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Business School Peers - Does Money abound?

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Business School Peers - Does Money abound? [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2008, 02:53
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To the current MBA students:

Okay here is me: Will start my MBA this fall, have not debt but havent saved up much over the last few years, will take on loans to finance the MBA and try to go back to a student life.

What kind of cash does your average business school peer have to throw around? Are all of you ex-i-bankers with six-figure amounts of cash to play with during your two years of business school? (Meaning: top-notch excursions, parties with veuve cliquot, porsche cayenne to drive around?)

I dont want to miss out on experiences during business school, and I am wondering what I realistically need to be on-par. (of course I know that the Cayenne and the veuve are not necessary to do that)

Thanks for your personal impressions!
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Re: Business School Peers - Does Money abound? [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2008, 06:12
This is what I also want to know

I was wondering if the 'living expenses' part of the costs that each school publish on their websites take into consideration such expenses also.
I plan to take a loan for tuition + living expenses, and I want to know how much more extra money I need to have good opportunities during recruiting.
I have also heard from a student at Tuck, that the money you get (to borrow) for living expenses at Tuck are enough for all the expenses you have during recruiting. But this was just one person's opinion and I would love to know what other current b-school students think on this subject.

Cheers!
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Re: Business School Peers - Does Money abound? [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2008, 07:40
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Here at the GSB, its pretty laid back, though there are people who seem to spend with a little less care than others. No one drives around in a Cayenne with Veuve, and although I have a bottle in my fridge, I'm saving that for when I get my internship. Special occasion and all. :)

I really haven't seen much flaunting of cash - not even from the ex-bankers or people who I know have lots and lots of money. Pretty much everyone lives in a reasonable 1bd, and the few people who you know have a lot more $$ don't seem to make a point of showing it off. The only differentiator I've seen is that some people don't seem to mind going out to a $50 / person dinner followed by a night of drinks at the clubs for another $75 -- they seem to spend with a little less care than some others. I imagine that will come back to bite them...

As to how much you need for recruiting, I'd say it depends on what you need - if you have suits and ties and all that, great. If they suck, consider blowing some cash on some new ones. If you are recruiting for banking, it'll have to be a good suit. If you aren't, you can probably get away with something cheaper. No matter what, have it tailored. I saw a kid at the GSB the other day with a suit that was easily twice as big as necessary. It was nice, but the sleeves, when he put his hands down, covered his knuckles. It looked ridiculous. Anyway enough about that. Keep in mind that there are other costs too -- say for instance you want to do high tech and want to go visit silicon valley. Most schools organize a trip that you can go on, but it'll cost you to go. The GSB for instance has various such trips -- bank week, high tech week "west quest", etc.. I don't know exactly how much each costs (I didnt go on them), but you should probably expect that you will need to spend about $1,000 to go on something like that. Its not mandatory, but depending on what you want to do, it can be important. The GSB also had a trip to London for banking stuff. Going to both the London bank event and the NY bank events probably cost upwards of $2,000.

As for other recruiting expenses, there aren't a whole lot. Flying around to second rounds is almost always covered by the firm. So are hotels, and food while you are there. All dinners are always paid for. You might have to budget a little for some cabs during recruiting season, but its not going to be a whole lot. As for other expenses, the thing that I didn't consider (and should have) was the cost of trips like a ski trip with the ski club, a weekend away with friends, spring break, pre-term trips (which I highly recommend if your school does it)

To give you an idea, here's roughly my breakdown of expenses, excluding rent and utilities for last quarter:

Trip to Galapagos for pre-term: $2000
Ski Trip, New Boots, tickets, etc: $2,500
Trip to the Bahamas with friends: $400

These three trips were totally discretionary, but all of them were worthwhile. I took the trip to the Galapagos with 13 other people and had a blast. They are all very close friends now. The ski trip was a ton of fun as well, and the cost of the trip includes some new custom fitted boots, which admittedly were a bit of a splurge. The trip to the bahamas was a reward over thanksgiving break for having bust my butt recruiting all quarter. Although I didn't go on the bank week trips, or the trip to silicon valley, or the trip to London and such, I'd expect that my expenses weren't all that dissimilar from those who chose to do those instead of the ski trip. Going forward, I don't expect to go on many more trips this quarter. Maybe back to the bahamas for spring break, or maybe to cancun or something, but generally speaking, thats probably it in terms of big trips between now and next fall.

