Photo: Erica Dhawan
There are some important things you need to consider when choosing an MBA program that will work for you.The best way to do this is by understanding what you want to achieve in your career.
So, how do you know which school is the best fit for you?
Dhawan received her MBA from one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
“Business schools are currently geared toward focusing on career planning, but what [younger] leaders need is life planning,” she told us.
Dhawan said an MBA will provide you with the essential classes that you need to build skills and expertise, but it’s also really important for people to consider an ecosystem for building a career.
Dhawan says there are two key questions students should ask before choosing an MBA program:
1. Are there key business skills that I need to further grow my career that I can’t get elsewhere?
Since Dhawan knew she wanted to launch her own company (which advises Fortune 500 companies on how to get the most out of Gen Y employees) she knew before applying to business school that she also needed skills that were unrelated to the core curriculum.
“I had already been to an undergraduate program which was very structured and excels in finance, so I wanted to go to a school geared more around entrepreneurship,” she said.
Basically, you need to have an idea of what challenges your career path will hold, and try to figure out which business school will help you develop skills to solve those problems.
2. Is there a community or network that I would like to build outside of my career?
“You need to understand that you get both skills and community out of business school,” Dhawan told us.
And the only way you can get a sense of whether the school is a good fit for you is by talking to other students and alumni, engaging in their environment, attending informational sessions and communicating with thought leaders in the career field that you want to be in.
“Then ask yourself, ‘Is this the type of environment that will help me reach my career goals?’ ” she said.
The bottom line is that there are a lot of choices and core curriculum is really important, but it’s also important for each candidate to find the specific niche they want in an MBA program.
“The hard work needs to be done by the individual to figure out who they are, what they want and how they’re going to get it,” she said.
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