Round Two business school decisions have come pouring in and some MBA applicants face not just two, but three or more offers of admission from their target schools. Despite the adage, “You can never have too much of a good thing,” in reality, multiple b-school acceptances can produce a lot of anxiety in candidates.
If you find yourself with this enviable problem, consider the following when weighing multiple admissions offers. Forget about rankings and reputation and think long and hard about the other particulars of each school, such as size, academics or location
Does your desire to live in an urban setting outweigh a preference for a smaller class size? Is there a financial incentive that puts one school in the lead? Is the diversity of the student body important? Is the academic focus on case studies, or more experiential?
You might not have had a strong preference before, but you should tally up the different characteristics to see which way the wind really blows.
If you haven’t already visited the campus as part of your application process, now’s the time to do so. Sit in on a class, chat with students and professors, hang out on campus and generally soak up the atmosphere. This is where you’ll be spending the next two years of your life, so making sure the program is a good fit for you academically and socially is imperative.
Even if you have already toured the school, consider visiting again to attend events designed for admitted students so you can scope out your potential classmates. Fit is very important, and these people will become a part of your future network, so it makes sense to test drive your comfort level with them prior to committing. After all, if you just don’t click with them now, how will you make those solid relationships that will serve you throughout your career?
Talking to alumni is another great way to guide your decision. Make sure the school graduates people who are working in your target industry, and who are excited about sharing their experiences and advice with current students.
The decision of where to pursue an MBA is a weighty one, so do your homework and understand the strengths and potential drawbacks of each of your options. But in the end keep in mind that there’s rarely a “wrong” choice to be made.