Happy to help and thanks for the additional information! Ok - let's get into this.
I agree - with your GMAT and work experience, you should definitely try for the top 10. I'm on the same page with you there. Ok, so if your goal is to join a strategy firm in the short term and start your own in the long term, I would think there are two key things you want in your MBA program.
1) Network - By this I mean both the brand as well as the global reach of the network. Effectively, these may be your future clients at some point and so this is critical.
2) Academics - You want a program that has a strong general management focus with a slight lean towards the quantitative. The reason I say this is because of all the "concentrations" available, getting a slightly quant lean is probably the most useful yet general one you can get. And generality should be your goal if your long term goal is to start a strategy firm. If you mentioned starting a niche firm (in say, marketing) then I would say that concentration would trump.
So based on that, you probably want schools where you can customize your curriculum (either fully or through a selection of electives), get involved, and be in a large city where your involvement opportunities expand beyond the boundaries of the MBA program you're attending. I'm not going to get into which of the programs below are stretches versus aligned because that's not important to what you're trying to do. You want to go top 10. That means you need to apply to 4 - 5 programs that fit your needs and can enable your success. You have a shot at all of these programs so the specifics are just a waste of time.
I've listed below 5 that I think would be good fits for you (not in order, just a list). Below that, I've listed the 5 I've discounted and the reasons why.
HBS (ok, here I'll tell you this is a stretch - I mean, even with a 760 and a S&O background, this is a stretch) - A case method that can help with advanced concepts but may be difficult for introduction courses. However, for brand, unmatched!
Booth - a slight stereotype as a Finance program (sure, they're good at Finance, but that's just one thing they do well). However, here, you have only 1 required course. You can customize!
Kellogg - same as Booth in that Kellogg has a stereotype for Marketing. Once again, they're a top gen mgmt school so worth your consideration. Also, lots of electives.
Columbia - strong location and strong gen mgmt program. Big feeder school into consulting.
MIT - great global brand recognition and strong intra-school interaction. Also, their curriculum is balanced between core and customization.
Wharton - amazing program, great brand, but I think you'd benefit from a slightly different focus in your MBA and a different culture as well (one that more closely mimics consulting)
Stanford - For what you're looking to do, HBS and Wharton are better options within the top 3. Great program - not knocking it, but there are better fits.
Tuck - the network strength here is superb but it's also a smaller network. Also, the class sizes are on the smaller side and it's in a remote location. It has a great general management program but there are other options.
Stern - If you're going to be in NYC, Columbia's the option to go for.
Haas - same as Stanford. In my opinion, there are better options within the top 10 for you.
Ok - I just wrote a lot. Time for you to weigh in!
Critical Square | MBA Admissions Services
Web | Blog | Free Resources | Facebook | Twitter
Sign up for a free consultation today!
Was this post helpful to you? Give a Kudos and let me know!