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Help! Booth vs. Stern ($$$$) vs. Ross ($$)?

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Where should chynaxdawl go? Booth vs. Stern ($$$$) vs. Ross ($$)

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Help! Booth vs. Stern ($$$$) vs. Ross ($$)? [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2012, 15:38
I have the fortunate problem of deciding between 3 schools that I love...please give some input on what I should do?

Post-MBA, I'd like to do marketing/brand management, or even strategic planning, at a luxury goods/retail company. Given this, Stern is like a no brainer since I was given a full ride. But it's not that easy because as I've been doing research into the industry, I've been getting a lot of comments about how hard it is: breaking in, having challenging MBA-level work, and the pay. Unfortunately, I'm primarily interested in the "sexy" jobs (fashion, entertainment) that get a lot of interest so they don't need to compensate that well. In this industry, I'll very likely be working in NYC which is ridiculously expensive to live in. Even though a full-ride would give me the freedom to pursue a job I really want, vs. something just to pay off the debt, I would like to be able to live somewhat comfortably in such an expensive city. So I've been thinking it may be better to go the CPG or management consulting route first before switching over at a higher level later. I know that's likely what I'd have to do if I went to Ross or Booth...and while I think I could pursue those at Stern, Ross and Booth are just so much stronger in those areas. And I'm also afraid that I'll regret Stern if I change my mind to a different career path (like CPG, consulting) while in school.

I'm not sure how easy it is to switch over although I know it can be done...and I know CPG, but especially, consulting are the most competitive for MBA's.

Stern: full ride, only program with a luxury marketing specialization so I'm excited about a lot of the classes, particularly Doing Business in Italy, and it's in NYC.

Booth: my original dream bschool. When I first started looking into the MBA, this was the school I wanted to go to and I really enjoyed my visit there. The building is beautiful, the people are nice, the administration is extremely well-run, and Chicago is my favorite American city...have kind of always wanted to live there. Some might question the fit for me before because it's such a quantitative program but I think that'll be good for me since I want to be really well-rounded. Probably won't get anywhere with it, but I can try and leverage Stern/Ross scholarships...doesn't hurt to try right?

Ross: was extremely impressed during Super Saturday. The building is equally beautiful, and the people are just fantastic--can't be beat. I initially wanted an urban campus because I wanted to be in a city, but after visitng, I can see how nice a college town can be. The administration also seems really good...I liked how transparent the process was and how friendly the AdCom was. I think MAP is also amazing and wish it was part of every school's curriculum. Ross went from being my "safety" school to quite possibly one of my favorites. I think I may be able to talk to them about the amount of my scholarship with Booth and Stern.

And this may sound silly but I'm really tempted by the pre-MBA student-led trips at Ross and Booth (M-Trek, Random Walks). I'm really sad Stern doesn't have anything similar...I know I can just travel on my own, or organize a trip myself...but I don't feel like it's really the same. Feels like a really great way to bond with the 2nd years and your future classmates.

I know it's ultimately my decision but I would really love your insight. I've already started asking some people and will continue to do some more research as I debate this issue. Unfortunately, Ross and Stern's admit weekends are the same weekend (Booth's is a week later).

And I know a lot of people will be quick to say that prestige/ranking's more important and that I can make up my loss at a higher school. But let me preface this by saying, if I do go into luxury goods/retail...it's one of the lowest paid industries for MBA's. And I currently don't make much money and have pretty much nothing saved for business school and am financing everything through loans after I sell off my car.

Thank you, all!
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Re: Help! Booth vs. Stern ($$$$) vs. Ross ($$)? [#permalink] New post 24 Mar 2012, 11:29
thank you for voting!! if you could reply with your reasoning, that'd be really helpful too.
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Re: Help! Booth vs. Stern ($$$$) vs. Ross ($$)? [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2012, 19:09
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Congratulations! I wish I could have such a trouble to worry about. :)

I voted for Stern because stern would be my top choice.
I don't like Ross because I had enough of college town. (I didn't apply any school that is not in a metro area, even if it ranked high)
I don't like Booth because somehow I got the impression that Booth's placements are strong in the middle west. Do you want to live in the middle west? I don't.
Stern has the right program, great location, and a free ride. What else do you expect from your MBA?

Just my two cents.

chynaxdawl wrote:
I have the fortunate problem of deciding between 3 schools that I love...please give some input on what I should do?

