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B-Schools: Which one’s for you?


5 steps to help you choose a Grad School

Students on graduation day

Via chelmsfordblue, flickr

 By: Samadrita Guin, Staff Writer

So I know what you are thinking. “I still have 50 billion years before I have to even start thinking about attending grad school.” Well, it’s not as far away as you would like it to be.

Whether you are in your first year still living up those crazy parties, or you are in your fourth year, ready to walk into those internships and jobs, soon enough, those of you who want an MBA will have to start looking into taking the GMATs and visiting campuses, trying to pick where to spend the two most important years of your life.

Making the decision to attend a B-school is only half the battle. The other half is choosing the one that not only caters to your demands, but also is the place that provides you with the right opportunities to grow. Every B-school is different in its strengths and weaknesses. Here are the top 5 criterion on which basing your decision will make life a lot easier:

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It’s important to pay attention to your grades right now, so you can get the GPA or GMAT score you need to get into the B-school of your choice.

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 1. That piece of paper that you receive after all that hard work

Let’s face it. At the end of the day, it’s all about the degree: that one piece of paper that says “Yes, I spent $70000 a year in order to be an asset to the business world.” So, find out what kind of academic programs are available at your list of B-schools. Decide what you want: do you want a full-time two year MBA, an Executive MBA, or a part-time online MBA?

This website might be of some help to narrow down your search: http://www.mba.com/schools-and-programs/types-of-b-school-programs.aspx. Check to see if the schools offer concentrations in specific areas that you would like to specialize in and decide on the top few that offer the perfect program that you are looking for.

 2. Cha-ching!

The annual cost of an MBA can range anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000 a year. Scary, right? Yes, this is why it is crucial that you start saving up right now if you want to attend one of those hot-shot top-of-the-list B-schools.

So, look into the “Finances” section on every B-school website, in order to determine what their annual costs would be, and whether you can afford them. Check to see if financial aid options are available.

Try using this website to search any available financial aid tools: http://www.topmba.com/mba-admissions/mba-finance/apply-mba-scholarships. The more affordable university programs should successfully narrow down your search.

 3. The reputation and exclusiveness

Who doesn’t want to land a job with a starting salary of six figures right out of grad school? But, to get those lucrative jobs out there, you have to attend one of the top few schools in the country. 

However, along with attending an extremely reputable school comes extreme selectivity. Some schools are highly exclusive and selective about their applicants. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to your grades right now, so you can get the GPA or GMAT score you need to get into the B-school of your choice.

 4. Placement Statistics and career development

We all want that job. That job that you have been working years and years for, so you can fulfill all of those things on your “To-do-list-before-I-die.” So, check your B-school’s placement statistics, and contact their career management office. Research what kinds of initiatives they take in order to ensure your recruitment post graduation. Also, make sure to check out recruiters who recruit on campus. Set your career goals from before so that you can choose the B-schools where recruiters of your choice hire.

 5. Student Life

Do you want to live on residence? What kind of off-campus housing options are available? Are there enough extra-curricular activities for grad students to get involved in?

Apart from the academics, the social and extra-curricular aspects of your school will have a huge impact on your well-being and growth. So, find out aspects about student life, and pick the ones that cater to you the most.

So, there you have it folks! The top 5 criterion that should, for the most part, help you narrow your search down to about 4 or less B-schools. It’s important to start looking right now, instead of waiting till after you graduate when you realize, “Oh, my marks aren’t high enough for [Insert Name here] Business School!” So good luck with your hunt, and I hope you find the B-school that works the best for you!

ARB Team
Arbitrage Magazine
Business News with BITE.

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