How to Choose a Business School
Choosing a business school for your MBA degree is no easy task. Forbes likens the process to buying a new car; there are a lot of options, and you’ll want to thoroughly research and test-drive your top choices before committing. Each business school has different attributes that may make one a better fit for you than another. The key is in identifying which schools offer the programs, community and networks that are aligned most closely with your needs and goals. Here are some key questions to consider while researching business schools:
- What programs does the school offer?
Consider what sort of program you’re interested in completing, and then target schools that offer that program. For example, if you want to get a Master’s in Finance, you don’t want to go to a school that only offers a Master’s in Accounting. If you’re interested in earning an MBA degree, there are variations in curriculum and duration that might affect your school choice. Sellinger offers a variety of Business Graduate Programs, as well as full-time and part-time MBA tracks to better suit students’ schedules.
- Where is the school located?
A variety of personal factors likely play into how important location is to you. The Muse advises you “think beyond graduation when considering the location of your b-school to be,” as it will impact your future professional and personal networks. Additionally, the location of your family or partner may play an important role in the decision-making process. Graduates of business schools in Maryland benefit from a competitive higher education sector and a strong financial services industry which attract a range of businesses. Sellinger’s Baltimore location is an ideal option for those interested in attending a business school in Maryland, offering a supportive network in close proximity to major cities along the eastern seaboard.
- What is the likelihood that you will be accepted to the school?
Poets and Quants suggests being practical, even as you aim high. Do your research, take chances and cast a wide net during the application process. According to the article, the admissions can be subjective, so you should mix up the types of schools you apply to by “applying to at least seven schools, and going with two reach, three mid-range, and two safe [schools].” Being realistic about the likelihood of your acceptance will help you narrow down your application options.
- What is the student community like?
Once you have an idea of which schools match your base requirements, you’ll want to get an idea of the on-campus student environment. The best way to find out about the student experience is to get a hands-on understanding of the school. LinkedIn is a great platform for connecting with alumni and students, and you can also visit a campus to get an in-person feel for the university. Many schools, including Sellinger, allow you to test-drive a business master’s degree class before applying so you get a better feel for the experience.
- What is the Alumni experience like?
A strong alumni network can help open doors after you receive your MBA degree. When researching schools, look at the career paths of its alumni. How did the school and its alumni network help MBA graduates achieve their career goals? Connecting with alumni can give you a good sense of the alumni experience at a particular school and how earning a business master’s degree from that school might help advance your career.