What to consider when choosing your MBA

26 July 2021
Thinking about studying an MBA? Hear from Distance Learning MBA participant (London), Rupert Roberts, to find out what are key considerations to remember when selecting your business school. 
Key considerations when choosing an MBA programme

Taking the plunge and embarking on an MBA journey is a big decision and understandably, one that requires significant consideration. Each person is unique and thought processes will differ but here are a few simple questions you can ask yourself to help guide things along.

What do you want from an MBA?

This might seem like an obvious question, but each MBA is different. Aspects such as curriculum, location, alumni network, careers support and cohort diversity will impact the knowledge, network, post-study opportunities and overall experience which you gain. When thinking about high-level objectives such as career progression, an industry switch or broadening your perspectives, it’s important to dig into the detail of what’s offered by each course and how this relates to your personal circumstances and aspirations. For me, Warwick Business School (WBS) offered a high-quality faculty and curriculum to support some existing knowledge gaps and a truly global MBA cohort to learn from and form part of my future network.

Have you decided on mode of study?

WBS offer a variety of different modes of study including full-time, part-time and distance learning as well as having two locations, the Warwick campus and WBS London, The Shard. Different formats will be better suited to different personal circumstances. Personally, I wanted to continue working for a number of reasons but importantly, so I could apply what I was studying during the MBA on the job in real time. This, coupled with my overseas location and the realities of Covid-19, meant that the Distance Learning MBA two-year course suited my preferences perfectly. Others might prefer a shorter or more intense period of study, if you are taking a career break or looking to switch industry, in which case an alternate format might be better suited. 

How important is ranking?

While not the be all and end all, rankings matter to a lot of people and this is another area where WBS excels. The Distance Learning MBA I’m studying has topped the Financial Times’s rankings several years in a row and WBS’ other MBA programmes consistently score highly overall and across a number of key metrics with the FT and other rankings providers. Other than the WBS brand, which you’ll carry with you, the school’s ranking is reflected in the quality of its teaching, your fellow cohort members and career outcomes. Other than headline numbers, think about some of the specific numbers. If you’re seeking to relocate abroad, metrics such as international mobility, international students and international faculty might be revealing, for instance.

Does it feel right?

Sometimes, things just feel right (or not) and given the amount of time, effort and money you’ll invest in your MBA journey, it’s important to choose a programme and school which aligns with the overall environment, culture, values and feel that you’re looking for. Aside from material which can be found online, I also found attending MBA seminars, events and connecting with current and past MBA students as useful sources of guidance and insight when choosing my MBA programme. Speaking with people who are completing or have completed an MBA is the best source of soft information so don’t be afraid to reach out. 

Deciding on whether to do an MBA, where, when and how to do it can feel daunting.  The process shouldn’t be stressful, so here are my final tips:

  • Try to enjoy the process of learning about yourself and what different MBA’s can do for you
  • Engage with the material available online through university websites and other sources
  • Attend some physical or virtual events
  • Try and start the process early – applications may take longer than you plan for
  • Speak to colleagues, friends of family who’ve completed an MBA
  • Reach out to some current MBA students and ask for their insight – after all, MBA’s love to network!


Find out more about our Distance Learning MBA.