MBA Programs, Why a Top MBA

MBA target schools: how’s your list shaping up?

July 27 2022 By The MBA Exchange
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It’s one thing to think about going to business school for a Master of Business Administration degree, or MBA. Following through is something else. As you get serious about applying for business school, figuring out the intricacies of GMAT scores and official transcript reports, you have a key question to decide that there’s really no getting around, and that’s the question of which schools and programs you’re going to target in your MBA application campaign.

Different targets are going to lead to different strategic decisions at this juncture. Is your list of target schools ideally optimized for your candidacy? Here are some key points from the admissions experts at The MBA Exchange that might make you want to expand or otherwise revise your list of MBA target schools.

How to choose your target schools?

If you’re looking for a future among the ranks of today’s top consultants, the right MBA is going to be a must. The question of where you choose to apply for b-school is weighty and multi-factored. You’ve got to consider ranking, curriculum, location, culture, and more. 

Where does your gut say you should go? Don’t discount your own instincts when it comes to choosing your MBA target schools. But it also makes sense to seek insider advice and input when you’re building your list of MBA target schools and planning your b-school admissions campaign.

You don’t want to aim too low when it comes to b-school targets, or you risk stacking your list with too many so-called “safety” schools. You might come to regret not aiming for a loftier MBA later on in your career, and you’re not going to be able to go back and start again at that point.

But, it’s also not a surefire strategy to shoot for the stars by only targeting elite business schools. It’s you and everyone else competing for those same seats at top target MBA schools for investment banking and other high-profile professions. Members of The MBA Exchange team like Managing Consultant Jonathan Harari can guide you toward the right MBA targets for investment banking and other career pathways.

Can increasing your target school list help your odds?

Acceptance rates for MBA applicants at top programs are low enough to give you cause for pause. Getting in is far from a sure thing. That’s why you want to strike the right balance when it comes to the length of your list of MBA target schools. Applying to more schools can, to a limited degree, increase your chances of getting a “yes.” But, as different application requirements start to stack up, you could easily come to regret taking on too many targets. You need to hone your strategy, not spread yourself too thin.

What are the most desirable MBB target schools for post-MBA success? What about McKinsey’s preferred target schools for MBA recruits? Or maybe you’re most interested in the best BCG MBA target schools. Once you know where your MBA fits into your larger career strategy and life plan, you can truly optimize your MBA target list.

Applying to multiple schools made easier

Today’s technology and application services make it much easier to apply to multiple schools. With a history of three decades of advising more than 5,000 MBA applicants, the team at The MBA Exchange can advise you on your best prospects while still keeping you from burning out during the application process.

We focus on factors including your post-degree career ambitions, location needs, culture fit and more. Typically, we support our clients in building a blended target list containing a manageable mix of reach goals, high-probability options and a few programs in-between. We emphasize the importance of all of your targets aligning fully with both your background and your future potential.

Getting objective feedback on your competitiveness can help you narrow and validate your school options, and understanding your strengths and vulnerabilities lets you plan an admissions campaign that will end in acceptance to a program you can be proud of, both now and in the future.

If you’re an MBA applicant feeling uncertain about which programs to target, we invite you to take the first step by requesting our free, expert evaluation of your candidacy. Tell the team at The MBA Exchange about your plans for MBA target schools, and we can let you know if your list would benefit from revision or expansion.