Hanover, NH, home of Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, is a quiet, idyllic college town nestled in the mountains of the Connecticut River Valley. Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, home of New York University’s Stern School, is in a busy part of a sprawling metropolis, without a mountain in sight.
Clearly, the geography of these two campuses is vastly different. But what does this mean with regard to your business school experience? We would not encourage you to choose your target MBA program based on the beauty of the area’s sunsets or whether or not you are likely to be run over by a car when you try to cross the road, but we do believe that you should take a profound look at how a business school’s location affects its student interactions.
We can pretty confidently assume that more NYU-Stern students will have lived in New York City before matriculating at Stern than Tuck students will have lived in Hanover before beginning their studies at Tuck. As a result, we can anticipate that a greater percentage of incoming “Tuckies” will arrive at the school expecting to establish new friendships and create a place for themselves in their new community. Some (perhaps many) Stern students, on the other hand, will maintain their pre-business school work and social friendships while creating new school friends as well. So, the relative remoteness of Tuck means that the school will most likely be the center of an MBA student’s social life there, whereas the urbanity of Stern means that the school’s MBA students will have more choice in where and how they want to spend their time outside the classroom. Some might say that Tuck’s geography necessitates its having a more close-knit community, but this is not to say that Stern lacks community (we are simply discussing things on a relative basis.)
Whether a closer-knit community or a more dispersed community is right for you, we cannot say, but we encourage you to really give some thought to which you prefer before you apply. If one setting appeals to you more than another, you should listen to your gut and focus your efforts on schools with those characteristics.
By Jeremy Shinewald, Founder/President, mbaMission