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European Business Schools vs. second tier US Business School

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European Business Schools vs. second tier US Business School [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2012, 07:49
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I have a question about 'Value for Money' about US Business Schools which I personally count to the second tier, such as BU School of Mngmt, Foster, Tepper, McDonough, etc.

Afaik these schools are roughly just as expensive as schools like H/S/W, Haas, Sloan, etc. Important reasons for me to do an MBA are the alumni networks, career services resp. which companies hire on-campus, and the faculty. With this viewpoint, would you rather apply to one of these schools or to schools like IE, IESE, IMD, INSEAD in Europe?

Please keep in mind that location of the school, prospective location of work (i.e. 'depends where you want to work afterwards'), and program length (1y vs 2y) should not be taken into consideration when answering this question.
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Re: European Business Schools vs. second tier US Business School [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2012, 09:50
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marc000 wrote:
Please keep in mind that location of the school, prospective location of work (i.e. 'depends where you want to work afterwards'), and program length (1y vs 2y) should not be taken into consideration when answering this question.


There is no way to answer the question without taking into account the location of future work. Like you said, you want to do an MBA for its alumni network, career services, companies that hire on-campus, and so on. You will get a lot of benefit, or none at all, depending on location. Trust me, you don't want to look for jobs in Wall Street with a degree from, say IESE, or in London with a degree from, say BU.

Programme length is probably less important IMO. For a 2-year degree you need to be "young" (<30 I would say) or looking for a career change.
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Re: European Business Schools vs. second tier US Business School [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2012, 01:05
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The biggest distinction between the so-called "second tier" US schools and the EU schools you mention is that the European programs are elite for their region, whereas those U.S. schools are merely "regional." It's almost impossible to divorce where you want to work in the future from the equation. As the previous poster mentioned, if the region is right, any of these programs could be as well. (For someone who wants to work in Austin for an emerging tech startup, McCombs is probably just as good of a pipeline as HBS.) However, what you want to think about is what has the broadest appeal and that's going to be a top flight EU program in most cases - unless you can pinpoint a region of the US and then find a corresponding b-school. One trick that many employ is they turn their EU adventure into a 3-5 year experience. 1-2 years in an MBA program, followed by a few years working abroad in a big firm, and then transitioning to the market you really want to be in.

Of course, a program like INSEAD can support placement all over the world, which leads to another point: you seem to imply that getting into INSEAD would be like getting into Tepper, but that's not likely to be true. Some of the EU programs you mentioned behave more like second tier programs from a selectivity standpoint, but a place like INSEAD behaves like a top 10 for sure.

Anyway, we have more thoughts on the value of looking abroad for an MBA, even if you were someone who initially was considering only US programs. You can check it out here: http://educatedoutcomes.wordpress.com/2 ... in-europe/

Hope this is helpful.

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Re: European Business Schools vs. second tier US Business School [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2012, 02:44
Thank you for your replies, they were already helpful. In order to clarify: I am European (Swiss) and I am absolutely open to where I want to work after graduation. I could imagine to work in the U.S. just as I could imagine to start in London, Paris, or even go back to Zurich. This is why I asked to leave this factor out. But I get your point, that I have to give this aspect a better thought.

Maybe I can rephrase my question in order to get more insight: Imagine you are European and wanted to study primarily in the U.S. However, you are also open to study (and work afterwards) in Europe, so you apply correspondingly. Let's say you choose to apply to Sloan, GSB, INSEAD, and IE. Now you get rejected from all but IE. Would you take the spot or would you give some other US Schools (Tepper, McDonough, etc.) another try for the second application round?
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Re: European Business Schools vs. second tier US Business School [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2012, 00:32
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I would take the spot at IE in the hypothetical you proposed. I would rather have a top MBA under my belt and then use work to take me to a new and interesting location. Sure, school is more fun than work, but you can still enjoy a new experience as a professional. It's just that your MBA is your last chance to achieve educational momentum and finish strong with a brand that opens doors. If you go to Tepper and then get a job in Philadelphia working in finance, what happens when you want to go back to Europe? No one will even know what Tepper is. I would say to set your line at basically the UCLA/Duke/Darden type programs. If you can't get into a U.S. program in the top 15, with national and international reach, then grab a top flight MBA in Europe. That's my take on it. Of course, this is all starting to assume a lot and sound like it's all as easy as taking candy from a baby, when in reality, all these schools are selective.

Anyway, good luck to you!

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Re: European Business Schools vs. second tier US Business School [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2012, 10:40
marc000 wrote:
Thank you for your replies, they were already helpful. In order to clarify: I am European (Swiss) and I am absolutely open to where I want to work after graduation. I could imagine to work in the U.S. just as I could imagine to start in London, Paris, or even go back to Zurich. This is why I asked to leave this factor out. But I get your point, that I have to give this aspect a better thought.

