How important is “location” when choosing a business school?

You want an MBA education, brand and network that will serve you well for the next 30-40 years, regardless of where in the world you decide to live and work, right? Only a relative handful of schools are considered truly "global." And, a school’s "location" means much more than the physical campus.

So, how can you determine before enrolling whether the location of your otherwise favorite MBA program is best for you?

From having advised over 3,500 applicants from 80 countries worldwide over the past 18 years, The MBA Exchange understands the near-term and long-term significance of a school’s geographic footprint. Here are 8 steps you can take to help you make the best choices:

1. Identify the regions, ideally the countries and cities, where you’re most likely to live and work following graduation.

2. Talk with the heads of local b-school alumni chapters in the major cities in those regions to confirm the size and vitality of their local clubs.

3. Engage with the school’s career services office to find out which companies in those regions recruit and hire MBA grads for the type of positions you envision.

4. Use LinkedIn to identify and contact accomplished alumni in those regions who would be willing to chat with you about their post-MBA experience.

5. Analyze how many students from those regions and countries attend the targeted school as an indication that the program has a presence in that area.

6. Reach out to officers of relevant student clubs to get their perspective on the location of career opportunities available to MBA grads.

7. Study the listing of elective courses to determine whether the prospective world region/countries are featured in the curriculum.

8. Explore formal affiliations between business schools that allow students at one program to study at the other campus and access both alumni networks.

Of course, the more selective and prestigious the business school, the more likely it is to be known, respected and valuable worldwide. So, as a first step in determining the best MBA program for your candidacy, begin with a free, expert evaluation of your candidacy.