Choosing an MBA Program is Like Choosing a Marriage Partner

Forget rankings. Follow your heart.

When people choose someone to marry, they (hopefully) choose someone that they can spend the rest of their life with – someone they love who will support them, challenge them (in a good way), and bring out the best in them. They also join that person’s family. It’s a big commitment. A lifetime commitment.

The same should be true for choosing an MBA program. Certainly, prospective applicants start with rankings and statistics – what’s the school’s reputation and can I get in? But after the preliminary research, when it comes time to decide where to go, it’s best to figure out where you will be happy. Do you feel comfortable when you visit campus and attend classes? Do you like the current students? Are they welcoming? Can you imagine working in groups with them? Have you met recent alumni? Did they answer your questions? What do you think of older alumni? Is this a “family” that you want to join?

Attending an MBA program is a huge financial investment so many people focus on ROI. Will it get you further in your career and open up new opportunities that you wouldn’t have otherwise? Is the program “worth” the investment? Those are important questions.

But if you visit a program and don’t feel like it’s the right fit – for whatever reason – then don’t choose that school no matter how much your family, friends, and colleagues may tell you that you would be crazy to turn it down. Choose an MBA program that is right for you.

If you think about it like a marriage, then think about your future. Not only will you be spending two years taking classes, participating in lots of activities, and making new friends, but you will be joining a new family. For the rest of your working career, the name of the school will be on your resume and employment history. If you want to change jobs, then the career placement office and the alumni should be great resources for advice and leads. You will also hear from the school regularly – asking for money, receiving requests to help with recruiting, and inviting you to reunions and local events. A lifetime commitment.

Whatever you do, try to choose an MBA program that makes you happy.

And if you need help deciding how to choose an MBA program, contact Admissions Unlimited –