How to choose the right B-School?

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai |

For selecting the right B-school which will hone your skills and carve you into a future leader, a little homework on your part is extremely important

Why get it right

 

Selecting the right B-School involves a lot of considerations and can be a hard call to take easily. Choosing the right B-School might quite simply be the most important decision you make- one that might set you on a fast track career if you get it right - and yet, often most of us feel ill equipped to take this decision. Before you embark on choosing a B-School, first and foremost you must spend significant thought on what you hope to achieve out of an MBA program. Ask yourself what kind of Industries are you interested in? What are the roles that you would love to do? Which Companies would you rather work for given a chance? Do you want to become an Entrepreneur? Once you have reasonable fix on these, make an extensive list of potential B-schools that excite you and/or match your requirements.

 

Make a list

 

At this stage it might be interesting not to restrict yourself to Indian B-schools but to generally take a look at all the good B-school Programs that are out there and come up with a list of potential business schools that you are interested in attending. There are plenty of places to start building a list like this. Compile a list of the Top 20 MBA programs worldwide as well as the top 30 MBA programs in India; add to this list of 50 B-School programs any other MBA programs that may be of personal interest to you. To help guide you make a list that works for you, you can take a dekko at the list of B Schools provided below. Once you have your personal list ready, the serious work of gathering information begins.

 

List of Good MBA programs / B Schools (Indicative List of 50 B-Schools across India and abroad)

 

  • Wharton,  HBS,  MIT,  Stanford, Kellogg's,  INSEAD,  IMD,  Said  & Judge  (Oxbridge),  GSB Chicago, LSE, LSB, ESADE, HEC Paris

  • IIMs – A, B, C , L , I , K ( plus 6 others not including IIM Shillong mentioned below)

  • XLRI/JBIMS/FMS/SPJIMR/IIFT/MDI/NITIE/IIM Shillong

  • XIMB/ SIBM/SCMHRD/ SJMSOM-IITB/NMIMS /DoMS-IITD/VGSOM IIT-Kgp

  • TAPMI/ IMI-Delhi/IMT -Ghaziabad/DMS IIT- Kanpur/SIMSREE

  • TISS/MICA/IRMA – these have a specialized focus to their programs

  • ISB – Hyderabad/ Great Lakes – Chennai [ executive one year programs tailored to the needs of working professionals].

 

Gather genuine information

 

Please take your time and ensure that you do as much research as possible, visit all the websites of B- Schools on your list. Visit public forums and check out what people have to say about these schools. Talk to family, friends and current students and /or alumni of your potential B Schools. This is very critical - reach out and talk to people in the industries where you want to work post MBA, talk to people at the companies of your choice, talk to alumni from the B-Schools on your list- most importantly talk to students currently undergoing programs at the B-Schools on your list. While all of this is pretty obvious stuff, the real benefit of this exercise depends on what you talk about when you discuss with these people. Hence, we would suggest focussing on the following parameters during such discussions:

 

Faculty

 

Learning more about the Faculty at each Institution will take a significant amount of research and time. This is time well spent. Unlike during Bachelor’s, learning at a B-School can never be limited to mere theoretical  concepts and  frameworks,  all learning must  translate into skills and knowledge that  are relevant and applicable in today’s demanding work life. If Faculty members have had previous working experience in the field you are looking to break into, and possess a strong presence in the industry, these are the types of individuals that can greatly assist you in achieving your career goals.

 

Curriculum & Teaching method

 

Many schools in India are now offering specializations in only one aspect or discipline of business; this is in addition to the general management program that is typically the most sought after program on most campuses. However, concentration should still be considered, especially by those with relevant background work experience or clarity on the kind of career they are looking for. For example, if you are interested in Marketing; choosing a school that has an outstanding Marketing program might make sense.

 

Try and evaluate the relevance of the curriculum to the future opportunities that each B-school will open up for you. For example, a school that has a curriculum strong in Finance but only has placements predominantly in the Marketing space might lead to a lot of personal dissonance later on.

 

Also try and find out the teaching methodology that will be adopted at each B-school , some B-schools adopt a case method based pedagogy , others adopt a quantitative framework based approach ; assess which methodology you are most comfortable with and most likely to learn best under.

 

Student Activities & Extra Curricular activities

 

Beyond Curriculum, every B School offers its students the opportunity to unwind, relax, and engage in activities that help them develop in directions beyond merely academics. Participating in or organising B School events can be a great way to polish your skills, pursue your passions or even more importantly these could help improve your leadership and managerial skills and hone your interpersonal skills. Look at the calendar of activities that exist at the B Schools on your list and evaluate whether these events and activities seem enticing to you.

 

Facilities

 

Does the B School have excellent conference facilities? Are the classrooms fully equipped with all A/V and Internet tools? Clearly such facilities will positively impact the quality and impact of the course. On the other hand some factors may not have a bearing on the quality of the MBA program offered but might still make a difference to how you spend your two years at the school, therefore they could be a consideration even if not very important or critical.

ARKS Srinivas, the author, is the Director of Vanguard Business School. An IIMC alumni, he has earlier worked with Maruti Udyog Ltd in Gurgaon and Calcutta. He later joined T.I.M.E, Hyderabad (HQ) as the All India CAT Course Director. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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