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A Blatantly Unscientific Inquiry

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A Blatantly Unscientific Inquiry [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2007, 19:01
In the spirit of the completely unscientific "grandparent test" (which of these two schools would sound more impressive to a hypothetical grandparent) I propose the equally unscientific "grade schooler" test. The truly most impressive schools should be the ones that we first hear of as children/young adults.

I'll go first:

1) HBS
2) Wharton (I thought the name sounded cool)
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2007, 19:25
Well, I can tell you that in my family it's Harvard, then everything else. In fact, Wharton is a literal unknown. Columbia, Stanford & Yale all had much better name recognition that Pennsylvania or Wharton when talking with my older relatives.

To expand on your question a little more, when talking to college educated friends who aren't necessarily interested in business school, the Wharton name definitely carries a lot of weight, while Columbia, Haas, Sloan, Kellogg, and Chicago seem a little under-appreciated. This is definitely from a west-coast perspective. I guess Haas & Columbia suffer a bit from an uneven past, while MIT loses a little credibility for being too much an engineering school I guess.

Chicago & Kellogg? Well I have a funny story about that. When I was looking into law schools, the director of admissions from Chicago Law School made a presentation at UCLA. He had a big display folded 3 times. He opened the left side of the display and showed an outline of the west coast. He said "to a lot of you, this is what the US looks like." Then he unfolded the right side of the map and it showed an outline of the east coast and said "and some of you here are even willing to concede that this is part of the US as well." He then waived his hand over the bland space in the middle and said something like "but I want to assure you that there really are things here in the middle that might be worth looking into." It was a funny story, but I think it really captures how people on the coasts (especially the west coast I guess) view the country. I would say that very few people from California or NY go to law school or business school with hopes of landing a job in Chicago or Detroit (or Milwaukee or St. Louis). Schools like Chicago and Kellogg are obviously top notch, but they are somewhat unknown to the general public on the coasts.
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2007, 19:39
Maybe I am an exception, but I am a west coaster and my #1 school right now is Chicago. Although I do want to move back to the west coast within a couple years after graduation at the most.
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2007, 19:44
bherronp wrote:
Maybe I am an exception, but I am a west coaster and my #1 school right now is Chicago. Although I do want to move back to the west coast within a couple years after graduation at the most.


I think for knowledgeable people looking seriously at an MBA, Chicago and Kellogg definitely get full credit for their positions. I was talking more about the impressions of generally well-educated professionals that were not "in the know" about business schools.
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2007, 20:04
Disclaimer: international (Argentine).

Neither HBS nor Wharton would ring a bell to my family. Harvard will, but HBS would be met with the same puzzled faces as Wharton (well, that is, until I got into HBS and now -I hope- my parents know what HBS means).

The general (non MBA aware) public in my country would recognize as fine international institutions of higher learning (my guess):

Top Cluster: Harvard/Oxford/Cambridge.

Second Cluster:
- Chicago: as we have had a few important economists from Chicago, including at least one former Finance Minister. Most of these public figures are PhDs or Mscs, though.
- Sorbonne (France).
- Yale.
- MIT (mainly among engineers).
- Berklee (only among musicians).
- NYU (only among "Friends" watchers). :lol:

Then: everything else. Unless talking to someone who has lived in the US, in which case the usual suspects (from UCLA to UNC through Columbia and Georgetown) would pop up.

Hope it helps. L.
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Re: A Blatantly Unscientific Inquiry [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2007, 20:30
Hjort wrote:
In the spirit of the completely unscientific "grandparent test" (which of these two schools would sound more impressive to a hypothetical grandparent) I propose the equally unscientific "grade schooler" test. The truly most impressive schools should be the ones that we first hear of as children/young adults.

I'll go first:

1) HBS
2) Wharton (I thought the name sounded cool)


I have lived in 3 different continents (6 years in Libya, 4 years in
Middle East, 10 years in Pakistan and 10 years in USA) and based on my personal interaction with normal people (at least a bachelor degree) at these different countries, Harvard is the BRAND followed closely by Oxford and Cambridge. Yale, Stanford and Berkeley are also very famous. Again, I am talking about masses and not about highly educated circles.
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2007, 20:35
Yep - Haddy's list is the sub-continental menu! My family knew -

1) Harvard/Stanford
2) Oxford/Cambridge
3) MIT/Carnegie Mellon
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2007, 21:06
lepium wrote:
- Berklee (only among musicians).
- NYU (only among "Friends" watchers). :lol:


Berklee - among musicians?? I thought Berklee had nothing to do with an MBA. Aren't we confusing Berkeley (UCB) and Berklee (Massachusetts)??


