Pursuing an MBA in a top league university demands the best out of you- academically and financially. Therefore, before investing your valuable money and time, you need to do ample research, and ensure that you get yourself into a business school, which suits your requirement
Now, you must be wondering-
- From where do I do the research?
- What are the authentic sources?
You can refer to websites like the US News, Financial Times, and the School Web Sites. They are genuine, critically acclaimed and provide the most authentic information. In addition to it you can also consult the alumni and current students studying in that institution to have an idea on the current academic scenario of the institution.
Two Sides of the Coin
There are various parameters which one has to consider before zeroing on the right B-School. There are two sides of the coin.
Side A - You have to research about the Institutions in terms of their course content, faculty and industry interface, Return on Investment, infrastructure, rankings by specialized ranking agencies etc among the main parameters.
Side B - You have to decide upon what your area of interest is and what your cup of tea is. To make it more clear please refer to the following diagram.
Let's go deep inside the Side A to help you gain valuable inputs regarding your research of B-School and we are confident that by the end of your reading you would have got a substantial insight on how to judge a B-School.
Parameter – 1 – COURSE CONTENTS
A great B-School is all about its course contents. It is the main base which one should thoroughly understand before other parameters because a B-School without good course content is actually like a car with new chassis but old engine. If the infrastructure of the college is good which means big sprawling campus, state of the art technology being used by faculty, but the course contents are not up to the expected standards, then it creates a demand, supply gap as the final product will not be able to stand up to the pressures of a corporate job, eventually leading to his/her downfall.
It has also to be understood that whether the course being offered by the institution is continuously upgraded to meet the industry standards are not. In this ever changing corporate scenario the only thing constant is change. If an institution is not upgrading its contents every year, the students studying in it are likely to become obsolete in the job market because they cannot keep up with the pace of individuals from other B-Schools and thus lose out to the competition.
For example - Is the course content of the institution in synchronization with the start up wave that has had a deep impact on the businesses all over the world? With new start ups mushrooming and presenting new opportunities, is the course content covering the entire base a management graduate needs to know in case he/she is planning on similar lines.
A great course should have all the necessary ingredients to give a complete package of knowledge to the student with respect to the corporate world. In other words, it is like cutting a diamond from different edges. Until and unless it gets cut from different edges it will not reveal its true shine. Further, it has to be noted that the course contents should meet the career aspirations of the students. It is something like if somebody is aspiring for a career in supply chain management, a mere course of Marketing and HR specialization may not be sufficient for him/her. For his/her professional growth he/she has to find the right balance and the perfect, potent mix, of course contents to give a kick start to his/her professional dreams. Therefore, cross checking, of course contents should be right at the top of the agenda.
Parameter – 2 –Faculty
Now if you have understood the importance of good and up to date course content, then it should be easier for a management aspirant like you to understand the importance of good faculty inside the B-School.
Because if the course content is great, but the faculty is not good enough, it is like you have purchased a race car, but the driver is not qualified to operate it at high speeds inside the racetrack. So, all your hopes of winning goes down the drain.
But the question is – what makes a good faculty? How do I get to know whether a B-School has good faculty specially when I am not able to visit them personally?
Well to begin with – A great faculty is not just about the certificates, degrees, doctorates etc. Even though these things give some credibility to the faculty, yet it is the delivery mechanism inside the classroom that really matters for a student. Imagine a faculty who walks in with loads of PhD degrees, but his explanation and thought process leaves you confused inside the classroom. Will you consider this as good for you?
A great faculty has to have a right combination of theoretical knowledge, corporate experience and research experience. If a faculty has just taught different subjects right from the very beginning of his career but has not done any research work or does not have any corporate experience, then it is a matter of concern for the student because such a faculty would have less idea about how the world outside the classroom is changing, when is imparting you his learned knowledge.
We at Collmission believe that a B-School faculty has to follow the following mantra during his teaching process
Does the faculty in your desired B-school follow this process? If yes, we give thumbs up to your choice of B-school faculty.
For a better understanding try to locate some educational or classroom learning videos of the faculties of that B-School from the internet, ask the current students or better ask about the number of most loved faculties in the institution and you will know why the attendance in some of the lectures is so very high as compared to others.
Parameter -3 -Industry Interface
It is one of the important criteria to judge a B-school. In order to be industry ready a B-school has to not only give quality teaching in the classrooms, but also make the students utilize their classroom learning experiences into real time situations. Because any strategy taught inside the classroom is of no worth if the student is not able to utilize it in the corporate world.
