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03 Jan 2013, 20:32
First, I've been a long time lurker on this site, and I wanted to thank everyone who has been contributing to the site for their insights and experiences. Second, I wanted to reach out to the community to get different perspectives on my situation. I recognize that this is a good situation to be in -- a first world problem, really -- but any insights would be helpful.

I am choosing between Booth ($20k/yr scholarship) and Darden (full tuition scholarship). While my post MBA goals are to enter into consulting (management consulting), I am also keeping an open mind towards other opportunities. My academic and work background is in engineering, though I have worked in various parts of an engineering company (R&D, business development, integration testing). As much as I can shape my coursework (depending on where I go), I plan on studying strategy and also finance, though again, I recognize that my major/class preferences can change as I learn more and get exposed to other functions/topics/ideas. I visited Darden when I interviewed and I was extremely impressed with the school and the students. They really put forth the effort towards prospective students, and I really got a sense for the tight knit student community. I have yet to visit Booth, but I plan on attending the admit weekend. Along with the general question of which school you would choose in this situation, I was also wondering: 1) Most would argue that Chicago offers a lot more than Charlottesville can in the social life/atmosphere and entertainment options categories. However, given how busy MBA students are, how much is one able to take advantage of the lifestyle perks of the school's location? Or is the answer to this as obvious as, 'dude, every weekend '? 2) At Booth, even though there is a lot of flexibility in the curriculum, do the majority of the first years still take the same fundamental classes? Basically, even though there isn't a cohort/learning team is it mostly the same students in the foundation courses? Thanks! VP Status: Current Student Joined: 24 Aug 2010 Posts: 1345 Location: United States GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V40 WE: Sales (Consumer Products) Followers: 107 Kudos [?]: 419 [0], given: 73 Re: Booth ($) vs. Darden ($$) [#permalink] ### Show Tags 03 Jan 2013, 21:21 shazbot wrote: Along with the general question of which school you would choose in this situation, I was also wondering: 1) Most would argue that Chicago offers a lot more than Charlottesville can in the social life/atmosphere and entertainment options categories. However, given how busy MBA students are, how much is one able to take advantage of the lifestyle perks of the school's location? Or is the answer to this as obvious as, 'dude, every weekend '? 2) At Booth, even though there is a lot of flexibility in the curriculum, do the majority of the first years still take the same fundamental classes? Basically, even though there isn't a cohort/learning team is it mostly the same students in the foundation courses? Thanks! 1) Yes, you do get to take full advantage of the lifestyle perks of the school's location. You simply do so with your classmates. I have experienced a whole lot of Chicago's night life because of parties, TNDC, and other social events. The city is our playground. 2) Yes and no. At Booth you have to cover the foundations: micro, accounting, and stats. There are various classes that fill these requirements. Also you can take these classes when you want. In my first quarter I took micro and stats. Most of the people in my classes were also first year students. However, since there are so many sections of the basic level classes I didn't necessarily have the same people in my micro and stats classes. There were a few people I had multiple classes with. I liked having different study group members for each class. It gave me a chance to get to know more people. I hope this helps somewhat and to see you at admit weekend. That's the best way to get a fuller picture of what Booth is like. _________________ The Brain Dump - From Low GPA to Top MBA (Updated September 1, 2013) - A Few of My Favorite Things--> http://cheetarah1980.blogspot.com Manager Joined: 18 Jun 2012 Posts: 81 Concentration: Entrepreneurship, General Management Schools: Babson '14 (M) GMAT 1: 680 Q49 V34 GMAT 2: 730 Q48 V42 GPA: 3 WE: Marketing (Computer Software) Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 40 [0], given: 11 Re: Booth () vs. Darden ($$$) [#permalink] ### Show Tags 04 Jan 2013, 07:06 First step is obviously to go to Booth's admit weekend and see how you feel. That weekend could be a real game changer. If you feel that you fit well at both schools, I'd recommend heading to Booth. If you were positive that you wanted to go into consulting post-MBA, I would have voted for Darden. However, since you seem unsure about your post-MBA plans (completely normal), I voted for Booth. The stronger brand name should open more doors / expose you to a wider variety of opportunities. Best of luck. You really can't go wrong. OA Manager Status: Disbelief! The Countdown Begins Affiliations: CFA Joined: 29 Jul 2011 Posts: 221 Concentration: Finance, Economics Schools: Johnson '15 (M) GMAT 1: 600 Q45 V28 GMAT 2: 670 Q44 V39 GMAT 3: 750 Q49 V42 GPA: 3.5 WE: Accounting (Insurance) Followers: 9 Kudos [?]: 81 [0], given: 7 Re: Booth ($) vs. Darden ($$) [#permalink] ### Show Tags 04 Jan 2013, 08:04 Its really just one big NPV problem. It will take you a good amount of money over a good amount of time to make up the 60k difference you are facing. If you make an extra 10k a year, roughly it will take you 10 years to make the