What do you look for when you are comparing MBA programs? School rankings, or world-class faculty? Internship opportunities or electives related to your interests? All of those are highly important, of course. But increasingly, MBA candidates are also considering another factor – school culture.
What does “culture” mean in this case and why is it important? How does it affect your education and your future career?
“Culture” means the values shared by students and faculty at a school. These values shape life on campus and determine what it is actually like to be a student there.
Why culture matters for your success
Imagine you are starting your first semester at business school. How do the students relate to each other? Do they cooperate on projects, or do they compete with each other? What do you imagine yourself wearing – a suit or a hoodie?
Is it possible to meet professors for a chat over coffee, or do they prefer a more formal relationship? What kinds of behavior will be expected of you, and would they feel natural or challenging for you? The answers to these questions are rooted in school culture.
Business school is the environment in which you start your journey as a leader. Your classmates and faculty are your future colleagues and mentors. If you can thrive in this environment, you will be able to do your best work and get the most out of the experience. That is why how well you fit into a school’s culture can have long-lasting implications for your career and life goals.
At a school where you fit into the culture, you would be more likely to feel included in a community working towards shared goals. This may be even more important if you are an international student without a support network in the country.
In a school where your personality tends to clash with the predominant culture, you will be up for a greater challenge. You will have to hone your independence and learn to adapt and thrive under any circumstances.
Making a conscious choice about school culture will bring you closer to the future you want. But how can you know in advance what a school’s culture is? And how can you predict whether you would fit in? Are you even aware of your own preferences?
Until recently, the ways in which you could learn about school culture were limited. You could connect with school representatives, alumni, or current students to form an impression. While personal connection matters, the information you can get in this way is more limited.
A tool to compare school culture and find the best MBA program for you
A new online tool now allows MBA candidates to explore the cultures of 1,500 accredited business schools worldwide. Unimy describes each school’s culture profile based on 6 criteria:
- Structured vs flexible organization
- Explicit vs intuitive communication
- Personal contribution vs collective accomplishment
- Long-term vs ad hoc orientation
- Formal vs informal relationship
- Liberal vs classical style
This tool lets you compare any schools you are considering based on culture. In addition, you can fill out a 5-minute test to learn about your own cultural preferences. Unimy’s AI algorithm will then generate a list of 3 schools offering the best cultural fit for you. You can think of it as your own personal MBA ranking.
What schools will you thrive in? In what program will you find support for your boldest dreams? Try out the Unimy test and find out.