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How to Select an MBA Program Once Admitted

Deciding between multiple MBA programs you’ve been admitted to is the best kind of dilemma to have, but it’s still a dilemma. It’s easy to feel torn.

We had an applicant we worked with at EXPRTUS who ended up with a good result at the end of the application process: she was accepted to both Kellogg and Yale.

But this success forced her to make a decision she struggled with: on one hand, Kellogg had more cachet as an MBA program. On the other hand, Yale had more recognition as a university brand than Northwestern. So, go with the higher-ranked MBA program or the more prestigious university?

Select an MBA Program Once Admitted

I gave her the same general advice I recommend for everyone in this situation. First, the most important thing is to trust your gut.

Your intuition has gotten you this far, and it’s the best tool you have for resolving these kinds of dilemmas. Your final decision should be based on your got check.

Before you get to that point, though, there are a few steps you should take to collect all the information you need so your gut decision is rooted in facts.

The best way to take an objective look at your situation is to draw up exhaustive lists of pros and cons for each school. Doing so will let you comb through all possible factors that will play into your final decision.

Make a table with a column for each school you’re considering and two rows: one for pros and one for cons.

For each school, go through and brainstorm as many pros as you can think of – don’t make any judgments about the pros you’re listing yet, just try to come up with as many as possible. Then do the same for the cons.

Once you’ve generated complete lists of pros and cons, it’s time to go back and prioritize which of the pros are most important to you. Highlight any must-haves.

For example, maybe a given school has course offerings that are very important to you or is in a certain geographical area. What’s most essential varies person to person.

The point is to home in on your priorities and look at which school is strongest in these areas. No school’s going to have everything you want, but some schools will have more of the things that matter most to you than others.

The final step that will help you select an MBA program once admitted is taking advantage of admit weekend. Going to admitted student events for the schools you’re choosing between will let you make an apples-to-apples comparison.

This also goes back to trusting your gut. Seeing the schools in person gives your intuition more information to go on. Interacting with the people who will be your classmates, your professors, your future alumni network will help you see if a given school is somewhere you’ll really fit.

Once you’ve visited the schools you’re weighing as well as looked objectively at your situation by peeling the onion down to look objectively at all the factors involved in different layers of your decision, all that’s left to do is trust your gut, make the decision that’s right for you, and not second-guess yourself once you’ve committed!

There are very few things that are guaranteed in MBA admissions, but you can be sure that if you look at all the information and then follow your intuition you’ll select the right MBA program.

If you haven’t been admitted yet, get in touch for a free assessment of your best MBA options. EXPARTUS can guide you through the process so you end up in the place so many of our clients have been – stuck with the tough decision of deciding which of your dream schools to attend!

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Chioma Isiadinso

Chioma is a former Harvard Business School admissions officer and the CEO and Co-Founder of EXPARTUS, the first MBA admissions consulting company to use personal branding as a key part of the b-school application process. Chioma is the author of The Best Business Schools' Admissions Secrets, one of the leading books on how to successfully navigate the MBA admissions process.

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  1. How to Select an MBA Program Once Admitted on April 22, 2016 at 11:02 am

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