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Anderson (UCLA) vs. Ross (Michigan) vs. Kelley (Indiana, $$)

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If you were in my shoes, where would you go?

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Joined: 24 Oct 2013
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Location: United States (IL)
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Marketing
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Anderson (UCLA) vs. Ross (Michigan) vs. Kelley (Indiana, $$) [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2014, 00:10
I'm hoping to get your perspectives. This is one of the most difficult (but good!) decisions I have to make.

My goals post-MBA are to:
- Work in brand management / marketing in the entertainment & media industry (e.g. Sony, EA, Disney, Hasbro)
- Grow my entertainment & media start-up that involves marketing / product development for a very niche customer segment

What I want out of an MBA program:
- Learn from other entrepreneurs; strong entrepreneurship and marketing development
- Very strong career services and alumni network
- Customizable MBA program
- Case competitions / venture funding for student ideas
- Small class size, high degree of interaction with faculty

Here are my thoughts on the pros and cons of each school:

UCLA
Pros:
- Located in the heart of the entertainment industry, and I feel the UCLA brand would open more doors at my target companies
- Ranked #14/#15 overall, #12 for marketing, and #18 for entrepreneurship
- Would most likely end up working on the West Coast post-MBA
- UCLA grads go into companies that I'd want to work for
Cons:
- No scholarship aid
- Entrepreneurship program pales in comparison to Michigan's
- I still haven't gotten a sense of the culture (any pointers?)
- Moving my junk from Chicago to LA
- UCLA brand maybe not as strong if I decide to come back to Chicago?

Michigan
Pros:
- Tied #14 overall with UCLA
- Best entrepreneurship program in the country (per Entrepreneurship magazine), #7 per US News, and #10 per Forbes
- #8 for marketing
- Facilities are awesome, and they just got $2 million from Ross to make more improvements
- Bright, friendly students and faculty
- Huge alumni network
Cons:
- I already did Michigan for undergrad (I've heard that attending the same school for UG/grad is bad, but I've never been given a good reason why)
- No scholarship aid
- Companies I'd want to work for don't actively recruit on campus

Kelley
Pros:
- Full tuition and fee waiver = $93,100 I'd be turning away by going elsewhere
- #10 for entrepreneurship and #16 for marketing
- Very focused academics and small class size, which means I can get better support from entrepreneurship academy mentor and career services
- #1 for student satisfaction
Cons:
- Bloomington is in the middle of nowhere, and I've experienced the "small college town" with Ann Arbor
- Kelley is by no means a bad school, but mentors have told me it's "Top 20 or bust" when it comes to ROI on an MBA
- Strength of the Kelley brand compared to UCLA and Michigan, especially when considering my career goals?

I also was waitlisted at Haas and Kellogg... I'll cross that bridge if/when I get there, so not including them in the poll. But if you have thoughts on if I should hold out for either one, let me know.

Vote and let me know what you think!
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Re: Anderson (UCLA) vs. Ross (Michigan) vs. Kelley (Indiana, $$) [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2014, 02:34
I think UCLA is the obvious choice here for you career goals. I really wouldn't too much stock into the rankings for individual specialisms by US News or Forbes. They are highly subjective and does not necessarily translate into better job opportunities. Turning down Kelley with a full ride is tough but UCLA is pretty hard to beat in terms of access to the entertainment and media industry.
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Re: Anderson (UCLA) vs. Ross (Michigan) vs. Kelley (Indiana, $$) [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2014, 05:32
Easily UCLA if you're interested in media and entertainment.
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Re: Anderson (UCLA) vs. Ross (Michigan) vs. Kelley (Indiana, $$) [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2014, 06:33
As a fellow Wolverine undergrad, Go Blue! Having said that, I think it really depends on what you want to focus on after school. If your primary focus is to work at one of the companies that you mentioned, then UCLA is probably the right call. If you want to focus almost completely on your startup and even work on it while you're in school, then Ross might be the way to go because of their strength in entrepeneurship. However, if the client base for your business is mostly in California, then UCLA might be the way to go.

I think the only way you should take Kelley is if money is an issue for you (which is not a small if, I fully understand that). I could be wrong, but I'm guessing Kelley doesn't place well in California in the entertainment industry, even in marketing.
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Re: Anderson (UCLA) vs. Ross (Michigan) vs. Kelley (Indiana, $$) [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2014, 16:54
Hi,

I guess UCLA would be best as per your career goals. But Ross as a brand as strong as any two in total.

Hope this helps

Best luck

:-D
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Re: Anderson (UCLA) vs. Ross (Michigan) vs. Kelley (Indiana, $$) [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2014, 05:06
My two cents... :-D :-D :-D

I'd evaluate my career progression based on all factors... Moving from consulting to media might require a lot from your MBA... I think that Ross may give your profile more strength when you look for a job in any field (compared with the two other schools - as your past profile will stay the same regardless of where you go for an MBA)... plus through the alumni you may get a lead when looking for a job in the media industry (you may want to contact the career center or contact some B-school alumni in the relevant field through linkedin etc. to check if this is possible before you decide on where you want to go)... I wouldn't go too much by employment stats, you need one job in entertainment and media (and not placement of 5 or 10% of the class in entertainment and media)...

As for the money... Its great that you have a free ride option @Kelley... but do look at employment and earning prospects throughout your career... How substantial is the $100000 compared with any differences in earning capabilities (due to a stronger MBA brand) over a period of say, even 10 years.... But then, 1 hundred grand now is pretty amazing (and very hard to say no to).... And Kelley is quite good too...

Do think on these lines before making any decisions...

Hope you get some more clarity before you make your final decision... :gl
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Re: Anderson (UCLA) vs. Ross (Michigan) vs. Kelley (Indiana, $$)   [#permalink] 18 Jan 2014, 05:06
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