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MBA Program Selection Apply this RuleSuzy Welch, Business Writer, for BusinessWeek has popularized the 10-10-10 rule. According to the rule, before making any tough decisions, ask three questions: How would you feel after 10 minutes, How would you feel after 10 months, and How would you feel after 10 years. We would like to modify the rule, by a touch, and apply it while selecting MBA programs: MIT vs Stanford, Wharton vs Harvard, Kellogg vs Booth, LBS vs Insead, IE vs IESE, and other close ones.

The 10 Minute impact of the rule seems a little stretched unless they are decisions like proposing to your partner, saying yes to non-refundable products, and other decisions where backtracking is not encouraged, or consequences are catastrophic. Although selecting MBA programs is a 1 month to 3-month process, the decision should be reviewed and changed if...

Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) was founded in 1967 by the Government of India in collaboration with business visionaries. Today, it has cult status among Indian B-school aspirants and has grown into an EQUIS-Accredited internationally recognized management institution. Indian School of Business (ISB) was founded by a group of eminent industrialists and academicians in association with Kellogg and Wharton. The first student intake was in 2001, and in just a decade, the school is now nipping at the heels of IIMA for the title of India’s best B-school in most international rankings.

Although Indian B-schools rankings do not rate the AACSB-accredited ISB, students both in India and abroad have a fuzzy perception of how these two MBA behemoths compare with each other. Some say it is like comparing apples and oranges; which is partially true, but we have undertaken the challenging task of sizing them against each other.

Do note that in India, MBA degrees can only be given by universities. That is why B-Schools here offer management diplomas equivalent to an MBA, and both IIM and ISB call theirs – PGP or Post Graduate Program.


MBA Research Utility ValueBenjamin Franklin showed us the power of Moral Algebra method. We adapted the method for MBA Research and demonstrated how you could choose when it comes to two equally good MBA programs. The method works when the choices are limited, but while interacting with MBA Applicants through our MBA Admissions Consulting service, we asked the applicants to cite the reasons for shortlisting the MBA programs. Some were rational reasons, reached after extensive research while many were irrational conclusions reached through faulty assumptions. When the reasons for selecting the MBA program are flawed, Admission consultants cannot successfully strategize and guide the MBA applicant through the Admission process. Deep down, applicants know that they have selected the MBA programs based on reputation (one of the several factors that should influence your selection) and not on extensive attribute matching – a process we highly recommend.

We falsely...

Rotman MBAF1GMAT: Rotman Full-time MBA program has put emphasis on Integrative thinking and Business design. How is the curriculum structured to help MBA students?

Marie-Eve (Rotman MBA): Integrative Thinking is Rotman’s educational platform for training trans-disciplinary problem solvers who can synthesize and engage in different perspectives, theories, models and vantage points in real time. This model-based approach to problem solving is how Rotman grads develop an ability to achieve superior solutions.

As we know, business problems are becoming more and more complex, so the analytical approach of the past is no longer enough to compete effectively. To thrive in a world of rapid change, business people have to out-imagine the competition by learning how to think and act with ingenuity.  Rotman has become a world leader in promoting the principles and practices of design thinking- students will have an opportunity to learn about Business Design in both their first and second years.

In terms of the structure of our curriculum, Rotman...

I can understand how a current student praises the MBA program through student blogs, social media, and other interactions. However, a recent trend that I have seen in some message boards is the die-hard fandom of MBA aspirants. Most of them have just finished their GMAT, and have decided to apply to an MBA program. But they are already big fans of some MBA programs!

Fandom is not a disease but it is irrational. When you are making $150,000 to $200,000 decisions, last thing that should influence you are irrational thoughts. If you have gone through student blogs, 90% of them will be about the ‘awesome experience’, ‘the amazing professors’, and ‘the great opportunity’ that lie ahead for all MBAs. Some message boards are filled with a few sour grapes who bash the Business School on every given opportunity, just because they did not fully understand the value of the MBA program, and overestimated the return on investment.

The truth is somewhere in the middle.

Talk to the Alumni

While I was shortlisting Business Schools, my decision - not to pursue an MBA, and instead start F1GMAT was influenced by a close friend of mine, and 2-3 alumni. I was looking for an Entrepreneurial MBA program and through my interactions with Business School representatives, started believing that an MBA would help me become an entrepreneur....

IMD vs INSEAD MBAIMD and INSEAD MBA programs seem to be different tier programs, but both MBAs are often shortlisted by aspirants who are planning to get into a top program in Europe. Let us look at eleven factors and compare the MBA programs.

