How to Pick the Right B-School For You
Eeny, meeny, miny, mo. Which B-school won’t tell me “no.”
Obviously, applicants weigh far more criteria than that. But are they making decisions for the right reasons? And are they considering the long-term implications of their decisions?
This week, Leslie Moser, who starts at Harvard Business School this fall, shared her thoughts in The Daily Muse. According to Moser, applicants must consider these factors in their decisions:
1) Focus Area: Employers recognize that certain schools are known for certain specialties. If you want to work in a certain field – and study alongside students with similar interests – identify which schools fit the profile. For example, you can review school websites, to see which companies are hiring graduates (and the types of positions they’re receiving).
2) Curriculum: Students possess various learning styles. A case method may appeal to an analytical mind, while hands-on may fit someone with an entrepreneurial bent. To increase your chance of success, sit in on classes and speak to professors and alumni to better understand the teaching methods.
3) Ranking: School rankings don’t matter…except to employers. The higher a school is ranked, the better your resume looks. That said, real world experience is what will ultimately give you an edge.
4) Student Community: Ten years from now, your classmates (and school alumni) will be your network. Ask yourself: Do I want to spend the next two years around these people? Similarly, weigh the school’s culture, clubs and activities, class size, and student backgrounds. If you don’t fit in, you won’t be happy. And you won’t learn and grow as much as you could, either.
5) Location: Fact is, your future network will likely live within range of your business school. These will be the people who’ll help you find jobs and opportunities. Ask yourself: Is this a region where you intend to plant roots? If not, you may find yourself starting over again once you graduate.
Source: Business Insider
Are Business Schools Still Relevant?
You hear it from all corners:
- MBAs are money grubbers who caused the financial meltdown.
- Don’t waste two years earning an MBA: You’ll learn more by starting a company.
- The degree is too costly…and everyone seems to have one these days. Why go into debt?
- Business schools are out of touch. Business models have changed. Technology has changed. The pace and expectations have changed. Why haven’t the faculty adjusted?
This week, The Financial Times jumped into the debate, touching upon the many trends and perceptions shaping business school curriculum.
For example, Dan LeClair, executive vice-president and chief operating of the AACSB, believes expectations of MBA programs have grown unrealistic. In his view, they are not a panacea for creating jobs or fixing society’s ills. As such, it is unfair to blame them for greed and economic malaise. Conversely, Ulrich Hommel, director of the research and surveys unit at the European Foundation for Management Development, believes business schools have grown too academic, citing that lecturing and case methods are not sufficient to prepare students. David Gann, vice-president of Imperial College, adds that there is too much research and not enough practical application in MBA programs.
Alas, technology could render this debate moot, as innovation has opened the space to new models and competitors. Still, The Financial Times piece illustrates a key point: There are plenty of opinions, but precious few solutions. These days, entrepreneurial study is supposedly the answer. My guess: In ten years, we’ll have a new crop of experts railing against incubating companies too.
Source: The Financial Times