I am making the choice between Darden and Tuck. The factors are:
- My goal is to work at MBB in the Northeast or West Cost (read: NYC or San Francisco)
- No financial advantage to either school
- I have a consulting background
- I felt a better "fit" at Darden and like Charlottesville better; e.g. I felt more comfortable with the students and area
- I also have a few small personal biases toward Charlottesville
- I have a professional bias toward Tuck's program given my connection to several Tuck mentors
Unfortunately, this is a partially personal decision, so I'm sure reviews will be partially mixed. What I would like to poll the crowd on is are the career benefits of going to Tuck worth the potential personal compromises (to quantify this, I would say I prefer Charlottesville 70% to Hanover 30%)?
Any help would be great!
First off, congrats on the admits! As I am sure you’re aware, these are both great programs, so you really can’t go wrong.
I voted Tuck, almost entirely for regional purposes (because they are really both fantastic—and similar—programs otherwise). I am also looking to go into consulting after business school, and one of the main reasons I turned down Darden despite my love of Charlottesville and the students I met was the fact that the consulting firms were mainly recruiting for their mid-Atlantic and southern offices.
If you had wanted to do anything else, I would vote Darden due to your preferences. Darden actually places quite well for a variety of careers in both NYC (CPG, marketing, banking) and San Fran (tech). In general, Darden is not a particularly “regional” school, but consulting just tends to be a more regional career path. Tuck will position you better to work in the northeast.
That said, I did meet a few Darden-ites who were able to get into the northeast offices of consulting firms—it just requires a lot more networking on your part.
Let us know what you decide!