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How To Tell If Business School Is Right For You

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You may already know the pros and cons of going to business school, but you may still be asking yourself: is business school the right  option for me? Knowing if business school is an ideal fit is an important step in your educational journey. Business schools value candidates who understand their goals and strengths, which requires digging deep and knowing how a graduate management education can impact your long-term success.

Whether you’re looking to open new doors, increase your earning potential, or gain a competitive edge relative to your peers in the job market, it’s a good idea to know why you’re considering business school before filling out your first application. To get started, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Why am I pursuing a graduate business degree?

Be honest and dig deep. Why you are pursuing a graduate degree? What are your goals, and how do they relate to what you are most passionate about? Have you found a program that aligns with your long-term aspirations? There is no wrong answer. In fact, you’ll become a more valuable addition to your cohort by understanding what motivates you to be there.

2. How do my skills stack up with other business school applicants?

Brainstorm which skills you’ll need to succeed and how your current capabilities compare. Basing your career goals on an accurate assessment of your experience and skills will help you determine whether business school will propel you further in your success. Paired with feedback, an assessment will give you a clearer vision of how your credentials align with the admissions requirements of the schools to which you apply.

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3. How will I contribute to my business school program?

Student interaction is an important part of a graduate program education. Explore how you will contribute to your cohort and deepen their learning. Consider past experience, personal background, and the unique strengths that you bring to the room. Every learning community needs a variety of perspectives to create a rich environment for discussion and exploration. Knowing how you will contribute to the program will help you identify ways to articulate your value to admission reps.

4. What kind of business school culture is best for me?

Before committing to a program, consider what worked for you—and what didn’t—in previous learning environments. Have you attended a training that left a lasting impression for years after? Or perhaps there was an educational structure in your high school or undergraduate experience that prevented you from learning as deeply as you could have. When choosing a school, think about lifestyle, diversity, learning style, and related factors. Identifying what kind of school culture works best for you will help you make the most of campus visits and conversations with former and current students.

5. Do I have enough experience to be successful in business school?

Employers and admissions committees have different expectations of prior work experience before admission. Try creating a one-page summary of your work experience and discussing it with program representatives or alumni. Collecting other perspectives on where you currently stand will help create a more complete picture of your career trajectory as you identify the right moment to apply. If you don't yet have enough experience, you may not benefit fully from business school. Instead, consider taking the time to further define your goals and apply later.

Still considering? Explore a variety of perspectives to help inform your decision. A little soul searching paired with quality research will build confidence in your decision about whether you should go to business school. Learn more about whether business school is right for you by exploring the resource below.

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