Sadly, some future MBAs still choose which business school to attend based on where their friends are going, where they “think they can get in,” where their boss attended, or where their parents have connections. Such myopia unfortunately can be the recipe for an MBA experience that falls short of expectations. Worthy applicants with strong minds can head down a path that does not mesh with their values, personality, work experience or most importantly, their future.
For example, if you’re passionate about start-up companies and launching one of your own, it makes sense to seek an MBA program that specializes in entrepreneurship, even if it’s not the most “prestigious. “ Likewise if you’d like to see your career taking you into the non-profit arena, an MBA program with a specialty in nonprofit administration is the wisest choice.
Everybody talks about elite schools such as Harvard, Stanford and Wharton.But with admission rates as low as 9%, very distinctive cultures, and a paucity of fellowships, they aren’t for everyone.Prospective MBA students need to perform their own “gut check” to determine the programs that fit their unique wants and needs.To help you start your brainstorming here’s a snapshot of a few hidden gems among the top 25:
Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. With the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship the premier institution for entrepreneurship research, as well as a hub for cross-organizational initiatives and resource-sharing, the Kelley School of Business touts “one of the world’s largest entrepreneurship faculties with some the world’s most recognized entrepreneurship thought leaders from departments in Management & Entrepreneurship, Finance, Marketing.”If you find you’ve developed the entrepreneurial itch, you’ll find everything you need to scratch it at Kelley.
McCombs School of Business, University of Texas, Austin, TX.If “Keep Austin Weird” is the rallying cry of Austin locals, then “Keep McCombs Hands-on” is the rallying of UT-Austin. Priding itself on an activity- and project-centric MBA program, McCombs offers students the opportunity to participate in the PLUS Program, “an individually tailored professional development and leadership experience.”This real-world facilitation, combined with a top-10 academic Marketing program, makes McCombs the ideal destination for those students ready to cut their marketing teeth in the classroom and the real world.
Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, Durham, NC.Whether you are a Cameron Crazy back for a victory lap or a Durham newcomer, the Fuqua School offers a premier MBA education for those socially-minded students pursuing a career in the non-profit sector On top of course work that explores the spectrum of non-profit management, Fuqua positions itself as the MBA program that will give students the tools they need to affect local and worldwide change. Logistically, that mean Fuqua MBAs have the opportunity to work through a student-to-business consulting program in addition to classroom work, with 20% of the participating businesses drawn from the non-profit arena.It’s one thing to study non-profit management; it’s quite another to do it. Fuqua allows students to do both.
Tailor-fitted MBA programs exist for every applicant, and our one-on-one consulting can help you figure out the best program for you.We’ve helped applicants from around the world gain acceptance to more than 70 different schools in the US, Europe and Asia. Wondering if you can get admitted to your ideal B-schools? Feel free to give the experts at The MBA Exchange a chance to evaluate your potential for admissions success at your top targets.