Sunday Personal Growth–Choosing an MBA Program

Are you thinking about getting an MBA? An MBA can help your career, but the challenge of getting into an MBA program is huge. You should find good schools, take the GMAT, apply to the programs, and interview. Only then will you (hopefully) get accepted.

In today’s lesson, I’ll briefly review how to choose a school and share some good resources. If you’d like some personalized help getting into an MBA program. Contact me here.

Here are the things to think about when choosing a school:

School Quality: The most important thing is that you learn some good things and expand your network.

As you’re looking at schools, make sure they have a good program for your business area (marketing, finance, entrepreneurship, etc.). Check out the networking opportunities because those are often more important than the classes. Finally, try to learn what the environment is like. Some places are very competitive. Some places are very friendly. Choose a place you think you’d like to be.

Rankings are a great place to start looking. Here’s the link you need:

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/mba-rankings

Click on a school to see more details about it. You can also find rankings by specialty. For $30, you can access even more information. You should pay the $30. The rankings are really great.

Next, you really need to visit the website of the school to learn more.

After checking out the rankings and visiting some school websites, go here next:

http://www.clearadmit.com/

They have their own rankings and detailed descriptions of many schools. They also have great resources for the whole application process.

But school quality is only part of your decision, you should also think about these things.

Tuition: Most schools charge $30,000-$60,000 per year.

Rent: If you visit http://craigslist.com, you can choose your desired city and quickly see what it will cost to rent an apartment while you’re in town. You can choose the size you need and see what the recent prices are.

Car: The second most important thing is a car. A car can easily cost $10,000/year because you’ll need to buy gas, insurance, etc. Yes, you can sell it later, but not for as much as you paid for it. Plan for at least $5000 per year if you need to buy a car.

Other Costs: For other costs, if you visit http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/, you can compare the cost of living in different cities.

Location: Choose a school in a place you’d like to live. New York might be too expensive. North Carolina might be too boring. Minnesota might be too cold. All three of those places have amazing schools, but the place matters.

Location is also very important for networking. Think of the local business people you’re likely to meet while studying. For example, Michigan is very near many car companies. If you’re in the supply chain business, they might be excellent for you to learn from. On the other hand, maybe you’d prefer to study in Hong Kong if you’ll be doing business in Asia.

Opportunity Cost/Length of Program: You can complete an MBA in one year. Two years is normal, but it might not be worth it.

Job Placement: The best schools work very hard to get you a good job. But this might not be important to you if you’re planning to return to your country or are being sponsored by your company.

In future weeks, I’ll review the application process for getting into an MBA program.

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