How to Choose a Business School Without Leaving the House |

How to Choose a Business School Without Leaving the House

By Linda Mohamed

Updated April 10, 2021 Updated April 10, 2021

A postgraduate business major is still one of the most popular majors on campuses worldwide, with MBA programs and their many perks attracting over 800,000 candidates each year.

However, with current Covid-19 lockdown measures banning all public gatherings, including b-school open fairs, the process of choosing the right business school has become more overwhelming than ever.

Here are TopMBA’s top tips on how to choose a b-school without leaving the house.

Evaluate your commitment

There are a few things you should consider before jumping straight into research-mode.

First, think about your current career and personal commitments and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I really want an MBA?
  • Which type of MBA program (part-time, full-time, executive) would fit best into my schedule?
  • Am I willing to relocate and/or attend in-campus classes or should I opt for an online course?

Once you’ve answered them, you’ll have a better idea of the program you’re looking for.

Start with rankings

MBA rankings – whether for full-time, online or executive programs – combined with the criteria you’ve already set will help you identify the unique perks and reputations of different schools around the world, allowing you to narrow down your list.

Don’t shy away from details. Looking through indicators such as the median GMAT score and the average GPA will help you get a sense of how selective the school is and how much work you need to put in your application, while the employability scores will give you an idea of what your career post-MBA might look like. Use these to choose the 10-15 schools that interest you the most.

Continue with specializations

Specializations can be another useful tool to narrow down your b-school options, especially if you already have an industry in mind.

Once you’ve chosen your area (or areas) of interest between the most popular options – Consulting, Finance, Information Management, Marketing, Operations Management, Technology and Entrepreneurship – explore the different specialization rankings and take note of the top schools. By cross-checking with your other list, you’ll be able to identify the schools you should focus on.

Do some in-depth school research

Now that you have a clearer idea of which schools you might want to apply to, you can do more in-depth research into their MBA programs on their websites.

Here are some things that you should pay attention to:

  • GMAT/GRE requirements: Does the school have a particularly high median score? Is it achievable? These are key questions you should ask yourself. It’s important to be realistic and only apply if you think you have a real chance of getting accepted.
  • Tuition fees and scholarships: Does the program fit into your budget and are there scholarships you can apply for? Make sure you take money into consideration when making your choice.
  • The curriculum: Depending on your career goals, a school’s choice of courses and electives can be a real make-or-break – after all, only those with the right skills will advance after graduation. Most top MBA programs will have similar core courses, so it’s the electives and concentrations you should pay attention to. Are they what you need to develop your skillset?
  • Employment and networking opportunities. Where have graduates landed jobs? What development opportunities does the school offer? Does it have the network you want? Make sure the programs you apply to meet these requirements. 

As you do your research, be as specific as possible in your comparisons between schools. This should help you narrow down your list to five or seven schools.

Attend virtual events

Now that you’ve got your top choices, your main focus should be meeting their representatives. While visiting campuses is a no-go during the coronavirus outbreak, many schools have already mobilized to meet applicants online.

With career fairs, discussion panels and one-on-one meetings, digital MBA events are a great way for you to interact with recruiters and gain invaluable insight on the programs and the application process. You can find our best tips on how to impress them here.

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This article was originally published in April 2020 . It was last updated in April 2021

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