How to Choose the Right Business School For You | Top Universities

How to Choose the Right Business School For You

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Stephanie Lukins

Updated Dec 02, 2019



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Sponsored by Montpellier Business School

Many people plan on going to business school only once, so it’s essential you’re well-informed and choose the right one. But what are some of the key things you should bear in mind when it comes to choosing a business school that can determine both your professional and personal development for the years to follow?

We’ve teamed up with Montpellier Business School to find out.

Consider the cost and location

For many, the decision starts and ends with the cost of tuition. The decision whether to relocate also plays a large part in the decision-making process. 

Many major cities around the world are known for higher cost of living, but there are locations where opportunities and quality of life are just as good and come without the heavy price tag. 

If the idea of studying abroad in France intrigues you, you may be pleased to learn that living costs in Montpellier in the south of the country are 30-40 percent lower compared to the capital, Paris. The city of Montpellier was also ranked in the top five in L’Etudiant magazine’s student cities 2019 ranking. 

It also pays to consider what you want to do after you graduate and where you want to do it. The network you establish during your time at business school can mean lifetime connections.

Know whether you qualify for any scholarships or special funding

Scholarships can be worth thousands and are awarded based on various criteria. The most common scholarships are awarded for academic excellence. Other scholarships include athletic scholarships, merit-based scholarships, and needs-based scholarships.

At Montpellier Business School, for example, extended payment options are available and individual scholarships are awarded up to the value of €2,000 (~US$2,212) according to admission results.

Utilize global rankings

Whether you love them or hate them, rankings can help give a good idea of what the business schools you’re interested in are like and how they compare to other schools.

For example, the QS Business Masters Rankings 2020 consider five main criteria: alumni outcomes, diversity, employability, thought leadership and value for money.

A school’s reputation for academic excellence also plays a large role in your decision. Only 91 business schools out of 14,000 in the world hold the “triple crown” accreditation from the most sought-after international accreditations: AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS. Montpellier Business School is one of them.

It’s also a top 15 business school in France and it’s Master in Management program is ranked as the 77th best of its kind in the world in the QS World University Rankings: Masters in Management Rankings 2020.

Find out what additional services and support the school provide

Moving abroad to study and leaving your home country behind isn’t always easy. At Montpellier Business School, all international students are offered help and support with finding accommodation and applying for a French visa. Students are also help when it comes to administrative procedures such as opening a bank account or enrolling for French social security as well as free French classes on campus.

And when it comes to the school’s career center, you’re definitely going to want to make the most of it. For example, Montpellier Business School’s Career Centre support students in building their professional career through internships, business cases, seminars, conferences and entrepreneurship opportunities. Within the school, the Career Center offers professional support and personalized advice when it comes to helping students find a placement, or help them get ahead in their inevitable graduate career search.

Be realistic – are the entry requirements achievable for you?

It’s easy to get lost in the myriad of business school prospectuses and all they have to offer. But it’s important to bear in mind what your chances are of being accepted into the school and program of your choice.

Many business schools (but not all), will require you to have a GMAT/GRE test score, proven English language proficiency to a certain level, as well as attend an interview – whether it’s face-to-face or in a video.

At Montpellier Business School, students can opt to study their degree in either English or in French. Before the term begins, international students also take part in an induction week and attend free French classes, so you can make the most of your experience.

Consider the study format

Different schools have different curricula and specializations, so you’ll want to research whether the school you’re interested in aligns with your career ambitions and personal interests.

What do you value the most when it comes to your studies? Are you looking for a management program that places a strong emphasis on all areas of business and leadership? Or are you looking to upskill in finance or marketing? Do you want a curriculum that’s hands-on and offers experiential learning opportunities? Or do you prefer case-method learning and group work?

Or if you’re still undecided, that’s ok as well. Finding a program that’s well-rounded in all areas of business, such as management, economics, finance, and marketing can put you in good stead for acclimatizing to specialized business master’s programs, such as the Master in Management program and Masters of Science program at Montpellier Business School.

The two-year long program offers an optional third year called a ‘gap year’ which can be taken between first and second year. During the gap year, students are encouraged to undertake one or two internships at a leading company in the sector of their choice, anywhere in the world in order to develop their skills, get involved in a humanitarian mission, or even create their own start-up.

Visit the school and higher education fairs and events

Once you’ve narrowed down your options to two or three schools, visiting the school can really help you get a feel for it. You’ll be able to speak with past and current students, as well as professors and other faculty members. It’s also a great way to get a sense of the school’s alumni network and find out about their accomplishments and achievements.

Sometimes visiting the school’s campus isn’t always possible, and some schools take part in higher education fairs and events all around the world. Montpellier Business School, for example, visits places such as mainland China, India, Morocco, Brazil, and Colombia to meet with students and answer any questions and doubts they may have.

And if prospective students can’t attend a fair, some business school organize webinars and create their own online fairs instead.

Montpellier Business School will organize its next webinar in January 2020 to help students find the right business school for them in France.

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