I am really struggling with the decision on where to accept, and was wondering if you might be able to shed some light/your experienced opinion. I've been accepted to Cornell (with a 30K scholarship for the full two years), Duke, and NYU.
My interests:pursue consulting at a big four type firm (management/strategy consulting). Though I may want to try banking, but not sure if I will like it/fit in that role (but want to leave the option open).
My thoughts on Cornell: (+) ivy brand, scholarship, good for consulting as well as banking, smaller school (I guess that could be a positive for recruiting season=less competition)?, strong alumni network, close to the city (-) during recruiting season, I've been told that you are basically required to travel to the city almost EVERY weekend (I personally don't think I would be able to handle the stress of an 8 hour weekend commute, interviewing, and coursework), the cold weather, desolate area
My thoughts on Duke: (+) loved the environment, students, and faculty when I visited, very strong for consulting, probably the strongest MBA program out of the three schools, strong alumni network (-) if I decide to pursue the banking route, not sure whether there will be good recruiting for this or not, very large school (bad for recruiting=more competition?)
My thoughts on NYU: (+) in the city-accessible to almost every company, whether banking or consulting (might be a negative too because then more competitive), great program (-) bc NYU is in the city, iam afraid the community aspect will be lacking because ppl will be coming in with already developed prior friendships and afraid the ppl will be living all over the city so they will come for classes and then retire back to their respective apartments (making community developent difficult).
My ideal school (in order of importance): 1) somewhere that has phenomenal recruiting and high percentages of people getting internship/job offers 2) community
What are your thoughts?
You've definitely had gluck!
My thought is that you have 3 outstanding choices and that you are asking good questions.
If you knew you wanted banking, I would say NYU hands down. However, that seem to be much more of a "maybe." For consulting all three schools have strengths and are pretty similar. P&Q has a series of articles about "go-to" schools for particular firms. The data is not there for all school or all companies, but I would check it out for specifics that are available.
I sense that you clearly don't want Cornell because of the location. Have you asked Duke or NYU to match Cornell's scholarship? Please see MBA Admissions: Acceptances with and without $$$
Duke has a great community and places a good percentage of its grads in both consulting and yes banking, but if it's between NYU and Duke for you and you don't find Duke's community to be a plus, then I would go with NYU Stern. It's location blocks from Wall St. is fantastic in terms of networking and recruiting is fantastic for banking and management consulting and it has strong program for both fields. I am not concerned so much about community at NYU, but you should talk to current students. My understanding for both NYU (and CBS) is that while a good percentage of students do commute, those who do come in the AM and stay until later in the evening. They aren't running back to their apartments so the sense of community is there. I will grant you that it probably is not as strong as at Duke, which is known for a tight-knit student body and incredible teamwork.
If you can, try to visit both schools, talk to students and then go with your gut. I don't think you can go truly wrong. You may also be interested in Multiple Acceptances: How to Deal with a Win-Win Situation
Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools
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