Maybe I can rephrase my question in order to get more insight: Imagine you are European and wanted to study primarily in the U.S. However, you are also open to study (and work afterwards) in Europe, so you apply correspondingly. Let's say you choose to apply to Sloan, GSB, INSEAD, and IE. Now you get rejected from all but IE. Would you take the spot or would you give some other US Schools (Tepper, McDonough, etc.) another try for the second application round?


I think you should better clear up your plans for yourself: industry->country and according to these plans choose the program. The only important thing (IMO) in MBA how it will help you in your future. MBA for MBA is nothing! E.g. U want to find job in Wall Street -> US schools and maybe LBS. Nothing else in Europe could be useful. Even 2 tier US Progam like Tepper will be more beneficial for you than INSEAD.

If you want my opinion in general I would say that 2nd tier MBA programs in US are much better than all MBA programs in Europe (except INSEAD, LBS and maybe IMD). Hence US Top programs are the best in the world and cannot be compared with European MBA programs. But it is general view, if U have some specific idea about post MBA job -in this even IE in Spain could be better than HBS. And one more advice - do not trust rankings, they are very tricky...
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Re: European Business Schools vs. second tier US Business School [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2012, 08:13
If I may suggest, it seems like your goals could be narrowed down a bit. Doing an MBA is a very intensive and expensive experience, so you should try to know what you want to get out of it asap. And yes, I think you need to make up your mind if you want to work in the US or in Europe first, and then choose schools accordingly You seem to be choosing schools and once accepted, let this decide the faith of your future career.
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European Business Schools vs. second tier US Business School [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2012, 09:50
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marc000 wrote:
Thank you for your replies, they were already helpful. In order to clarify: I am European (Swiss) and I am absolutely open to where I want to work after graduation. I could imagine to work in the U.S. just as I could imagine to start in London, Paris, or even go back to Zurich. This is why I asked to leave this factor out. But I get your point, that I have to give this aspect a better thought.

Maybe I can rephrase my question in order to get more insight: Imagine you are European and wanted to study primarily in the U.S. However, you are also open to study (and work afterwards) in Europe, so you apply correspondingly. Let's say you choose to apply to Sloan, GSB, INSEAD, and IE. Now you get rejected from all but IE. Would you take the spot or would you give some other US Schools (Tepper, McDonough, etc.) another try for the second application round?


In this hypothetically neutral situation, then I would go to IE. Having the guarantee in a top-ranked European program as opposed to taking your chance with a second Tier American program. I don't necessarily agree that all US programs are better than all European programs. Rankings and perceptions tend to be very America-centric (in a certain sense understandably enough), but let's not forget that you aren't doing an MBA just to have a pretty piece of star-spangled paper on your desk, but to advance in your professional career. And it's not as if there aren't good jobs to be had in Europe!

Which brings me to my next point: I don't think you can "Compare American schools with European schools", you can only think about individual situations and individual institutions in relation to your specific goals. So, for example: are you referring to Tepper? OR To McDonough? Or to which other US school? (each one I would consider separately, and not as "US vs. Europe") Then I would think about where I might want to live, where I would be most challenged? Do I want to take advantage of the languages I already speak (and for example go to a French speaking program?) Or Do I want to immerse myself in a new language? And what about my wife? What does she think? Or will I be unhappy with a European experience because I really want an American one?

There are many other questions to think about, and I don't believe that are either any easy answers, or any general truths. A decision like this needs to be thought deeply, and then once you decide, enjoyed :)
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Re: European Business Schools vs. second tier US Business School [#permalink]

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European Business Schools vs. second tier US Business School [#permalink]

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New post 27 Aug 2015, 01:09
alexpiers wrote:
marc000 wrote:
Thank you for your replies, they were already helpful. In order to clarify: I am European (Swiss) and I am absolutely open to where I want to work after graduation. I could imagine to work in the U.S. just as I could imagine to start in London, Paris, or even go back to Zurich. This is why I asked to leave this factor out. But I get your point, that I have to give this aspect a better thought.

Maybe I can rephrase my question in order to get more insight: Imagine you are European and wanted to study primarily in the U.S. However, you are also open to study (and work afterwards) in Europe, so you apply correspondingly. Let's say you choose to apply to Sloan, GSB, INSEAD, and IE. Now you get rejected from all but IE. Would you take the spot or would you give some other US Schools (Tepper, McDonough, etc.) another try for the second application round?


I think you should better clear up your plans for yourself: industry->country and according to these plans choose the program. The only important thing (IMO) in MBA how it will help you in your future. MBA for MBA is nothing! E.g. U want to find job in Wall Street -> US schools and maybe LBS. Nothing else in Europe could be useful. Even 2 tier US Progam like Tepper will be more beneficial for you than INSEAD.