1) Size

The primary difference between the two programs is the class size. IMD is targeted for a select few with just 90 students selected every year for the Full-time MBA Program. INSEAD Full-time MBA accepts over 1000 students.

2) Location

IMD’s Campus is located in Lausanne, a french-speaking City in Switzerland. It is just 62km from Geneva, one of the Financial Centers in the world. The largest employment opportunity in Lausanne is for the services sector, followed by manufacturing and processed goods sector. INSEAD, on the other hand, has a three-campus structure: Fontainebleau (Main Campus), Singapore and Abu Dhabi. With this structure, students can leverage the strengths of each of the locations – Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Insead > IMD

3) Ranking

When you compare the average rank from two major rankings:...

Insead vs LBSLondon Business School (LBS) and INSEAD Business School offer MBA programs that are ranked among the best in the world.  The quality of the students, the teaching methodology, curriculum, faculty expertise, networking opportunities and employment statistics have contributed towards the rise of these two giants among the MBA elites.

1) Location

LBS is located in London, which has been consistently voted as the best European City to live. The school campus is located next to Regent’s Park, the epicenter for experiencing London's history, art, and culture. 43 Universities in the City earned London the title as the ‘largest concentration of higher education in Europe.’  In addition to that, over 75% of Fortune 500 companies have their offices in the city.

INSEAD’s main campus is located in Fontainebleau, 34 miles away from Central Paris. Students will experience a peaceful environment, isolated from the hustle of the city. It is not far off from the renowned Forest of Fontainebleau. The highly integrated transportation system in France allows students to take a quick detour to Paris - the fashion capital of the world. 

A clear advantage that INSEAD has over LBS is the...

Our innate curiosity has made us a species that is dominant over all the animals. The “Why”, “When”, “What”, “Where”, and “How” questioning is useful not only for our daily lives but extremely useful for MBA Admissions. Each stage of the admission process requires us to ‘ask questions’.

Evaluating Business School Ranking

Business School ranking is one data that MBA applicants look closely before picking their top 5 schools. Unfortunately, applicants tend to switch off their curiosity when it comes to published ranking from leading news sources without questioning the data collection methodology, ranking criteria, and response rate.

One data that applicants have always assumed to be valid and thorough is the response rate. Most surveys get anywhere between 20-30% responses from the entire alumni pool. This is much worse than the average voter turnout in leading democracies – United States (48%) and India (58%). Citizens in these countries are vocal about the apathetic state of the election process, and quality of candidates. However, when it comes to a $75,000 to $200,000 decision, our...

If you feel that, it is speculation that 1-year MBA creates more disenchanted Alumni than raving fans; the 2016 Alumni Perspective survey published by GMAC offers a glimpse into the realities of the MBA market. While 51% of Full-time 2-year MBA and 43% 1-year MBA cited Change in Occupation, 46%, and 41% from the respective groups mentioned Switching industries as a goal for pursuing Management Education. The survey response is a reflection of pursuing MBA with unrealistic expectations or overvaluing the potential of a Business School.

As a mean to measure loyalty, Reichheld, Bain & Company, and Satmetrix introduced Net Promoter® (NPS) score, a scale from 0 to 10 that measures an Alumni’s likelihood of recommending the Management program. A score of 9 to 10 means highly likely, 0 to 6, least likely and 7-8 neutral. A 45+ score mean, the Alumni highly recommend the program.

Among the many Management and Master’s program on offer, Executive MBA, Master of Accounting, Online MBA, and Full-time two –year MBA was above the 45+ score required for raving fans. Our team didn’t expect Online MBA to feature in the top 4 list, but to a large extent, the expectations from each program define the satisfaction.


IESE vs IE - Spain's Economy 2001 to 2017Spain’s Economy has gone through five years of slowdown after the 2009 crisis that shrunk the GDP by 3.6%. However, for the past 3 years, Spain saw a revival of a sort. Unlike the US, the collapse was triggered by traditional banks. They overindulged in approving loans, anticipating a real-estate boom. When the reality did not match, the unemployment in Spain rose to 25% at one point, and the youth unemployment set a disastrous 50% levels. The bubble burst, but luckily Germany’s economy had offset the imbalance. Since the interest rates were set for the entire region (Euro), Spain couldn’t justify paying loans for a higher rate.

