College Advice Blog

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Sep 8, 2012

The Difference: What Top Business Schools Have to Offer

What do the top business schools in the world have to offer that other business schools don’t? You may be surprised to find out. An MBA requires a major financial investment – an investment that can significantly increase depending on the educational institution. When considering that type of expenditure, it’s a good idea to know exactly what it is you’re investing in and whether or not you’re getting a good ROI.

It does indeed matter where you get your MBA – but not for the reasons you might believe. Read on to find out what those top business schools in the world have that all the others schools, well, don’t:
  • Extremely high quality curriculum. The best business schools ensure the coursework is relevant and up-to-date, as well as having appropriate depth and breadth. Not only will there be a solid foundation of basic core material but there will also be rigorous hands-on experience and opportunities for specialization to go with it.
  • Extremely high quality programs. In an ever-changing field, the curriculum of a top business school will keep pace right along with it. The programs reflect not only the needs of the students but the needs of the industry in order to prepare graduates for immediate success.
  • Extremely high quality faculty. The list of professors will read like a who’s who of the business world – because that’s exactly what it is. In order to be the best students need to learn from the best and top business schools provide students with that opportunity.
  • Extremely high quality facilities. While it might not seem like the environment in which you’re learning makes a big difference, reality is that it does. The top business schools have gorgeous architecture and grounds, new and spacious classrooms and offices for faculty and staff, living quarters for students with all the amenities as well as the support for all technological needs. One high profile business school even has its own art gallery.
When lists are compiled of the top business schools in the world, all these things are taken into consideration. However, these aren’t the real aspects that are going to make a business school worth your time and money. Consider what really makes some schools a cut above the rest:
  • Networking. In a recent study conducted by the Business Insider, 43 percent of respondents listed their network of contacts as the most important thing they got out of business school. This was far and above the 34 percent who listed skills and knowledge acquired in courses as the most important thing. While at first this might come as somewhat of a surprise, reality is that quality MBA programs with great faculty and facilities are easy to find. A great contact list is not. Networking is vital to success in business and the top business schools provide the best networking opportunities.
  • Reputation. Stanford and Harvard were the top two on the Business Insider’s list. Not only do they have everything that makes for a top business school, they also have incredibly strong brand recognition. There’s not a business person alive who has not heard of Stanford or Harvard and for good reason. They have built a stellar reputation on a strong foundation and continue to remain competitive year after year. Graduating from one of these schools brings with it a cache that can only come from schools with the type of reputation top business schools cultivate.
  • Perceived value. Also called the “wow factor” by the Business Insider, how a business school is perceived is another important aspect of a top business school. Students attending a school with a high wow factor are nearly always inspired to do their best and perform at the peak of their ability. Employers looking for new graduates are influenced by where that graduate obtained their degree. Degrees obtained from a high wow factor institution will carry more weight and will give that candidate an edge over the competition.
The world’s top business schools are the complete package. Not only do they offer the best education, faculty and facilities but also the networking, reputation and wow factor you need to get ahead in your career.

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About the Author
Darius Werlinger is a first year MBA student. When he’s not studying, Darius enjoys playing lacrosse and writing about life as a business student.
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