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Dilemma: Harvard FT or Top 5-10 PT

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Dilemma: Harvard FT or Top 5-10 PT [#permalink] New post 25 May 2010, 10:36
I am in a big dilemma.

I am a married international student around 30, (only 1.5 year left on H1B visa and GC not started).
I have admission at Harvard and Top10 PT. My career goals are not sure, but I like high-tech and consulting.

My spouse (30) has been living away from me since our marriage (1.5 years) as our living together plans were crushed
by recession. We have been trying to live together. She is career oriented and thus looking for a job at my place.
She is now tired of job searching. Recently she got a job offer around my location. Now if I go to HBS we again
have to live apart and then because we do not have GC application in next 2 years, we would soon have to go
back to India soon after HBS (within 1 year).

Pros of Top 5-10 PT:
- Both working and staying together
- Could raise family (high time as per age guidelines)
- GC application could get started
- Financially easy, as no loan

Cons of Top 5-10 PT
- Far less career mobility compared to Harvard
- Might be stuck in current profession, worst-case scenario

Pros of Harvard
- Unmatched Reputation
- Career mobility

Cons of Harvard
- Living further away for 1-2 years
- Financial risk, big loan
- Delaying GC application, causing us to go back to India, which we could be okay
but it would not be good for ROI as earning in rupees to pay a loan in $. (Bad exchange rate)

Please let me know what should I do. I understand it is a personal decision but I would
appreciate your feedback.
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Re: Dilemma: Harvard FT or Top 5-10 PT [#permalink] New post 25 May 2010, 12:13
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This is one thread that I never thought I'd see. I think most people would tell you that HBS is an easy decision, but ultimately it depends on why you're going to business school in the first place. If you can achieve all of the lifetime goals that are important to you from both schools and you don't mind going to school while working, it's financially favorable to do a part-time program for free.

I'm not particularly interested in HBS, but I'd have a really hard time turning it down for a part-time program. HBS will certainly open doors that might not be accessible at other schools, but that's irrelevant if those elite doors don't interest you.

Good luck
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Re: Dilemma: Harvard FT or Top 5-10 PT [#permalink] New post 27 May 2010, 07:04
are you guys open to working anywhere else? i mean a harvard degree is pretty damn mobile...so why not look elsewhere instead of just india/US? that way you can still earn high wages to pay off loans/debts without having to worry so much about your residency status in the US.

in the mean time though, 2 yrs apart would really suck and for the reasons you mentioned about family, etc. i would consider a top 10 PT program just so i can get on with living life. if i feel like i could achieve most of my goals with a PT degree, even like 70% vs. what i can do with a harvard degree, i'd go with the PT program simply because you gain so much more in life and there's simply no substitute for that.
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Re: Dilemma: Harvard FT or Top 5-10 PT [#permalink] New post 29 May 2010, 08:24
Seems like you already have a good sense of the pros and the cons. Generally it would come down to how much you value not just the harvard brand but the full time MBA experience. The PT MBA and FT MBA are VERY different beasts. Get a sense of what you would want to be doing post MBA - you may find the the PT may not be a good match at all.
Re: Dilemma: Harvard FT or Top 5-10 PT   [#permalink] 29 May 2010, 08:24
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