How to distinguish between similar MBA programmesChen Wan Lim
Every business school will try their best to promote their MBA programmes in the most vibrant, modern and attractive way. The presentation materials and promotional brochures will boast of their modern campuses, up-to-date amenities and a diverse pool of candidates. Apart from the fee consideration, to just base your decision on what is being promoted by the business school is perhaps not business savvy to begin with. Here are some key pointers to help you decide between similar MBA programmes:
Every business school conduct their MBA courses differently. Some are more geared towards open group project discussions whereas some give more emphasis on clinical classroom lecture approach. Others prefer to go down the research and case study method. Some business school embark on major lecturer-student interaction whereas some grant candidates the free will to explore the subjects on their own. Get in touch with the course director to gauge how the programme is conducted and determine which is more suitable for you.
Some business school MBA programmes run a strict curriculum where everyone takes the same compulsory courses in the first year and only specialise in the second year onward. Some offer flexible electives depending on your interest and on the specialisation of your programme. More rigid curriculums require candidates to pass certain pre-requisite courses before moving on to other courses, failing which candidates have to retake or to forgo the next course.
Some candidates are more inclined to research and the study of theoretical concepts. These candidates would usually be drawn towards particular business schools and even particular lecturers/professors who are involved in a research of their liking.
4. Class profile
Certain business school tend to draw different types of students. For example, open universities often attract more matured students with the substantial amount of work experience compared with other universities. Depending on your preferences, you would want to enquire about the teacher-to-student ratio, average classroom size and perhaps the even mix of international-to-local students. If you come from an engineering background, perhaps you would fancy having a class with more candidates from the banking background, vice versa.
5. Employment profile
Another important criterion to base your decision on is the employment profile of past graduates. Get in touch with the school and also with the alumni to see where past graduates are currently employed at.
6. Extracurricular activities
Last but certainly not the least, do check out the various extracurricular activities that are offered by the university. If you are interested in participating in corporate social responsibility works then enrol yourself in a university which has a passion for CSR. If you prefer to join business plan competitions competing against other business schools, then do some research to see which business school has been emerging top in previous competitions.
While comparing between different business schools offering similar MBA course might be time-consuming, it is indeed worthwhile. Remember that you will be spending two or more years in business school and you will want to gain more than what is only offered in the course syllabus.
it is wise to prepare for it. Start by ensuring that your body gets enough rest during the day. If possible, take a short nap during the day (or during your lunch hour if you’re at work) to have more energy at night.