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Booth vs. Sloan - Can't Decide!

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Which School to Choose?

  • 46% [14]
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Joined: 20 Dec 2013
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Schools: Sloan '16 (M)
GMAT 1: 760 Q50 V44
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Booth vs. Sloan - Can't Decide! [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2014, 21:34
Hello! I have been accepted to Sloan and Booth, and can't decide. I love them both! Both schools have their admitted students weekend on the same weekend :(

I'll talk about my background and give a rundown of both schools, by attributes:

My background: Undergrad in tech-heavy school (Ex: CalTech / Carnegie Mellon / Ga Tech). Asian male.
Pre-MBA Work experience - Finance in NYC.

Post-MBA Goal (Short-Term): MBB consulting. Both schools are good for this, as MBB are the top 3 employers from each school. I would prefer a Boston / NYC office placement, but I wonder if the HBS grads would take all of those slots over the Sloanies? (This is not a deal breaker/maker for me as I'd be on the road 4-5 days a week anyway, just something I'm wondering about). Verdict: Tie

Post-MBA Goal (Long-Term): Entrepreneurship (not necessarily tech). I want to add emphasize the "doesn't have to be tech" caveat, because I'd prefer a bootstrapped lemonade stand that generates actual P&L over the next social networking app that is "cool" but doesn't generate any cash flow. I know Sloan is known for Entrepreneurship, but not sure how much of it these days is riding the social networking wave and hoping to get bought out by Google (especially because MIT is known for tech). UChicago is not known for tech, and Booth is really trying to improve its Entrepreneurial program.Verdict: Tie? Or sloan wins here, albeit slightly?

Additional MBA Interest: I'm also interested in improving my soft skills (negotiations, organizational behavior, etc). Maybe I should have applied to Kellogg, but too late now. On one hand, Booth has grade non-disclosure (Sloan does not), which makes it easier to focus on building relationships with classmates, rather than sitting in my room and worry about studying for exams (although compared to my rigorous undergrad, this should be a cakewalk). On the other hand, Sloan, like many other schools, assigns you a learning team to take all of your core classes with (Booth does not have learning teams, or a mandatory core class curriculum). There is something to be said about being forced to interact with 5-6 people with different backgrounds for a semester. It will force me to get out of my comfort zone, interact in different ways, and is a great way to build close relationships. Verdict: Another Tie?

Fit: A techie at heart who is interested in Entrepreneurship and is from NYC, Sloan wins here. Also, I like to learn by doing things, and Sloan is big on action learning, as opposed to UChicago, which is known for theory. HOWEVER , I want to raise this question about fit. Which is better for an MBA experience and growing as a person - being around people you are familiar with, or actually stepping outside your comfort zone and meeting people from liberal arts, government, etc? Because if it is the latter, Booth wins here. Another point - just as a class of 100% bankers interested in finance isn't good for any school because (1) They will all fight for the same jobs, (2) The future network will be undiverse and very weak, and (3) a shock to that industry can hurt the school (saw this with Columbia / Wharton post '08), a class of mostly engineers or finance majors isn't good either. That being said, about 50% of Sloan comes from a STEM background, whereas with Booth it is about 20%. Verdict: No idea

Reputation: Strictly rankings-wise, Booth is #1 in both BusinessWeek and the Economist, #2 in Forbes, and #4 in US News. MIT places #9, #9, #12, and #5 respectively. From my experience, US News is the one everyone "looks" at. While Booth is only ahead by one slot there, it has shown a ridiculous improvement over the last 5-10 years. Now from the US News rankings, Sloan wins the Recruiter Assessment Score (important - 4.5 vs 4.4), but Booth wins the Peer Assessment score (4.8 vs 4.7). This could be a problem for Sloan in 5-10 years, as today's peers become tomorrow's recruiters and "titans of industry" (?) Or perhaps I’m picking at hairs and 0.1 is not enough of a statistical difference to really matter. Internationally, Sloan wins because of MIT's reputation, but I don't plan on working overseas anytime soon. Verdict: Booth wins here

Intangibles (during MBA): As a huge sports fan, Sloan has the sports analytics conference which I think is super cool! Also, I could (and would) cross register for classes at HBS / HLS. Perhaps this will also help me with my soft skills and give me a bigger network, who knows. What I also like about Sloan is that they were the only school I applied to that didn't ask applicants who their parents are and whether they are some rich oil sheik from the middle east. That says a lot about what they value in their student body (meritocracy). Booth has grade non-disclosure, which could make my high GMAT pop out 'more' during MBB recruiting. Polar vortex aside, Chicago seems like a cool city, but so does Boston. Verdict: Sloan wins here

Intangibles (post MBA): One thing that really worries me about Sloan is how the MIT brand will mesh with my undergrad (also a STEM-heavy school). Will this "pigeonhole" me to CTO-track positions in the future? (Especially because I am also an asian male - bamboo ceiling anyone?). That is probably my biggest worry about Sloan, otherwise I would already have sent in my deposit. Or will this be at worst, neutral, and at best, strengthen my "tech" brand? IMO I won't have this "stigma" with Booth. This is something I'm really thinking about, and IMO, is much more important to me than the intangibles during my MBA experience, or the reputation factor (both are great schools). Verdict: No idea?

Overall: As you can see, this is a tough one for me, especially given my background. So please vote above and reply with your opinions!
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Schools: Sloan '16 (A)
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Re: Booth vs. Sloan - Can't Decide! [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2014, 03:45
So here's what I think about your ratings:

Post-MBA - really is a tie; you'll have very similar opportunities at both places
Long-term - sloan wins with entrepreneurship stuff
Additional MBA interest - sounds like another tie
Fit - how did you feel at interviews? Difficult to tell without visiting so maybe another tie
Reputation - tie; you're really pulling hairs to put booth above sloan
Intangibles - not sure really but it sounds like sloan from reading

Really it sounds like Sloan is where your heart wants to be but for some reason you're convincing yourself out of it. This could just be my bias though since I'm hoping to get a sloan acceptance this week so I'm clearly a fan of that place and didn't even apply to Booth. On that note, I should probably tell you to hurry up and select Booth so that you can free up a slot for someone like me at Sloan :)

Good luck, sounds like Sloan is a winner to me though
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Re: Booth vs. Sloan - Can't Decide! [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2014, 05:56
BeAFruitLoop wrote:
Hello! I have been accepted to Sloan and Booth, and can't decide. I love them both! Both schools have their admitted students weekend on the same weekend :(

I'll talk about my background and give a rundown of both schools, by attributes:

My background: Undergrad in tech-heavy school (Ex: CalTech / Carnegie Mellon / Ga Tech). Asian male.
Pre-MBA Work experience - Finance in NYC.

Post-MBA Goal (Short-Term): MBB consulting. Both schools are good for this, as MBB are the top 3 employers from each school. I would prefer a Boston / NYC office placement, but I wonder if the HBS grads would take all of those slots over the Sloanies? (This is not a deal breaker/maker for me as I'd be on the road 4-5 days a week anyway, just something I'm wondering about). Verdict: Tie

Post-MBA Goal (Long-Term): Entrepreneurship (not necessarily tech). I want to add emphasize the "doesn't have to be tech" caveat, because I'd prefer a bootstrapped lemonade stand that generates actual P&L over the next social networking app that is "cool" but doesn't generate any cash flow. I know Sloan is known for Entrepreneurship, but not sure how much of it these days is riding the social networking wave and hoping to get bought out by Google (especially because MIT is known for tech). UChicago is not known for tech, and Booth is really trying to improve its Entrepreneurial program.Verdict: Tie? Or sloan wins here, albeit slightly?

Additional MBA Interest: I'm also interested in improving my soft skills (negotiations, organizational behavior, etc). Maybe I should have applied to Kellogg, but too late now. On one hand, Booth has grade non-disclosure (Sloan does not), which makes it easier to focus on building relationships with classmates, rather than sitting in my room and worry about studying for exams (although compared to my rigorous undergrad, this should be a cakewalk). On the other hand, Sloan, like many other schools, assigns you a learning team to take all of your core classes with (Booth does not have learning teams, or a mandatory core class curriculum). There is something to be said about being forced to interact with 5-6 people with different backgrounds for a semester. It will force me to get out of my comfort zone, interact in different ways, and is a great way to build close relationships. Verdict: Another Tie?

Fit: A techie at heart who is interested in Entrepreneurship and is from NYC, Sloan wins here. Also, I like to learn by doing things, and Sloan is big on action learning, as opposed to UChicago, which is known for theory. HOWEVER , I want to raise this question about fit. Which is better for an MBA experience and growing as a person - being around people you are familiar with, or actually stepping outside your comfort zone and meeting people from liberal arts, government, etc? Because if it is the latter, Booth wins here. Another point - just as a class of 100% bankers interested in finance isn't good for any school because (1) They will all fight for the same jobs, (2) The future network will be undiverse and very weak, and (3) a shock to that industry can hurt the school (saw this with Columbia / Wharton post '08), a class of mostly engineers or finance majors isn't good either. That being said, about 50% of Sloan comes from a STEM background, whereas with Booth it is about 20%. Verdict: No idea

Reputation: Strictly rankings-wise, Booth is #1 in both BusinessWeek and the Economist, #2 in Forbes, and #4 in US News. MIT places #9, #9, #12, and #5 respectively. From my experience, US News is the one everyone "looks" at. While Booth is only ahead by one slot there, it has shown a ridiculous improvement over the last 5-10 years. Now from the US News rankings, Sloan wins the Recruiter Assessment Score (important - 4.5 vs 4.4), but Booth wins the Peer Assessment score (4.8 vs 4.7). This could be a problem for Sloan in 5-10 years, as today's peers become tomorrow's recruiters and "titans of industry" (?) Or perhaps I’m picking at hairs and 0.1 is not enough of a statistical difference to really matter. Internationally, Sloan wins because of MIT's reputation, but I don't plan on working overseas anytime soon. Verdict: Booth wins here