Post-MBA, I'd like to do marketing/brand management, or even strategic planning, at a luxury goods/retail company. Given this, Stern is like a no brainer since I was given a full ride. But it's not that easy because as I've been doing research into the industry, I've been getting a lot of comments about how hard it is: breaking in, having challenging MBA-level work, and the pay. Unfortunately, I'm primarily interested in the "sexy" jobs (fashion, entertainment) that get a lot of interest so they don't need to compensate that well. In this industry, I'll very likely be working in NYC which is ridiculously expensive to live in. Even though a full-ride would give me the freedom to pursue a job I really want, vs. something just to pay off the debt, I would like to be able to live somewhat comfortably in such an expensive city. So I've been thinking it may be better to go the CPG or management consulting route first before switching over at a higher level later. I know that's likely what I'd have to do if I went to Ross or Booth...and while I think I could pursue those at Stern, Ross and Booth are just so much stronger in those areas. And I'm also afraid that I'll regret Stern if I change my mind to a different career path (like CPG, consulting) while in school.

I'm not sure how easy it is to switch over although I know it can be done...and I know CPG, but especially, consulting are the most competitive for MBA's.

Stern: full ride, only program with a luxury marketing specialization so I'm excited about a lot of the classes, particularly Doing Business in Italy, and it's in NYC.

Booth: my original dream bschool. When I first started looking into the MBA, this was the school I wanted to go to and I really enjoyed my visit there. The building is beautiful, the people are nice, the administration is extremely well-run, and Chicago is my favorite American city...have kind of always wanted to live there. Some might question the fit for me before because it's such a quantitative program but I think that'll be good for me since I want to be really well-rounded. Probably won't get anywhere with it, but I can try and leverage Stern/Ross scholarships...doesn't hurt to try right?

Ross: was extremely impressed during Super Saturday. The building is equally beautiful, and the people are just fantastic--can't be beat. I initially wanted an urban campus because I wanted to be in a city, but after visitng, I can see how nice a college town can be. The administration also seems really good...I liked how transparent the process was and how friendly the AdCom was. I think MAP is also amazing and wish it was part of every school's curriculum. Ross went from being my "safety" school to quite possibly one of my favorites. I think I may be able to talk to them about the amount of my scholarship with Booth and Stern.

And this may sound silly but I'm really tempted by the pre-MBA student-led trips at Ross and Booth (M-Trek, Random Walks). I'm really sad Stern doesn't have anything similar...I know I can just travel on my own, or organize a trip myself...but I don't feel like it's really the same. Feels like a really great way to bond with the 2nd years and your future classmates.

I know it's ultimately my decision but I would really love your insight. I've already started asking some people and will continue to do some more research as I debate this issue. Unfortunately, Ross and Stern's admit weekends are the same weekend (Booth's is a week later).

And I know a lot of people will be quick to say that prestige/ranking's more important and that I can make up my loss at a higher school. But let me preface this by saying, if I do go into luxury goods/retail...it's one of the lowest paid industries for MBA's. And I currently don't make much money and have pretty much nothing saved for business school and am financing everything through loans after I sell off my car.

Thank you, all!
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Re: Help! Booth vs. Stern ($$$$) vs. Ross ($$)? [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2012, 22:59
Drucker wrote:
Congratulations! I wish I could have such a trouble to worry about. :)

I voted for Stern because stern would be my top choice.
I don't like Ross because I had enough of college town. (I didn't apply any school that is not in a metro area, even if it ranked high)
I don't like Booth because somehow I got the impression that Booth's placements are strong in the middle west. Do you want to live in the middle west? I don't.
Stern has the right program, great location, and a free ride. What else do you expect from your MBA?

Just my two cents.


thanks, drucker! it's nice to hear why you chose what you did...not too many people have been responding. i'm like 75% sure i'm going to stern.

i see you got into multiple schools yourself...congratulations! have you decided where you'll be in the fall?
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Last edited by chynaxdawl on 30 Mar 2012, 09:45, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help! Booth vs. Stern ($$$$) vs. Ross ($$)? [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2012, 04:24
How committed are you to pursuing luxury goods retailers and are you OK with not working in NYC if you go into CPG/MC?

If you want to pursue it and/or deadset on staying in NYC, Stern is the obvious choice.

If you've made up your mind that you will most likely take the CPG/MC route, both Booth and Ross will serve you equally well, and its up to you to decide if you would rather take the higher rankings or the money...I personally don't think the career opportunities would be all that different between the two schools for the areas that you want to focus on, but I'm sure some will disagree with me.

