Well, I’m not done with my selection but I can tell you the three schools at the top of my list. But I won’t.
Instead, I’ll tell you how I chose them and you can decide what’s best for you.
I’m one of those people who like to complicate things so I developed what can be called an algorithm but is basically an excel spreadsheet: On one side (rows); I had the list of things I was looking for and the weight they carried in my decision; on the other side; I had the list of all the schools I had ever considered at any point in time. But that was too long and extremely overwhelming so I stratified it, I picked the top 10 schools which was more manageable, but now I had a lot of attributes and I had no idea what each school scored in each category. Even more annoying, there was no resource I could refer to to get all that sorted particularly since a lot of my requirements were subjective *sigh*
As I always tell people; I’m very logical but rarely rational or maybe the other way round. I’m getting an MBA to switch careers and get into the entrepreneurship scene after graduation. I’m done with consulting, yes thank you! So I went hunting for schools that had a sizable number of entrepreneurs in their Alumni and Faculty, also, my list of requirements shrunk to the most important only:
- Flexible Academic Program (I’m not going into a traditional sector post MBA, I’d like to choose my path to my goal – well some of it).
- Entrepreneurial culture
- Large class size ( I like it)
- Financial Aid for International student (I don’t want a repeat of last year where I had to turn down an admission for financial reasons).
- Mixed teaching methods (I want to be able to practice what I’m taught soon after I learn it.)
- Student culture (this is very subjective; since I couldn’t visit the schools for whatever reason, I expanded my network significantly – by talking to current students and alumni. Thank God for social media, I may never have met most of them otherwise).
- IQ (Ify Quotient, that’s ancient Latin for my gut instincts. What kind of entrepreneur will I be if I didn’t trust my own instincts? )
That done, these are the schools I’ve decided on (for now):
C. Mellon (Tepper)
- Chicago (Booth)
- Dartmouth (Tuck)
- Duke (Fuqua)
Indiana (Kelley) Michigan (Ross)
- MIT (Sloan)
- Northwestern (Kellogg)
- NYU (Stern)
- Penn (Wharton)
Texas (McCombs) UC Berkeley (Haas) UCLA (Anderson) UNC (Kenan-Flagler) Virginia (Darden) Yale
Some of the schools left on the list, I’m almost certain I will not apply to. I think I would have done this faster if I had just gone with my instincts and still ended up with same top 3 schools. But at least now I have a backup plan of which schools to apply to if don’t get any of my 3 schools (which I hopefully would not need).
Wharton, Booth, Sloan.