Business School Research - A note about "fit"

While researching B-schools, the big question that every applicant has to answer is about "fit":

- Whether the B-school fits into your career aspirations
- Whether you fit into that B-school's culture - This is important because if you research thoroughly, you'll find out that you cannot fit-in every B-school. For example, you may feel comfortable if the class size is small and you can get individual attention. If that is the case, apply to a school which sells on a close-knit community. Harvard is not for you.

So as you understand, "fit" is a give and take thing between the school and you. There are multiple sub-variables also involved in the above mentioned broad classification:

B-school fit into your plan

You might want to consider:
- Location of the school - That will ultimately also lead to the most probable location of post-MBA career. If you do not like New York, don't apply to Stern or Columbia for example.
- Top Hirers - You should have a specific target industry or employer in mind while applying. Go to a place that favours the industry you are targeting. It can be for any reason: location of the school, course structure, anything. You may want to prefer west coast schools if you want to work in Tech industry post MBA, for example. A look at the top 3/4 hirers gives you an idea.
- Class Size
- Faculty:Student Ratio
- Extra curricular activities in the B-school
- Are you the one who prefer a big brand name?

Do you fit into the B-school culture

- You may want to have a look at the demographics to understand this.
- Have a look at the Professional clubs at the B-school. Do you see yourself participating actively in some of them?
- Find and talk to alumni. They are really helpful provided you have done preliminary research and come up with intelligent questions to ask.
- Find out about life outside the classroom. Do you see yourself really engaging in these activities?

While reading randomly on the internet, I found this spreadsheet very helpful.

http://www.ml4t.org/node/626

This person has compiled all the parameters from BusinessWeek into one spreadsheet. The criteria that was chosen was:

  • Demographics
  • Diversity
  • GMAT
  • Work Experience
  • Age
  • Faculty
  • Class Size
  • Joint Programs
  • Alumni
  • Salary
  • Cost

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