If you want my opinion in general I would say that 2nd tier MBA programs in US are much better than all MBA programs in Europe (except INSEAD, LBS and maybe IMD). Hence US Top programs are the best in the world and cannot be compared with European MBA programs. But it is general view, if U have some specific idea about post MBA job -in this even IE in Spain could be better than HBS. And one more advice - do not trust rankings, they are very tricky...


I don't agree at all. First of all HBS is HBS in US and in Spain...it is the world best BS and university, everybody know about Harvard and specialised employers know that HBS is the best in the world. Secondly rankings are the only instruments most employers have to understand how good/prestigious your education is, so yes, it counts until you don't prefere to study to a n. 40 in the FT ranking instead of a n. 15, for field and location reasons. But it can't work choosing the best programs in a country instead of the best program in the world. Finally, don't agree with european top programs being worst than 2nd tier US ones. US MBA's cohort is much less experienced, students are 3 to 5 years younger, and they have a very poor diversity so you will never acquire a global view and experience in a 2 tier US schools, while this can be different if you speak about US 1st tier schools. I am in IE, and can't change this program for any 2nd tiers US schools, for diversity ( a mini united nations) ranking (3rd european BS, 12th MBA program in the world, 1st online MBA in the world) and focus (global, not US centric). I could change IE for Harvard, Standford, Sloan, Booth, Wharton, Kellog.. not for a Kelley. It is simple, check the rankings, they are not a bad guide on how to choose a top program and how much they can be conditioned form parameters which not always respect the reality, we should accept that as it is. We are in business, and marketing is what counts in sales, so a top school is a top school, no matter where it is, will stay a top school. There are people who prefere to study in LBS instead of HBS. Are they idiot? Maybe I couldn't do it in their place, but I don't believe they are idiots.

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Re: European Business Schools vs. second tier US Business School [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2015, 16:40
Didn't read the other comments but You're gonna need to figure out the industry you want to work in if you're doing an MBA for a career change. Certain schools are better than others depending on what specialization/industry you want regardless of location. Supply chain, investment banking, consulting, marketing, etc. from there if you know what company in particular you're trying to work for, there are some schools they exclusively or are much more likely (than others) recruiting from. In general though, I would say if you plan to work/live in the U.S. After MBA, definitely go with a U.S. School. I suppose a good compromise situation would be to go to a top 10-20 ranked U.S school that offers an exchange program with one of the elite European schools so that you can network in both continents...
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European Business Schools vs. second tier US Business School [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2015, 16:56
njnmusk wrote:
Didn't read the other comments but You're gonna need to figure out the industry you want to work in if you're doing an MBA for a career change. Certain schools are better than others depending on what specialization/industry you want regardless of location. Supply chain, investment banking, consulting, marketing, etc. from there if you know what company in particular you're trying to work for, there are some schools they exclusively or are much more likely (than others) recruiting from. In general though, I would say if you plan to work/live in the U.S. After MBA, definitely go with a U.S. School. I suppose a good compromise situation would be to go to a top 10-20 ranked U.S school that offers an exchange program with one of the elite European schools so that you can network in both continents...


I completely agree on this. I didn't agree on comparing top programs to second tier ones...harvard can open doors everywhere not only in US, while of course a top 20 program will work in US better than in Europe if the target is working in the US. Specialization again is about school's quality...you shouldn't think that an entrepreneurship focused school as Cambridge or IE (in Europe) or Stanford (in US) isn't able to land you a job into finance or marketing..they are top programs..they work better than marketing or finance focused third tier schools, only they are less targeted by those kind of employers but your prior working xperience plays a fundamental role in the process too! Nonetheless, a combination of a precise field and a precise location, conduces to certain schools instead of others. US programs, even second tier ones, have the great advantage to land jobs, because US isn't facing the same crises that Europe is facing. Anyway, in the doubt on where to work, the best program that he can afford is the answer in my opinion. He choosed IE as example, it's MBA is n. 12 in the world this year, and it was n. 8 in the past, not only one of the best in Europe. Let's say that he is going to prefere the 25th instead, which is a US one, then he's not going to make the right choice without being supported by other factors (e.g., he is sure that he wants to work in a certain field and in a certain place in the US) because US programs are also more expensive and, especially less the ranked ones, as I said, much less diverse and global. A second/third tier US program can be completely unknown out of US which is not the case of a top ranked program listed in the first 10-15 places in the global mba FT ranking, european or american, it doesn't matter. Recruiters, especially specialised ones, know about business schools and rankings.
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Re: European Business Schools vs. second tier US Business School [#permalink]

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New post 26 Nov 2015, 18:22
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I think I would definitely consider the second tier schools for an application. Think of it this way, if you are good enough for the top tier schools in Europe, you might be able to get some nice scholarship dollars from a second tier school. I agree with the others that a big consideration is where you want to work. In fact, that is the biggest consideration for me. I think you should get a better answer to that before you decide on where you want to go to business school.
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Re: European Business Schools vs. second tier US Business School   [#permalink] 26 Nov 2015, 18:22
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