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How to choose a B-School for an MBA programme?

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Studying for an MBA requires a huge investment of time, money and energy. So it is crucial to ensure that your choice of programme and business school meets your needs. Your decision should be based not only on primary determinants like infrastructure, faculty, placement and fee structure, it should also take into account factors that are not always looked into by a student when applying for admission into a business school.

Here we have tried to put together a list of parameters that you should consider before joining an MBA programme:

Curriculum: Management studies at the basic level is about the study of the inception and growth of organizations and how they are run. The curriculum incorporates a theoretical understanding of fundamental concepts in management. The curriculum, in the best b-schools, are customized according to the current market conditions and industry needs so that at the end of two years of management study, a student comes out of the b-school with a thorough grounding in the principles of managing a business and can import this knowledge to the workplace.

Faculty: The faculty in a b-school not only need to have expertise in their area of study, they also need to be abreast of the latest developments in the global economy, be industry aligned and have an understanding of the latest research developments in their area of specialisation. The content they deliver in classrooms needs to keep pace with the changing business environment and therefore should be constantly updated.

Placement: In most cases, a management degree enables one to land a decent job. However, what one should look out for is whether a b-school has a longstanding placement structure to cater to their career goals. Most b-schools have a placement cell but MBA aspirants should do well to choose such b-schools where the placement cell also acts as a mentor and guide during the campus interview process. One should also look into a b-school’s placement record to gather as much information as possible about campus recruitments done at the b-school in previous years.

Alumni: Management schools not only prepare individuals for managing organizations, they are also breeding grounds of future entrepreneurs. Instances are many of successful enterprises being conceived of and given shape to by peers in management schools. People who have similar interests and whose careers follow a similar trajectory are bound to network with one another and therefore management education also becomes a good way to create a network which can be leveraged later in one’s professional life for mutual benefit. Therefore, the strength of the alumni network should also be one of the parameters for choosing one b-school over another.

Infrastructure: Having a state-of-the -art infrastructure is a prerequisite for any business school. Infrastructure includes not only the real estate but library facilities, cafeteria, hostel and recreational provisions provided to the students by the B-school. Infrastructure also includes the technology support for pursuing academics and research available on campus. A visit to the campus from where the management programme is going to be delivered is therefore essential before completing the admission formalities.

Extra-Curricular Activities: While choosing a B-school for an MBA programme, student should not only keep in mind the factors that enable him/her to succeed professionally, but also look into the opportunities provided by the B-school for a holistic personal development. A student must realise that apart from the subject knowledge gained in class, it is through interactions with peers, participation in group activities, involvement in college festivals and contribution in community development measures that a wholesome personality is shaped. Therefore, information regarding the extra-curricular activities regularly taking place in a b-school should play a key role in the choice of an MBA programme.

Industry Exposure: What is unique about a good management education from a reputed business school is the fact of it’s being able to give the student an exposure to work life even before an individual has landed a job. This is because most good business schools make industry interface a part of their regular curriculum where students get an opportunity to apply theoretical learning of the class room to workplace situations and are thus able to relate academics to real experiences.

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