money back discounted at 10%. But if money is no object to you and you get some sort of satisfaction and gratification from attending a more prestigous brand name, that weighs in too. And of course, the brand name is a brand name for a reason, and is one of the great schools in the country. Your experience there may be worth more than money. Im looping around here cause I really dont think you can make a bad choice. Both are tremendous schools. Best of luck, keep us updated on your decision and how admit weekend at Booth goes. Current Student Status: Too close for missiles, switching to guns. Joined: 23 Oct 2012 Posts: 788 Location: United States Schools: Johnson (Cornell) - Class of 2015 WE: Military Officer (Military & Defense) Followers: 16 Kudos [?]: 316 [0], given: 175 Re: Booth () vs. Darden ($$$) [#permalink] ### Show Tags 04 Jan 2013, 08:42 If this was a 20K scholarship at Booth vs. a full-ride at a school ranked outside of the top-15, I would hands-down vote Booth. A full-ride from a school of Darden's caliber, however, is hard to ignore, especially since it sounds like you enjoyed your visit there. If you absolutely love Booth when you visit, then you should go there. If you're torn because you love Darden but you want to go to Booth for the brand recognition, I'd go with Darden. You only get to do an MBA once and I'm putting a lot of stock into the experience vice the end result because the hardest part is over: you got admitted to two top schools, both will set you up for success. The question is how you want to spend the next two years of your life. Good luck, and congrats! _________________ Manager Joined: 13 Feb 2012 Posts: 71 Location: United States Concentration: Finance, Healthcare GMAT 1: 700 Q44 V41 GPA: 3.5 WE: Accounting (Accounting) Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 9 [0], given: 1 Re: Booth ($) vs. Darden ($$) [#permalink] ### Show Tags 04 Jan 2013, 08:50 Agreed that you should visit Booth first before you make your decision. You're in a great situation where you really can't go wrong, but I would tend to agree with the post above. If your goal is MC, Darden is a highly respected institution that places well into MC, although Booth has a slightly stronger brand name. But if you can get the same job (MBB/Booz/Deloitte) regardless of the school you choose, then it would be tough to turn down a full ride. Director Joined: 26 May 2010 Posts: 719 Location: United States (MA) Concentration: Strategy Schools: MIT Sloan - Class of 2015 WE: Consulting (Mutual Funds and Brokerage) Followers: 18 Kudos [?]: 204 [0], given: 642 Re: Booth () vs. Darden ($$$) [#permalink] ### Show Tags 04 Jan 2013, 09:17 Dbalks wrote: Its really just one big NPV problem. It will take you a good amount of money over a good amount of time to make up the 60k difference you are facing. If you make an extra 10k a year, roughly it will take you 10 years to make the money back discounted at 10%. But if money is no object to you and you get some sort of satisfaction and gratification from attending a more prestigous brand name, that weighs in too. And of course, the brand name is a brand name for a reason, and is one of the great schools in the country. Your experience there may be worth more than money. Im looping around here cause I really dont think you can make a bad choice. Both are tremendous schools. Best of luck, keep us updated on your decision and how admit weekend at Booth goes. Agreed, but the problem here (and for all of us) is the uncertainty. Based on the employment reports, it *seems* he may have less access to MBB, but who knows if that is true in his case? Personally, if I was deciding between two schools and knew I'd get the same job coming out, I'd be heavily leaning towards the cheaper one (assuming all else is equal). That said, unfortunately nobody can know that . I think everyone is giving very sound advice, honestly. Go to the Booth admit weekend and see if it's worth the extra$70K when you factor in fit, prestige, location, and employment opportunities.
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04 Jan 2013, 09:32
Consulting is EXTREMELY strong at Booth. The class is larger so there are obviously more people competing for those consulting gigs. However, MBB/Deloitte/Booz/etc. hire a crap ton of Boothies for internships and full-time positions. If consulting is your plan A then Booth is definitely a school that can get you there. Heck, if you're resume is really good some consulting companies will even reach out to you.
If you get to school and the suits w/ no tie crew isn't for you there are still a ton of other recruiting options ranging from i-banking, asset management, marketing, general management, operations, social impact with companies like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, PIMCO, P&G, Dow Chemical, Apple, Education Pioneers, Nike, Google, and more. Or you can use the great resources at the Polsky center to start your own business (or glom onto someone else's team). Options are endless and I can personally attest to how supportive and helpful the career services team is when you choose to include them in your job search.
I can't speak to what's available at Darden because I never researched the school nor applied. It wouldn't be right for me to make that comparison. I can only tell you where Booth stands in terms of your interest in consulting and/or exploring your options.
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04 Jan 2013, 10:22
Great point. I guess it comes down to a question of access. In other words, does a higher-ranked school offer a better chance to get that first interview? I don't know, but I would think so. I'd love to hear others' thoughts on this.

