Comparing MBA Programs

Prospective students often ask me how to Compare MBA Programs in DC,
especially when so much of the information from the various schools is
similar.  Everyone takes basically the same core classes, many take a global
residency, and many take very similar electives.  So which program is right
for you?  There are a couple of different considerations but the one I
always stress to students is to think past what you are learning in the
classroom.  Getting an MBA means you are investing in yourself; you
essentially are placing a bet that you can take advantage of a network of
classmates and alumni and of mentorship from faculty, in addition to the new
knowledge learned in the classroom.  The key then is which program will work
with you individually to help you cash in on this bet.  It's great to sit in
class and take tests and get grades, but that is only the beginning of what
it means to get an MBA.  If you really wish to compare MBA programs, you
need to talk to the faculty, you need to sit in on classes, you need to talk
to current students so that you can get a realistic view at the type of
attention you will receive.  How do the faculty relate to the students?  Do
the faculty know student names?  Do the students interact and enjoy being in
class?  These are the questions that are hard to answer in information
sessions.  Don't just listen to MBA staff at various schools give you their
sales pitch - be sure to look behind the curtain and get the information you
really need to make a good decision.

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Kevin Rockmann

I am the associate dean of students at George Mason University's School of Business. My primary teaching assignments are organizational behavior and negotiation in the MBA program. Using theory on identity, decision-making, and social exchange, my research investigates the development and the influence of various types of attachments in organizations, whether they be at the individual, team, professional, or organizational level. My research has appeared in Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Small Group Research, and the Research in Managing Groups and Teams book series.

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