Btw, in my home country (India), the school with maximum brand recall is IIMA. Harvard comes next. Even if one gets through Harvard, people think he applied there in the first place only because he couldn't get into IIMA. The educated people, who are seriously into an MBA and stuff will rank HBS light years ahead, though!
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2007, 21:23
My Dad knew Harvards and MIT (MIT more for technology).

Overall here in Australia, people recognize the top 5 American Ultra elites as truly the best and give equal weighing to Insead and London Business school as fellow ultra elites.
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2007, 22:13
mba07 wrote:
Berklee - among musicians?? I thought Berklee had nothing to do with an MBA.


I know they are different institutions and that Berklee has nothing to do with Berkeley, I was just listing institutions which would ring a bell among people. Berklee and Sorbonne would be the institutions within my list that (as far as I know) don't grant MBAs.

L.
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2007, 03:30
Really surprised Australians view LBS so highly. Must be in the same way they seem to have a thing about London.
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2007, 05:24
lepium wrote:
Disclaimer: international (Argentine).

Top Cluster: Harvard/Oxford/Cambridge.

Second Cluster:
- Chicago: as we have had a few important economists from Chicago, including at least one former Finance Minister. Most of these public figures are PhDs or Mscs, though.
- Sorbonne (France).
- Yale.
- MIT (mainly among engineers).
- Berklee (only among musicians).
- NYU (only among "Friends" watchers). :lol:

Hope it helps. L.


When I told my dad, who is a physician, I was thinking of attending biz school his first reaction was: "Why don't you take a part-time master in management, after all you already have a decent job?". After everything explained and I was telling him about some schools out there (My initial TOP 20 list), he did not waste time:try Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge and Oxford!

So In Brazil I would say that things are very similar to Argentina:

My dad/grandad Top Cluster: Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge and Oxford

Second Top: MIT, Columbia UCLA, UCBerkeley (UCs are well known there...),

Third Top: other Ivy League schools

The name Wharton itself, apart from the business world and not mentioning the whole university, sometimes raise some eyebrows.

When Kellogg is mentioned some laughs come, for obviou reasons, and I need to tell them: yes it is the "Cereal's school"...

INSEAD: my dad asked me if this is some medicine :lol: (just kidding...)
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2007, 05:58
Disclaimer: My Indian parents' and relatives point of view

Though my parents are liberal arts graduate but only these names will ring a bell:

Harvard/Oxford/Cambridge/MIT

and my other relatives who have never been overseas don't even know Harvard or may be I am from a remote location :-)
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2007, 06:17
If my grandparents were still alive, I'd ask them. Its too bad really, my grandad would have been very proud of me. I never really got to talk to him about his job - all I knew was he was in turnaround management and helped many failing companies come back to life. In any case, he'd probably have said Bocconi and Harvard.
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2007, 06:29
My parents didn't know what Wharton was until I said it was Upenn.

My whole family knows about Upenn, but not Wharton. Even people that don't really know about B schools, don't know what Wharton is.

They do know about Hah-buh-duh (harvard)
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2007, 07:11
From my experience, people who are in business but who don't know much about MBAs love Harvard and Yale. Then it's the Ivy schools (but they usually don't know that Brown and Princeton don't have MBA programs.)

Also, I'm happy to report that among internationals, Berkeley seems surprisingly strong.
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2007, 07:22
That's very true. As both Kwam and Naturalight pointed out, UC schools and particularly Berkeley are very well known internationally, and especially in Asia. Perhaps a west coast bias?
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2007, 07:33
pelihu wrote:
That's very true. As both Kwam and Naturalight pointed out, UC schools and particularly Berkeley are very well known internationally, and especially in Asia. Perhaps a west coast bias?



Probably because the UC schools are the only "top" schools with the most amount of Asians. Especially with affirmitive action out.
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2007, 08:04
Growing up in Massachusetts I knew all the schools in Boston. Half my neighbors went to BC so there were tons of Eagles fans and we watched all the games. I was a huge Doug Flutey fan as a little kid so I still do love BC football even though I didn't go there. So I would say I knew about BC before I even knew about Harvard.

Honestly I would bet American kids usually first know of schools their parents went to, live near, or because of their sports teams. I have friends who went to schools based on childhood love of their football or basketball teams. For schools like Duke, Notre Dame, Ohio State...their sports teams are a huge recruitment tool. Friends and family always seem to have their little kids wearing shirts of college sports teams that their parents have no affiliation to. I have friends who went to small schools but now are season ticket holders for major schools and will most likely pass the love of the school along when they have kids.
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2007, 09:08
My parents who are living in South East Asia highly recall Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, Chicago (because of its city). They even don't know Wharton, Kellogg. However, my grandfather would not have known any name of business schools in the U.S.
  [#permalink] 26 Jun 2007, 09:08
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