10 Best Questions to Ask an MBA Student or Alum

ask an MBA student

The journey to get an MBA is an exciting step in your professional and personal development. One of the best ways to gather insights about a business school is to speak with current students or alums. They can provide a unique perspective you won’t find in brochures or official websites. To make the most out of these conversations, asking the right questions is crucial. Here are the ten best questions to ask an MBA student or alum to get a well-rounded understanding of a business school.

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Question 1: Why did you choose this business school?

This question can help you understand the main factors influencing their decision. Their answer might highlight the school’s reputation, specific programs, faculty, culture, or location. These responses will reveal what sets this school apart and whether those factors align with your priorities and career goals.

Question 2: What was your experience like during the admissions process?

The admissions process can vary from one school to another. Learning about their experience can provide valuable tips on navigating the application, preparing for interviews, and managing deadlines. It can also highlight any unique aspects of the school’s admissions process you should know.

Question 3: How would you describe the academic environment? 

Understanding the academic rigor and support systems in place is crucial. Ask an MBA student or alum about the quality of the faculty, class sizes, the level of collaboration versus competition among students, and the availability of academic resources. That will help you assess if the educational environment suits your learning style and goals.

Question 4: Can you share insights on the campus culture? 

Campus culture plays a significant role in your MBA experience. Ask about the social atmosphere, diversity, inclusion, student organizations, and extracurricular activities. Understanding the culture will help determine if you feel comfortable and engaged in the community.

Question 5: What opportunities are available for networking and career development? 

Networking and career development are vital components of an MBA program. Ask an MBA student or alum about the strength of the alumni network, the availability of career services, internship opportunities, and on-campus recruiting. These factors can significantly influence your post-MBA career prospects.

Question 6: How has the MBA program impacted your career? 

This question allows you to gauge the tangible benefits of the MBA program. Alums can share their career progression, job placements, salary increases, and how they have applied the skills and knowledge gained from the program. This information is critical in understanding the return on investment for the MBA.

Question 7: What are some challenges you faced during the program? 

Every MBA program has its academic, social, or logistical challenges. By asking about these, you can get a realistic picture of what to expect and consider if you are ready to handle similar challenges. Additionally, you can learn how the school supports students in overcoming these obstacles.

Question 8: How accessible are the faculty and administration? 

Faculty and administrative support can greatly enhance your MBA experience. Ask an MBA student about their accessibility, responsiveness, and willingness to mentor students. A supportive faculty and administration can provide valuable guidance and foster a positive learning environment.

Question 9: What has been the ROI of this MBA program for you?

While financial gain is not the only reason to pursue an MBA, understanding the program’s return on investment (ROI) is essential. Inquire about the cost of the program, availability of scholarships, average starting salaries of graduates, and long-term career advancement. This will help you evaluate if the financial and time investment is worth it.

Question 10: Would you recommend this MBA program to others? Why or why not? 

This is a straightforward question that can yield honest and insightful answers. Alums and current students can provide a holistic view of their satisfaction with the program and highlight its strengths and weaknesses. Their recommendation (or lack thereof) can foreshadow the program’s quality and fit for you.

Asking the right questions can enhance your understanding of a business school and help you decide where to pursue your MBA. Remember to approach these conversations with an open mind and respect the time and insights students and alums share. Their experiences can provide invaluable guidance as you navigate your MBA journey. Happy networking, and best of luck with your applications.

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Stacy Blackman Consulting offers multiple services to meet your MBA application needs. From our All-In Partnership to interview prep, essay editing, resume review, and much more, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today for a free 15-minute advising session to talk strategy with a Principal SBC consultant. 

Here’s a snapshot of the caliber of expertise on our SBC team.

SBC’s star-studded consultant team is unparalleled. Our clients benefit from current intelligence that we receive from the former MBA Admissions Officers from Wharton, Booth and every elite business program in the US and Europe.  These MBA Admissions Officers have chosen to work exclusively with SBC.

Just two of the many superstars on the SBC team:
Meet Anthony, who served as the Associate Director of MBA Admissions at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he dedicated over 10 years of expertise.

Meet Kim, who was an Senior Associate Director of Admissions at Chicago Booth.

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