How Do I Find A Business School That Fits My Skill Set?
Rodrigo Porto, director of admissions at Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia, offers his advice on how to find the best business school fit for you
It's time for another Applicant Question of the Week at BusinessBecause!
Every week, we give you the opportunity to ask one of our chosen admissions experts anything you want to know about getting into business school. One question each week is chosen for our expert to answer.
This week, our question comes from an anonymous user.
Their question is answered by Rodrigo Porto, director of admissions and recruitment at Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.
Applicant Question of the Week:
What is the best way to find a business school which fits my personal skill set?
The question of fit is so important when considering where to further your education. We think the best way to find a business school which fits your personal skills is to look for the alignment between your own values and the values of the school.
One tip is to assess the school’s strengths in relation to your professional goals and skills. Another piece of advice I offer is to weigh your options from a broad viewpoint: don’t just consider the rankings. While rankings can certainly offer valuable information about a school, they can’t tell the full story.
A school’s culture cannot be measured as easily yet this factor plays a huge part in the overall business school experience. Some schools are more competitive, while others are more focused on collaboration. You need to determine what environment will enable you to thrive.
Some of these aspects can be difficult to gauge from the outside, but you’re in luck! Often, business schools provide prospective students the opportunity to experience an MBA or Master’s program before actually enrolling through sample classes and recruitment events. These events allow you to get a feel of how classes are delivered in the program and give you a chance to ask the faculty any questions related to your learning style.
We also recognize the importance of inviting alumni that have gone on to build transformative careers to come back and speak about their experiences. Thus, hearing and connecting with alumni with similar career paths, skills and background should also be a key part in determining if a business school fits your personal skills.
Finally, it is crucial to learn about a business school’s career centre and how it could add value and strengthen your current skill set. If possible, schedule a meeting with a program career coach and chat about how the career development programming is tailored to your needs. The more you know in advance, the easier it will be for you to find the right business school for you.
Here are a few questions that may help you get a better sense of your fit with the school when weighing out your MBA options:
1. Who am I as a person, what do I value, how do I like to learn and what are my MBA goals?
2. What is the reputation of the school that I am applying to, in what industry does it typically place the most people after graduation and how will the types of students that the school likely recruits affect my learning experience?
3. What level of competitiveness in the learning environment am I comfortable with and how will that impact my ability to seek help and advice from others?
4. What are the guiding values of the school and where does it direct most of its resources? How do the school's values align with my own values?
5. What have been some past academic and professional situations where the environment that I was in significantly affected my ability to perform at a high level? How does what I know about the program that I am applying to compare? Are there any similarities?
For those of you who have just set out on your MBA journeys, I urge you to ask yourself these questions, attend a recruitment event, attend a sample class, book a 1-on-1 with a program career coach, and speak with alumni. Good luck with the journey!
Ask an Admissions Expert a Question!
Next week, you'll have the opportunity to ask Crystal Grant, director of admissions at Imperial Business School in London.
Crystal has over ten years of experience at Imperial College London, one of the UK's top universities and business schools.