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What Is Most Important When Choosing a Business School? [Chart]

December 5, 2014 by

Although quantifying a school’s profile certainly does not tell you everything, it can sometimes be helpful in simplifying the many differences between the various MBA programs. We recently surveyed a number of visitors to our site to get a feel for the concerns, plans, and mind-sets of this season’s MBA applicants. Now the results are in, and for those who are curious about their fellow applicants’ views on business school, here is some of the collected data.

This year, we asked MBA hopefuls what was most important to them when choosing a business school to attend. Well over one-half of our survey respondents (56.4%) cited “reputation/ranking” as their primary criteria for MBA program selection, while “professors/academic resources” and “recruiters/corporate connections” tied for a distant second place, with 15.4% of the votes each. Trailing the list of school factors under consideration were “location,” “alumni base,” and “cost/tuition”—which received just 5.1%, … Read full post

5 Tips for Cashing in on MBA Scholarships

December 1, 2014 by

If there’s one thing future MBAs are likely to understand, it’s the value of a good investment. Even though figuring out how to pay for an MBA can present a challenge, business school applicants may be uniquely qualified to find ways—in the form of both loans and MBA scholarships—to cover their tuition. Just ask the 43% of MBAs who have managed to offset the average $42K of MBA debt and graduate with no student debt at all.

In addition to MBA scholarships, there are multiple sources that business school applicants can look into for funding a graduate degree: Federal Perkins and Stafford Loans, private loans, personal savings, and family or parental support. The challenge with loans, of course, is that you have to pay them back, and money out of pocket is far from desirable.

Scholarships, on the other hand, are like a financial high-five for being awesome…. Read full post

4 Myths About MBAs in the Nonprofit Sector

November 28, 2014 by

If you think MBAs and nonprofits are about as compatible as oil and water, think again.

Yes, finance and consulting industries lead the top-10 industry preferences for recent MBAs, but nonprofits and social enterprises squarely make the list.

Getting an MBA does not cut you off from a lifetime of social consciousness—far from it. MBAs can contribute volumes to the successful operation of a nonprofit. Still, the nonprofit world faces some challenges attracting MBAs, as many shy away from social enterprise due to (legitimate) concerns about lower earnings, especially when you consider the post-MBA educational debt that faces most business school grads.

While this is a valid concern, some of the stereotypes about MBAs in the nonprofit sector are no more than fallacies. You can successfully apply your MBA degree and your business school skills to the world of social activism. Read on as we help bust a … Read full post

The Latest in MBA News: Finance Still in Favor, New MBA Rankings on the Way

November 25, 2014 by

Check out some of the latest MBA news from media outlets across the world. From changes in the business school applicant pool due to current economic trends to a sacked socialist government official heading back to business school, as well as soon-to-be-updated U.S. News and World Report rankings for MBA programs, there’s a lot to share!

  • Newly minted MBAs from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business made finance the industry of choice once again this year. Why? Money. And lots of it. Think incredibly lucrative compensation packages. Nearly 30% of 2014 Stanford Graduate School graduates accepted job offers in finance, up from about a 25% last year. Forget those who say finance is out of favor in MBA programs—it’s still very much a top choice. (Quartz)
  • Changes in the economy and culture have transformed the makeup of the business school applicant pool. Knowing these trends can help you craft
  • Read full post

Which MBA Ranking Do You Trust the Most?

November 21, 2014 by

Although quantifying a school’s profile certainly does not tell you everything, it can sometimes be helpful in simplifying the many differences between the various MBA programs. We recently surveyed a number of visitors to our site to get a feel for the concerns, plans, and mind-sets of this season’s MBA applicants. 

As part of our informal survey this year, we posed the question “Which business school ranking/survey do you trust the most?”

Given that Bloomberg Businessweek has long been considered by many the premier MBA ranking, we were quite surprised to see that only 5.1% of responders picked it as their most trusted source. Instead, a whopping 46.1% indicated that they view the U.S. News & World Report survey as the most trustworthy, while the Poets & Quants aggregate received the next greatest percentage of the votes, with 33.3%. With just 10.2% and 5.1% of responses, respectively, the Financial Times … Read full post

How Much is a Top MBA Program Worth?

