I'd probably agree but you can't say "without considering geography". Geography is a huge part of the decision. A school ranked 60 in Washington state is probably "better" for finance than a school ranked 20 on the east coast if you want to work in Seatle. You can learn corp finance in a few weekends at barnes and noble. B school is far more about network than book knowledge.
thanks you all sharing the thoughts! actually i want to stay at west coast (LA) after mba. thats why i wonder which one will be better in LA. I personally think cornell has better brand but austin also has solid program plus strong network at tx.
I think you hit upon an interesting nuance of school selection. That is, if you are looking to work outside of the school's dominant region, you are better off going with the best national brand, rather than the "best" MBA program ( from a rankings perspective). That brand is driven largely by undergrad reputation. For example, let's say you want to work in California post- grad, but for whatever reason you are only looking at schools in Texas and the southeast. Putting aside whatever Cali network those schools might have, you are probably best served by attending Rice or Vanderbilt because people who know little about MBA rankings will assume that those are excellent programs due to their associated undergraduate reputation. Those obviously are excellent schools but not better mba programs than Texas or Emory in their respective markets, at least per "the rankings".
So for that reason, I would go with Cornell in your case, even if it was ranked 15 spots lower than Texas. Just my 2c.
thanks a lot. i think it is very helpful. i guess i still have some time to think about this problem. maybe i will see you in texas this summer!