Choosing MBA School – Brand vs Program, Faculty, Cost. MBA Goal ?

In Study in USA by KumarUpdated : 25 Comments

When you plan to apply for MBA program at a Business school in America, you hear people giving you all sorts of advice for choosing the school. Most of them would advice you to get an MBA from an Ivy league Business school like Harvard or from a top 10 B-school like  Stanford…but it many not be possible at times due to various factors, could be personal or professional…As an MBA graduate, let me share my perspective and experience.

What is your Goal for getting an MBA ?

Here are few reasons students or professionals pursue MBA :

  • Career change from one profession to other that is completely different
  • Get promotion at work
  • Start a business
  • Take up leadership roles or C-Level roles
  • Build professional network
  • Connect with Alumni for career/ business
  • Company is paying for higher education (MBA)
  • Personal achievement
  • Interest to learn the ropes of business administration

Some of you may know exactly why you are getting an MBA, some of you may not be sure about it. You have to be very clear on the goal, it will help you weigh factors when you choose a Business school for MBA.

Business school  Brand vs Program, Faculty, Cost :

It sounds very fancy to have an MBA from Harvard, not that everyone can get into Harvard… It would be nice to go to an Ivy league school, if you can get admission and you can afford to pay the tuition fee…There is no question that getting an MBA from a top 10 Business school will give you tremendous brand value and increase your chances to pursue your dream career.  Having said that, not everyone can make it to top 10 B-schools or may be interested to get into them due to various reasons like below:

  • Low GMAT Scores & GPA, less experience (No admission)
  • Cannot afford to pay Tuition (Do not want to risk taking a big loan)
  • Not interested in relocation due to family & friends
  • Work does not permit relocation/ full time MBA
  • Less In-state tuition in State schools
  • Good program & faculty in local State/ Private schools
  • Work does not pay for MBA or pays less


Your MBA Goal – Your Decision of Business School !

As mentioned before, your goal for pursuing MBA is the key decision factor in choosing a good B-school that fits your needs.

If you can get an admission and can afford go to an Ivy league B-School or one of the top 10 private business schools, it absolutely makes sense. You may get most out of your MBA at a top 10 B-School, especially in the following cases : if you are looking for a career change, build an awesome startup, take up a C-Level role, leverage school’s alumni for business or professional growth, etc.

Some of you may be in situations like you cannot relocate, you want to study part time MBA  on H1B visa , you cannot afford to pay tuition at private school ( over $100,000), you are not very keen on the brand aspect of the B-School, You want to leverage the In-state tuition fee given for H1B, H4 Visa, etc….All you want is to get is good education from a decent B-School that has good faculty. First thing that you have to do is look at the  MBA program curriculum, courses offered, faculty background, research at the school, notable alumni, etc. In my case, I got my MBA from a State University B-school due to my personal reasons like in-state tuition benefits and relocation issues.  I had faculty from Northwestern University (Kellog School of Business), University of Chicago(Booth School of Business), etc. I liked the MBA program, faculty, we had decent research at our school, etc…Anyways, I was very happy with my education. Its about what you want, considering your situation !

Conclusion  B-School Brand vs. Program, Faculty

In my view, it would be nice to go to an Ivy league B-School, if you can get admission and can afford to pay for it…But, it is not necessary. It depends on your goal for MBA. Many of the students and professionals get carried away by Brand and do not give much thought about other schools. If you find a good program that fits what you need and they have got good program & faculty, you will get good education. You do not have to hold back !

What are your thoughts on B-School Brand vs. Program ?
What would you choose ?

You may also read 5 advantages of Full time MBA vs. Part time



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Comments ( 25 )

  1. Nathan Treadwell

    An MBA can be a huge investment too. If you need help finding your student loan options for an MBA in the states, our platform, Nomad Credit, may be able to help you.

  2. Suresh

    I completed my bcom degree……am preparing gmat and ielts… I have no job experience…..may I know best universities in USA for MBA..

    1. administrator

      Best is very relative…Anyways, we do not really advise on schools. You need to do your research and find schools that fit your criteria.

  3. ruchi

    i am from |India .i just pass my BE in Electrical engineering i want to do MS in USA can you suggest me Top Universities.

    1. Nathan Treadwell

      Hello Ruchi,

      According to US News… The top MS programs in the U.S. are Carnegie Mellon, MIT, Stanford, Cal – Berkeley, University of Illinois, Cornell, University of Washington, Princeton, Georgia Tech, and University of Texas.

      If you get in and need help financing your education, please let us know, we may be able to help.

      Thank you.

  4. Rama


    I am Rama. I have been working as a CAD designer in automotive industry since I completed my in mechanical engineering. Now I have 4.5 years(3 years in India and 1.5years in US on H1B) of work experience.
    Now I would like to shift my gears to the management career and therefore interested to pursue MBA. I am located in Detroit, Michigan. Can anyone of you please help me by sharing your ideas/thoughts/suggestions to move forward?
    It would be great if someone can suggest schools/courses/steps to get admission/entrance exams that I need to clear for me.

