Before embarking on the road to perusing an MBA after a couple of years in college seeking out a prerequisite degree, you should know that it’ll require two years’ worth of patience and hard work. It is therefore of utmost importance that you choose an MBA program well and the same goes for the business school to. The right pick doesn’t necessarily imply big names or enormous schools such as Stanford or Harvard; it all boils to a couple of important factors that ought to be your guiding light. These factors can take the form of a couple of important questions as follows:
1. Why should I go for an MBA?
Obviously, the first question to have at the back of your mind is why you want to do the program in the first place. Is it because your teachers or parents nudged you in that direction convincing you that it’s the right thing to do? Or are you so inclined to follow in the footsteps of relatives or friends who did a similar course? If either scenario pans out, then you’re doing it for all the wrong reasons. While the advice of those around you matter greatly, you should be making this decision for yourself. It should be something that you first and foremost really want to do.
If unsure about it, take some time to clear your head so it becomes certain just why you want this MBA. Look at it holistically and from various angles to determine if it is truly something you’ve set your heart on or something that others are forcing you to do. Once you are sure of the ‘why’ then the other things will fall into place.
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2. Where do you envision your career 5 years on?
It might seem like one of the interview questions in a sit-down with a prospective HR department, but it is a question of utmost importance. It enables you to see where you are headed and if you have veered off course or is on the right path to achieving your dreams. The market changes quite rampantly and things could turn on their heads completely so it can be challenging to have a straightforward 5-year plan but have a rough idea in mind. It should preferably tilt toward something you enjoy doing.
The idea should not be concentrated on a certain role or position rather it should coalesce with a number of activities you’d like to see yourself doing in the not-so-distant future. If Human Resources tickle your fancy then you should find tasks such as client interaction, recruitment, and taking interviews fun.
3. Is your MBA simply a tool to make ends meet or an investment for the long haul?
Even if you’re certain that you’ve chosen a certain program for yourself, the underlying reasons for your choice is also critical. Many people view an MBA as the missing key to breaking through that glass ceiling or adding a couple of figures to their monthly paycheck, however, that is an approach that doesn’t delve below the surface.
An MBA is a program that should have meaningful long-term achievements as it sharpens your mind to better assess business situations as well as build your problem solving and thinking attributes in the process. Things like a hefty salary or a lucrative job will come along the way and they are no doubt important but that’s not where you gaze should be. It ought to be cast upon how to succeed in the business world in the long run by best utilizing your new-found skills objectively.
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4. What is the size of your budget?
An MBA should not be leaving you drowning in the depths of student loan debts that’ll have you shackled for life. If you have a lot of money to spare, by all means, go for a topnotch course even in a foreign university. If not though, it’s best to stick with an affordable but good institution. Sometimes you can look to the best institutions in other countries as opposed to settling for an average business school in another for a fraction of the cost. For example, the pick-of-the-bunch online masters programs India has to offer will set you back no more than $40,000 in total while a B-school like Wharton will have you dig more than two and a half times deeper into your pocket.
5. Do you fancy studying abroad or within your home country?
Your budget will have a large say in this but if you’d like to study in reputable names across borders but you aren’t too keen to leave home, a distance learning master’s degree program proves a nice compromise in terms of both cutting down cost and convenience. Do your homework comprehensively once you narrow down your choices and find out through the school’s teaching, student or alumni network about the various faculties and their history in the academic arena.
6. What are you going to specialize in?
It is always the norm when it comes to revered B-Schools that each particularly excels in one area or two more than the competition. Whilst one could lay particular emphasis on agri-business, another could be adept in a different field such as economics or finance. The school of your choosing should be a proven powerhouse in the MBA niche that will make up your concentration.
7. What are the goals of your career?
Last but not least, consider your career objectives. If you are straight out of college, an MBA program doesn’t necessarily have to be in perfect synergy with your goals but it shouldn’t be headed in the opposite direction either You can select a residential program or a full-time alternative that roughly aims at your future objectives. For those who have been in the industry for a while and are looking for some means of injecting some life into a stagnating career, an Executive Global MBA program proves ideal and takes up only one year of your time
You can still hang on the comforts of a well-paying job without giving up the chance to create opportunities and open up new doors as well. There is no gold standard when it comes to needs and goals as understandably that varies across applicants. Once you figure out yours, choosing an MBA program and a B-School will come naturally and with ease.
Also Read: Impact of Studying MBA on your Career
Author: SivaKumar Website: http://www.iitchicagoinindia.com/
Siva Kumar have served the armed forces for 15 years. Post retirement from Services he has been serving as a director of operations at Illinois Institute of Technology India Pvt Ltd this is a wholly owned subsidiary of Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago.
His aim is to provide a full time study programme to learn at your place through the distance learning and online master programs.