Choosing mba school – brand vs program, faculty, cost. mba goal

When you plan to apply for MBA program at a Business school in America, you hear people giving you all sorts of advice for choosing the school. Most of them would advice you to get an MBA from an Ivy league Business school like Harvard or from a top 10 B-school like Stanford…but it many not be possible at times due to various factors, could be personal or professional…As an MBA graduate, let me share my perspective and experience.
What is your Goal for getting an MBA?
Here are few reasons students or professionals pursue MBA :

– Career change from one profession to other that is completely different
– Get promotion at work
– Start a business
– Take up leadership roles or C-Level roles
– Build professional network
– Connect with Alumni for career/ business
– Company is paying for higher education (MBA)
– Personal achievement
– Interest to learn the ropes of business administration

Some of you may know exactly why you are getting an MBA, some of you may not be sure about it. You have to be very clear on the goal, it will help you weigh factors when you choose a Business school for MBA.

Business school Brand vs Program, Faculty, Cost :
It sounds very fancy to have an MBA from Harvard, not that everyone can get into Harvard… It would be nice to go to an Ivy league school, if you can get admission and you can afford to pay the tuition fee…There is no question that getting an MBA from a top 10 Business school will give you tremendous brand value and increase your chances to pursue your dream career. Having said that, not everyone can make it to top 10 B-schools or may be interested to get into them due to various reasons like below:

Low GMAT Scores & GPA, less experience (No admission)
Cannot afford to pay Tuition (Do not want to risk taking a big loan)
Not interested in relocation due

to family & friends
Work does not permit relocation/ full time MBA
Less In-state tuition in State schools
Good program & faculty in local State/ Private schools
Work does not pay for MBA or pays less

Your MBA Goal – Your Decision of Business School!
As mentioned before, your goal for pursuing MBA is the key decision factor in choosing a good B-school that fits your needs.

If you can get an admission and can afford go to an Ivy league B-School or one of the top 10 private business schools, it absolutely makes sense. You may get most out of your MBA at a top 10 B-School, especially in the following cases : if you are looking for a career change, build an awesome startup, take up a C-Level role, leverage school’s alumni for business or professional growth, etc.

Some of you may be in situations like you cannot relocate, you want to study part time MBA on H1B visa, you cannot afford to pay tuition at private school ( over $100,000), you are not very keen on the brand aspect of the B-School, You want to leverage the In-state tuition fee given for H1B, H4 Visa, etc….All you want is to get is good education from a decent B-School that has good faculty. First thing that you have to do is look at the MBA program curriculum, courses offered, faculty background, research at the school, notable alumni, etc. In my case, I got my MBA from a State University B-school due to my personal reasons like in-state tuition benefits and relocation issues. I had faculty from Northwestern University (Kellog School of Business), University of Chicago(Booth School of Business), etc.

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Choosing mba school – brand vs program, faculty, cost. mba goal