If you’re in the enviable position of choosing between multiple programs, this post might help you come to a decision. Whether you’ve got your pick of the top programs or you’re down to the final two, the decision can be more than a little daunting.
- Assess your finances. While this hopefully isn’t your primary decision makers, assess any aid as well as differences in tuition. Of course, make sure you consider earning potential after graduation as well.
- Look beyond the rankings. While rankings are a good marker of program quality, they’re certainly not the only way to decide which school is going to be the best fit. Pay more attention to student life and cultural “fit.”
- See the schools firsthand. If at all possible, visit all of the schools you’re considering. Sit in on a class if possible, and get a feel for the geography of the campus as well as the surrounding area. Ask yourself whether this is somewhere you could see yourself living and working.
- Talk to people. Reach out to current students and alumni to get a feel for the program’s culture, strengths/weaknesses, and the resources that would be available to you as a student. On the other side of the coin, speak to those working in the industry that you’re hoping to enter after school. Which skills and abilities have they found most valuable? Which programs would foster those skills?
- Consider your goals. If you’ve gotten this far, you probably have an idea of what you want to do when you finish business school. Think carefully about which schools would be most helpful when it comes to building relationships within your chosen career path. Every program has strengths and weaknesses, and you need to make sure that your chosen program will be able to serve your needs.
Remember that no matter what school you chose, your success is far more dependent on how hard you’re willing to work than which university is on your diploma. Choose somewhere that will allow you to live up to your full professional and personal potential.