Congratulations! All your hard work paid off. You’ve been admitted to multiple MBA programs. But now that you find yourself in this enviable position, the real hard work begins. Now you have to choose which MBA program is for you.
Receiving an offer of admission to any MBA program is a significant achievement. It means you’ve accomplished your initial goal and taken the first step towards accelerating your career. The next step is to determine which MBA program is the best choice to help you achieve all your career goals. This can be a difficult choice to make.
By following these easy steps, you can simplify the decision and bring clarity to your MBA program selection.
(RE-)VISIT THE PROGRAMS
You should visit the MBA programs you’re considering in-person, either before you apply or after you’re admitted. Meeting the people you will interact with and seeing the place where you’ll study helps determine if you will be comfortable at that school. You’re choosing an environment in which you will spend a significant amount of time over the course of two or more years, so you want to make sure it’s a place you want to be.
If you have the opportunity to visit after you’ve been admitted, take advantage of it. Admitted student events allow you to meet and network with other admitted candidates, developing relationships that can benefit you during your MBA program and beyond. But even if you can’t visit again after receiving an admission offer, make sure to re-visit your on-campus experience. Reflect on what you liked and did not like, and what made the school appealing enough to you to submit your application.
CHECK YOUR GOALS
You applied to B-School because you want to do “something.” Whether that “something” is a specific job, or a broad concept of the direction you’d like your career to go, the MBA program you choose needs to be able to prepare you for “something.”
Take a closer look at the concentrations and courses offered. Speak to faculty in your areas of interest if you can. And speak to alumni and career development. Specifically, ask if graduates of the program are strong candidates for the job(s) you’re interested in. You want to make sure the employers you want to work for are recruiting from the school you choose.
DO THE MATH
The return on investment for pursuing your MBA goes a lot deeper than your expected salary upon graduation. Your MBA is a long-term investment. Do your homework on the value of the network you are choosing. How helpful are they going to be when you are job searching in two years? What about ten years? Consider the costs of the program, including tuition, costs of living, and any financial aid received. How do they compare to the expected return on investment?
Also, consider what you may be giving up to pursue your MBA. Whether it is salary if you’re pursuing a full-time degree, time if you are pursuing a part-time degree, or something else, be sure you can survive without it. Be sure the resources you need to succeed will be present at the programs you are considering.
At this point, your B-school choice may be apparent. But if not, take another look at all the factors you considered when choosing MBA programs to apply to… Rankings, location, size of program, strength of network, academic offerings, career outcomes, and more.
It’s impossible to base a decision as big as which MBA program to attend on one single factor, so start by writing down the top 5-10 that matter most to you. Then compare each factor to one another, and decide which you value more. For instance, which is more important to you…
Rankings or size of program?
Rankings or academic offerings?
Once you’ve compared each attribute to all the others, you can see visually which are most important to you and rewrite your list in ranked order. Now you can identify the MBA program that is the best fit for each factor, and thus, which program is the best choice for you.
Whether you’re thinking about applying or have already been admitted, the Boston College Graduate Admissions team is here to help you determine if the BC MBA is the right program for you. Don’t hesitate to contact us. And be sure to attend our next MBA Open House to speak with our students and staff and get answers to all of your questions.