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It's All About The Fit

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about business school selection? The rankings, of course. Every MBA aspirant wants to study at a top ranked school. And why not? After all, top ranked programs typically report great placement statistics including higher average salaries after graduation. But is that what the MBA is all about? What about the time that is actually spent studying for the MBA?

While rankings can be useful since they consider several parameters, MBA aspirants need to adopt a more nuanced approach when creating their final school list. Most applicants tend to focus on what happens beyond the MBA. While this is understandable given the substantial investment involved, they conveniently forget that they still have to complete the MBA program before they can realize their career dreams.

So what does that mean? It means that candidates should also consider the culture of the school as well as the academic aspects of the program during the selection process. Rankings usually rely on data that can be easily collected, analyzed, and reported. They can’t incorporate the kind of qualitative information that would truly aid you in deciding whether the program matches your personal and professional goals.

It’s important for you to determine whether the culture of the school suits your personality. Why? Because you don’t want to be miserable for the duration of your MBA. If you believe in collaboration, we wouldn’t recommend going to a school that is predominantly competitive. On the other hand, if you enjoy a competitive environment, you may feel out of place in a small, close-knit MBA program with a collaborative culture.

Furthermore, there isn’t any point in attending a top ranked school if it can’t help you fulfil your career objectives. Hence, it’s important to take a detailed look at the program curriculum to ensure that it matches your expectations. Moreover, schools are known for their strengths in specific areas. Pursuing your MBA in a school reputed for finance when you wish to build a career in marketing doesn’t make much sense, does it?

In summary, while rankings can be a great starting point, you need to determine whether the school is a good fit for you. How can this be done? A great way to decide if the culture and program meet your needs is to talk to current students, alumni, and admissions staff. This will help you create a school list that reflects your personal values and professional goals, bringing you that much closer to an option that’s right for you.


LemonEd can help you with all elements of your MBA application.

Call today for a free consultation.

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