As for other key expenses:

Cash, used for lunch at school for 3 months, dinners, beer, various other expenses: $2,200
Food, mostly eating out, some groceries, some eating in: $1200
School related expenses, including books ($600), club memberships ($400), parking fees ($300 I think), etc: $1500

So roughly speaking, excluding books and trips, I spent about $1000 a month on dinners, beer, lunch everyday at school, breakfast coffee every day, etc. If that sounds high, keep in mind that it includes lunch 5 days a week. Also keep in mind that I'm in Chicago - cost of living here isn't cheap. Depending on where you end up, you might find that things are substantially cheaper.
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Re: Business School Peers - Does Money abound? [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2008, 07:51
rhyme wrote:
Be sure to budget for things like ski trips, spring break, etc...


Okay, how many of those are there?

And concerning recruiting: If I fly out to a company, invited to interview, do I have to carry the cost of travel? Over here, companies that invite you to interview actually have to reimburse, unless they explicitly say they will not.
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Re: Business School Peers - Does Money abound? [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2008, 07:58
branson wrote:
rhyme wrote:
Be sure to budget for things like ski trips, spring break, etc...


Okay, how many of those are there?

And concerning recruiting: If I fly out to a company, invited to interview, do I have to carry the cost of travel? Over here, companies that invite you to interview actually have to reimburse, unless they explicitly say they will not.


Too fast... I was editing the post above... Just go look there again.

As to your other q's: Expect many many trip options (see above), some recruiting related, some not. As for invitations to interview, 99% of firms pay for your trip and hotel.
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Re: Business School Peers - Does Money abound? [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2008, 08:08
Rhyme do you have a 1 or 2 bedroom? My wife and I are trying to decide if we need a second bedroom to act as an office with all the class work I will be doing. Seems like there are a lot more 1 bedrooms available and of course those are cheaper.
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Re: Business School Peers - Does Money abound? [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2008, 13:01
What about people with families?
I will have a wife and 2 kids. If I`m in the USA, she won`t be able to work.
Stuff like those pre-term trips etc. Are families encouraged? If so, costs would escalate :o
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Re: Business School Peers - Does Money abound? [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2008, 13:07
I know at Kellogg significant others are encouraged to join the pre-term trips. Not sure if other schools have the same policy, I know Kellogg is supposed to be one of the more family friendly schools. If your wife does go on the trips just double all those figures, so yes its going to add up that much faster. Especially if she cant get a visa, it seemed common for internationals to both go to grad school at the same time...I have met more than a few students and alums whose wives/husbands were doing in some sort of advanced degree program at the same time.
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Re: Business School Peers - Does Money abound? [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2008, 13:11
riverripper wrote:
I know at Kellogg significant others are encouraged to join the pre-term trips. Not sure if other schools have the same policy, I know Kellogg is supposed to be one of the more family friendly schools. If your wife does go on the trips just double all those figures, so yes its going to add up that much faster. Especially if she cant get a visa, it seemed common for internationals to both go to grad school at the same time...I have met more than a few students and alums whose wives/husbands were doing in some sort of advanced degree program at the same time.


not an option for us because our kids will be both under 3 years old. So will also have to pay 3x to pay for the kids as well :o
Besides, an advanced degree program is not necessary for her career (International School Teacher)
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Re: Business School Peers - Does Money abound? [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2008, 13:33
riverripper wrote:
Rhyme do you have a 1 or 2 bedroom? My wife and I are trying to decide if we need a second bedroom to act as an office with all the class work I will be doing. Seems like there are a lot more 1 bedrooms available and of course those are cheaper.


I have a 3bd, but I own... Some families, particularly those with dogs or kids opted for 2 or even in some cases, 3bds. Some chose a 1bd. Honestly, I think a lot of it just depends on where you want to live and whether or not your spouse works / makes good money / how much you care about having stainless steel appliances instead of a 1970s gas stove, etc...

Personally, I find myself on campus so often that I use the office less now than I did when I wasn't in school. Of course, it is helpful to have it at night or on weekends when I study and don't want to make the trek to campus. If you end up living next door to Kellogg, (check out the park evanston and evanston place), having a 1bd will be less of an issue since you can just walk to campus to study. Also, my friends at Kellogg talk (and often complain) of the frequent group meetings, so there seems to be a tendency for people to end up on campus pretty frequently anyway. Also keep in mind that, even though Kellogg's facilities don't really support the class size, they have finally added locks to their study rooms, so at least you wont get undergrads squatting in there anymore.