Generally speaking though, I would say that the more geographically flexible you are the more Booth/Ross comes into play...the vast majority of NYU grads stay in the New England area and this impacts the offices/roles that on-campus recruiters will show up for.
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Re: Help! Booth vs. Stern ($$$$) vs. Ross ($$)? [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2012, 05:49
Thanks. I am still waiting a couple more days for USC. If I am lucky, I will have to face the choice between USC and Georgetown.
Otherwise, I will be in DC.

chynaxdawl wrote:
Drucker wrote:
Congratulations! I wish I could have such a trouble to worry about. :)

I voted for Stern because stern would be my top choice.
I don't like Ross because I had enough of college town. (I didn't apply any school that is not in a metro area, even if it ranked high)
I don't like Booth because somehow I got the impression that Booth's placements are strong in the middle west. Do you want to live in the middle west? I don't.
Stern has the right program, great location, and a free ride. What else do you expect from your MBA?

Just my two cents.

thanks, drucker! it's nice to hear why you chose what you did...not too many people have been responding. i'm like 75% sure i'm going to stern.

i see you got into multiple schools yourself...congratulations! have you decided where you'll be in the fall?
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Re: Help! Booth vs. Stern ($$$$) vs. Ross ($$)? [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2012, 09:26
woomba wrote:
How committed are you to pursuing luxury goods retailers and are you OK with not working in NYC if you go into CPG/MC?

If you want to pursue it and/or deadset on staying in NYC, Stern is the obvious choice.

If you've made up your mind that you will most likely take the CPG/MC route, both Booth and Ross will serve you equally well, and its up to you to decide if you would rather take the higher rankings or the money...I personally don't think the career opportunities would be all that different between the two schools for the areas that you want to focus on, but I'm sure some will disagree with me.

Generally speaking though, I would say that the more geographically flexible you are the more Booth/Ross comes into play...the vast majority of NYU grads stay in the New England area and this impacts the offices/roles that on-campus recruiters will show up for.


thanks for your thoughts, woomba. you're right, if i do cpg/mc then booth/ross are the better route. so i guess the question is whether i go directly into luxury retail or take an alternative path before transitioning...and that's really what the issue is. admittedly, i don't know all that much about cpg or consulting, but i know the skills are really transferable. however, while i know it can be done...i'm not sure how easily. and i think i'd have to be at the top firms/companies (p&g, mbb). my impression for consulting is that it's a really good way to break into just about anything...i've done some asking around and at most places you start as a generalist and may not have much control over what projects you want, so how can i guarantee that i work on any retail projects in order to make the move? and i'm guessing the offices that are in fashion capitals (nyc, paris, la, etc.) would be likely to have more retail clients/projects...but those are also the most competitive ones to get hired into.

i'm very flexible about geography and which route i go and while i won't say i'm dead set on luxury, it's definitely my career goal for now. i think a lot of people change their minds in bschool and that's something that worries me as well. i don't need to be in nyc, but considering that's where most of the fashion/luxury companies are, that's likely where i'll end up once i'm in the industry.

since the industry is a nontraditional mba career path and they generally don't hire that many mba's, they don't really come to campus to recruit. i can forget it at ross, barely have a chance at booth i think, but considering where stern's located, it's significantly better in that regards compared to any other school.

for cpg, i'd be targeting p&g and l'oreal because they both have luxury/prestige divisions and have beauty brands which i think ties in well (vs. snacks, detergent, etc.). ross/booth would be good for p&g, but stern/ross for l'oreal. and while mbb recruits about twice as much at booth, than both ross and stern...i think i still have a chance to do either at stern. stern has a good presence at l'oreal and i think has similar mbb stats compared to ross (hard to say since stern isn't very transparent in their employment reports). plus i think if i really do transition later, there will be many more people in my network who are already in the industry because of the location/specialization/interest. and because it doesn't recruit traditionally, they don't really start looking until spring so i could potentially search for that and cpg/mc.

in the long run, i feel like the money will be about the same...if i go to stern, i'll be saving $100k on tuition, but i'll be working in a lower paid role in a super expensive city. if i go to ross/booth, i'll be doing cpg/mc and making more money and probably somewhere in the midwest with a considerably lower cost of living.

sorry for my long posts...and thank you all for your help!
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Re: Help! Booth vs. Stern ($$$$) vs. Ross ($$)? [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2012, 09:47
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I would say Stern... and its a no brainer. Big 4 consulting recruits just as heavily at Stern. So if the luxury brand work doesnt pan out you can always fall back on MC. This option is not given to you at the other schools. Also NYC is expensive if you make it! You can live in queens or brooklyn for half the cost and unless you are dead set on fancy meals the restaurants around nyu are dirt cheap. I always eat by there because a dinner runs me $10.
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Re: Help! Booth vs. Stern ($$$$) vs. Ross ($$)? [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2012, 10:29
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Seems like you're leaning towards Stern, which is perfectly fine :)

