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Two Easy Ways to Gauge MBA Fit

Fit is one of the most important aspects to consider when deciding on an MBA program.

“Choosing where to pursue an MBA is a huge decision,” Stacy Blackman, founder of Stacy Blackman Consulting, writes. “A focus on fit will help you narrow down the options. Do your homework and understand the strengths and potential drawbacks of each option. Knowing yourself and how a particular school suits your professional goals and needs is the essence of making the right choice.”

Experts say there are a number of ways to evaluate whether or not a B-school is the right fit for you—from analyzing curricula to connecting with alumni.


Examining the MBA curriculum is a good way to evaluate what kind of learning experience a business school provides.

“Top business schools are known for their strengths in specific fields—finance, entrepreneurship, marketing, health care, real estate development, etc.,” Blackman writes. “So start by narrowing your list based on how well the program can prepare you for that industry. If you have laser-focused career goals, consider business schools that offer a concentration in your area of interest. You might also prefer a school with a more versatile curriculum from the beginning that you can really tailor to your needs. Choose a program with a curriculum that suits you and your learning style best.”

Additionally, experts recommend seeking out curricula that includes internship programs or funding for student entrepreneurs.

“Rather than be educated and wait to see how it works in a company or an industry, being able to do that while you’re at university makes the learning experience so much deeper,” Troy D’Ambrosio, assistant dean at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, tells US News.

If you have the time, it can also be helpful to sit in on a few classes to evaluate whether or not a specific curriculum or teaching style is the best fit for you.

“You’ll then be in a better position to evaluate – how good is this professor? Does this professor really understand what’s going on in business?” Sydney Finkelstein, a professor at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, tells US News.


Speaking to alumni is one of the best ways to better understand what a B-school can offer. Experts recommend reaching out to alumni via social media platforms, such as LinkedIn.

“Send them a message, tell them who you are and why you want to talk to them, and ask if they’d be willing to talk to you about the school,” Finkelstein tells US News. “And the test is how many of those people will respond to someone out of the blue and how many people will actually take the time to have that conversation. That’s a really, really good test of how alumni feel about a school.”

Sources: US News, Stacy Blackman Consulting

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