    Thank you so much in advance.

  5. sumit mahajan

    I am a civil engineer with a work exp. of 2 years in structural designing. I want to pursue MBA, probably in September 2014. I have interest in finance. What kind to job would i land up after completing my MBA? Would I be starting as fresher there? Or is it relevant for a civil engineer to go for MBA ??

  6. Neepa

    My son just got a job after completing his ungrad degree in sociology from UW Milwaukee. He is looking fr a sponsor fr an H1 after the end of his OPT period which ends in Feb 2013. Can anyone help. Can someone suggest good consultants. What r the chances of finding a sponsor fr a job with a sociology major.

  7. Krishti

    I have completed my B.E in 2008, have one year experience of working in a MNC and another three years in a e-commerce start up. I have admit for MS in US universities. The reason I chose although I am desperate about studying MBA is that the H1B job offers and chances of settling down is high and easy with a Technical MS CS degree.
    I would like to know if I do MBA instead of MS, is there still good job prospects in US. I am talking about H1B jobs. I do not want to major in finance in my MBA. I would want to do marketing. Will that make my after degree job scenario even worse?

  8. Ritesh

    Hi Saurabh,
    I am planing to go for my MBA from ITU, Sunnyvale. My TOEFL score is 99 iBT. The tuition fees of other Universities/Schools is way too out of budget for me at this moment. Would going for ITU be a good option (with due consideration towards the tuition fees of other Universities)? Would there be any problem during visa process since ITU is not accredited school?
    Thanking you in advance. Your help/advise on this issue would be much appreciated.

    Warm regards,

  9. Neel

    I am planning to do a dual degree course: MBA/MS in Information Technology, can you please suggest me some good colleges.
    For your Info am planning to take GMAT in March. Have an IT exp of 7 years (approx.)

  10. vamshidhar

    Hi Saurabh,

    I attended the visa interview yesterday(12th October) at Chennai consulate. I was given a 221g form asking my petitioner to submit couple of documents(The details of the employees in US and the project details i will be working in US).

    Actually i already had been to US previously on H1 from a different company. i was in US for 15months and returned in March 2011. Couple of weeks back i resigned the previous company and on October 3 i joined the New company with which i attended the interview.

    My Queries::
    1. The VO asked me to show the current Pay slips. Then i showed the pay slips of my previous employer as i joined the current company recently. Do you think this has any affect in me getting 221g??

    2. Already many people from my current company completed the Visa stamping successfully. Any Idea why the VO asked me only the details of the company in 221g form?

    3. Generally how many days it takes for consulate to get back once my company sends the required documents?

    4. What is the chances of getting Visa rejected in 221g case after my company sends the required documents?

    Please help me out… completely Upset with this 221g form 🙁

    1. administrator

      1. If you showed the payslips from old employer while you were in US, then it’s ok. That is what VO was referring to when he asked for recent payslips (he wanted to make sure you maintained status while in US)
      2. Do you know what all documents were asked for in 221g?
      3. There is no set timeframe. It may take weeks or months.
      4. Depends upon how satisfied VO is w/ the documents.

    1. abhishek

      this is the same question i was also planning to post on redbus site.

      can some experienced readers / moderators of site throw some light on this [ doing ms in finance or ms in mba alike fields is same ? and equivalently rewarding ? ]

  11. vamshi

    Hi Redbus team,

    Thanks for answering many of the queries posted in this site…

    Please help me out related to following queries on H4::

    I have H1 visa stamped and will be travelling to US next week. I am planning to get married in December.

    Now for my Wife Visa stamping(H4)::

    1. After marriage, while going to Visa stamping of my wife, will i also be allowed inside the consulate??(I have my visa already stamped)

    2. Should my name be endorsed on her passport compulsory? Also should her name endorsed on my passport??

    1. administrator

      1. No. Only interviewees are allowed inside the consulate.
      2. It’s good to do that, but not mandatory. The onus is on you guys to prove that you are married. If you have marriage certificate, wedding card/album etc then that also can act as valid proof.

      1. vamshi

        Thanks a lot Saurabh for your answers…

        One more Query. My Fiancée is not that good at English. Will there be any problem if i opt for Telugu language for the interview?

        1. administrator

          No, there shouldn’t be. Just select appropriate language when scheduling the interview.

          She may be asked how she would manage in US when her English is not so strong. So be prepared w/ a good answer.

  12. Singireddy Vikas Reddy


    i have a doubt regarding the Work Study Program(WSP).Is this the legal way to do masters in us with working upto 40hrs a week. And tell me the universities offering master of science in information technology under Work Study Program and their tution fees, rules and regulations.

    plzzzzzzz help me

  13. Krista

    The most important thing in my opinion is to choose a school that: 1. you’re going to be happy at (location, faculty, peers, etc). and 2. you’ll be able to finish at (no one will care that you started an MBA program at Harvard, if you weren’t able to finish there).

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