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Darden vs Yale SOM

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Darden vs Yale SOM [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2011, 05:55
I'm all about Yale SOM, but I find Darden very attractive as well, given its strength in general management. Both schools seem similar in ranking and "stature".

I've browsed through a few threads on both schools, and haven't come across anything recent (within the last year) that provides a nice comparison. Any alums/current students here from either school who could give some perspective on why you had chosen one over the other? How do placements compare for both?

I'm keen on going into MC post-MBA, and I see that Darden has a dedicated page on McKinsey, whereas Yale doesn't, which is surprising.
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Re: Darden vs Yale SOM [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2011, 06:58
I hope this thread can maintain a positive and constructive atmosphere and no one is immature enough to turn this into a pissing contest with unnecessary attacks... I go to Yale SOM btw.

With respect to Yale vs Darden, I think both are great schools that deserve a personal visit. Ultimately, both schools are going to be similar since they represent more intimate environments, located a bit away from major cities. I think given your interests, you are probably going to get a better classroom education at Darden since everything is taught on the foundation of case-method analyses. At Yale, the classes are probably a good mix with some lectures and some case methods...

In terms of recruiting, Darden might be a better fit for you since that school probably places more people into consulting than Yale SOM. Nonetheless, we were pretty strong in consulting last year too. Out of 235 students first-year students, we had 7 offers for Bain, 6 for BCG and 3 McKinsey. All three are back on campus for full-time recruiting too. We also had a bunch go to other firms ranging from A.T. Kearney to PwC. Yale SOM's comparative strength is probably finance. Out of those 235 first-years, we had 40 students go for investment banking internships and 30 of them went to bulge-bracket banks. On a percentage of student basis, our finance placement was good as any other school. Yale SOM's strength is its small class size, which provided (based on unofficial sources) the most recent class with a 100% internship placement rate!

One of the things I was surprised about was also our placement into great private equity and hedge funds. Some seconds years went directly to the buyside through a strong commitment from Yale College alums. I think ultimately that is going to be perhaps our greatest strength. Dean Snyder wants Yale SOM to be the business school that is the most plugged in to the bedrock of its home university. There are some many powerhouse Yale brands ranging from the Law School to the Forestry School that can provide students here with many more perspectives and alumni networks. Although we currently can take a lot of cross-listed courses, the next year or two will see a lot more collaboration develop. If you are applying this year, you will also be among the first class to use the new campus. The new building is being built right now and it is literally breathtaking. If you do attend, I will be very very jealous of the building-factor alone...
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Re: Darden vs Yale SOM [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2011, 07:13
Thanks for the response. I hope this discussion wouldn't be reduced to a pissing contest too!

It seems you're suggesting Yale SOM could be a better option if one intends to pursue a post-MBA career in finance (and social enterprise, of course), and Darden, if one wants a career in MC.

Question: I do not have a background in finance, so how easy/hard is it for those Yale SOM students (current and past) to get an offer from a firm in that industry (hedge fund, PE etc) who do not have prior experience? I read a book (Ahead of the Curve) on how difficult it was for HBS students who did not have finance background to get a break in finance (this was before the crash of '08), and I'm wondering if this rings true for most MBA grads at schools like Yale or Darden as well.

Last edited by SOMguy on 10 Oct 2011, 11:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Darden vs Yale SOM [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2011, 07:57
If your focus is social enterprise, Yale would be perfect for you. The idea of social sector leadership is deeply ingrained in the fabric of the school here. Even the finance kids here all have a non-profit slants somewhere in their backgrounds. If you are interested in social enterprise, Yale SOM's very strong non-profit and educational consulting recruiting would be great for you. Bridgespan, Parthenon, Cambridge Associates, etc. all recruit on campus and we have strong connectios. Even if you want to pursue finance, you have great opportunities to recruit from many of the public finance opportunities offered here...

Regarding your question about switching into finance - I think it would really depend on your background. What did you do before business school? There are a lot of non-finance folks here who go into finance. Investment banks here, for example, love to hire engineers... Or for instance if you have a pharmaceutical background, you can recruit fairly easily into healthcare finance roles whether that be research, healthcare banking or healthcare-related investments...
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Re: Darden vs Yale SOM [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2011, 08:24
My question, essentially, is, how much of a fit SOM would be as compared to Darden, given both are very strong in each of the 2 areas I'd want to be involved in?

