10 Tips for Choosing an MBA Program | PhD Student

So, you have decided to go for your MBA. Getting the right MBA is very important, but it has to be the right MBA for you. When applying to business schools aim as high as you dare, you might be surprised at what you can accomplish. Before you apply to all the “best” schools you should consider the following topics when determining which program and school to choose.

1. Program

The program that you choose needs to be a part of the bigger equation of your life. Use your MBA program as a stepping stone toward your goals in life. A good way to check this is to take your life goals and visualize yourself in the program you’ve chosen. If you can see yourself attaining those goals, then you have a good indication of which program you should choose.

2. Location

Most students under estimate the importance of location. However, location is an important aspect of your MBA program. Take into consideration that the school you choose has certain connections with surrounding businesses, and schools are usually tailored to fit the local industry. Are you willing to be far away from your family and friends? Would an online MBA program work better for your needs? How much adventure are you looking for? These are just a few things to consider about location and your MBA.

3. Community

Everyone has a vison of what they want to achieve, but do your goals line up with the goals of the community that you will be joining? How well does your life-style fit in on campus or your graduate degree cohorts? Is the program community competitive or collaborative? Take into consideration your personality and how that would translate to a community of peers. If you know what you want to get out of community it will be easier to find it once you’re there.

4. Size

You want a class size that is right for you, but smaller is not always better. A medium size class is best, because you will be learning as much from your classmates as you will from the professors.

5. Faculty

Professors have been in your shoes and know what you are going through, and they are a great source of knowledge about much more than just course information. Online and on-campus instructors should have little to no difference in education levels. Most faculty members are key to your course and once you find a program that you are interested in review the history of the faculty members.

6. Curriculum

The classes you take will play a big role in the completion of your MBA. If you don’t pay attention to the courses you take relative to the information you need, your education will not be as helpful as it could be. A big problem among master’s students is the professor’s expectation versus your own. As always, work in opening communication up between your professor and yourself to confirm you are meeting the same expectations.

7. Future opportunities

Each MBA program has its advantages and disadvantages, and every program has some sort of future opportunities that will equate to added value. When you are looking into future opportunities, remember that everyone is expected to change careers at least four times in their life time. Maximize the value that is added from your MBA by picking the right location for your MBA, and use networking to get connected to others in the community.

8. Cost

This is a very important aspect of the program, but it should not be the deciding factor. A good program may cost more but may also be revered as more prestigious or exclusive. Just because you have a tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t go back to school. Receiving scholarships, grants, and loans is only getting easier due to massive web presence and quick access.

9. Ranking and Accreditation

When you have decided on your program you should check to see if the school is, and will continue to be, accredited. Take it one step further and compare your college’s MBA programs to other MBA programs to see where your school ranks in the list.

10. Question Everything

When you are looking and applying at MBA programs you should ask questions about everything, even if you think you know the answers it’s a great idea to ask anyway. Sometimes a solution to a difficult situation will present itself if you ask the right questions, and there is no such thing as a question that is insignificant.

Once you have determined what you want from your MBA everything else will fall into place. Problems that you will come across during your MBA program selection process most likely can be corrected by asking the right questions. For tricky situations you can always call on a professor, class mate, or even family members. Remember that the main goal of having a MBA is to have a career waiting for you after you’re done.

References

Isiadinso, C. (2015, April 6). How To Choose an MBA Program - 7 Tips To Help You Make the Right Choice. Retrieved May 26, 2015, from http://www.expartus.com/how-to-choose-an-mba-program-7-tips-to-help-you-make-the-right-choice/

Pyles, R., & Barlow, J. (n.d.). Six Tips for Choosing the Right Graduate Business Program. Retrieved May 26, 2015, from http://www.mba.com/us/the-gmat-blog-hub/ask-the-expert/2014/may/six-tips-for-evaluating-your-b-school-options.aspx

Ridgers, B. (n.d.). Top 10 Tips for Choosing an M.B.A. Program. Retrieved May 26, 2015, from http://www.collegexpress.com/articles-and-advice/career-search/articles/explore-careers/choosing-mb-program-and-pursuing-business-career/

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