This year, many of our clients are fortunate to have gotten accepted to multiple top business schools. If you are in the position of choosing between multiple MBA programs, congratulations! We know it can be a tough decision, but it is also an exciting one. Much like selecting the schools you want to apply to, picking the right business school to attend takes a good deal of time and contemplation.
Below, Personal MBA Coach has shared some key factors for you to consider in order to help simplify the MBA decision-making process. These tips apply whether you are just starting out the school selection process or have already been accepted to multiple dream schools.
1) Pay attention to culture
Culture is key to having a fulfilling and worthwhile MBA experience. Are you seeking a small tight-knit campus where students live and study nearby? Are collaborative learning teams important to you? Do you want a larger environment where the whole city is your campus? As you evaluate the schools you have gotten into, ask yourself these questions to help narrow down your decision.
Chances are you have already spoken to multiple current students and alumni at your target schools (if not, reach out now!). Consider these interactions carefully as well. Pick the school where interactions felt most natural and where you could picture yourself fitting in the best.
2) Consider location and which companies recruit on campus
Of course, you can live wherever you want to after graduation, and companies across the globe will recruit far and wide (particularly in the current environment where all events are virtual). However, it has previously been easier to recruit at schools that are closer geographically to your dream short-term location. As in-person events resume, we expect this to again become true.
Similarly, out of the schools you were accepted to, which ones do your target companies reach out to for recruitment? It will make your life easier if your dream school comes to campus. You also may want to look into which speakers talk (virtually) at the different campuses.
3) Think about curriculum and offerings
Take a moment to think about your post-MBA goals. Of the MBA programs you are deciding between, whose offerings are the best fit? Think about which school will give you the ability to study what you need to achieve your goals.
This is another instance where Personal MBA Coach suggests reaching out to alumni and current students to learn about these offerings firsthand. Though you likely did a fair amount of research prior to applying, you may learn about new clubs, programs, and elements of the curriculum that will help you come to a decision.
4) Look at rankings
Of course, reputation is important, but it is not everything. Still, if you have explored culture, location, and areas of expertise and are still undecided, you may benefit from looking at the rankings of the schools you have gotten into.
5) Factor in scholarship offers
If funding your MBA is a concern, scholarships might play a large role in your final school selection. Did one program offer you significantly more money than the rest? If so, think about where funding falls on your list of priorities. If you are in a position to pay on your own, scholarship offers should not be the be all end all.
6) Trust yourself to make the right decision
While all of the above factors can help you evaluate your choices, Personal MBA Coach also encourages you to go with your gut. Is there one school that you keep picturing yourself at even if you cannot fully articulate why? Although friends, family, and other external sources can be useful in the decision-making process, choosing which MBA program to attend is ultimately your decision. Trust your instinct here.
About Personal MBA Coach:
Founded by a Wharton MBA and MIT Sloan graduate who sits on the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants Board of Directors, Personal MBA Coach is consistently ranked or , currently holding the ranking on Poets&Quants.
We help clients with all aspects of the MBA application process including early planning, GMAT/GRE/EA tutoring, application strategy, school selection, essay editing and mock interviews. Our team includes a former M7 admission director and former M7 admissions interviewers.
Last year, our clients earned more than $6M in scholarships!
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