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Booth vs. Columbia

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Booth vs. Columbia [#permalink]  20 Mar 2011, 13:16
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Hi everyone -

Trying to decide between Booth ($$- 20k/year) and Columbia (no scholarship as of yet). I currently work in middle office for a IM company. Want to work at a HF (preferably)/PE or IM company afterwards as an associate. In terms of the schools themselves, I prefer Booth (including grade non-disclosure, flexible curriculum, the students I've met, etc.), but I definitely want to come back to NYC after graduation (from NYC / live here now), so I'm sensitive to Columbia's network advantage in NYC. I'm also not a huge fan of the city of Chicago (please don't hate me Chicagoans!). What does everyone think? I've also been waitlisted at Wharton -- so hoping for the best on that one, but not expecting anything there. Also, stupid question, but does an ivy league distinction mean anything to anyone? Didn't go to an ivy undergrad, but I've gotten the "why would you turn down an ivy" question from about five people now (generally not people knowledgeable about business schools). Wanted to hear any additional thoughts. Steven VP Joined: 05 Mar 2008 Posts: 1473 Followers: 11 Kudos [?]: 224 [0], given: 31 Re: Booth vs. Columbia [#permalink] 20 Mar 2011, 15:43 NYCfrontrunner wrote: Hi everyone - Trying to decide between Booth ($$ - $20k/year) and Columbia (no scholarship as of yet). I currently work in middle office for a IM company. Want to work at a HF (preferably)/PE or IM company afterwards as an associate. In terms of the schools themselves, I prefer Booth (including grade non-disclosure, flexible curriculum, the students I've met, etc.), but I definitely want to come back to NYC after graduation (from NYC / live here now), so I'm sensitive to Columbia's network advantage in NYC. I'm also not a huge fan of the city of Chicago (please don't hate me Chicagoans!). What does everyone think? I've also been waitlisted at Wharton -- so hoping for the best on that one, but not expecting anything there. Also, stupid question, but does an ivy league distinction mean anything to anyone? Didn't go to an ivy undergrad, but I've gotten the "why would you turn down an ivy" question from about five people now (generally not people knowledgeable about business schools). Wanted to hear any additional thoughts. Steven Easy! Booth. You will find plenty of job opportunities from Booth in NYC. Intern Joined: 20 Mar 2011 Posts: 6 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 1 Re: Booth vs. Columbia [#permalink] 20 Mar 2011, 16:31 Right - completely agree. I was thinking more about the long-term network in NYC. Columbia def. seems to be stronger, but I'm not sure how much this matters (i.e. is the Booth network strong enough?) Anyone had to weigh in on this? Current Student Status: Matriculating to Ross! Joined: 05 Dec 2010 Posts: 210 Schools: Harvard, Ross, McCombs, Mendoza Followers: 2 Kudos [?]: 32 [0], given: 15 Re: Booth vs. Columbia [#permalink] 20 Mar 2011, 16:45 I know two Booth students, both of whom want to go into IB. Both plan on going to New York after graduation and have solid IB offers. That said, do what makes you happy. You only live once. Manager Joined: 26 Jan 2011 Posts: 50 Schools: Booth '13 (M) Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 3 [0], given: 3 Re: Booth vs. Columbia [#permalink] 20 Mar 2011, 18:09 Booth obviously...and if you want to go back to NY you will, it doesn't depend where you study (as long it is a TOP 10 I think) Manager Joined: 11 Mar 2010 Posts: 81 Schools: Columbia 2013 (accepted) WE 1: Marine Infantry Officer (4 yrs) WE 2: Aerospace (2.5 yrs) Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 0 Re: Booth vs. Columbia [#permalink] 20 Mar 2011, 21:04 If there was no money involved, and your goal was to end up in NYC, I would say Columbia. Obviously many Booth grads end up in NYC post-grad, but the fact remains that CBS boasts the highest number of Wall Street alumns. Sure, Booth might have outranked Columbia recently, but I believe outside of HWS the top 10 might as well not be ranked because the differences are so minute. That being said, with$20k a year I would say Booth. But everyone's financial situation is different.
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Re: Booth vs. Columbia [#permalink]  20 Mar 2011, 21:44
Harvard and Wharton aren't in New York either, but I doubt you'd have any reservations about their network in NYC . Although it won't be as large as Columbia's, Booth network should be pretty strong in NYC.

