If you’re considering applying to MBA school, ask yourself: What are my career goals, how do I plan to achieve them, and where do I currently stand in my life?
MBA schools no longer offer “one size fits all” programming that targets any MBA applicant who is qualified to get in. For the last ten years or so, MBA schools have been segmenting their programs to reach specific niches within the MBA community. MBA schools programs are now heavily centered upon specific career niches and age demographics.
That’s great news for you, because a targeted MBA program can devote all of its resources to your needs, rather than stretching their resources thin to accommodate every type of MBA applicant.
Find the MBA school that is right for you: Four steps
Follow these four steps to select the MBA school that is right for you:
- Identify about 15 MBA schools that you can get accepted to. Roughly match your GPA and GMAT numbers to the admissions statistics released by each school. Select some “reach” schools and some “safety” schools. (Use the 1:2:1 rule: 1 reach school and 1 safety school for every 2 “perfect fit” schools.)
- Research each MBA school and determine the focus of each program. Is the program aimed at older professionals, fresh-out-of-college young people, or another group? Eliminate the schools that aren’t targeted towards you.
- Narrow the list down by selecting the MBA schools that place the highest percentage of their graduates directly into a job. This measurement is called the “recruitment percentage.”
- Make your final selections by choosing MBA schools that are geographically desirable to you.
Do your diligence: Research each program online
Take the time to visit the website for each program so you can discover whether that program is catered for your needs. Each MBA program will have marketing material available online that will state the schools goals, and the schools ideal candidate.
So if you’re a 23 year old fresh out of college, MBA programs aimed at established, older professionals aren’t right for you.
National, or local MBA school?
Would you prefer to stay local while you’re an MBA candidate? Many MBA school students are working professionals with spouses, children, houses, and pet cats that they can’t just pick up and move for MBA school.
If you’re not looking to relocate for MBA school, make sure that the local school you select has a high recruitment percentage.
MBA school recruitment percentage
Most MBA students who are not employed while they are enrolled in MBA school want to be placed into a new job as soon as possible.
MBA school program rankings all publish the percentage of MBA graduates that are recruited (link to ranking post)into a job soon after graduating. The higher recruitment percentage, the better. If an MBA school has a low recruitment percentage, it usually means they have weak networking connections with local organizations.
But if you’re already employed while you’re an MBA student and you’re simply looking to move up within your organization, you don’t need to worry about recruitment percentages.
You’re getting an MBA for a specific reason: You might want to advance in the organization you’re already in, you may want to start your own company, or you may want to use your MBA to help you get placed in a well-known organization or sector.
MBA schools are results oriented, just like you are, so if you you take the time to discover schools that are devoted to the same goals as you, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect school for you.
If you were to apply to MBA school right now, would be accepted? Find out your chances right now, and find out where your application needs to improve.