Picking the right MBA school for you: top factors to consider

Prof. Dr. Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, WeSchoolEducation is an investment. It is an invaluable asset that harnesses and certifies our skill set. A successful completion of a program or course offers us opportunities to progress as professionals. Higher education has helped many individuals to launch their career. On the other hand, Executive education has given many practicing professionals an edge thus enhancing their work profiles and improving their pay cheques. The objective of education differs for different individuals. With this, the priorities to shortlist an MBA School change with different parameters taken into consideration. Each person has different set of needs and desires to achieve success against the set number of years.

Let's look at prioritising varied factors that could clear the clutter of thoughts for both fresher and working executives. Return on investment, work experience, career choice and the industry one wishes to grow are broad points one must understand. These factors are interlinked with one another and can be marked basis how far and fast you wish to grow. It is important to understand that the more you stretch yourself the more you grow. The lesser your pace, the lesser is the growth. The willingness to work beyond boundaries in terms of travel and inter departmental roles often helps an individual have an edge in the industry of choice. It is up to you if you wish to be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a bigger pond.

Before browsing through the top ranking list of B-schools and verifying the quality of faculty, curriculum content and placements over the social media forums and other websites; it is important for you to pause, reflect and answer the question ‘Why do I need to do an MBA?’ Fresher or individuals with minimal or no industry experience need to shortlist a program that will help him/her to train his/her skill set at par with exeriential knowledge. Hence, these youngsters need to shortlist a B-school that offers industry exposure during the course of the programs. Such experiential knowledge can be gained
through projects, student exchange programs and internships. A B-school with good corporate relations offers many opportunities for students to exhibit their mettle. Inter collegiate competition helps fresher’s to apply their knowledge and receive feedback from industry stalwarts. Many students earn not only an experience but also prize money. In context to exposure, one must check current collaborations of B-Schools with Universities known for specialised programs.

New programs and software are changing the processes in a business like never before. Hence, choosing programs that are future relevant is more important

Experienced professionals need to relook at their next move in career. They need to understand finer details such as scope of growth in a particular industry and job roles in terms of consultancy or heading a specific function within an organisation. For instance, a working HR professional needs to take into account if he/she would like to switch to head Human Resources within a company or would like to move ahead as a consultant. One must also take into account the scope of growth in these roles. For an individual who is fiercely ambitious and wishes to take charge of leadership roles, then consultancy is an ideal choice. For individuals who wish to travel less and are more comfortable in not so fiercely delivery centric organisation; a position within an organisation is appropriate.

For those professionals who wish to change their careers altogether need to gain a suitable perspective in the light of 'change'. A shift in career often requires an individual to begin at from the executive level. Women who have taken a break due to personal reasons mostly opt for career change. There are also instances where a marketing manager with an experience in Real Estate wishes to now pursue a career in Retail. While Real Estate is a part of Retail, there are other dynamics within a Retail business that an individual has to grasp. In such cases, a B-school best known for its retail industry exposure needs to be explored as an option.

The industry is changing at a fast pace with up gradation in technology. Decade old business practices are becoming redundant. New programs and software are changing the processes in a business like never before. Hence, choosing programs that are future relevant is more important. For example, Finance is an important element of any business. How Finance is evolving with fintech needs to match the program you wish to choose when specialising in Finance. A student must read and research on the program that will allow him/her to build future-ready skill sets.

In the end, it is all about 'education for you'. What works for your career goals and aspirations differs to another’s career choice and ambition. Simple steps to reflect and match your priorities to the benefits of the existing programs helps you filter through a number of B-schools in India. Charting a plan B helps reduce stress and ensure you succeed despite seats not available in your first choice of campus.