originally posted at http://www.bschoolers.com
1.) Harvard - Pros: The best academic brand in the world, people from East Timor will know where you went to school. Graduates are extremely polished and dynamic leaders. its no coincidence that so many politicians these days are HBS grads.
Cons: Students are about as pompous and pretentious as possible. Polish is a fancy way of saying full of s**t. its no coincidence that so many politicians these days are HBS grads.
Office Space Character: Lumbergh (Peter’s hated boss). He’s a quintessential Harvard grad; in charge and full of platitudes that sound great but on further inspection don’t make any sense. He also drives a nice car and makes a lot of money while being universally loathed. Kind of sums up every HBS grad you’ve ever met, right?
2.) Stanford - Pros: Small class size and focus on do-gooders leads to an incredible array of backgrounds and accomplishments of students, who thrive in tight knit community. Haven for the really interesting superstars out there. Tremendous brand. Beautiful weather.
Cons: It may be interesting to be classmates with a Buddhist monk-fighter pilot, but its also hard to relate to anyone (”So, did that vow of peace make it hard to take out bogeys?”). For super accomplished business students with the world at their fingertips, it sure doesn’t seem like any of them actually like business.
Office Space Character: Peter (main character). He seems like the most level headed, likable and down to earth of any of the characters, but for all his talents, he ends up as a damn construction worker. He’s also a major league flake, showing up to work only when he feels like it. Can you say entitled?
3.) Wharton - Pros: Arguably the best technical business education in the world. Great brand name, and the job placements are second only to H/S.
Cons: Not sure if it’s the ultra rigorous curriculum, the competitive culture, or the fact that they have to live in Philly for two years, but Whartonites are paranoid bordering on psychotic. The odds of having a nervous breakdown in your life triple after going here. Double that if you actually ask anyone at Wharton to calculate those odds.
Office Space Character: Tom Smykowski (Co-worker that invents “jumping to conclusions mat”). I’m assuming that Tom was actually an excellent technical employee, but that his constant fear of losing his job made him batsh*t crazy. Most fitting quote “I’m a People Person!!!!!!” when yelling at the consultants.
4.) Northwestern - Pros: Strong team culture and arguably the best marketing program in the country. Incredibly collaborative for such a large school. Great location next to major financial center (Chicago).
Cons: Very soft curriculum, these guys are poets. I’m pretty sure that Kellogg finance classes are prerecorded cartoons taught by Disney characters. Is it really worth it to pay $10000+ to drink every night? I mean, couldn’t you just do that without the degree?
Office Space Character: Joanna (Peter’s girlfriend). Like Peter, she’s very likable, level headed and likes to get around. Unfortunately she’s also vastly less skilled than many of her fellow characters. Thank God she’s hot.
5.) Chicago - Pros: Finance education is second only to Wharton globally (and even that’s debatable). Probably the best facilities of all the top business schools. Fantastic job placements and close proximity to Chicago. Academic horsepower of profs is untouchable.
Cons: Socially awkward is an understatement. Unlike Whartonites who are just high strung, Chicago GSBers either never learned or quickly forgot how to communicate with peers. Make sure to wear a face mask if they’re talking to you ’cause spits going to fly.
Office Space Character: Milton (Co-worker that loves red swingline stapler). Milton seems like a nice enough guy, and he might be the smartest guy in the office (he pulls off the grand caper in the end). It’s just that he’s about as charismatic as a toilet bowl. Hire ‘em, just make sure to get GSBers an office in the basement.
6.) Columbia - Pros: Great location in the middle of global financial center (New York). Most diverse student body in terms of minorities and women. Very strong finance program. New York allows great social and job placement opportunities, and draws worldly, cosmopolitan students.
Cons: Cliquish and commuterish. Columbia is like a high school with super rich kids. High ***hole factor. This isn’t the kind of school where you’ll be going to house parties, its more like the kind of school where you’re expected to order bottle service for twenty guys on a student budget or else be ostracized.
Office Space Character: Bobs (consultants that lay off workers). They seem smart, they have great jobs, but c’mon, these guys are douchebags.
7.) MIT - Pros: World class entrepreneurship program, and probably the best supply management program in America. Attached to world class research center, and location in Boston is strong. Great job placement, especially in consulting.
Cons: For all their unique academic offerings, the overall school is like 90/10 men/women including undergrads. Takes the term sausage fest to a whole new level. Nerdy culture.
Office Space Character: Michael Bolton (Peter’s co-worker and friend). Michael Bolton desperately wants to be cool, listening to rap music, talking in slang, but lets face it, he’s a dork. He’s also hampered by his dorky namesake, which seems to attract a lot of nerdy people (to his obvious dismay).
8.) Tuck -Pros: Small class size and tight culture leads to maybe the most enthusiastic students in any school. Great respect from recruiters. Alumni network is arguably the most responsive and helpful of any top school. Strong rigorous program.
Cons: Very conformist culture, and really limited social options. These guys seem so enthusiastic about their school that I’m almost certain that all students are given ecstasy at orientation. Listen, if two years in the middle of Nowhere, New Hampshire were to constitute the best two years of my life, I would kill myself.
