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Booth vs Yale SOM vs McCombs for Oil & Gas

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Booth vs Yale SOM vs McCombs for Oil & Gas [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2013, 06:45
Hi everyone,

I was fortunate enough to be accepted to my 3 top choices. However I have a very hard time choosing where to go in spite of the decision deadlines fast approaching. My post-MBA goal is to work in the Oil & Gas industry in a corporate development role. I would also consider as a back-up Oil & Gas consulting or investment banking.

My background: White male from an under-represented country working in investment banking (front office) since graduation. I am at the bottom of the age range at most MBA programs.

I am obviously not expecting anyone to choose for me but I am wondering if you guys could edit/audit my list of pros and cons for each school I consider attending. Thanks.


Booth

Pros
- Prestigious program (ranking, reputation)
- Impressive peers who will challenge me. Impressed by anyone I talked/emailed/met from current students to administrative staff
- Had a great feeling about all the people I met (though I am aware the school select the nicest/most social people for interviews/events)
- Amazing network of alumni in all the industries
- Very big post-graduation salaries
- Amazing concentrations. Possibility to take quantitative courses
- Career centre is doing a great job even for international students
- Nice building

Cons
- Really expensive. I would have to take out c.125k of loans (at least)
- Chicago is not the type of city I like (too big, too cold)
- Expensive city
- Would have to commute
- Competitive reputation of the school
- MBA factory. Really large class while I tend to thrive in smaller environments


Yale SOM

Pros
- Yale reputation (as a university) is known globally. Possibility to meet brilliant people from other grad schools
- I think Yale is the up-and-coming school which is really underrated now (will soon be above Tuck, Duke, Darden, NYU)
- Small class yet huge diversity of profiles
- One of my best friend was accepted there
- Got small scholarship so significantly cheaper than Booth (more expensive than McCombs though)
- Possibility to take courses in energy related fields

Cons
- New Haven seems like an awful place. Location is great for people interested in New York but for Texas it would actually be awful to travel
- Lower post-graduation salaries
- Not really strong in Oil & Gas (more renewables)
- Too many people interested in not-for-profit reduces the size of the “relevant” network


McCombs

Pros
- Really strong (the best?) for Oil & Gas (dedicated courses, activities)
- People I met were very excited about the program and very nice
- Massive network in Oil & Gas industry
- Austin is the type of cities I love (sunny, limited size, young). I know I would have fun.
- Cheap cost of living
- Close to Houston so easy to network/interview (reduced cost)
- Small class
- UT (sports, people)

Cons
- Heard bad thing about the career centre from current students, especially for internationals. Worrying given Oil & Gas companies usually don’t offer visa sponsorship for internationals. That’s actually my biggest worry about McCombs. I am not sure they support international students that much. The fact they don’t act as co-signers for loans for internationals (vs pretty much every school in the top 25) is quite significant imo
- Not the most reputable school. Even in Texas (where I want to do my career), risk to be overcome by Rice
- Awful building + you are mixed with undergrads
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Re: Booth vs Yale SOM vs McCombs for Oil & Gas [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2013, 07:17
no clue for oil and gas - but one thing I would do is call each school and/or their representative club and try to get the contact info of alumni who went into the industry/companies you are attracted to. I think an alumni's perspective can be more down to earth than a current students. Plus you'll hear from people who are already working where you want to be. I've gotten a lot of good info this way myself. Def reach out to the current student body as well and understand that most will be talking through the filter of the choice they made - I wouldn't tell them you got accepted to all these schools etc. but just say your weighing your options and waiting to hear back.. have a bunch of questions for them.
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Re: Booth vs Yale SOM vs McCombs for Oil & Gas [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2013, 08:04
I don't know enough about O&G to offer an informed opinion, so I agree that you should reach out to current students and alumni and get their feedback. Also, do you have a short list of companies you'd like to work for? If so, is there any way to reach out to them and see which program they prefer?

Also, I just wanted to point out that it doesn't sound like you are really excited about Yale. That might be enough to knock one school off and have only two (great) choices.
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Re: Booth vs Yale SOM vs McCombs for Oil & Gas [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2013, 08:45
I'm actually in a similar situation as yourself (interested in Oil & Gas and I'm 100% sure I want to live in Texas post graduation). I struggled with the idea of even applying to UT or not (I didn't). I went to UT for undergrad and ended up going into O&G IB for a couple years. UT will definitely place you in a O&G job post grad if that is where you want to be, but at the end of the day I believe that if you had a MBA from Booth you could probably acheive the exact same results and have a degree that is more prestigous. UT is a great school and I have no doubt that you'll have more fun living in Austin vs. Chicago, but I'd choose Booth if I was you. I decided to decline Yale for the same reasons you listed under the "cons" section.
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Re: Booth vs Yale SOM vs McCombs for Oil & Gas [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2013, 08:50
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Yale is a great school, but for your post-MBA aspiration, Yale should be out of consideration given your other choices.

Here’s a great guide to energy, written by a GC Legend: riverripper-s-guide-to-energy-76849.html?hilit=energy

One question to consider, do you currently work with energy in your IB job? If you do, you can make a convincing argument for O&G come recruiting time, wherever you go, as long as the company recruits at the school. If you don’t, going to school in Texas would make a difference.

I’m not familiar with O&G, so I’ll offer some general advice.

1) I think it would be hard to get a corporate development role being an international. The visa sponsorship issue is just too difficult for most companies. However, some company may hire you as a global candidate and rotate you through the US. I would recommend contacting the student clubs to understand better.

2) UT is probably the best school for O&G, due to the strong alumni base and its great location. I do not see Rice surpassing UT in the near future. I heard they are building a new building for MBAs only. You may be able to enjoy it in your SY.

3) Chicago would be a great school for post-MBA opportunities in general, not specific for O&G. The top consulting firms hire for the Dallas/Houston offices (strong energy practice) out of Chicago, which is not the case for UT (but I bet UT places very well for the non-MBB firms).
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Re: Booth vs Yale SOM vs McCombs for Oil & Gas [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2013, 09:56
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RR666 wrote:
Booth
- Would have to commute
- Competitive reputation of the school
- MBA factory. Really large class while I tend to thrive in smaller environments


1) I don't understand what you mean by commute. People love living in Chicago and the school is right there!
2) I haven't heard this about Booth in recent years. They may be nerdy quant types there, but the culture has really opened up in the past 5 years.
3) Business schools make a huge effort to make the school feel small and intimate regardless of the size. This was a big factor for me, which is why Kellogg was the biggest school I applied to . You may want to find out how the school offsets this.

RR666 wrote:
Yale SOM
Cons
- New Haven seems like an awful place. Location is great for people interested in New York but for Texas it would actually be awful to travel
- Lower post-graduation salaries
- Not really strong in Oil & Gas (more renewables)
- Too many people interested in not-for-profit reduces the size of the “relevant” network


1) New Haven is great actually. You are probably right that most people don't choose to go to Texas, but it may not be that hard.
2) Not significantly.
3) Probably true.
4) Yale College alums are really supportive of SOM graduates.

Are you able to attend the admitted student events at any of these schools? Have you been put into touch with alumni from your goal sector? You do have a tough choice to make and these schools are all really different. I think you are leaning toward Texas but have been disappointed with things you've heard. You should see if you can assuage those concerns. Otherwise, Booth will definitely be supportive of your goals and the salary boost will offset the cost, no questions asked. Yale is a great place and it would be fun to see you there, but perhaps it's not ideal for you.

Let us know!
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Re: Booth vs Yale SOM vs McCombs for Oil & Gas [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2013, 23:56
Thank you everyone for your feedback. I am going to get in touch with people at the mentioned schools' energy clubs. I had never thought about the work visa issue to be honest but it's an excellent point. I checked a few O&G HR websites and it seems quite a few don't sponsor work visas, even some oil majors. Not reassuring and makes me wonder I would not be better off choosing Booth as it is the "safest" school in terms of recruiting (best career centre, highest ranking, largest alumni network).
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Re: Booth vs Yale SOM vs McCombs for Oil & Gas [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2013, 05:40
Another question is: how sure are you that you want to work in O&G? School will expose you to many different options and you may change your mind entirely. If you think there's a possibility that your goals may change, it makes sense to go to Booth over McCombs.
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Re: Booth vs Yale SOM vs McCombs for Oil & Gas [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2013, 05:54
kingfalcon wrote:
Another question is: how sure are you that you want to work in O&G? School will expose you to many different options and you may change your mind entirely. If you think there's a possibility that your goals may change, it makes sense to go to Booth over McCombs.


100% sure about O&G. Your point is very valid though. I am just not sure the $40k of additional debt for Booth is really worth it?
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Re: Booth vs Yale SOM vs McCombs for Oil & Gas [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2013, 06:04
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You sound like you want to go to McCombs. If that's the case, go there. At the end of the day this is your choice -- don't base your choice solely on rankings, GC input, and career specs. You are the one going to the school; your experience has to be worth it for you, not anyone else.

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Re: Booth vs Yale SOM vs McCombs for Oil & Gas [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2013, 06:48
Damn! This decision is just awful. I really want to go to McCombs but it seems that Booth will position me more favourably for O&G recruitment. For instance Chevron has this Commercial Skills grad program that is only open to U.S. citizens or permanent residents but they actually recruit internationals from Booth (the fact that the CEO is an alum might be the reason).
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Re: Booth vs Yale SOM vs McCombs for Oil & Gas [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2013, 06:56
Honestly, in the long-run, $40K of additional debt is (virtually) nothing. As much as you can, I would try to remove that from your thought process. I agree with the school of thought that scholarship money should be a tie-breaker, not a primary factor in choosing a program.
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Re: Booth vs Yale SOM vs McCombs for Oil & Gas [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2013, 06:58
Congrats for accepting all 3, and also congrats for having half a brain and thinking through the decision logically rather than going purely on rankings. In my opinion, Booth is never the wrong answer to these questions, they have a powerful alumni base. So does Yale SOM, although its smaller.. Good luck and let us know what you decide.
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Re: Booth vs Yale SOM vs McCombs for Oil & Gas [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2013, 07:33
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I think you should pick Booth over UT due to following reasons.

1) UT's energy stats are inflated because not many people from other schools are interested in energy industry. If someone @ Booth wants to do Energy, he might have an easier time due to lack of competition for such jobs. The reason why UT sends so many people to energy is because 35% of its students are residents, and majority of them either are in that industry pre-mba or want to move into the industry post-MBA.
2) Outside of TX, UT is not considered a Top 10 school. Booth is Top5.
3) UT doesn't like international students. I think they admit them to raise their GMAT averages (being blunt). There were quite a bit of international students at UT with 770+ on GMATs, but otherwise very weak profiles. Plus I have few international friends who did their MBAs @ UT and had a hard time finding an Oil & Gas job, and had to settle for jobs in other industries.
4) O&G corp development jobs are hard to get if you don't have relevant energy IB experience. They are even harder for international students. I think you should go to Booth and keep your options open. There are quite a bit of energy companies outside of TX who might more friendly to Booth graduates.
5) 40k is nothing. I know people who passed up full rides @ UT to go to Top10 schools.

Lastly, some of the things you mentioned about Booth are not true. I didn't apply there but talked to few Booths alums. All I heard that students are very nice and willing to help others during the recruiting process. Also, most of the students live closer to the campus, so you won't have to commute much.

Hope this helps your decision. Please let me know what you decide.
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Re: Booth vs Yale SOM vs McCombs for Oil & Gas [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2013, 06:41
Thanks everyone for your advice.

I decided to go to Booth. I believe the career management centre at Booth is much more international student friendly from the information I was able to gather. In addition given my plans to work in corporate finance in the O&G industry appear quite challenging due to my international student status it seems that Booth will position me better for my secondary options (i.e. energy groups of investment banks and consulting firms in Texas).
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Re: Booth vs Yale SOM vs McCombs for Oil & Gas [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2013, 11:25
RR666 wrote:
Thanks everyone for your advice.

I decided to go to Booth. I believe the career management centre at Booth is much more international student friendly from the information I was able to gather. In addition given my plans to work in corporate finance in the O&G industry appear quite challenging due to my international student status it seems that Booth will position me better for my secondary options (i.e. energy groups of investment banks and consulting firms in Texas).

Thank you for coming back and sharing your final decision with everyone. Good luck at Booth!
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Re: Booth vs Yale SOM vs McCombs for Oil & Gas [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2013, 10:37
RR666 wrote:
Thanks everyone for your advice.

I decided to go to Booth. I believe the career management centre at Booth is much more international student friendly from the information I was able to gather. In addition given my plans to work in corporate finance in the O&G industry appear quite challenging due to my international student status it seems that Booth will position me better for my secondary options (i.e. energy groups of investment banks and consulting firms in Texas).


Very smart decision. Good Luck with the recruiting!
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Re: Booth vs Yale SOM vs McCombs for Oil & Gas   [#permalink] 19 Feb 2013, 10:37
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