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Berkeley-Haas or Chicago-Booth?

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Berkeley-Haas or Chicago-Booth? [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2013, 12:59
I have been admitted to the part time MBA program at both Haas and Booth. Relocation is not an issue as my company has offices in both locations and has allowed me to move.

My focus is - by rank
1) Entrepreneurship
2) Technology Management
3) Marketing

My problem is, I have heard that 'focus' changes for most people once the program starts. You go in with one goal and come out with something totally different. So, I really would prefer going to a place which is a better brand, both in the US and Internationally. Also, being an Entrepreneur is no guarantee so I am also looking for the better insurance ticket for my career for life. I have visited both schools and like both. I am not able to make the decision at all and don't want to spend my life thinking 'what if..'.

Any tips would be helpful from your personal or professional experience, during and post MBA.

Thanks!
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Re: Berkeley-Haas or Chicago-Booth? [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2013, 17:24
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The first two goals are total Haas focuses. The third is neither's specialty, but I'm sure they'll both have great programs. The Haas part-time program seems pretty innovative and interesting, but I know nothing about Booth's. How does the Bay Area compare to Chicago in your mind?
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Re: Berkeley-Haas or Chicago-Booth? [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2013, 18:20
machichi wrote:
The first two goals are total Haas focuses. The third is neither's specialty, but I'm sure they'll both have great programs. The Haas part-time program seems pretty innovative and interesting, but I know nothing about Booth's. How does the Bay Area compare to Chicago in your mind?


Thanks machichi. I want to eventually move to the Bay area but I will be fine in Chicago for 3 years while doing my MBA. I don't want to keep location as the criteria at least for the studying time period.

I have asked 2 people who are doing their MBA about these options and both chose Booth. One of them is actually studying at Berkeley - which is the surprising part to me. I was all set to accept Haas and now am left confused.
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Re: Berkeley-Haas or Chicago-Booth? [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2013, 21:00
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The PT MBA is somewhat different than the Full time in terms of how it is setup, your load, recruiting potential and options.

If you are planning to stay with your current employer after graduation, then location does not matter. If not, then you may want to consider a few aspects - not critical but you would be leaving all your friends/network in Chicago. Plenty move to Bay area from Booth though.

Also, how does the guy attending Haas know what Booth is like? I think it is important to ask him/her why they feel that way and what makes them think so? (There are plenty of report of disgruntled stidents out there pretty much across all top schools. It seems this person has not had their expectations set properly. That would be important for you to do. Nothing is deal, not even HBS or being a partner at Blackstone or Goldman.

The main difference between programs, seems the size of the program.... that's about it. if it makes you feel better, Haas is ranked as #1 PT program by US news :-) but I would not put much weight on that since few know PT rankings.
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Re: Berkeley-Haas or Chicago-Booth? [#permalink] New post 06 Apr 2013, 15:30
bb wrote:
The PT MBA is somewhat different than the Full time in terms of how it is setup, your load, recruiting potential and options.

If you are planning to stay with your current employer after graduation, then location does not matter. If not, then you may want to consider a few aspects - not critical but you would be leaving all your friends/network in Chicago. Plenty move to Bay area from Booth though.

Also, how does the guy attending Haas know what Booth is like? I think it is important to ask him/her why they feel that way and what makes them think so? (There are plenty of report of disgruntled stidents out there pretty much across all top schools. It seems this person has not had their expectations set properly. That would be important for you to do. Nothing is deal, not even HBS or being a partner at Blackstone or Goldman.

The main difference between programs, seems the size of the program.... that's about it. if it makes you feel better, Haas is ranked as #1 PT program by US news :-) but I would not put much weight on that since few know PT rankings.



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Re: Berkeley-Haas or Chicago-Booth? [#permalink] New post 11 Apr 2013, 22:48
Hello there,

I am in a similar situation. What did you decide finally?
I have been hanging around at Booth and starting to like the program a lot, but not willing to give up on Haas.
I spoke to a lot of evening MBA students at both Booth and Haas.
My 2 cents:

1. Found that the life outside classroom seems much better at Booth. The clubs tailor a lot of events for evening students. These conferences/events are held on Saturdays or late evenings.

