Thursday, January 13, 2011

The MBA Project: B-School Lineup Update

By the way, I don't know if you've noticed, but I changed the URL of my blog.  I decided that I didn't like my first and last name in there.  The title remains the same for now.

But on to business.  Earlier I alluded to an update in the B-School Lineup.  (My original run-down can be found here.)  There have been some changes in the last two months.

London Business School & Imperial College - Out.  I have since made the declaration that if I'm going to do this--uproot my life and take on more debt--I'm going to go all out.  I'm going to immerse myself in another culture and language.  Again, most MBA programs the world over are taught in English.  I don't need to live in another English-speaking country on top of that.  If that's what I really wanted, I might as well stay in the United States.  Also, immigration is a hot button issue in the UK right now.  There has been a lot of back and forth between the courts and Parliament as to whether or not an immigration cap is lawful or in the UK's best interest.  Last month the Home Secretary introduced the cap last summer and the courts eventually deemed it unlawful.  However, caps on the number of Tier-1 and Tier-2 visas are still likely to face restrictions this year.  Makes London sound even less inviting.  If you're gonna make it that hard for me to come over, then I might as well go to...

...Switzerland!  I received a mass e-mail from St. Gallen this morning regarding an amendment to a Swiss by-law that will effectively make it easier for third-country nationals (e.g. non-Swiss and non-EU) to obtain work visas.  Previously, the law was like many other countries' immigration laws, which is to say that a company looking to sponsor a foreign citizen has to prove that there is no other equally qualified Swiss or EU national is available for the job.  Well, no more.  They just have to show that a candidate would be a benefit to Switzerland's labor market.  It gets better.  "In addition to this, third country nationals who earn a degree from a university in Switzerland may stay in the country for up to six months after graduation to seek full, permanent employment."  If that's not a sign that die Schweiz is ripe for the taking, I don't know what is.  Needless to say, the University of St. Gallen is still high on my list.

Which brings me to address another school.  It pains me to say this, but Germany may have fallen off my radar once again.  I've done some more extensive investigating into Mannheim Business School, and I find the lack of information available regarding what companies recruit from that school to be suspect.  I've scoured enough business school brochures, reports, and websites by now to know that schools are all too happy to tell you exactly what companies their students go on to work for.  MBS?  Not so much.  I've even spoken with a current student and still not quite gotten to the bottom of it.  I cannot easily link it to the top consulting firms that I would want to qualify to work for.  That's a red flag that I just can't ignore, as appealing as the program is otherwise.

So, in a way, not getting the GMAT scores I wanted last month and signing up to re-take it may have been a blessing in disguise and not just a punch in the face.  I can select a few different schools to receive my scores this next time.

Are there different schools...?  Perhaps.  St. Gallen, and Vlerick Leuven Gent are still on the list.  I've also re-instated ERASMUS Rotterdam.  (Thanks, Adam, for calling b.s. on my reasons for letting it go and thus forcing me to re-consider.)   All of those schools have solid reputations and strong ties to the places I'd want to go after I get out.  I'm considering adding IMD--also in Switzerland, but in French-speaking Lausanne--and possibly Copenhagen Business School.  In light of this new Swiss immigration business, however, it's in my best interest to look more closely at schools in that region.

Until then, study study study again for the GMAT and continue to work on my essays.