Office Space Character: Brian (Works with Joannas at Chotchkies, wears 37 pieces of flair). Brian is well meaning and LOVES his job. Never mind that he’s a waiter at a glorified TGIF, he still loves it with all his heart. They say ignorance is bliss, in which case, maybe Tuckies have the secret after all. That or, like Brian, they’re borderline retarded.
9.) Michigan - Pros: Maybe the most hands-on practical curriculum of all the top schools. New facilities coming up in 2009. Largest alumni network of any business school. State school, so the 2nd year is cheaper.
Cons: Location proximity leaves something to be desired (Detroit? Why not put it next to Beirut). The overall atmosphere here is very fratty and college like. Every single UMich student and alumni I’ve spoken to say the highlight of their experience was tailgating and watching football. EVERYONE. Not that football isn’t awesome, but no one else had any other experience that was noteworthy? They probably forgot the rest after beerbonging Jagermeister.
Office Space Character: Lawrence (Peter’s next door neighbor and friend). Lawrence is a good guy. He’s loyal, and salt of the earth. He also has a few rough edges, and would use 1 million dollars to be intimate with two other women. Have a great time with old Lawrence. Just don’t be surprised if all you end up with is a job he hooked you up with at the local quarry.
10.) Haas - Pros: Great location in the bay, and strong ties to Silicon Valley. Great weather. Small class size and tight culture. Berkeley has very strong international brand name.
Cons: Weak ties to financial sector, and east coast in general. The culture here is definitely about as PC as it gets. This seems like the type of school where you’d need to get a permission slip before you held a woman’s hand on campus.
Office Space Character: Stan (Joanna’s manager at Chotchkies). Stan wants Joanna to do more than the bare minimum. After all, people can get an MBA anywhere, but they come to Chotckies/Haas for the atmosphere! Don’t you want to do more than the bare minimum? Then put on your flair, burn some bras and save a whale you selfish jerk.
11.) Duke - Pros: Maybe the best health care management program in the country. Great brand name, especially in the south. Strong team culture.
Cons: Relatively young MBA program, so alumni network is small. As such, the brand cache just isn’t there yet. People that come here seem very cookie cutter to me, not in a bad way, just very comfortable and relatively unambitious.
Office Space Character: Samir (Peter’s co-worker and friend). Samir is a nice guy, very practical and unassuming. You get the feeling that he’s happy as long as he has a job in hand. Won’t make waves, won’t screw up, and won’t take any risks. But he’s a happy guy, and will have a house with 2.2 kids and a dog in a suburb somewhere (probably Durham).
12.) Darden - Pros: Strong Case method program and rigorous curriculum is universally respected. Alumni network is very strong and active with current students.
Cons: Middle of nowhere. Intellectual horsepower not as strong at a lot of the other top schools.
Office Space Character: Anne (Peter’s ex-girlfriend who was cheating on him). Anne just seemed really high maintenance and uptight. You try doing twenty cases a week for a year and see what happens to you. Just don’t be surprised if it’s a bigger bi**h than you imagined.
13.) NYU - Pros: Great location within spitting distance of Wall Street. Strong finance curriculum, and media program.
Cons: Location in downtown Manhattan make this the ultimate commuter school. Weird inferiority complex with Columbia. If you don’t go into finance or media, good luck.
Office Space Character: Other Lumbergh (ex-co-worker of Peter, Joanna’s ex-boyfriend). From all accounts, the other Lumbergh was a likable guy who was good at his job and got a great job offer to move on somewhere else. We just never actually saw him. Kind of like your NYU classmates.
14.) UCLA - Pros: LA! Sun, beach, beautiful glamorous people everywhere! Strong ties to Southern California business and great real estate program.
Cons: LA. UV rays, crowded beaches and shallow, materialistic people everywhere. You get the feeling that UCLA students are there just to spend two years in SoCal rather than to get jobs. As such, this place draws vapid, materialistic people. But damn they’re hot!
Office Space Character: Drew (Peter’s co-worker, describes the famous “O-face”). Drew’s a fun-loving guy that people like. He’s also the kind of guy that would tell anyone who was willing to listen graphic descriptions of all his sexual exploits. I liked Drew when I was 19. When I’m 26..?
15.) Cornell - Pros: Maybe the best Hospitality management program in the country. Ivy league brand name, and strong ties to some top consumer management companies. Small tight knit culture.
Cons: In the middle of nowhere, and it’s definitely a cut below a lot of the top tier programs. I mean, hospitality management? Seriously?
Office Space Character: Peggy (Lumbergh’s secretary). She’s kind of in hospitality: “Initech, can I put you on hold? Thank you! Initech, can I put you on hold? Thank you! Initech, can I put you on hold? Thank you! .”
16.) Yale - Pros: World class brand name. Arguably the best social enterprise program in the country. Relatively strong job placement for the rank.
Cons: Newer program means little real rep with employers or alumni to lean on.
Office Space character: Dr. Swanson (Peter’s psychologist/hypnotist). The Dr. has a very strong reputation, and he makes Peter go from depressed to happy (what a do-gooder!). But when it comes to the rankings, he just falls over dead.