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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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/
Location is a huge factor in deciding where to go for grad school. With regard to location, you really only have two options: staying local or relocating. Some grad-school hopefuls struggle to decide between the two. Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of staying local and relocating to find a graduate school.
There are many benefits of staying local in deciding where to go for grad school. One of the biggest benefits is that in many cases, it is often cheaper to stay where you are currently living. Moving can be very expensive, and staying local would likely mean that you would not have to deal with out-of-state tuition. Another advantage of staying local is that you probably have some sort of social support structure in place where you are. This support can make your journey through graduate school much easier.
The biggest disadvantage to staying local is that it greatly reduces the number of programs to which you can apply and where to go for grad school. By limiting your program search to only local universities, you could not apply to many respectable programs simply because of their locations.
When you are willing to relocate, you have a much greater selection of where to go for grad school. Additionally, you might increase your chances of getting into graduate school if you apply to more programs instead of to only a few local programs. Relocating can also be an exciting experience, allowing you to try new things and meet new people.
However, deciding to relocate for grad school can also be more expensive. In addition to the costs associated with moving, you might end up paying more in tuition if you move out of state; however, do not let this necessarily be a deal breaker. Out-of-state tuition policies vary greatly from state to state, so do some research and see if there is a way to get a program to waive its out-of-state tuition. Another disadvantage of relocating is that moving might add new stressors you wouldn’t have if you stayed where you are. Such stressors might include lack of social support systems, stress related to living in a new area, and increased financial strain.