Where do the most satisfied MBA graduates come from?

Deciding whether or not to obtain a Master’s of Business Administration degree is a tough task – and it’s equally tough to decide where to obtain that degree. Such an education can go a long way in helping an individual to obtain high-salary finance jobs, such as investment banking jobs or even executive positions. However, all degrees are not created equal – students at some schools graduate with a much higher satisfaction level than students at other schools.

Forbes’ recent Best Business Schools survey found that graduates of the top 25 MBA programs in the country earn roughly $160,000 per year five years after their graduation, illustrating the value of such a degree. However, the news outlet recently went one step further by aiming to ascertain which graduates were most satisfied with their degrees. Forbes found that graduates of the Stanford School of Business “led the way.” Students were polled on their level of satisfaction with their education, with the preparation their education gave them for their future career, and on their satisfaction with their current employment – and Stanford ranked in the top five among all three metrics.

Stanford also provides the highest return-on-investment to those who obtain an MBA at the school, according to the Forbes report. In 2013, graduates of that school had a median salary of $221,000 five years after graduation.

“The best preparation for entrepreneurship anyone could hope for is completing an M.B.A. at Stanford,” Adi Bittan, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Class of 2008, explained to Forbes. “In addition to the specific skills, no place does a better job of getting you to believe in yourself so much that you take the plunge into entrepreneurship so that you can change the world.”

The Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley was ranked second in the poll, and its students had the top level of satisfaction recorded in relation to their current jobs. The Tepper Business School at Carnegie Mellon ranked third overall, and the Broad school at Michigan State ranked fourth.

“Haas provided me with opportunities to interact with diverse professionals with various insights and also helped me to form global networks, which function as a strong leverage for my career, Bonghun Lee, a Berkeley graduate, told Forbes.

Forbes’ study illustrates one undeniable maxim: it’s just as important to select the right place to obtain your MBA as it is to decide whether or not to obtain your MBA in the first place.

What should students be doing while obtaining their MBA?
Another recent article offered a number of valuable tips to students interested in obtaining an MBA: a list of projects, assignments and goals they should keep in mind while they are in the midst of studying for their degree. According to the Tribune – who sourced the list with the help of a number of industry experts – here’s what MBA students should keep in mind during their years of post-graduate study:

  1. Update your resume – and eliminate all but the most impressive achievements
  2. Create a number of different resumes in different forms and styles, for different occasions
  3. Consider a fashion makeover
  4. Gain relevant work experience whenever possible
  5. Engage with others on LinkedIn and other professional online networks
  6. Work on improving your prose
  7. Have fun!

The Tribune article has quotes explaining why all seven of the aforementioned tips are so important. For example, Roxanne Hori, a Businessweek writer, explained why “Have fun!” was such an important maxim.

“Business school is a unique opportunity to build an amazing network of friends and colleagues you may have for the rest of your life,” Hori told the news outlet. “Take advantage of all these things. They will enrich your business school experience many times over.”