You may have completed your GMAT and readied your academic transcripts. After his, comes the most important and challenging decision towards your career which is selecting and narrowing down the right B-Schools.
Setting your Criteria and Preference
First and foremost thing to do even before researching about MBA Programmes and B-School is to define a set personal criteria. Ask yourself a few questions and note down the answers. What type of MBA Programme are you looking for? One Year, Two year, Executive, Part-time or Regular full time MBA. Do you have any geographical preference for personal or professional reason? Is there a particular field that interest you? These questions among many others will determine the selection of your ultimate B Schools.
Gathering Research and Detailed Insight
Then comes the research part – Start following reliable and trustworthy blogs and forums related to MBA on internet. There are couple of popular MBA forums like – Business Week Forum, GMAT Club Forum and Beat the GMAT Forum etc. General Education consultant are frequent contributors to these forums and actively participate in discussions with candidates on the Business Week Forum and GMAT Forum Club. Forums are one of the great resources of information. If you want to know direct from B-School students or wants to discuss with prospective applicants like yourself –forums are the best place to go to.
Considerations for Rankings
Careful and due consideration should be given to global rankings of Business schools. For Global MBA programme rankings you may follow Financial Times and US News Ranking (for US B-Schools). For as much as possible always narrow down your list of B-School to 5-10 B-Schools based on their rankings and research potential. Ranks are important for many reasons such as overall education experience, faculty, placements, etc. It is very important to evaluate the ranking of an individual program offered by the Business school too apart from the ranking of the school itself.
Participation in Forums
Start focusing on your shortlisted B-Schools on forums, blogs or B-School websites in a bi-directional manner. Do not only read there. Ask questions to clear any doubts you may have in mid. Start making contacts with the alumni on forums/social websites/B-School social networking websites. It is always okay to ask for answers. Create as many queries as you may have. There are a lot of experts and enthusiasts who will be able to assist you. If you have any specific question – write to admissions committee or get some help from professional consultants.
Detailed Business School Research
Once you have narrowed down your B-School list, start doing some qualitative research – in person. That will help you to understand your fitment with the programme and community and your level of interest in attending that particular programme.
- Admission events: If you want to know in depth about any programme –keep an eye on admission events, the particular B-School organizes. Admission officer’s travel all over the world to conduct their information sessions and workshops. If you have any specific question on your profile or about the programme, asking them during such events helps you the most.
- Contact your network: If you have any group or network on forum/blog which you are following, you can ask many of your questions there. Gather as much information as you can about the MBA Programme you are interested in.
- School visits: A school visit is a great way of to see classes yourself and the sense the school campus, culture and city. You can also meet current students and collect information from them.
- Seek Professional help: Many a times, it is very beneficial to engage a professional consultant or a consulting company to help you through this process. When you try to research at so many places, you are bound to hear contradicting opinions. Also not everything that you hear from other may apply to your specific requirements. A professional help, in such cases, is the best bet.
Once you are done with research and shortlisting B-Schools – you may also gauge your chances of getting admit in a business school by trying this amazing Chances of B-School tool.