2. At Booth full-timers attend classes alongside part-timers. Don't know how much of an advantage this is, but it helps to know the full-time program students, their internship experiences and learn more about the companies from them as they are better networked.

3. I generally found people at Booth to be more helpful and responsive. That includes students I took suggestions from and members of career services.

4. Flexibility at Booth is awesome, because I don't have to pay a dime for a course I don't want to enroll in.


Haas:

1. Bay area ecosystem is awesome, not only from entrepreneurship perspective, but also from applications of tech perspective. If you are not focusing on Finance/Management-consulting, Haas seems to be a better bet.
2. Smaller classes with the same members (due to lack of flexibility) ensures that we form a more cohesive group.
3. Haas part-time students are way more experienced than the Booth part-time students. I meet a lot of younger people in Booth than I did at Haas.
4. I love the culture of Haas which emphasizes on social entrepreneurship, making a difference and contributing to the world.


I feel that Booth is a better business school, but Haas is a better overall fit.
What do you think?
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Re: Berkeley-Haas or Chicago-Booth? [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2013, 16:11
SonsOfPitches wrote:
Hello there,

I am in a similar situation. What did you decide finally?
I have been hanging around at Booth and starting to like the program a lot, but not willing to give up on Haas.
I spoke to a lot of evening MBA students at both Booth and Haas.
My 2 cents:

1. Found that the life outside classroom seems much better at Booth. The clubs tailor a lot of events for evening students. These conferences/events are held on Saturdays or late evenings.

2. At Booth full-timers attend classes alongside part-timers. Don't know how much of an advantage this is, but it helps to know the full-time program students, their internship experiences and learn more about the companies from them as they are better networked.

3. I generally found people at Booth to be more helpful and responsive. That includes students I took suggestions from and members of career services.

4. Flexibility at Booth is awesome, because I don't have to pay a dime for a course I don't want to enroll in.


Haas:

1. Bay area ecosystem is awesome, not only from entrepreneurship perspective, but also from applications of tech perspective. If you are not focusing on Finance/Management-consulting, Haas seems to be a better bet.
2. Smaller classes with the same members (due to lack of flexibility) ensures that we form a more cohesive group.
3. Haas part-time students are way more experienced than the Booth part-time students. I meet a lot of younger people in Booth than I did at Haas.
4. I love the culture of Haas which emphasizes on social entrepreneurship, making a difference and contributing to the world.


I feel that Booth is a better business school, but Haas is a better overall fit.
What do you think?


Thanks! You made some great points there. Booth is the better brand for sure. Check out the latest forbes ranking - http://www.forbes.com/sites/mattsymonds ... ankings/2/

I am still unsure and going mad! Chicago weather is freaking me out. California is so amazing in that sense.
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Re: Berkeley-Haas or Chicago-Booth? [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2013, 18:33
I implore you not to make your decision based on weather. Yes, the weather in California is great (I grew up there), and yes, the weather in Chicago is brutal, but that is not reason enough to choose Haas over Booth.
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Re: Berkeley-Haas or Chicago-Booth? [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2013, 18:49
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kingfalcon wrote:
I implore you not to make your decision based on weather. Yes, the weather in California is great (I grew up there), and yes, the weather in Chicago is brutal, but that is not reason enough to choose Haas over Booth.


For me, weather is a tie-breaker ;)
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Re: Berkeley-Haas or Chicago-Booth? [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2013, 20:04
aerien wrote:
kingfalcon wrote:
I implore you not to make your decision based on weather. Yes, the weather in California is great (I grew up there), and yes, the weather in Chicago is brutal, but that is not reason enough to choose Haas over Booth.


