By Rajkamal Rao
If you have completed Steps 1 - 5 correctly, you would, by now, have:
- Defined your brand & decided what you want to do in your career.
- Genuinely abandoned the madness that comes with school rankings.
- Chosen your target states by better understanding current trends in the US economy.
- Identified occupations in demand and industries that are trending upward - so that you can go back, refine Step 1 and be better ready to market yourself.
- Selected a good list of schools in the target states and collected selection factor data - from our universe of 15 selection factors. [We would be pleased if you did this all in the cloud using a Google spreadsheet with one tab for each school in your list].
The first task is to prioritize the selection factors and tailor it to your case. Just to digress a bit, we are reminded of that very funny Maruti Suzuki ad when a NASA engineer extolls the virtue of the next space vehicle and asks the interested audience if anyone has any questions. Our Indian raises his hand and responds, "Kitna Deti hai?". [What's the mileage?]
Now, score each school (on a scale of 1-5) as to how well it meets your factors. For example, if school A meets the cost factor best, you would give it a 5, but school B, which has much higher tuition costs would get a 2 or 3. Rate each of the 15 factors on this 1-5 scale, 1 being the least and 5 being the best.
Both the above steps - weighting and scoring - are iterative, by nature. Expect to go back and change your weights and scores - because you surely will. It will take several iterations before you are fully comfortable with your work.
The schools with the best weight-score metric will form your target schools. In the illustration below, School A is the best choice with a score of 337, followed by School C and School B. Click on the image for a clearer view.
In your spreadsheet, it is best to create a summary tab up front which brings in the weight-score totals for each of the tabs. You would simply sort this highest to lowest - and set the cutoff to the number of schools you ultimately want to apply to - to get your finalized list of schools. [We had said in Step 5a that your universe of target schools should be about 3 times larger. In that example, we had said you would use 20 schools in the universe to apply finally to 7 schools. In your spreadsheet, your final list of schools would be those that have the top 7 weight-scores metric].
As always, we are glad you are here. Where do you want to go next?
- Step 1: Prepare Better. Define Your Brand & Decide What You Want a t
- Step 2: School Rankings Matter Less Than You Imagine, So Think Different
- Step 3: Choose Your Target States by Better Understanding the US Economy
- Step 4: Identify Occupations in Demand and Industries that are Trending Upward
- Step 5: Review School Selection Factors, Including Financial Considerations
- Step 6: Finalize the List of Schools
- Step 7: Finalize your Application
Go back to "Rao Advisors - Home".
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