Picking and Grinning

Choosing which schools you are applying to for your MBA is half the battle.

Applying to business school usually starts with a fervent drive to achieve, a general sense of desire to move forward, achieve more.  But soon thereafter comes a flood of mental processing around where all this forward momentum will be channeled. 

School selection is the single most important decision your MBA journey. 

It’s the one decision that doesn’t change.  After you are admitted to business school, you can change your concentration, change your targeted career focus, recruiter interview schedule or internship pursuits.  But you can’t change the school you chose.  MBA course credits literally don’t transfer, so if you get in a program that just isn’t working for you and decide you’d like to go somewhere else, you’d have to start over in a new program (in addition of course to facing the challenge of explaining why you allowed yourself to make a misguided decision in the first place---good luck convincing a top program of your leadership potential under that scenario).

How do you go about deciding which sweatshirt you will wear the rest of your life?

You’d think it wouldn’t really matter all that much which program you pick since accredited business schools all teach basically the same or similar classes and they all open similar post-MBA job opportunities.  At it’s core, the MBA has always been a general business management degree after all.  But the methodology in how these courses are taught actually makes a big difference.

What kind of learning environment do you like?

As we all know, how you like to approach pedagogy heavily impacts both what you get out of school and what you put in.  Do you like lecture-format, where you listen and take notes?  Or do you learn best in a case-study environment, where you work outside the classroom to prepare for a group approach to problem solving once you all come together?  Some schools have a hybrid approach, since certain subjects naturally lend themselves better to one method or the other.  There are also some schools which are taking brand new, innovative ideas in experiential learning to push the envelope on how students prepare for business leadership.

Outside the classroom is just as important as inside.

Make sure when deciding where you want to apply that you look closely at a school’s extracurricular offerings.  Most of the time you spend in business school will actually not be in the classroom at all, so clubs, trips and even social or leisure activities can  heavily impact how you fit in and influence the level to which you will excel.  You’re paying a lot to spend two years transitioning your career, so you need to make sure you pick a place that checks all the boxes.  What you take away from the experience, coupled with your new network of alumni is really all you will have in the end.  Pick a school that will send you away smiling.

For information on how we can guide your business school application process, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or go to http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact