I'm in the process of choosing which schools to apply to, and while there are a LOT of important factors in making the decision besides school reputation, I'm trying to consider the impact of reputation on my personal brand.
FYI: I'm an engineer looking make a career switch into Management Consulting.
Quantitative vs. "Soft"
I could look at highly quantitative MBA programs (eg Booth), which fit with my technical background (engineering degree + quantitative MBA = really good at math), but I'm worried that I would run the risk of looking like a glorified (but still antisocial) engineer. Alternatively, I could target softer, more team oriented programs (eg Kellogg) to try to temper my quantitative background.
Consulting Strength vs. Other Strength
I could target a program known for turning out consultants (eg Kellogg) but be one of a million people at McKinsey's recruiting session, or I could go to a finance focused school (eg Booth) and have a lot less competition. Given I don't have a background in consulting, both options seem to have their risks (not being memorable vs. not being able to convince people I can work in a consulting environment effectively).
Anyone care to weigh in?
I think with consulting in particular, there's not much of a branding. You go to the best school you can because just about every top-20 school except say Haas, pretty much has consulting as #1 or #2. So although Kellogg would be soft, and chicago would be hard, both recruit with about equal numbers to MBB. Those two I would say are the two extremes. Also engineering --> consulting is very typical so I wouldn't worry too much. Also booth is heavy on consulting, so I wouldn't say less competition. Look at Booths consulting numbers.