For me, weather is a tie-breaker ;)

Fair enough. I suppose I should have said don't make your decision solely based on weather. :lol:
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Re: Berkeley-Haas or Chicago-Booth? [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2013, 04:18
kingfalcon wrote:
I implore you not to make your decision based on weather. Yes, the weather in California is great (I grew up there), and yes, the weather in Chicago is brutal, but that is not reason enough to choose Haas over Booth.



haha people say that and I agree to be honest...but I went to Syracuse Univ. and couldn't wait to graduate while I was there. I love the flexible program at Booth and that is one big reason I still rank higher than Haas. Also 6 free courses :) - really helps one cover interesting & broad topics. Having said that, I am really hoping to talk to someone who had this choice between booth and haas and picked one. Not met anyone yet :( been posting for a while
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Re: Berkeley-Haas or Chicago-Booth? [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2013, 15:11
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As someone who chose between several full time programs and Chicago Booth (and currently goes to Booth) I would say go to Haas.

1. Entrepreneurship opps at Booth are very limited for part timers. Many of the programs are geared towards full time students and while you can apply to them, they are given preference over you on almost EVERYTHING. Also, a lot of the timings don't match a working schedule (IE: Can you get 5 of your fellow part timers to quit school and do a summer accelerator full time? Probably not.)

2. "Technology management" is non-existent. Booth isn't geared towards tech at all. Some firms recruit here and some "technology cases" are found in classes but there is no "technology management" oriented class or program. Even in something like supply chain or project management, the technology aspect isn't really taught. There have been a few strategy labs but they have space for something like 12 people (meaning full timers and you won't get it).

3. There is no camaraderie here. The clubs/events are plenty but w scant participation because everyone comes in at different times. Chances are, you'll graduate knowing your immediate set of friends and thats it. As for the alumni network, they are significantly less helpful than other schools. You might think its a personal preference ("I CAN BUILD A GIANT NETWORK BY BEING PROACTIVE") but that is just the way the school is structured.

4. Chicago isn't California. As someone who is involved with the start up community in Chicago, I can say that its significantly less exciting than silicon valley. There's maybe about 180 people floating around with ideas to shill with very few people to listen to the pitch.
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Re: Berkeley-Haas or Chicago-Booth? [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2013, 16:51
Showing my cards up front: I'm doing doctoral work at Berkeley and will be taking much of my coursework at Haas.

To speak to the reputation question, certainly Booth jumps to #1 every so often in the MBA rankings, but if you aren't HWS, the next 10 schools are a toss-up IMO, so it's best to look at what school will serve your interests best and where firms you may be interested in are recruiting.

In terms of university brand, U of Chicago might be the better school (USNWR says so...), but all international rankings put Berkeley ahead. Internationally, people know about Berkeley before they know about UChicago (whether fairly or unfairly).

Honestly, this insight is probably worth nothing unless you are serious about working in China/SE Asia, in which case Berkeley is a much stronger brand.

I'll also say, while I haven't spoken to any PT or EW Haas students, I consistently hear dissatisfaction with Booth's PT program. Just my 2 c. It would be good if some PT Haas people jumped in. Perhaps that dissatisfaction goes both ways.
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Re: Berkeley-Haas or Chicago-Booth? [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2013, 19:11
chibiutena wrote:
As someone who chose between several full time programs and Chicago Booth (and currently goes to Booth) I would say go to Haas.

1. Entrepreneurship opps at Booth are very limited for part timers. Many of the programs are geared towards full time students and while you can apply to them, they are given preference over you on almost EVERYTHING. Also, a lot of the timings don't match a working schedule (IE: Can you get 5 of your fellow part timers to quit school and do a summer accelerator full time? Probably not.)

2. "Technology management" is non-existent. Booth isn't geared towards tech at all. Some firms recruit here and some "technology cases" are found in classes but there is no "technology management" oriented class or program. Even in something like supply chain or project management, the technology aspect isn't really taught. There have been a few strategy labs but they have space for something like 12 people (meaning full timers and you won't get it).

