How to Select the Right College to Study MBA

Master’s in Business Administration or popularly known as an MBA is one of the most sought after courses not only in the country but in the world. May it be related to the decision of shifting careers or wanting to use an MBA to climb up that corporate ladder, students do the Master’s in Business Administration or MBA for multiple reasons. A MBA program is a tons of investment any student will make in their careers. Even in terms of money, time, energy and efforts, MBA programs irrespective of where they are being pursued require heavy investment. This makes it all the important to choose to an MBA college which not only provides you the MBA specialization that you might want but also the kind of environment which you help you in the best way to grow and learn. Selecting a business school that meets your needs is the key to investing your time, energy and crucially money, wisely.


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Before taking the plunge, it is always advised to ask yourself why you want to do an MBA in the first place and what kind of job you want to pursue in the future. Basically, how will the Master’s in Business Administration, help you get where you want to be. Things like talking to professors who teach in the same university (preferably the specialization that you want), or the alumni of the college, to get an insight into the culture of the college. But one of the best ways would be to personally visit the campus before you take your final decision. Visiting the campus will give you the feel of the college, a touch of it culture and its atmosphere.
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Going to the right MBA College can make a huge difference in your career as it can improve your chances of landing a better job and accelerating your career. Finding the right MBA College should not only be based on ranks or the prestige associated with the university. There are a thousands of universities and colleges which offer a Master’s in Business Administration program these days, that too not alone in the country but in the whole word. The decision might be daunting initially along with the question of ‘why do I want an MBA?’ But once you know the reason behind your passion to pursue the program, answering other questions becomes a little daunting. The possibilities of MBA boosting your career are endless, however only if you make the right decision. It might sometimes get easy to get lost in the madness of it all, but by asking yourself the right set of questions you can get closer to making the right decision for yourself. If you are thinking about an MBA it might be wise to take into account various factors that will come into play from the cost to the future prospects. Here are a few of them to help you understand a few key things to keep in mind when deciding on which MBA College to join.

  • Cost and Location

Cost and location are factors no MBA aspirant can take lightly. Master’s in Business Administration programs especially abroad are notoriously expensive. If you do intended to study in a university abroad, then you might want to estimate whether the cost of living is manageable or not. Along with a hefty tuition fee, a huge chuck of finances also go into living in the city. Every city might have a different standard of living and every college has a different tuition fee structure. Explore if the program and city you aspire to go to for your MBA, fits your budget or not. Another factor to consider is whether you want the college to be in the city with the hustle bustle or you want it to be in a quite area secluded from the city life. It might be easier for the business leaders for visiting the college in the city, however, in a quite university, you might be able to study a lot better with concentration and distractions. Thus, when deciding on an MBA College in the country or abroad, take into account the cost you would incur and the whether the location would suit you or not.

  • Focus/Specialization

Elena Ambrosiadou, Cranfield MBA student in the Class of 1988 who is currently CEO of IKOS Partners, said, “My MBA was a catalyst for helping me develop my entrepreneurial spirit and skills, and it gave me the confidence to pursue my career. “It taught me how to build and maintain an international network of friends and how to seek out creativity and opportunity. It also taught me about leadership, teamwork and decision-making.” This just proves that you need to know your strengths in order to use the MBA program to reach your full potential. You might want to become an entrepreneur, a businessman, a marketing head or a finance manager, all based on your strengths. Once you know your strengths and focus of your study, a lot of things become easier. A general MBA program, usually touches upon all the core areas of the program. However specialization take you to the core of a single function. If you don’t have a lot of experience in a particular field and want to make an entrance, then there is nothing better than a specialized MBA program. Realizing your strengths is the key to opt for the right specialization and the college. As you may get to know which college, offers the best course, on the specialization you are passionate to do. Thus, MBA can be an excellent gateway to accelerate your career and reach, only if you play your strengths.

  • Full Time/Part Time

Another daunting question that MBA aspirants face today is the question of whether to do a full time MBA or to take up a part time MBA program? This question’s answer lies in what you are looking for through the MBA program. If you are looking forward or your main aim it to improve your network, start a career/re-launch your career across the globe, then a full time MBA might be the right investment. A full time MBA is grueling but helps build team-work, provides an intense learning environment and extends your network. Thus, a full time MBA is sure to turn you into a team player (as you study with 100+ MBA students). However, if you are a working professional with a thriving career, then you might want to consider taking up a part time MBA program. This is ideal for people who don’t want to stop working but also wish to pursue an MBA. Hence, this gives you the liberty to study and work at the same time. And the added bonus of not going anywhere physically for the program is always there. Weigh your options and decide which one works the best for you and your career.

  • College Rankings

People might say it is not that important but it is important because it is a brand that you carry with you throughout life and your career. A good college name can get you place, of course it is your talent which makes you stay there. Look up at rankings provided by The Financial Times, Business Weekly and The Wall Street Journal for a closer look at the global ranking of schools. It might seem amazing to dream of an MBA from a reputed college, but you need to see whether your values align with the college or not. Further, you need to see if you meet the requirements of the college or not. You also might want to take a look at the ranking of the college in the last five years, whether it has improved, fallen or has been stable throughout. This is enough to give you a good idea about the stability of the ranking of the colleges.

  • Global Credits

It helps if the student has international work experience in their bags. Even experience such as an internship or a semester abroad through a program counts. Thus, MBA Colleges are always looking out for students who come across as go getters and hard working. If you do have international work experience, then try and look for MBA programs or colleges which favor candidates like you and provide considerable preference to you over other candidates. Working in an international space can be excellent for a career, especially if you looking to make a career abroad anywhere in the globe or are planning to re-launch your career. Considers schools which have over sea partnerships and campuses all over the world.

  • Other Factors
  • Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Partner and Family Friendly Schools
  • Careers
  • Academic Community
  • Students and Alumni network
  • Support and Financial Aid

Finding and selecting the right MBA College can seem daunting but by answering the right set questions it might not be that daunting after all. Research the school, it students and the courses offered. Talk to as many people as you can and people who can give you further guidance in terms of your career and what would be the best step or program for you. A program which will accelerate your career and helpy you achieve your professional goals. In the end, it is in the favor of the student as well as in the favor of the College to find the right fit.  

Author: Andreena Sung