After conducting extensive research on the best B-schools and what it takes to land a spot in a highly regarded program, I feel like I know as much now as when I first started.
It is extremely frustrating trying to decide where to go, how much will it cost, what kind of time frame.....the list goes on.
The conclusion I reached: GO WHERE YOU WANT TO GO, WHEN YOU WANT TO GO, BUT YOU'RE GOING TO GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR......SO TRY AND GET INTO A TOP SCHOOL BECAUSE IT DOES MATTER IN CORPORATE AMERICA!
I also believe individuals looking to "check a box" underestimate the value in getting in to a top notch school. The instructors, curriculum, and environment may not differ significantly from a lower level program; however, the value added comes from the quality of students in the class. NETWORKING, NETWORKING, NETWORKING! In class discussions, case studies, and relationships formed are what really matters.
I do not plan to attend B-school until I can get into a top notch program.... (U of A, Harvard, Stanford, Penn, Northwestern, etc......I guess I am hoping for a very high GMAT score!)
However, there are those who disagree with the value of an MBA , and that it may not serve as a differentiator anymore. I don't agree with Penelope Trunk here, but interesting nonetheless. B-school Confidential: MBAs May Be Obsolete
If you have any experience with B-school, please feel free to comment.