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Does where you go to b-school matter?

As MBA tutors who prep students for b schools in statistics and math boot camps we get asked a lot of pre MBA questions. One of those ‘Does where you go to b-school matter?’ is almost an age old question. Questions related to this include: How important is the b-school brand name? Are rankings important? Which ranking should I use? Should I not go to b-school if I dont get the one I want?

There is a great amount of research that has gone into this. In our opinion (as MBA tutors) there is no clear answer (yet). Here is an older article that address this question from the NY Times.

While I haven’t read the original report (which is available here) and dont agree with everything the article states, the author’s conclusion is good in my humble opinion! To quote:

“My advice to students: Don’t believe that the only school worth attending is one that would not admit you. That you go to college is more important than where you go. Find a school whose academic strengths match your interests and which devotes resources to instruction in those fields. Recognize that your own motivation, ambition and talents will determine your success more than the college name on your diploma.”

Note carefully that the author says clearly “Find a school whose academic strengths match your interests and which devotes resources to instruction in those fields.” Its not that the brand name or reputation does not matter at all or is irrelevant. Its not the only thing!  Also often if a school has a specific academic strength and “devotes resources to instruction in those fields” it will build a reputation in that area.

Also, please don’t join any school just for the sake of it. As MBA tutors we have seen students come out of MBA programs no better than when they join it! You must be intentional and join an MBA program with the right attitude to learning and growing as an individual. The people you learn from must be able to impact your way of thinking. That is education and how and where you get it does not really matter.

 

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