Just to follow up on some of the points you mentioned

- Certain consulting companies hire into specific industries/focus areas, so a CPG/Retail focus is possible
- There are also niche consulting companies that are de-facto CPG/Retail focused due to their specialty. For example, The Cambridge Group focuses on Growth strategy, which ends up having more of a retail/CPG focus.
- Many top CPG companies tend to be outside of the NYC area (although these may not be companies that you're interested in)

- If you look at the employment profile, both Booth/Ross have a more National employment profile than NYU, so I wouldn't equate graduating from either school will mean that you'll most likely be in the Midwest. This is both a function of self-selection and the employers that show up on campus, which is why I mentioned your geographic flexibility earlier.

Booth/Ross is : 40% Midwest, 30% East Coast, 20% West Coast, 10% Other
NYU is : 90% East Coast, 10% Other

I think both schools have a luxury goods club so I suggest you contacting both to see if you can get some additional insights - you should do the same for NYU as well.

All this being said, a full scholarship is a big deal and not something you should dismiss out of hand - just make sure you have all the data points before you make the decision. Good luck!
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Re: Help! Booth vs. Stern ($$$$) vs. Ross ($$)? [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2012, 10:59
woomba wrote:
Seems like you're leaning towards Stern, which is perfectly fine :)

Just to follow up on some of the points you mentioned

- Certain consulting companies hire into specific industries/focus areas, so a CPG/Retail focus is possible
- There are also niche consulting companies that are de-facto CPG/Retail focused due to their specialty. For example, The Cambridge Group focuses on Growth strategy, which ends up having more of a retail/CPG focus.
- Many top CPG companies tend to be outside of the NYC area (although these may not be companies that you're interested in)

- If you look at the employment profile, both Booth/Ross have a more National employment profile than NYU, so I wouldn't equate graduating from either school will mean that you'll most likely be in the Midwest. This is both a function of self-selection and the employers that show up on campus, which is why I mentioned your geographic flexibility earlier.

Booth/Ross is : 40% Midwest, 30% East Coast, 20% West Coast, 10% Other
NYU is : 90% East Coast, 10% Other

I think both schools have a luxury goods club so I suggest you contacting both to see if you can get some additional insights - you should do the same for NYU as well.

All this being said, a full scholarship is a big deal and not something you should dismiss out of hand - just make sure you have all the data points before you make the decision. Good luck!


oh yes, i've been talking to the luxury/retail clubs at each school for a long time now.
i do realize most of the cpg companies are outside of nyc (mostly midwest)...l'oreal's the only one in nyc i think. i'm not really interested in companies for their locations...it's just that nyc is where all the fashion/luxury companies are at. i don't think i'll be in the midwest because ross and booth are in the midwest, but rather because a lot of the cpg companies are there since it'd be really tough for me to get into luxury in nyc out of those schools and possibly into the nyc office for one of the big 4 consulting firms (so i have a better chance of working on retail projects).

i have been trying to find some niche consulting firms with cpg/retail specialties so thank you for referring me to the cambridge group...if you, or anyone else, knows of any others, that'd be fantastic!
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Re: Help! Booth vs. Stern ($$$$) vs. Ross ($$)? [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2012, 02:32
I will also roll with Stern, although I like Ross and the programs and opportunities it offers. With a generous scholarship amount I will take 2 years in New York.
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Re: Help! Booth vs. Stern ($$$$) vs. Ross ($$)? [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2012, 09:28
thank you all, including those of you who pm'ed me, so much for your input and help!
i have some updates...booth offered about a little more than 1/4 tuition and after some agonizing debate, i've decided to go to stern!
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Re: Help! Booth vs. Stern ($$$$) vs. Ross ($$)? [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2012, 12:00
My vote is for Stern, a full ride is not something you want give up.. Stern will also help you keep your options open after your MBA just as much as Booth or Ross.
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Re: Help! Booth vs. Stern ($$$$) vs. Ross ($$)? [#permalink] New post 28 May 2012, 22:27
And I'm also afraid that I'll regret Stern if I change my mind to a different career path (like CPG, consulting) while in school.
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Re: Help! Booth vs. Stern ($$$$) vs. Ross ($$)? [#permalink] New post 15 Sep 2012, 20:53
If this helps in any way, I have written about my experience of the Stern Info Session in Bangalore here at

http://amitkpandeyece.blogspot.in/2012/ ... alore.html
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Re: Help! Booth vs. Stern ($$$$) vs. Ross ($$)?   [#permalink] 15 Sep 2012, 20:53
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