As previously mentioned, one of the most important elements in a winning b-school application is the “fit” between the applicant and the school: you must do a good job of convincing the school that you belong on their team. US-based applicants targeting US programs have the advantage of geographical proximity to schedule a visit to their dream schools to determine fit. But what about those applicants from far-flung corners of the world, like most of the clients I work with? How can they determine what school is right for them?
There are several ways to do this from afar. In addition to carefully analyzing the schools’ websites, you can also gain valuable information by listening to their podcasts. Some schools (like UCLA) even offer a virtual campus tour via your mp3 device. The information they disseminate, the leaders they interview and the angles of the interviews make these podcasts a valuable source of information about the school’s spirit, strengths and values. You will find a selection of links at the end of this post, but many top business schools now offer podcasts.
Another way to see which school offers the best environment in which to thrive is to identify a business hero or mentor and finding out where he or she went to school. Read up on these people: do they mention their alma mater? Do they reflect the school’s values? Do they support it through programs, internships or personal appearances?
You can also take a look at the school’s list of alumni and do the same analysis. Are there any alumni whose paths you respect or admire? In both cases, there is a chance that these people were driven by the values, knowledge and network of their business school. You should be as well.
Bschooltalk.net also contains information about a variety of business schools and issues.
Accepted.com editor Tanis Kmetyk will be posting over the next few days while Linda Abraham is on vacation.