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Journey to my MBA

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Is school X any good?

Hi Dave,

Do you have any information about TAMU-mays MBA program? Whether it is good? is it recognised in USA?

One good thing is that it is comparatively cheaper.

Please let me know if you have any updates on this.



I get this kind of question all the time. Whether a school is good or not as a short answer can be answered simply by looking any Business School ranking. See the section "MBA Ranks" on the right side of this Blog for links to all of them.

But whether "the school is good for you" is the real question! I honestly don't like to answer this kind of question because it's too complex of an answer. That is unless I get to know the person by asking some questions. I'm not talking about the Resume and Academic background. Although that kind of info is a good start, I'm really talking about what they like to do for fun, what their passions are and how they react in a team or group situation in and out of business. The short answer depends on the person. The biggest failure of any MBA applicant is the failure to assess their career goals and their own background/personality with the right school.

Below is my response to this persons question.

Sorry, no info about TAMU. My suggestion for you is to ignore the price. Think about the school that best fits your profile and your career aspirations. Anything less than that is too narrow and short sighted of all the MBA will/could do for your life and career. If it's about price, then I would implore you to read my article about why you shouldn't get caught up Tuition. Certain MBA's are a gateway pass to a good ‘ol boys club when you make it into a top school. It’ll open doors and job opportunities like you never dreamed. So why then do you want to short cut yourself by saying it's too expensive? There are scholarships, fellowships, loans and the like to be had. If you really want it, what's stopping you?

About TAMU, you can get a good idea about a school from the companies that recruit there. Remember that Business School is a “business” that is in the business of catering to its’ customers who are the companies that recruit from them. There are more complex issues to consider as well. For example, some schools just have a top tier ranking because they have amazing financial support, professors, staff and students who went on to do amazing things. Some of it is predictable and some of it is based around an unpredictable ‘X’ factor.

Some schools have a reputation that they either thrive off of or have built. You can’t deny Wharton and Chicago's amazing finance reputation. It’s something they continue to encourage and to improve upon. It doesn’t mean that they don’t do other things well. It’s just that their reputations in these areas are highly recognized. When you have a strong brand, you do not hurt it or degrade it.

Perhaps the US News and World Report rankings by area will help you to see areas that appeal to you.

Frankly, when someone asks me if a school is good, I really hate it. One might as well ask me if Italy or France is any good. Sure, they're great countries. But the real gem is in why they are well known. If you want to know how good an overall school is, then any Business School Ranking will serve you well in this regard. If you want to know the details(gems), then check out Business Week and US News & World Report categorical ratings. You’re best bet after doing all this is to contact any school and ask to talk to either a student or an alumnus. They will gladly provide you a contact at no charge.

Finally, go to the schools web site and look at the list of companies that recruit from them. BusinessWeek also publishes a feedback survey from the students in the program and rate the program in more than 20 areas. I’ve seen it at public libraries in my area. Also, go to one of the forums and ask your questions. You can choose from,,, BusinessWeek MBA Forums, S2 Wharton forums, Yale Forums and Chicago Forums.

(But be warned! Going into these forums is very risky. It's a significant time investment, addictive to some and the advice one receives should be taken with a great degree of skepticism)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

I guess TAMU which stands for Texas A & M University ranks 31st in latest USNEWS ranking...

I totally agree with you when you say one should not just look at cost factor, but I did a bit research on this school..

1. Avg sal upon graduation : $77000
2. % of students placed upon graduation 88%
3. % of students placed in 3 months from graduation 97%
4. ranking as per Value for money of MBA for this school ( according to financial times ranking ) #12
5. Public school, nearly 68% of applicants get some kind of financial help..(as per website)

However, one thing I could not find out is student profile of current batch, recruters and alumini contact details.

Again this is not school in discussion on various discussion forums.

Could you or any visitors give any idea about it? Many Indians cant afford fee of $100,000 and if this school helps to get them in good position (if not better) they can benefit in long run.


5:47 AM  

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