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How do you fit into the tough MBA market?

As an aspiring MBA student, you are inevitably faced with an outstanding array of variables in choosing where to apply. With more applicants sending stronger applications than ever before to the top business schools in the U.S, getting accepted at the school of your choice is becoming an increasingly daunting task. (We, of course, believe a business school education can immensely empower your hiring potential and enrich your personal and educational goals. Therefore, making all obstacles worth it!)

The Perks of Being in the Top 10

The pulling power of attending a top 10 B-School is almost alone worth the high price tag of $100,000 USD. For a student to spend that much money, the perks must be many and come often. Here are some of the reasons you may want to attend a top 10 B-School:

  • These schools attract world renowned professors
  • Attraction of recruiters from high powered organizations
  • High percentage of employment at graduation
  • High Ranking equals more global exposure for the student
  • The opportunity to explore many career tracks in very little time
  • These schools create a strong career platform

In summary, attendance at a high-ranking school means learning from well known, well-educated and well-connected professors. It means more exposure to real business and recognition within the global business market. Furthermore, it means valuable networking opportunities.

Is a top-tier B-School for you?

Even though ranking is important, it should not solely dictate your decisions. Think about what you personally want out of your education. Even if your list of 8 schools are all in the top 10, which one you choose should be based on some of the following criteria:

  • Location and Environment: Would you perform better in the fast paced New York City or the small-town feel of Durham?
  • Student Atmosphere: Do you like to work with other students, or fight your way to the top?
  • Recruiters who visit: Do you want to work for a consulting firm or work in finance?
  • How much is tuition? What kind of scholarships or work study opportunities are available?

Of course there are many, many more considerations to make.

Tough(er) Competition

After you have found the right schools for you, you need to remember that there are a lot of other students who have come to the same conclusion. Future MBAs like you are coming from all over the world to study at the institutions that you also wish to attend. The sheer volume of applicants and the quality of those applicants have risen: They are better qualified than last year, better prepared, and are submitting better applications. And to make this situation appear even more challenging, more applicants equal more registration for the GMAT. If you have been following closely, you know that more numbers equals higher scores. Therefore, focus on setting yourself apart from the pack. Where will your individual strengths be valued the most?

Effects and Consequences of the MBA Boom

The lure of an MBA has created a wealth of specialized MBA programs at top business schools. There are also various flexible part-time programs for the working student. Interestingly, there are fewer applicants for management education PhDs, which implies that more students are interested in management careers and not in academic ones. A future consequence is too many management students and fewer (or less qualified) professors. How are these effects relevant to the aspiring MBA?

  • If you are interested, consider a PhD!
  • It may be more challenging to gain acceptance to a top tier school, but these schools will have more programs to suit your needs and interests.
  • You can get your MBA without sacrificing your current career, if that is a concern for you.

Remember that while acceptance to the business school of your choice is challenging and ultra-competitive, it has many rewards. Your career and future is dependent on your hard work and perseverance. To look at the rise in competition positively, it means more options for you.

Posted on January 25, 2008 by Manhattan Review

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We are busy preparing for our Year-end Holiday Party today. It’s an exciting time of year when most people are reflecting on the year past and make projections or resolutions for the upcoming one. Many of our readers are located internationally, but this post pertains mostly to the US market.A recent survey conducted by Milwaukee-based global staffing firm Manpower (MAN) found that 12% of companies expect to reduce employment in the three-month period starting in January, while 22% plan to add jobs. Fewer than a quarter of employers expect to add positions in the first quarter of the new year, almost the same as a year ago, according to this survey of 14,000 companies.The numbers show a slight drop from hiring intentions during the same quarter last year, when 23% of employers said they’d increase hiring and 11% expected a decrease. They also show more pessimism than last quarter, when 27% of employers planned to increase hiring while only 9% said they planned a decline.The numbers, overall, do not represent big changes.

Construction companies expect one of the larger drops, with 23% of employers saying they expect to curtail hiring, compared with 16% in the same quarter last year. Seventeen percent of employers in this sector say they expect to increase hiring, down slightly from 18% last year.

Wholesale and retail saw a slight drop, with 21% of companies saying they planned to increase hiring, down from 23% last year. Eighteen percent plan a decrease, up from 17% last year.

In the finances and real estate sector, plans to increase hiring remained steady at 21%. But the number of companies in the sector that planned to hire less than last year grew to 9% from 7%.

Hiring levels are also projected to vary regionally.

Nineteen percent of companies in the Midwest reported they would increase hiring in the first quarter, down from 26% during the previous one. Thirteen percent of companies were planning a decline, up from 9% last quarter.

The West continues to have the best outlook, with 29% of employers saying they planned to increase hiring, down from 33% last quarter. Eleven percent of employers said they planned to decrease hiring, up from 10% last quarter.

The South dipped slightly, with 23% of employers expecting to increase hiring next quarter, down from 26% last quarter. Eleven percent expected to decrease hiring, up from 8% last quarter.

The Northeast also saw a dip, with 21% of companies saying they planned to increase staff, down from 25% last quarter. Thirteen percent of employers in that region said they planned a decrease, up from 10% last quarter.

The survey doesn’t ask why employers choose to increase, decrease or maintain their staffing levels. The mortgage crisis or possibility of a recession could be reasons, but the survey can’t say for sure.

Posted on December 18, 2007 by Manhattan Review

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