October 28, 2014 by

The latest in MBA news: From a steady rise in business schools that accept GRE scores instead of GMAT scores, to the top MBA programs that will prime you for the big bucks, here’s this week’s MBA news and headlines, helping you navigate the business school application process.

GRE or GMAT?

Acceptance of the GRE as an alternative to the GMAT among American business schools has reached an all time high, according to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2014 survey of business school admissions officers.

The survey shows that 85% of MBA programs now give students the option of submitting GRE scores (historically the admissions exam for non-business graduate programs) instead of GMAT scores. This percentage has steadily increased every year since Kaplan first began tracking the issue in 2009, when just a quarter of b-schools reported accepting the GRE as an alternative.

The caveat: Only a trickle of MBA applicants are … Read full post

Standing Out With a Competitive MBA Application

October 27, 2014 by

It probably doesn’t surprise you to hear that MBA admissions are competitive. However, it may surprise you to hear just how competitive they have recently become.

Business schools are reporting a spike in MBA applications, and that means more people fighting over a handful of spots. The top 25 business schools in the United States admit only around 25% of their applicants, with the most selective business schools’ acceptance rates hovering closer to 10%.

With that said, let’s talk about standing out. You’re in the process of checking off the requirements on your MBA application checklist, but you know you can’t settle for what’s merely required. How are you going to make your application stand out to the top MBA programs of your dreams?

Here is your checklist to becoming a competitive MBA applicant:

Research, research, research 

To be competitive, you have to make a case for why … Read full post

5 Tips for Getting into the Best Business Schools

October 22, 2014 by

If you’ve been following along, you’re probably already familiar with the handy MBA application checklist we gave you a few weeks back. For you underclassmen out there, don’t go thinking that your business school application days are so far ahead of you that you casually file those tips away and forget about them … until it’s too late to really for you to affect your GPA, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, GMAT score, and more.

Applying for your MBA is a long-term process, and to be fully prepared, you need to start thinking early. Even if you are currently a freshman or a sophomore in college, you can begin taking steps toward becoming a competitive applicant and getting into the top MBA programs.

Here are five things that you need to start focusing on now. Doing so will help you build up the credentials you need to gain admission to … Read full post

Average MBA Salary and MBA Megabucks CEOs

October 6, 2014 by

Forbes pulled out all the stops when they published an article called “The MBA Megabucks CEOs.”  Most of us are interested in the average MBA salary question when it comes to rating our potential return on investment from business school, but the kind of megabucks this article was talking about are above and beyond what any of us dream of making– or are they?  I mean, it’s not for nothing that nine out of ten high school yearbook quotes talk about shooting for the moon.

As it turns out, forty out of the 100 best paid CEOs in America during 2011 hold an MBA degree. So an MBA can mean megabucks, but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee it.  But we knew that already.  While the promise (or better-than-average chance) of seeing a return on our investment in graduate education is an important factor in our decision to go, I … Read full post

Business School Networking: Don’t forget your professors!

October 1, 2014 by

Anyone thinking about going to business school knows the value proposition includes networking. When I was asking around my social circle about what an MBA education was all about one close friend told me that 50% of the value was in the education itself and the other 50% came from the relationships you build while in school. The education-to-network breakdown fluctuates widely for different individuals, but a 50/50 split is a reasonable generalization.

Business school networking

The expectations around network-building likely involve some or all of the following:

  • your classmates
  • other b-schoolers you might meet at business competitions
  • outside professional relationships founded via an internship

Each expected source is reasonable, valuable, and realistic. However, an oft overlooked and severely under-valued source for enriching relationships the diverse, intelligent, experienced, and invested group of individuals that comprise your institution’s teaching faculty.

Bloomberg Businessweek article reminds us of the importance of making … Read full post

 

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