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business | opinions & advice | research & decide
Finding the Best Business School for You
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A smart businessperson wouldn't invest in a company just because it was big or well– known. So why would you do the same when "investing" in a business school?
Don't choose based on name and prestige alone. To ensure your own personal satisfaction and success, consider a school's specific academic programs, their student body and the career paths of graduates.
Different business schools offer very different academic experiences. You should inquire about the type of core curriculum a school offers, along with any special classes and programs. Find out if the professors are accessible and helpful (if they don't have time to talk to you, it won't matter if they are leaders in their field.) Finally, ask about other things that may impact your academic success, such as grading and probation policies, student support systems, the average workload, class sizes, the emphasis on teamwork and the level of pressure and competition.
Business school is a social environment. You'll spend a lot of time collaborating with your peers in the classroom. And your fellow students aren't just study buddies–they'll be a powerful network of contacts once you enter the job market. Your professors can also be helpful down the road. When researching prospective schools, it's imperative that you get a feel for the student body and the faculty. Will you enjoy spending several years with these people? Can you imagine keeping in touch with them after graduation? Are the students homogenous or diverse? Employ the same strategies you used when you applied to undergraduate colleges: talk to students and alumni, sit in on classes and meet with professors.
Business school will (hopefully) be your ticket to that dream job. If you want to break into a specific field or industry after graduation, choose a school with a strong program in that area. You should also inquire about the number and types of companies recruiting on campus as well as what networking opportunities the school offers. Also, be sure to ask about the placement rate, the average starting salaries of graduates, their salaries after they've been in the work force for five years and what kind of support career services provides. Lastly, find out if the school coordinates career and resume planning workshops as well as taping sessions to practice interviewing skills.