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Free ride vs. more selective program... desperate for advice

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To free ride or not?

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Intern
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Free ride vs. more selective program... desperate for advice [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2006, 14:28
Hjort:

I applied for graduate school straight out of college and have been accepted to four pretty good programs-- UNC, Babson, BU, and BC-- UNC is probably out of the question for personal reasons. The problem is that I have been offered a free ride at Suffolk University in addition to a small stipend-- essentially I will be making money to earn an MBA.

Because of my age I have very little work experience and am thus unsure of where I would like my career to head. I have a strong interest in consulting but who knows where that will go. My question is: is it foolish to accept the free ride over some of these other schools? Is there any material difference between say Babson and Suffolk when it comes to getting a job in consulting? I have read the studies that say it is the kid and not the school and I like to think that i'm prett bright (3.922 3rd in my class), but I am very hesitant because I have been socialized to believe the brand of the school matters. As someone with experience in this do you believe it does?

I am in a real bind and would greatly appreciate any advice you may be able to lend.

Thank You
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 [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2006, 19:42
I would say the better program. A better program can provide better job prospects which give better odds for better money. With this better pay, the added costs of a better program can be decreased.

You only get one chance to get an MBA, make the right choice. Don't sell your self out. Good luck
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 [#permalink] New post 31 Mar 2006, 04:52
I agree with porscheboy.
I like to think of the opportunities at and after bschool similar to the reputation, quality etc of the program as your GMAT score.

Sounds funny?read on.

If you do well initially (good grades, network, career research), you can get a great score(career success).

If you start small (small, lesser known program), its really difficult to catch up in the later stages.

And then we know that the GMAT is one part of the application . Depending on the business school and your circumstances, it may play havoc on your plans or not count for much. (Translate this to high strung careers in banking, consulting which are difficult for grads of lower ranked schools to secure)


Make sense?
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 [#permalink] New post 31 Mar 2006, 06:23
Thanks for the advice so far... I especially like the GMAT analogy. However, my major concern is my inability to commit to a future career path. In light of that fact, I question whether or not it would be prudent to take on such significant debt. Does popular wisdom actually suggest that landing a consulting job is next to impossible from a lower ranked program, or is this simply supposition? I want to believe that these positions are meritocratic and are not simply awarded based on a brand emblazoned on a piece of paper. Does anyone have any experience with consulting that would lend credence to any of these assumptions?
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 [#permalink] New post 31 Mar 2006, 18:26
As usual, I encourage you to perform your own due diligence since conventional wisdom is often wrong. However, the following general pattern can be observed for the major consulting firms:

ultra elite cluster- hiring is in the double digits, often several dozen
elite cluster- perhaps a dozen or so, depending on the school
trans elite- a handful
near elite- a few
near elite frontier- perhaps one
local schools- virtually nil

Some uncertainty about your future career is common for applicants. Nonetheless, if you are completely unsure what you want to do, you might to wait before applying to an MBA program.
  [#permalink] 31 Mar 2006, 18:26
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Free ride vs. more selective program... desperate for advice

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