Last edited by SOMguy on 10 Oct 2011, 11:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Darden vs Yale SOM [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2011, 09:36
I think you would fit well into both schools and both programs offer you very direct benefits. I cannot speak for Darden so hopefully someone there can describe consulting recruiting... At Yale SOM, the advantage may be that you will have the opportunity to engage with our enormous alumni base in the social sector. Even nowadays, literally 25% of the class pursue social sector opportunities...

Have you visited Yale SOM yet? What were your thoughts on the class / community / culture?
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Re: Darden vs Yale SOM [#permalink] New post 10 Oct 2011, 07:53
MoS wrote:
I think you would fit well into both schools and both programs offer you very direct benefits. I cannot speak for Darden so hopefully someone there can describe consulting recruiting... At Yale SOM, the advantage may be that you will have the opportunity to engage with our enormous alumni base in the social sector. Even nowadays, literally 25% of the class pursue social sector opportunities...

Have you visited Yale SOM yet? What were your thoughts on the class / community / culture?


I'm really looking to tap into that base and pick some brains! I've not been able to visit SOM (nor the other schools), given my frequent traveling outside the country, which really sucks.
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Re: Darden vs Yale SOM [#permalink] New post 10 Oct 2011, 10:46
Personally, Yale brand is hard to beat. IMO only Harvard is ahead of Yale in terms of brand value and prestige (not in business, but in general).

I'm interested in finance, so Yale can easily be my pick. But if you want MBB consulting, then that would be real tough.

But that's just for me. Since I only want to do F500 Corp fin, an M7 mba is not really required and thus Yale and Cornell would be most ideal for me.
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Re: Darden vs Yale SOM [#permalink] New post 11 Oct 2011, 19:58
MYCambridge wrote:
Personally, Yale brand is hard to beat. IMO only Harvard is ahead of Yale in terms of brand value and prestige (not in business, but in general).

I'm interested in finance, so Yale can easily be my pick. But if you want MBB consulting, then that would be real tough.

But that's just for me. Since I only want to do F500 Corp fin, an M7 mba is not really required and thus Yale and Cornell would be most ideal for me.

You should apply! Placement into F500 corporate finance / rotational programs is very strong. Our curriculum actually sets you up very well with this path.
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Re: Darden vs Yale SOM [#permalink] New post 13 Oct 2011, 22:41
^ Definitely. Yale is top on my list. However, I need to ask whether being a Malaysian works for/against me?

Because it seems like not many Malaysians are getting an MBA...
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Re: Darden vs Yale SOM [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2011, 07:00
MYCambridge wrote:
^ Definitely. Yale is top on my list. However, I need to ask whether being a Malaysian works for/against me?

Because it seems like not many Malaysians are getting an MBA...

PM me with your e-mail. I can introduce you to a Malaysian friend here at Yale SOM.
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Re: Darden vs Yale SOM [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2011, 11:36
Both Yale and Darden are great schools, no doubt about it. I think MoS nailed it pretty much straight on. At the end of the day, you can't go wrong with either and you'll be able to have a shot at what you want to do at either school. Darden has a very strong general management program (which is really hard to define, by the way) which feeds extremely well into the consulting world. We also have a strong reputation of sending people into IB and corp finance in bulge brackets. If you get in both schools, then really think about what you'd like to get out of b-school. Like what MoS said, both schools are fairly similar - more secluded than schools in NY, smaller student population relative to HBS or Wharton. Darden does all its classes in case-based form, which may or may not jive with some people. While I attend Darden, I can't personally say that I agree with teaching every class in a traditional case study format, but it is what it is. If you'd like to know more about Darden, feel free to reach out.
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Re: Darden vs Yale SOM [#permalink] New post 10 Nov 2011, 18:56
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KUDOS
From what I collected on Darden,

Like
1. You will work extremely hard at Darden, which is a good thing.
2. Case method will enhance your skill to have an opinion and take a stand.
3. If you are decent, it is very likely that you will get scholarship.

Dislike
3. Participation is heavily graded, so everybody tries to make a point. Essentially only 20% of comments add value.
4. All courses are taught by case method. This is the single most important aspect that you need to research. You will have less time to spend on recruiting efforts. For the same result, you might end up working more at Darden than you would at other schools such as Fuqua, Ross or Yale.
5. Number of students with Virginia roots are overwhelmingly high. For those who prefer a diverse student body, this is not perfect situation.
6. Their yield seems to be miserable.

150,000 is huge investment. Pick a school where you will end up with a great job and good friends.
Re: Darden vs Yale SOM   [#permalink] 10 Nov 2011, 18:56
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