EU Business School

10 Points To Consider When Choosing The Right Business School

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“A business school decision has been equated to everything from one’s brand to one’s destiny. Ultimately, it can impact what you do, where you live, who you know, and which doors open.” 

Competition for placement at the top business schools has never been more competitive, and choosing the right institution and course can certainly improve your graduate prospects. A Forbes study found that Starting Salaries and Quality of Teaching are important attributes when choosing a business school, but the number one attribute was Prestige – and the best measure of Prestige is the success of the alumni.

But that study was carried out 10 years ago. How much has the world changed, and how do prospective students actually choose a business school in 2024? Let’s look at some of the current considerations – not in ranked order, but let’s start with prestige.

1. Reputation and Rankings

Research rankings from reputable sources like The Financial Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Economist, and Forbes can give an indication of a school’s reputation and the prestige in which it is held. But they should not be the sole deciding factor.

Prestige rankings may be attractive because most high fliers aspire to the C-suite in a Fortune 500 company, and an A-listed business school is seen to be a shortcut to that dream. But is it? Career counselors will advise you to ”look beyond the rankings” to your personal career goals.

Increasingly, rankings have been criticized for their flawed methodologies and the arbitrariness of what exactly journalists measure in compiling these lists. What hasn’t changed is students’ appetite for rankings. It is rare for an applicant to put aside a school’s ranking when choosing where to go.

In an attempt to bypass the rankings bias, however, the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business has introduced a “personal rankings formula”, whereby students have control over what they feel are the most important elements to them, plugging these metrics into the ranking and giving the most weight to what they value.

2. International Opportunities

Look for programs that offer international exposure through exchange programs, global study tours, or partnerships with foreign universities. With business becoming more and more global, having the option to study in places like Munich or Geneva will increase the relevancy of your business degree. 

Choosing a school like EU Business School that offers visiting speakers and internships with local multinational companies like Siemens, Bentley, Nestlé, Google, Ericsson, and Bain & Co., provides unmatched opportunities for discussions about leadership, what it takes to succeed, how to stay ahead, and how to adapt to changing global markets.

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3. Accreditation

Ensure the school is accredited by recognized bodies, ensuring the program meets high standards of quality and rigor. EU Business School’s professional accreditation is assured by ACBSP (Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs), IACBE (International Accreditation Council for Business Education), IQA (International Quality Accreditation), and EduQua (Switzerland). 

These standards hold schools responsible for updating their curriculum and teaching methods, implementing new and emerging technologies, and reporting on their societal impact.

4. Program Offerings

Decide whether you wish to study full-time vs. online vs. Executive MBA. EU Business School offers all three options, enabling you to determine which format suits your career and personal life. The workload can be highly challenging. For example, with the Harvard case study method of teaching, students may be expected to read and absorb three cases a day, five days a week. On top of the academics and the time spent on job-hunting and extracurricular activities, you get very busy very fast.

Enquire about the instruction format. What teaching style best suits your preferred learning style? The case method favored by Harvard? Collaborative teamwork and group projects? Computer-based simulations and labs popular in finance, accounting, and investment courses? Community-based partnering with local businesses and nonprofits? Or a combination of any of these?

Also, look for schools that offer specializations or electives in your area of interest, e.g., finance, marketing, entrepreneurship, or international business.

5. Faculty and Research

Investigate the faculty’s expertise, research output, and their industry connections. Engaging with renowned professors can enhance your learning experience and your employment prospects.

6. Alumni Network

A strong and active alumni network can provide valuable networking opportunities, mentorship, and career support. The same advantage applies to the diversity of the student body found on EU campuses – an opportunity to forge lifelong business networks.

7. Location

Consider the school’s location and its proximity to industries or companies of interest. EU Business School’s campuses in Barcelona, Munich, and Geneva are ideally situated for internship opportunities, networking events, and job placements. Its campuses are also close to the markets you may want to work in, with networking opportunities in the businesses you may want to approach,

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8. Culture and Fit

Visit the campus you’re interested in, talk to current students and alumni, and attend information sessions. This will help you get a feel of the school’s culture and whether it aligns with your values, goals, and lifestyle. Class size and number of students on campus is also important. For example, in 2023 Stanford received 6,152 applicants for its 424 available seats.

9. Career and Student Support Services 

What career services are provided by the school, including coaching, workshops, and recruitment events? Look at graduate employment statistics, average salaries, and the types of companies that recruit from the school. Assess the support services available, such as academic advising, mental health resources, and clubs/organizations.

What Next?

Conduct a thorough self-assessment of your career goals and personal circumstances, finalize your research on websites and alumni, narrow down your choices, submit your applications (remember to have a Plan B!), and evaluate your offers.

Then decide where you feel you would thrive the most. If you would like more information about EU Business School and the programs we offer, click here.

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