If you are looking for a good place to live check out http://www.evanstonplaceapts.com/ -- I lived there for two years while I worked at Kellogg, its a two minute walk and it was fine with my girlfriend at the time.

http://www.evanstonplaceapts.com/unit_f ... n_id=10649

I lived in that unit, and turned part of hte living room wall into a study area. If you go there, consider getting a unit on the 6th (i think) floor - its the floor with the pool, so you can walk in and out of your unit directly onto the sun deck (rather than on to a small deck). Back then it ran me about $1500 a month I think.
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Re: Business School Peers - Does Money abound? [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2008, 13:34
togafoot wrote:
What about people with families?
I will have a wife and 2 kids. If I`m in the USA, she won`t be able to work.
Stuff like those pre-term trips etc. Are families encouraged? If so, costs would escalate :o


I reduced the numbers to represent 1 person. The pre-term trip I did on my own, but if we had gone together it would have been 2x. The total cost for 2 of us for the ski trip was close to $5,000, though that included almost $1400 worth of new equipment. The bahamas trip was also twice as much as I listed.
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Re: Business School Peers - Does Money abound? [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2008, 13:38
rhyme wrote:

I reduced the numbers to represent 1 person. The pre-term trip I did on my own, but if we had gone together it would have been 2x. The total cost for 2 of us for the ski trip was close to $5,000, though that included almost $1400 worth of new equipment. The bahamas trip was also twice as much as I listed.


are kids encouraged to come along?
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Re: Business School Peers - Does Money abound? [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2008, 14:00
togafoot wrote:
rhyme wrote:

I reduced the numbers to represent 1 person. The pre-term trip I did on my own, but if we had gone together it would have been 2x. The total cost for 2 of us for the ski trip was close to $5,000, though that included almost $1400 worth of new equipment. The bahamas trip was also twice as much as I listed.


are kids encouraged to come along?


I'm sure it varies by school... at the GSB, no. At Kellogg, probably yes.
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Re: Business School Peers - Does Money abound? [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2008, 14:01
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great thread guys, I linked it in the B-School Knowledge Vault.

Thanks rhyme for the detailed breakdown! That really does help us plan.

I think i can worry a bit less now, as I spend roughly $500-600 (in the SF Bay Area) for groceries, lunch every day, and eating out here and there. At least I know I can continue the lifestyle (roughly) in b-school (and I don't drink, so that saves a TON of $$!)

As for trips and other bonding activities (international study trips, exchanges, etc...), I asked the Haas student panel that question this past weekend. They pretty much said (part-jokingly), "What's another zero added to the end?" :P

Bottom line is, you're already spending a ton of money for b-school, losing out on a lot of salary. You don't want to miss out on some great experiences that will change your life and create life long friends. A few K's here and there for those big activities will reward you big time later on, so don't skimp on the trips just to save some money. It's probably better to save on drinks and expensive food and things like that instead. :)
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Re: Business School Peers - Does Money abound? [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2008, 14:44
rhyme wrote:
togafoot wrote:
rhyme wrote:

I reduced the numbers to represent 1 person. The pre-term trip I did on my own, but if we had gone together it would have been 2x. The total cost for 2 of us for the ski trip was close to $5,000, though that included almost $1400 worth of new equipment. The bahamas trip was also twice as much as I listed.


are kids encouraged to come along?


I'm sure it varies by school... at the GSB, no. At Kellogg, probably yes.


Just as well i didn`t apply for GSB :wink: No community support for children is a big no no for me.
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Re: Business School Peers - Does Money abound? [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2008, 16:22
togafoot wrote:

Just as well i didn`t apply for GSB :wink: No community support for children is a big no no for me.


There's plenty of community support actually. I've just never heard of someone bringing babies along on a pre-term trip. Its probably been done though.
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Re: Business School Peers - Does Money abound? [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2008, 16:57
Can you provide some feedback and stick it into this topic

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Re: Business School Peers - Does Money abound? [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2008, 16:57
Can you provide some feedback and stick it into this topic

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Re: Business School Peers - Does Money abound? [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 02:29
rhyme wrote:

http://www.evanstonplaceapts.com/unit_f ... n_id=10649

I lived in that unit, and turned part of hte living room wall into a study area. If you go there, consider getting a unit on the 6th (i think) floor - its the floor with the pool, so you can walk in and out of your unit directly onto the sun deck (rather than on to a small deck). Back then it ran me about $1500 a month I think.



wooo....1500 a month? that's not really what I would consider a student budget, or am I completely not in the loop here?
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Re: Business School Peers - Does Money abound? [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 04:50
branson wrote:
rhyme wrote:

http://www.evanstonplaceapts.com/unit_f ... n_id=10649

I lived in that unit, and turned part of hte living room wall into a study area. If you go there, consider getting a unit on the 6th (i think) floor - its the floor with the pool, so you can walk in and out of your unit directly onto the sun deck (rather than on to a small deck). Back then it ran me about $1500 a month I think.



wooo....1500 a month? that's not really what I would consider a student budget, or am I completely not in the loop here?


wah! expensive for a 1 bed apartment!!! I`m going to need 2 or 3 bedrooms
Re: Business School Peers - Does Money abound?   [#permalink] 22 Jan 2008, 04:50
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