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Darden with $$$ vs Duke (Is Darden a no-brainer?)

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Schools: Duke , Darden , Tuck , Ross
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Darden with $$$ vs Duke (Is Darden a no-brainer?) [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2011, 12:38
Hi All,

Firstly, I want to thank the GMAT Club Community for all its support and great information/opinions that members have shared to help me make decisions and learn about the program.

Secondly, I am happy to report that I have been admitted to Darden (with full ride) and also to Duke. However, I wanted to get some opinion before I make my final decision.

My short term career goal is to get in mananagement consulting M/B/B and long-term is to work for VC in tech space. I love both the programs and have visited both the schools. Here are my thoughts:

*Personally, I found both the programs a great fit and cannot give an edge to one over the other.
*Brand wise- I have realized that Fuqua (or Duke MBA) is more recognized than Darden.
*Location wise - I am comfortable with both. I lived in Charlotte, NC and have been in south for a while so don't mind Durham and wouldn't mind Charlottesville either. In other words: location doesn't really matter.
*Recruitment is pretty much the same in both the schools too.
*Rankings: They both hug each other in rankings but Duke has a very slight edge over Darden in rankings.
*Financial Aid: this is the biggest factor so far, as I am fortunate to get a full scholarship at Darden but nothing form Duke.

Wanted to seek opinion from students from these two schools about making the decision. Is it a crazy idea to even think of Fuqua when I have a full ride to Darden? My biggest concern is that Duke is more recognized and will help me get through areas (especially European markets and West Coast) that I may have hard time with Darden.

Once again, I cannot thank all the members for their support and guidance and would appreciate any inputs
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Re: Darden with $$$ vs Duke (Is Darden a no-brainer?) [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2011, 13:12
Go with Darden. Duke doesn't have an edge in the rankings. 1-2 spots in the same tier is hardly a big difference and employers don't split hairs when it comes to it. Recruiting is the same at both. Duke's name alone won't land you a West Coast job, it'll be more about you and your efforts. As an European myself, I don't see how Duke has an edge in Europe. It is relatively unknown there and most people would not be able to differentiate between UVA and Duke. MBA employers, on the other hand, know how programs stack up and that's what you should care about - both schools are pretty equal and it's not worth forgoing 100k in this case.
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Re: Darden with $$$ vs Duke (Is Darden a no-brainer?) [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2011, 13:14
inTuna wrote:
Hi All,

Firstly, I want to thank the GMAT Club Community for all its support and great information/opinions that members have shared to help me make decisions and learn about the program.

Secondly, I am happy to report that I have been admitted to Darden (with full ride) and also to Duke. However, I wanted to get some opinion before I make my final decision.

My short term career goal is to get in mananagement consulting M/B/B and long-term is to work for VC in tech space. I love both the programs and have visited both the schools. Here are my thoughts:

*Personally, I found both the programs a great fit and cannot give an edge to one over the other.
*Brand wise- I have realized that Fuqua (or Duke MBA) is more recognized than Darden.
*Location wise - I am comfortable with both. I lived in Charlotte, NC and have been in south for a while so don't mind Durham and wouldn't mind Charlottesville either. In other words: location doesn't really matter.
*Recruitment is pretty much the same in both the schools too.
*Rankings: They both hug each other in rankings but Duke has a very slight edge over Darden in rankings.
*Financial Aid: this is the biggest factor so far, as I am fortunate to get a full scholarship at Darden but nothing form Duke.

Wanted to seek opinion from students from these two schools about making the decision. Is it a crazy idea to even think of Fuqua when I have a full ride to Darden? My biggest concern is that Duke is more recognized and will help me get through areas (especially European markets and West Coast) that I may have hard time with Darden.

Once again, I cannot thank all the members for their support and guidance and would appreciate any inputs


If I were you, I would go with Darden. That is, if you don't mind their notoriously rigorous curriculum....:)
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Re: Darden with $$$ vs Duke (Is Darden a no-brainer?) [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2011, 06:25
Absolutely go with Darden. Recruiting is similar, although fewer people end up on the west coast out of Darden. Whether or not that's due to preference, I have no idea. A full ride is nothing to scoff at so your ROI will be significantly higher without all that debt.
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Re: Darden with $$$ vs Duke (Is Darden a no-brainer?) [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2011, 11:32
Tuna, this is a NO-BRAINER to me. I visited both schools, talked to several students and alumni, and read a decent number of lines about both schools.

The difference between them doesn’t come even close to 100k! I believe that they’re peer schools and that they’ll give you pretty much the same recruiting opportunities.

Your goals are similar to mine. Where do you want to work right after school? Recruiting wise, the West Coast and Europe are completely different targets.

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Re: Darden with $$$ vs Duke (Is Darden a no-brainer?) [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2011, 12:49
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I'd strongly urge you to attend Darden. Duke isn't offering anything over Darden that's worth $100k+.
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Re: Darden with $$$ vs Duke (Is Darden a no-brainer?) [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2011, 13:40
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Congratulations! UVA is a great school and that's a heck of a lot of money. I'd take it.

I'd like to address 2 of your concerns though: (note: I did my grad work at UVA and loved it so I'm a little biased)

Rankings are what they are, but they're really pretty equal. They could flip in any given year.

Brand - Darden has a terrific brand. I would think it's stronger than Fuqua. But Fuqua has really come on so maybe it's the stronger brand. Probably too tough to call a clear winner.

If you do choose Darden, they have an amazing softball team. My (mostly) engineering team was good, but the B-School kids were pros. Uniforms, top gear...
Re: Darden with $$$ vs Duke (Is Darden a no-brainer?)   [#permalink] 02 Mar 2011, 13:40
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