Edit: I've actually done a fair amount of research on this since I'm also targeting consulting and have applied to a Booth as well as a Duke, which many would agree is a peer to Darden. Anyways, I found this interesting tidbit on WSO:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
"I'm at one of MBB, and for our MBA recruiting we don't really differentiate between the M7 and Tuck. Those are our 8 core schools in the US. All of them receive the same level of recruiting effort, meaning that we'll hold multiple presentations, multiple coffee chats/office hours/diversity events, and a full on campus interview schedule. Harvard and Wharton probably get a bit more attention, but that's just a function of the number of alums in our system not any conscious choice on the part of HR. I'd say 80% of our hires come from these 8 schools.

After Tuck we also interview on campus at about another 10 schools. These are our regional schools, and list changes from year to year based on the hiring needs of the offices near these schools. Generally we'll run a presentation, one office hours, and a limited on campus interview schedule at each of these schools. In the last couple of years we've hired at least a handful of people from each of Haas, Darden, Stern, Yale, Ross, McCombs, Tepper, Johnson, Kenan-Flagler, Fuqua, and Anderson. This is the other 20% of our hires

We'll also do resume drops at a few other places like Georgetown, Vanderbuilt, WUSTL, Indiana and a few others, but its rare that we'll hire more than a couple people from all those put together."

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/w ... the-top-10

Take this with a grain of salt, of course, but it's interesting nonetheless.

Last edited by kingfalcon on 05 Jan 2013, 08:13, edited 1 time in total.
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04 Jan 2013, 22:06
Excellent post C2F.

To OP, outside of H S, it's truly all about fit!! Good luck.
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22 Jan 2013, 09:48
As a 2nd year student, I would echo the earlier post from C2F.

In terms of the case method, it is definitely the most engaging classroom experience I have ever had - and challenges you to be a better communicator and also highly analytical about the case material. My favorite course in the first year core curriculum was Accounting, which I never would have predicted. But it was very interesting, strategic, and even philosophical at times - again, things I never thought I would say about accounting but it was all about the format and style of the course. So, I have gotten a great deal out of the case method and think overall it has lived up to the hype.

On the recruiting front, management consulting is a very popular track at Darden and I have been very impressed with the caliber and depth of firms recruiting on campus. Certainly, the Big 3 are represented and recruit heavily, as do others such as Deloitte, Booz, AT Kearney, and smaller boutique shops. I consider consulting one of Darden's strong suits, although I didn't personally pursue this path.

And in terms of location, I understand the draw of a great city like Chicago - and I can't speak to that experience personally since I have only visited - but being in Charlottesville, for me, has been great. I consciously chose to attend school in a small city because it supports Darden's strong community; everyone is here for the student experience and you go through the experience together. You won't have the variety of bars and restaurants and cultural venues like you would in a big city, but I've really enjoyed being in a college town with nice places to go out, and lots of outlets in the outdoors - like wine tasting, golf, any sport you'd want to play, hikes, all within a couple of miles of the school. Admittedly, I lived in NYC for 6 years prior so maybe I was looking for a bit of fresh air but I haven't looked back.

Hope this helps.
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