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Posted by Chioma Isiadinso
Did you apply Round One to your target b-schools? If so, were you accepted to multiple programs?
First of all, congratulations!
Getting accepted to your target b-school programs is no small feat, particularly when you have multiple MBA admissions offers.
Now comes the hard part.
How do you decide which MBA admissions offer you’ll accept.
Just like an investment banker or management consultant with multiple job offers, you should think about your criteria for choosing an MBA program, especially if you are fortunate enough to be faced with several good options.
After all, you’re going to spend the next two years of your life at this place. If it’s not right for you, it’s best to figure that out beforehand.
You’ve got some time to make your decision, and the holidays can provide a much-need timeout from your everyday routine. Use that time to carefully weigh any MBA offers you’re thinking about accepting.
To help you out in your decision-making process, I’ve outlined four criteria in this blog post (fit, career, community and location) that can help you in deciding which MBA admissions offer is the best for you. These criteria are broad, and encompass many different factors that make up a successful MBA experience.
Don’t take them lightly – think carefully about each one, and be honest with yourself. If you’ve got a bad gut feeling about a program, it’s probably not the right one for you.
Criteria #1: Fit
This one is both the most important and most elusive criterion. “Fit” is an intangible concept- the peculiar intersection of your thoughts and values with the program’s culture and priorities.
It’s hard to define, but it’s so important, and should be your main focus. No matter how prestigious the institution, you won’t be happy there if you don’t feel there’s a good fit for you.
Here’s a few questions to ask yourself regarding whether a particular MBA program is a good ‘fit’ for you:
Criteria #2: Career
Just as your personality should fit well with an MBA program’s culture, your career goals should match up well with the b-school’s recruitment capabilities.
You want a b-school that will provide high-level connections into the industry that you’re interested in, and that will be truly dedicated to helping you achieve your career goals.
You can glean a lot of information from annual employment reports published by the business school, as well as any company lists available in the career section of a program’s website.
Here’s a few questions to ask yourself regarding whether a particular MBA program is aligned with your future career goals:
Criteria # 3: Community
It’s nearly impossible to get through business school entirely by yourself. You’ll need a support community, and that begins with your fellow MBA classmates, your professors, and the staff at your institution. All of these groups should be eager to help you succeed.
Here’s a few questions to ask yourself regarding which b-school has the right community for you:
Criteria #4: Location
Location matters in almost every interaction. Sure, we’ve become more global. We’ve become more virtual. But there are still critical hubs of business and community, and it’s important to place yourself in a community that will allow you to thrive.
Here’s a few questions to ask yourself regarding which location would be the best for you in business school:
Where To Find The Answers You Need
I realize that I just posed a lot of questions in this post.
Each and every one is important, and there are several places you can go to find the answers that you need.
Using the four criteria outlined in this blog post (fit, career, community and location) can help you make the right choice when you’ve been accepted to multiple MBA programs.
Ultimately, you make the final decision as to which MBA program you’ll choose. But remember that this could be one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your career. So take the time to answer as many of the questions I’ve provided you in this post.
Have more questions about the MBA admissions offers? Visit our Facebook page to leave us a question and we will get back to you.
This blog post was later featured in an article on Poets & Quants, “Should You Accept That MBA Admissions Offer?“.