What I Looked for in an MBA Program

By Jeremy Ferguson, MBA ’16

By now, you’ve already set your sights on business school. The decision to leave your full-time job and go back to school was tough to make, but you’re past that. Now the question that’s boggling your mind is: which school has the best program for me? Which program am I going to get the most out of? From my experience, the process and ultimately the decision were both tough, but by the end of it all, I knew that the Boston College MBA Program at the Carroll School of Management was perfect for me.

Here were the key points I looked into when making my decision. You may have different criteria, but I suggest taking these points into consideration as well.

Sense of Community and Belonging

Being from Texas, I wanted to find a place that could be my “home away from home.” From the first moment I stepped onto the BC campus, I knew this was the school for me. Everyone in the program, including faculty, classmates, and alumni, are willing to help in any way possible. I can honestly say that the camaraderie established between my fellow classmates and me has curved that feeling of being homesick. The transition from my life in Texas to BC was so much easier because of the BC community. My advice – definitely visit the campuses you’re interested in. But don’t just take a tour – talk with current students and faculty, see what life is really like in that program. Trust me, when you find the right program for you, you will instantly know. While I was accepted into other MBA programs, after visiting those campuses and meeting with current students, I easily ruled out programs I knew wouldn’t “click” with me. You’re going to be there for two years of your life – do your research, and it will pay off!

Exposure to the Business World
While the knowledge learned in the classroom is valuable in itself, I wanted a program that would put me face-to-face with alumni and executives as well as provide me with opportunities to use my knowledge in multiple real-world settings. The BC MBA Program satisfies all of my requirements. For instance, the Manager’s Studio provides a glimpse into executives’ personal lives, where they reveal their personal goals and challenges, career paths, techniques on managing and leading, and many other useful bits of applicable knowledge. I’ve already had the chance to meet with many BC MBA Alumni who are working full-time at companies I’m interested in. The International Management Experience, TechTrek, and International Consulting Projects allow students to produce real work-product for actual companies. There are so many opportunities here to build your network!

Assistance in Career Searching
From speaking with current MBA candidates, I realized that one of the biggest challenges I would face in business school was balancing my job/internship search with an intense class load. It was important to me to find a school that took an active interest in my job search and that would be willing to guide me through the job searching process. Career Strategies at the Carroll School of Management has an outstanding reputation in assisting students to find the internship/jobs they want after school. They have helped me with everything from general advice to helping me write cover letters. I feel very confident that I will find a great summer internship after first year is over!

Overall, the point I want to impress on you is this: put the time and effort into researching and visiting the programs you are interested in. This is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make, and once you find the right program for you, you’ll be well on your way to achieving those long-term career goals!