3. There is no camaraderie here. The clubs/events are plenty but w scant participation because everyone comes in at different times. Chances are, you'll graduate knowing your immediate set of friends and thats it. As for the alumni network, they are significantly less helpful than other schools. You might think its a personal preference ("I CAN BUILD A GIANT NETWORK BY BEING PROACTIVE") but that is just the way the school is structured.

4. Chicago isn't California. As someone who is involved with the start up community in Chicago, I can say that its significantly less exciting than silicon valley. There's maybe about 180 people floating around with ideas to shill with very few people to listen to the pitch.


You echoed everything I have heard so far about Booth. Its hard to understand why it is that way. The school ranks alongside Wharton, Stanford & MIT...I believe Harvard separates itself a bit in almost everything. Sad :(

Can you please point out some of the positives compared to Haas in your opinion?
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Re: Berkeley-Haas or Chicago-Booth? [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2013, 09:51
Positives:
1. Name recognition of Booth is a major plus and from my interviews and internships, is a wow factor compared to Berkeley. While the average layman and/or people from China might recognize Berkeley as a school more, UChicago is recognized as a "business school" brand. Companies, recruiters and other students do read the school rankings (which has been #1 a few times)

2. Flexibility is unmatched. Everyone graduates with more than a few concentrations. You can pick up a finance concentration here without losing the opportunity to learn strategy or marketing. It doesnt matter *that* much but it'll give you some leverage (and info) when applying to a broad spectrum of jobs. The program, itself, lets you design the scheduling that works for you. I actually studied abroad, took on a summer internship and a winter internship and still managed to graduate in 2 years.

3. Chicago (as a city) is less competitive than San Francisco. There are only 2 major schools here and Booth isn't very tech-oriented so if an opportunity pops up in the burgeoning tech industry, it is a relatively easy win.
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Re: Berkeley-Haas or Chicago-Booth? [#permalink] New post 12 May 2013, 20:29
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I Chose Booth over Berkeley. Thanks guys for all the help.
The flexible & vast curriculum, Forbes aggregated rankings (brand is important to me), the campus, 6 free courses and the ability to be MBA in <major> was too much to give up on compared to Berkeley. I spoke to about 10 students from both schools. 80% Booth students seemed very confident about Booth and satisfied with their decision to join the school while just 30% Haas students seemed satisfied about Haas.
I'll see where life takes me and I do want to end up somewhere in California (for the weather) but I have heard from some Chicago residents that once you live in Chicago, its hard to move out. Only time will tell.
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Re: Berkeley-Haas or Chicago-Booth? [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2014, 10:11
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Absolutely enjoying my time at Booth....the flexible curriculum is a blessing! Vast number of professors & courses to pick from that suit my needs. I also joined one of the groups of aspiring entrepreneurs and have already made an entry, as a group, into one of the innovation contests at Booth....it has been a fun experience, understanding how different people approach ideas and the work, passion, strategy and networking needed to make an idea into a success.
I am in touch with some guys who were admitted to Haas and Kellogg when I picked Booth and they are having a good time with their MBA as well so I think I would have been fine at any of these schools (though Haas guy is not very happy about taking a prescribed list of courses - but he is from California and did not want to leave for a colder place :) the 365 days warm weather does that to you I guess).
Anyway, for anyone out there confused about Booth vs Kellogg vs Haas, I personally feel Booth would offer you the best opportunity and time to identify your strengths (with flex curriculum) and then excel in them through school. Berkeley would come second on my list and then Kellogg for PT MBA at least.
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Re: Berkeley-Haas or Chicago-Booth? [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2014, 17:04
I remember reading this thread last year, when I was still in the phase of considering which schools to apply to. I am now deciding between offers. Thanks for updating this thread and letting us know how your decision has worked out for you!
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Re: Berkeley-Haas or Chicago-Booth? [#permalink] New post 08 Mar 2014, 16:57
:) np...thought it might help some ppl. Good luck with your school selection! You wont go wrong with any if you have a couple of options in the top 5 schools.
Re: Berkeley-Haas or Chicago-Booth?   [#permalink] 08 Mar 2014, 16:57
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