The One Thing You Need To Know Before Choosing A Business School


Stanford school of business

Associated Press

There are some 711 business schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


That's less than 5% of the worldwide total.

Clearly, not all b-schools are created equal, as you can see from the scads of rankings that come out every year.

But when you're winnowing down choices for where to nab that MBA, there's one crucial thing to consider: the networking.

In a Reddit thread titled "What you wish you had known before going to BSchool," user NWmba fills us in on why:


The difference between a cheaper and a more expensive school tends to be the prestige of the people at them (professors, students). A good chunk of b-school is the networking, so keep that in mind. The majority of your network will end up being the other students, so if your school is known for specializing in a certain industry, then that industry will likely recruit from your school and then 5 years down the line you'll know a pile of people in that industry (aka your former classmates).

While it's a trifle transactional - this is business school, after all - the point stands. When you're admitted to b-school, you're given permission to buy into a network. Thus the power of schools like Wharton, Tuck, Booth, and Kellogg. When you attend such a school, you don't just get a killer brand name on your résumé, you also gain access to the prestigious alumni these places churn out.

As breakthroughs in network science have shown, the people you know don't just help you find jobs - Deloitte, for example, hires about 45% of non-entry-level placements via referral - but influence your life in all sorts of ways, including:

If you have quality relationships with people across disciplines, you'll have better ideas.

If your friends are fat, you have a better chance of getting fat.


If your colleagues are happy, you're more likely to be happy.

Then there's the domain-specificity of the school itself. Whether by industry, location, or a fusion of both, certain schools act as gate-keepers to high-prestige, hard-to-reach individuals or organizations. Attending one with connections in your chosen field can open up major opportunities. For example:

Stanford is an on-ramp to Silicon Valley.

The University of Washington can plug you into Seattle-based giants Microsoft and Amazon.

Harvard Business School will connect you to a ridiculous number of angel investors.


Now all you have to do is deal with that pesky admissions process.

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