This is officially the first day when I have started the process on what schools I will apply this year. When I first dived into the pool of B-schools last year my first reaction was - Any top school would be good for me and Harvard should be perfect for me. If its best B-school, its best for me as well. But now I don't think that way.
So what has changed? Yes brand value is still a great sought-after virtue but there are other factors today which have become important for me. For example - I don't want to be in a school where I am studying most of the time. Let's evaluate one of the top schools in my list against this - Harvard has a case-study method. Yes I like that. For example I will love class more where I am being challenged for deciding on behalf of a CEO than being taught on how principal-agent problem works. But If students just study day and night into case study then Harvard is not a school for me. Actually, even Harvard does not make you study that much. Read a day in the life of Harvard student HBS Student. So, now I am good with case study and fine about the fact that I don't have to study 12 hours a day. The next criteria is whether the school has competitive environment. Yes in case-study method students fight for air time in class room and some part of your grades are based on your class performance. Additionally, Harvard has recently dismissed its no grade-disclosure policy. A current Harvard students say that despite all these potential reasons for competition, students still are collaborative. Same is claimed by Veritas Prep.Then how do I judge whether school is collaborative or not? What can be measurement criteria for judging school as competitive or collaborative? In other words I don't think students in one school are more competitive than other schools. It has something to do with the policy of institutions which makes them competitive.Also,I don't think degree of competitiveness should be judged on the basis of comparison amongst schools. Its a stand-alone quality and should affect only as much as much of anybody's decision as much as a difference in score of 730 and 700 in GMAT affects decision of AdCom.
Its end of day 1 and I am still on first school, first three criteria. Damn slow man!