Kellogg | Mr. Sales Engineer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.00
Stanford GSB | Mr. LGBTQ
GMAT 740, GPA 3.58
Duke Fuqua | Mr. 2020
GMAT 630, GPA 3.92
MIT Sloan | Mr. Generic Nerd
GMAT 720, GPA 3.72
Cambridge Judge | Mr. Versatility
GMAT 680, GPA 3.6
Stanford GSB | Mr. Seller
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Hustler
GMAT 760, GPA 4
Chicago Booth | Mr. M7 Aspirant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.79 / 4.00
MIT Sloan | Ms. MD MBA
GRE 307, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Low GPA Product Manager
GMAT 780, GPA 3.1
HEC Paris | Mr. Indian Journalist
GMAT 690, GPA 2.8
Tepper | Mr. Family Biz
GRE 329, GPA 3.46
Stanford GSB | Just Jim
GRE 335, GPA 3.99
Stanford GSB | Ms. Aspiring Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8 (Highest Honor)
Harvard | Mr. Amazon Manager
GMAT 740, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Ms. Economics
GRE 330, GPA 9.68/10 ~ 3.9
MIT Sloan | Mr. AI & Robotics
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Ms. Test Engineer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.74
Kellogg | Mr. Andrew
GMAT 720, GPA 3.6
Chicago Booth | Mr. Masters To MBA
GMAT 730, GPA 3.9
NYU Stern | Mr. Bioinformatics
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Columbia | Mr. CPA
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Marine Corps
GMAT 600, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Fundraising Educator
GMAT 510, GPA 2.89
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Work & Family
GMAT No GMAT Yet, GPA 4
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Fintech Startup
GMAT 570, GPA 3.4
Kellogg | Ms. Ukrainian Techie
GMAT 700 (ready to take it again), GPA 3.6

Is An MBA Really Worth It? Confessions Of A Self-Made Millionaire

3 Factors to Help Determine Target MBA Programs

Many times, prospective applicants will prioritize reputation or ranking in their business school choices. There are several aspects to consider when choosing an MBA program. While prestige may be important, there are many other aspects to consider as well.

Here are three factors from Stacy Blackman, a Kellogg grad who heads Stacy Blackman Consulting, that applicants should also factor into their decision-making:

1.) Flexible or fixed curriculum

There are two types of curricula that prospective MBAs should consider when looking at the right program: a flexible curriculum or a fixed curriculum. According to Blackman, a flexible curriculum is one that allows students to customize their MBA program to best fit their career objectives. Programs such as the London Business School, Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, and UCLA’s Anderson School of Management all offer students a flexible curriculum. Some programs may require a core curriculum, or a fixed curriculum, that is generally taken during the first year. While a required core curriculum may seem tedious, Blackman says, “the shared experience fosters strong social connections among classmates.”

2.) Career Services

A business school with a quality career services department can help increase the chance that an MBA will land a good job after graduation. Blackman says a quality career services department is often the most overlooked factor when MBA applicants consider programs. “Having well-defined career goals is crucial to determining the best MBA program for you, so find out whether the career services office specializes in specific industries or sectors or has dedicated consultants for each industry,” she says.

3.) Community culture

According to a 2016 survey by Stacy Blackman Consulting, only 12.7% of respondents consider an MBA program’s culture as the most important factor when deciding on the right program. Yet, Blackman says, “finding that good fit with the MBA programs you’re targeting is one of the best predictors of your overall enjoyment of the b-school experience.” Opportunities available at business schools such as clubs, abroad programs, or experimental learning programs can offer students a whole new factor to consider when looking for the right program.

Choosing a right program can be time-consuming. While prestige and rank are important, weighing other factors—such as curriculum, career services, and culture—can ensure that the program you choose will best meet your professional and personal needs.

Sources: US News, Stacy Blackman Consulting