You know the industry much better than I do, but I'd take the scholarship money at Booth.
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Re: Booth vs. Columbia [#permalink]  21 Mar 2011, 07:12
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I'm in the same boat except I have money from CBS and not Booth - also waitlisted at Wharton. I've been doing a lot of thinking about this situation (will attend CBS admit weekend 2, attended Booth's admit weekend 1 and was impressed). I think it boils down to what you want on your resume (for life) and how you will leverage the school's advantages - this is long term. Short term you should think about community, peers (this will be your network for life), and location. Classes will largely be the same at every top school save for HBS case method.

The two primary differences between Booth and CBS for me are classes and community.

Booth has the flexible curriculum, which is great if you have a certain niche you want to explore or you want to do a career switch. The downside to this is that you don't have a cluster/cohort. CBS has rudimentary intro courses for the first year, which can be boring for those in finance already (like me). There are two potential upsides, it can make it easier to take advantage of this strength and utilize more time outside of class to do networking, events, etc. and not have to spend too much time studying. The second is the cohort system, which allows you to get to know ~70 classmates extremely well for one entire year.

For me Booth's downside is the lack of the cohort system. Although the flexible curriculum doesn't allow Booth to have this (the LEAD class as I've heard was useless), it may be something to consider as you will need to use extra effort to join non-professional clubs to branch out and forge relationships with people you otherwise would not have exposure to in the first place. My interviewer even admitted to me after the interview that he did not have quite the social experience he expected at Booth, but this of course will vary person to person.

One thing I'm hesistant about Booth is the reputation of it being "quant" and "academic", that theory trumps practice. This reputation has been with Booth for generations, as I've spoken with bankers in my group who feel this way towards Booth. That said, they have extremely high regards for the program.

Another thing that I dislike about Booth is that there is a large part time program (which no other M7 school has except for Kellogg), which you will share the Harper facility with and in the future your resume will reflect the same school as part timers would have. Now there are differences between PT and FT recruiting, which the benefits will be clear during school, but after school I'm doubtful there is such a strong distinction. Not so sure if this factors strongly in your decision, but it does for me.

Obviously, the one thing I dislike about CBS is that its rankings aren't consistently as strong as Booth's (recently), so if you care a lot about rankings this may be something to consider.

As you can tell, I'm still on the fence, and hopefully will hear good news from Wharton. In the meantime you should think about the long term benefits of attending this MBA program and what it can do for you. We're both in great positions that a lot of people are not in, so congrats on your achievement!
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Re: Booth vs. Columbia [#permalink]  01 Apr 2011, 13:56
Booth is the better school and the network will definitely carry you in NY. Ivy league clearly is fun boast about to those that don't follow business schools. I go to Booth and have to laugh sometimes when people (outside of the business world) don't recognize it. The city of Chicago has quite a bit to offer, but totally understand if you're not it's number 1 fan. I'd vote Booth, but if you're going to focus strongly on the networking aspect, you certainly wouldn't go wrong with Columbia.
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Re: Booth vs. Columbia [#permalink]  01 Apr 2011, 14:15
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Booth vs Columbia is splitting hairs. Neither school holds a distinct advantage. Again, I fall back on jobs reports. Check and you will see that as far as the prestige of companies recruiting at each school there is no discernible difference. Why are people so stuck on rankings? SMU is ranked 12 on BW. I mean if that doesn't prove how misguided rankings can be...

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Re: Booth vs. Columbia [#permalink]  01 Apr 2011, 22:43
jackhrobbins wrote:
Why are people so stuck on rankings? SMU is ranked 12 on BW. I mean if that doesn't prove how misguided rankings can be...
haha! +1
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Re: Booth vs. Columbia [#permalink]  18 Apr 2011, 16:41
I'd take the money and go with Booth. It has superb facilities, a great reputation, and excellent job placements pretty much anywhere in the US, including New York.
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Re: Booth vs. Columbia   [#permalink] 18 Apr 2011, 16:41
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