Business School

Do you like having all of your options open? Do you love learning a wide range of things?

Business School Summary

Wait - business school isn't a career, right? Correct! Unfortunately, business school is not a career path. But it does open the door to almost any career path afterwards! Getting an MBA is a surefire way to have access to internship opportunities at most major companies, and access a huge variety of roles.

Primary US City locations

Most top-ranked business schools are in major US cities, such as Boston, Chicago, NYC, and the Bay Area. (show map of US highlighting B-schools?)

Unique factors for Business Schools

Unlike medical school, the National and World ranking of a business school is extremely important. Obviously some medical schools are more prestigious than others, but the difference in opportunities between a top 5 medical school compared to the number # 101 medical school is much less significant than a top 7 MBA program compared to the #30 MBA program. It is such a clear distinction that there is a well-known and common term for the MBA programs that are top-tier - ‘M7’ (standing for magnificent or magic 7). The ‘M7’ distinction typically includes Harvard, MIT, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern, University of Chicago, and Stanford (in no particular order). Many top MBA applicants will only apply to M7 schools, regarding anything short of an ‘M7’ program not worth the ~$250,000 opportunity cost (on hover a box that explains the opportunity cost).

Additionally, one should carefully consider applying and/or enrolling in an MBA program with no previous work experience. Most companies hiring MBAs expect 3-5 years of work experience, and if you do not have that then it may be difficult to explain to recruiters or overcome for job offers.

A great resource into MBA programs is Poets and Quants website. This is the gold standard for MBA applicant resources and a great place to learn more:

Summary of the role

Business school differs from medical school in many ways. An MBA program is typically 2 years long and the summer between year 1 and year 2 is spent at an internship  in the field (and usually company) a student typically wants to go into (much like an away rotation). The internship often, but not always, turns into a full-time job offer.

The main focus of an MBA program is the opportunity for an internship and a change of careers, but also involves 2 years of education. While the specifics vary by school, there is usually a large variety of class offerings in everything from leadership, accounting, venture capital, and more. For the majority of top MBA programs, grades are either not reported, not important, or extremely curved (i.e., A-C grades only, with 90% getting A or B) meaning the school work is more relaxed than medical school curriculum.

There are typically a large amount of externship / internship / work for class credit opportunities during the school year. And additionally, some people go to an MBA program to start a business or find a co-founder for a business idea.


While in an MBA program, it is uncommon to make money, and very uncommon to turn a profit (taking the cost of education into account). There are scholarships for a number of students, but there are unclear metrics to win these scholarships. 

MBA programs typically publish the mean and median compensation of their graduates yearly. MBA programs also often publish the percent of their graduating class going into specific industries, which can skew the compensation reports. Mean and median compensation varies by industry, but generally is ~$150,000 in total compensation after graduating from an MBA program.

Work / life balance

During business school, many students view it as a second chance to relive an undergraduate lifestyle. There are often school organized and non-school organized social events, and classes can be selected to be however strenuous the student wants. During the internship and after business school, the work/life balance varies very significantly by industry. Everything from the long hours of an investment banker to the reportedly relaxed lifestyle of a Googler is possible.

Progression and Exit Opportunities

There is no opportunity in the world that allows for more or a wider variety of opportunities than graduating from a top U.S. MBA program. The difficult aspect of this is that interviews for MBA internships begin very soon after the school year starts, meaning that there is little time to actually explore different career options.

Having an MBA allows for a huge amount of career progression after joining the working world also. An MBA is widely considered to be a huge benefit for any hospital administrators as well, especially if the applicant does not have a large amount of experience practicing clinically.

Medical specialty analogy

Doing an internal medicine residency and taking 2 years off to get an MPH.

  • you have a huge amount of options afterwards
  • takes a while and has a large opportunity cost
  • the degree itself is valuable, but the main benefit are the doors that the degree opens
  • usually a lot of fun