Industry Interface is judged by two ways
- Apart from the regular teaching faculty, how many visiting faculties are there with the institution and what is their professional background. The benefit is that, if there are specialization papers in Human resources and You have faculties who have real time experience in dealing with Human resources, the learning becomes much more productive as they will be able to give you real life case studies inside the classroom which would result in interactive learning.
- Further, you should also check out information regarding company visits, site visits, factory visits arranged by the institution to have a firsthand experience of these places which shall come in handy. Also check out the list of companies who have in the recent past provided students opportunities for internship in their companies. This shall give a you a very good idea about the student's acceptability in the corporate world and your chances of sealing a final offer of placement from them once you are through with your education at the institution.
Parameter -4 Personality Development Programs
Every management graduate has to ensure that in order to fit in a corporate career; he/she needs to have certain traits that are immeasurable in term of numbers. Traits like leadership, man management skills, interaction with fellow co-workers all of these need him/her to have a personality which is accepted and appreciated in all ways professionally. As a student, you need to check out things like whether the institution provides communication labs, student exchange programs, co – curricular activities, live projects, entrepreneurship programs. These things have a deep impact on the student’s overall personality, helping him/her to carve his/her own identity in the long run. These PDPs help you gain confidence to face challenges that the corporate world would throw at you in every stage of your career. For freshers it is of even more importance because at their first point of contact, the hiring companies would judge them on the basis of their personality traits as marks and grades in certificates sometimes do not reflect the true potential of any student.
Parameter – 5 - Return on Investment
Any kind of Investment is done to generate revenue at the end in the corporate world and it holds true in our personal lives as well. A lot of students who are dependent on their parents, banks, NBFCs or other sponsors for funding have to primarily answer this question of – What are we going to get in return for our investment?
Now, since we at Collmission are witnesses to the current job scenario, what we understand is that after completing your education from one of the top B-Schools in US, you can expect an amount averaging about 75K in Salary, About 15K in Bonuses and Stock compensation and around 10K in other benefits.
Sounds too good to be true!! But it is true. Because if you are at the right place and at the right time you could soon be enjoying a lifestyle which you have long dreamt of. So be assured, that you have a fair chance of being considered by the top corporates as everyone wants the best of US B-Schools trained professionals to work with them. Who knows you might end up being offered by three to four corporate giants. A US B-School student faces the ‘problem of plenty’ of options to choose from.
It’s a problem we know. But we are sure that deserving students like you won’t mind that.
Parameter – 6 –Infrastructure
Infrastructure is an important part that a student has to look into while choosing his/her B-School. Now we do need to understand that Infrastructure means the classrooms, knowledge facilities, sports facilities, residential facilities, use of state of the art technology, the library’s collection of intellectual capital i.e journals , books etc .These things matter to you during your two years at the Institution. However it is noteworthy to mention that the size of your base ball field or rugby ground will hold no good when it come to academic performance or campus placements. One has to remember that though infrastructure is important, B-Schools performance have nothing to do with their carpet area. All that you need is an environment which shall help in bringing the best out of you academically. The Infrastructure should have adequate number of seminar halls, lecture rooms, amphitheatres so that the entire or part of the student community of the college can gather at one place for brainstorming of ideas.
Parameter -7- Rankings by trusted sources
Now we do understand that there are certain surveys conducted by top raked consulting agencies and companies whose primary job is to give the masses a comparison of who stands where as far as different parameters are considered. These are independent bodies who have the technical knowhow and one can have a look into the survey reports being published in newspapers and electronic media etc.For details one can goggle the websites that are available on the internet to get a more clear picture on the rankings. However it is strongly advised to check at least 5 to 6 ranking reports before one decides upon the right B-School for him or her.
Side B – Maintain balance between interest and capabilities.
(The art of balancing opportunities and expertise)
Let us understand the fact that what you can achieve and what you want to achieve are two different things as chalk and cheese. You have to ensure that you put your money only where you know the game. For example suppose you got through an IVY league university but that particular university does not teach your subject too well, then there is no point getting into that university. Let us say you are very interested in maths but have never scored above 40-45 % in that subject throughout your academic career, then there is no point continuing your higher studies with that particular subject as things might just get worse for you. Some students, who are interested in marketing and entrepreneurship, should go for the schools which are good for marketing, and offer enough scope and facilities for entrepreneurship. Whereas, other schools might be good in finance and economics. So, you need to synchronize your research with your requirements. Choose something which lies at the crossings of your liking and expertise and you should have a rewarding career.
Related Topics about MBA Application
Other lessons on MBA in US