Intangibles (during MBA): As a huge sports fan, Sloan has the sports analytics conference which I think is super cool! Also, I could (and would) cross register for classes at HBS / HLS. Perhaps this will also help me with my soft skills and give me a bigger network, who knows. What I also like about Sloan is that they were the only school I applied to that didn't ask applicants who their parents are and whether they are some rich oil sheik from the middle east. That says a lot about what they value in their student body (meritocracy). Booth has grade non-disclosure, which could make my high GMAT pop out 'more' during MBB recruiting. Polar vortex aside, Chicago seems like a cool city, but so does Boston. Verdict: Sloan wins here

Intangibles (post MBA): One thing that really worries me about Sloan is how the MIT brand will mesh with my undergrad (also a STEM-heavy school). Will this "pigeonhole" me to CTO-track positions in the future? (Especially because I am also an asian male - bamboo ceiling anyone?). That is probably my biggest worry about Sloan, otherwise I would already have sent in my deposit. Or will this be at worst, neutral, and at best, strengthen my "tech" brand? IMO I won't have this "stigma" with Booth. This is something I'm really thinking about, and IMO, is much more important to me than the intangibles during my MBA experience, or the reputation factor (both are great schools). Verdict: No idea?

Overall: As you can see, this is a tough one for me, especially given my background. So please vote above and reply with your opinions!



Have you been admitted to LGO? I thought R1 deposits were due on 3/3 for the regular (non-LGO) people. LGO adds a whole other layer of consideration.
Current Student
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Joined: 20 Dec 2013
Posts: 5
Schools: Sloan '16 (M)
GMAT 1: 760 Q50 V44
GPA: 3.48
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0

Re: Booth vs. Sloan - Can't Decide! [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2014, 07:04
starryeyes85 wrote:
Have you been admitted to LGO? I thought R1 deposits were due on 3/3 for the regular (non-LGO) people. LGO adds a whole other layer of consideration.


Nope, I have been admitted to "regular" Sloan!
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Re: Booth vs. Sloan - Can't Decide! [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2014, 07:24
BeAFruitLoop wrote:
starryeyes85 wrote:
Have you been admitted to LGO? I thought R1 deposits were due on 3/3 for the regular (non-LGO) people. LGO adds a whole other layer of consideration.


Nope, I have been admitted to "regular" Sloan!


Did you get an extension to submit your deposit? Aren't those pretty rare?
Current Student
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Joined: 20 Dec 2013
Posts: 5
Schools: Sloan '16 (M)
GMAT 1: 760 Q50 V44
GPA: 3.48
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0

Re: Booth vs. Sloan - Can't Decide! [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2014, 07:37
starryeyes85 wrote:
BeAFruitLoop wrote:
starryeyes85 wrote:
Have you been admitted to LGO? I thought R1 deposits were due on 3/3 for the regular (non-LGO) people. LGO adds a whole other layer of consideration.


Nope, I have been admitted to "regular" Sloan!


Did you get an extension to submit your deposit? Aren't those pretty rare?


No extension - For a huge decision such as this, a couple thousand dollars doesn't really matter to me in the long run.
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Re: Booth vs. Sloan - Can't Decide! [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2014, 07:55
Wish I had that kind of money :)

I agree that it sounds like your heart is into Sloan and you are trying to convince yourself to go to UChicago.

I view both as very similar in the ranks. Don't think you can go wrong with either option!
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Joined: 15 Jun 2012
Posts: 114
Location: United States
Concentration: General Management, Strategy
GMAT 1: 760 Q48 V48
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Re: Booth vs. Sloan - Can't Decide! [#permalink] New post 31 Mar 2014, 10:45
A few things based on your post:

If you make it to MBB (which you can easily do from either school), I don't think the slight prestige boost from Booth is goint to matter going forward. An MBB consultant with a great MBA is an MBB consultant with a great MBA. I think this holds especially if you want to start a company afterward; people are going to doubt your business plan way more than they're going to doubt the prestige of your MBA school :)

Don't think twice about differences of one-tenth of a point in the surveys for US News. One tenth of a point could probably be chalked up to two people accidentally hitting 4 instead of 5 as they hastily filled out the form on their lunch break.

MIT is definitely known for STEM, but it's not like Booth and UChicago are exactly known for their fun-loving, soft-skill-having graduates. I'm not saying that it's true, but the stereotype of Booth being a bit of a nerd's paradise definitely exists.

This is a really tough choice, good luck.
Re: Booth vs. Sloan - Can't Decide!   [#permalink] 31 Mar 2014, 10:45
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