With business school offerings shifting from general management to specialized concentrations such as real estate, healthcare, and aerospace, choosing an M.B.A. program can be tricky. Add in format options that include full time, part time, online, distance, accelerated, and executive programs, and the decision of which business school to attend can become overwhelming.
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To select the right program, M.B.A. hopefuls should hone in on what they want to get out of their business school experience. After narrowing down your selections, you'll want to visit the campuses, sit in on a class, and talk to current and former students to get a better feel for the program, say recent b-school graduates.
To help guide you through the decision making process, three M.B.A. graduates share how they chose their programs in this video:
Do you want to start a business? Then find a program that nurtures an entrepreneurial spirit through clubs, events, and activities, says David Adelman, who founded Reel Tributes, which produces family history videos, while completing his M.B.A. at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
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"It helps to have other people around you who are also creating businesses, who are also going through the struggles of finding an attorney or designing a website. All these things that seem like the biggest hurdles early on," Adelman says.
Strong business background, but no network? A full-time program with ample opportunities to collaborate and bond inside and outside of the classroom may serve you better than an online or part-time program where students are too strapped for time to get involved, says Christine Kousin, a private wealth manager at Morgan Stanley and alumna of the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.
Want to advance your career without taking time away from it? The structure of some part-time and executive M.B.A. programs can eliminate the lag time between classroom concept and workplace application, says Felipe Millon, a strategy engineer at Lockheed Martin. Millon graduated from of the Cross Continental M.B.A. program at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, which blends online learning with six two-week residencies in places such as Shanghai and Dubai.
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