Marina, a wonderful MBA applicant blogger and now MBA student at Columbia, shares her application experience and lessons in “The Been There Done That Guide.” She provides tips and insights in this series of posts on her blog about the MBA admissions process from the other side of the admissions divide. Her candor and writing are wonderful so I recommend this series.
I particularly recommend the post “Step Two: Select Schools Worthy for Courtship,” with one minor caveat, that I’ll get to in a few lines. Marina provides a thorough list of factors to consider in choosing programs to apply to and you can benefit from considering those factors too.
My quibble: I disagree with her about safety schools, which she didn’t do. For many individuals, safety schools are a good idea. For a very fortunate few, they are unnecessary. And for others, they are inappropriate. You have to determine which category you fall into. If you need an MBA to achieve your goals and are marginally competitive in the top 10 or at whatever programs are your top programs, then applying to a safety school may be appropriate and necessary. However applying to a school you would not attend is a mistake; it is not applying to a safety. As I wrote in an earlier post on the topic, “A safety school is one where you are highly competitive and that is strong in your area of interest, but is not as highly regarded overall.”
For most applicants, especially those who don’t want to risk rejection and reapplication, a safety school is a good idea.