helps one to know more career related informations. Some groups are small and some are having networks all over the world. It is best to choose the ones that are active and how widespread they are. By admitting yourself to local alumni groups helps to gather valuable career related information and advice. Besides that you have opportunity to build your network as well that will help to raise funds if required. Some of these alumni groups organise business events that will help you to connect with top notch business leaders.
2. Get to know culture of the college:
Many business school have their own setup of conducting sessions. Their excellence depends on the type and calibre of the faculty. The expertise of the faculty and their achievements are also important factor in making your decision. It is advisable to gather information on whether the faculty also provide in depth knowledge of the company or industry. You can also evaluate to see if faculty from different disciplines co-teach case studies that they have been through to give different perspectives.
3. Evaluate the costs and location:
This factor of evaluating cost or budget is to be considered to know what sort of business school would fit your needs. Whether you prefer overseas or within the country of stay, it is best to make proper selection. You might prefer a quiet place away from the city but make note that business schools in large cities is home to many organisations and big companies. This indirectly helps one to access them for internships or case studies. Hence it is advisable to select schools that are in big city where sometimes chief executives of companies are often invited as guest speakers.
4. Opting for school overseas:
Have you opted for studying abroad? Then make check on the procedures for visa applications, duration of visa, etc. You have more options of being considered for job opportunity as employers are often seeking candidates with international experience. Besides this, your chances of broadening your horizons are also there. In places like Canada, a three year work permit is made available for students who graduate in two year MBA programme. Many prefer studying abroad as the two year tenure allows one to get acquainted with students from all over the world and perhaps broadens one’s perspectives.
5. Verify its accreditation:
Joining a school anywhere is easy but make sure it is accredited to internationally recognised body. See if the school is accredited to AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), the Equis (European Quality Improvement System) which is the international accreditation arm of the European Foundation for Management development. Also verify the rankings and whether it matches to your values.
6. Choice of flexible routes:
While selecting business schools keep in mind whether the school offers flexible course options or you can take up electives that will suit you. For instance there are specialised courses and general courses. Many programmes offers flexible options that you could select suited to the trend so that you can make switch in your career at alter stage. Specialising in one field will not help to move up the ladder. So check out the core curriculum and elective offered to make your choice. Some schools allow taking elective outside as well which is even better to help one to expand their skill set.
7. Check schools employment records:
Pursuing a degree is for the sake of getting employed. Hence, investigate to the career services and its support available. Get to know how the students get employed, where have they joined, what sort of jobs and which countries have they gone. Find out if there is provision of one to one career coaching and if it is open to alumni for long term. The employment track records will definitely allow one to see how far the candidate has gone and how much they were offered.
8. Whether school has enough freedom:
Some schools operate with less freedom based on the governmental obligations. Top notch schools allows innovation, critical thinking, creativity, scientific inquiry and healthy competition. Such schools cater to the changing trends and this in turn makes the students experience them. It is another way for the students to learnt to adapt to the changes in the business world. Make sure you select such a school for doing your MBA programme.
9. Good leadership:
Another important aspect that you need to focus on is what sort of leadership the school has. A good business school is one that is run by leaders who are good at academics and business. They set long term vision to run the school. They specifically consider the interests of the students, faculty and alumni.
10. Focus on moral and social development:
Yes, schools provide education but it is also good to know whether they give value to moral and social developments. Assess which school also takes into consideration the social development of the candidate along with academics. Besides being a manager, one requires to know how to manage a situation and also people. Having opportunity to experience the moral and social values through case studies will make you a stronger person.
11. Read MBA blogs:
There are many MBA blogs that brings out the experiences of MBA candidates. This is sure to help one out on getting to know which schools and what courses are offered. Besides it also gives in depth information on whether they have benefited from it. Spend some time in reading them and gather as much as much as you can. Views or opinions can vary and you could consider it as guide to make your selection. It will surely bring in clarity.
Applying for MBA programme is the start of making a critical turn in your career path which may seem like taking a leap into the unknown. With so many top level MBA programmes to choose from and in so many places, the process is quite overwhelming for you to start taking into considerations the above factors, it is not difficult to score down the unwanted. Nevertheless, the task could be daunting but it’s worth is to land you in a good business school having the right combination of courses.