The government took painful austerity measures by reducing public sector wages, and hiking VAT rates from 18 to 21%. Luck had a big part too. Greece one of the popular tourist destinations lost their share of tourists to Spain due to inflation. The government's steps to broaden the tax revenue, first through a cut in personal (52 to 45%) and corporate (30 to 25%) taxes was a bigger contributing factor. Instead of regulations limiting enterprises, the government allowed companies to set up recruiting policies. The terms of employment offered the flexibility for companies to limit the...

Business School ResearchResearching about top Business Schools should be the most important activity in your MBA Application process. If you get this process right, then all your efforts in GMAT Preparation, MBA Application Essays, Interview, and Recommendation Letter will fall into place. Try our Basic Profile Evaluation Service, and we will shortlist the right schools for you. But before that, learn about the nine key selection criteria:

1) Post-MBA Goals

MBA Applicants have different goals. It is important to define goals, clearly, according to your background and motivation. Not all applicants want to enter investment banking or start their own Business. Some might look at an MBA as a mean to switch job functions, increase prospects globally, or use it to explore various career options.

If you have read Switching Industries after MBA – Not Easy! you will understand that many...

F1GMAT: William & Mary’s MBA program has put emphasis on leadership development and experiential learning. How is the curriculum structured to help MBA students?

Mason School of BusinessThe structure of our program mirrors the business world by combining theory with practice. The 1st year core curriculum is fast-paced and rigorous, but supportive with diverse learning teams which allow our students to exchange ideas and achieve their full potential. William & Mary’s Leadership Development Experience fosters mentorships from day one, pairing every MBA with their very own personal coach through our truly unique and expansive Executive Partner Network, a cohort of over 100 senior business executives from more than 20 different industries. Active, semi-retired or retired, these leaders are like no others. They are an integral part of our community and Mason Family.

Following summer internship, the 2nd year MBA experience immerses students into the business world. They take part in two Career Accelerations Modules,...

Google Trends gives us insight into the search demand for various keywords. We have collected data for Top 5 MBA Programs to learn how the MBA programs are measuring up against each other in online search space, and the general demand for these MBA programs from Feb 2004 to Sep 2016.

The top 5 searched MBA programs in Google are:

1. Harvard
2. Stanford
3. Wharton
4. Columbia
5. MIT

Here is the screenshot of the search demand for these five MBA programs (Click the Image for a larger screenshot)

Google Trends
As you would have noticed, interest in Wharton MBA peaks whenever there is a fluctuation in the Economy. Finance professionals consider Wharton MBA as a go to jail program whenever the job markets are down.
So has the demand gone down?

From the highs of 2004, the demand for top MBA programs have gone down, but from 2012, the demand has stabilized, but we noticed an increased search volumes for Booth MBA.

Booth MBA (Search Demand Spike after Nov 2008)


Post MBA in ItalyItaly is among the 9th largest economies, with the 2015 GDP reaching $1,814 billion. More than 90% of Italian companies are small and medium-sized entities that manufacture top class consumer goods all over the world. The industrial belt in Italy is centered in the Northern part of the country. This belt extends from Turin to Venice via Milan. It is one of the most prosperous areas in Europe and accounts for more than half of the national economy.

Around 85% of Businesses in Italy are family owned contributing over 68% of the employment. The case is similar in France, UK, Spain, and Germany, but what makes Italy unique is that in 66% of such Businesses, Managers are handpicked from the family, and this has allowed the Businesses to survive over 100 years. In fact, 15 of the world’s 100 oldest Businesses are in Italy. For MBAs, this means, the resistance to entering the largest market of small and grand old Businesses in Milan or any part of Italy most likely would not facilitate unless you have some connection with the family. The other options include world-renowned global brands that encourage recruitment with the intention of placing MBAs in Asian markets.


HHL MBA Admission Team InterviewF1GMAT: HHL MBA has put emphasis on balancing theory with practical experience in its curriculum. Tell us how the curriculum is designed to help MBA Students.

Raluca Modoiu(HHL Full-time MBA):
At HHL we try to structure our program in the way that would best prepare our MBA students to the real world practices. Because our class is very diverse and not all students have the same background and practical experience, our practice-oriented courses and projects allow them to apply their knowledge to real business scenarios even before they leave HHL and thus prepare them for their professional career after the studies. This includes company visits as part of some program where students get a chance to analyze real cases using the skills and knowledge acquired during the course.

Another special feature of the MBA curriculum is a practical consulting project offered as one of the electives and run together with one of the chosen partners in the industry. During the student-consulting project, students are engaged in the development and implementation of a company project solving real problems.
It is also worth mentioning that HHL is deeply intertwined with the private sector and...

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