A cursory look at business school websites/marketing materials may have you thinking that they all look the same, but once you know which elements to look at, you’ll find that each school is unique in its offerings. Once you determine what you’re looking for, you’ll have an easier time differentiating these characteristics and then deciding which ones to apply to:
1. Employment profile
Where are grads finding work? Which programs send the most graduates to the corporations, businesses, and firms that are the most attractive to you?
2. Class profile
Do you feel most comfortable in large lecture halls or in a small classroom setting? Do you prefer to be in a city or in more of a country setting? Do you want to be in a class where the majority of the students are from engineering, business, and technical fields? Or would you choose a setting where more of the students come from the social sciences or humanities?
Do you prefer a more rigid program where everyone takes the same first-year classes, or is a program with more options your style? Is it important to you to pass out of prerequisites? Do you want a program that will provide a lot of teacher collaboration and mixing of business functions?
Do you prefer a mix of methodologies? Are you looking for an emphasis on projects and hands-on-learning? Are you seeking a program that emphasizes the case method?
This is an indefinable but important quality. The best way to determine fit is to visit the campuses you are most interested in. If this isn’t possible, talk to students currently in the program, follow MBA student blogs, and read student publications.
Understanding what makes each program unique will empower you to make more informed application and acceptance decisions.
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