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If you can't get into a Top 5, don't even bother!

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Re: If you can't get into a Top 5, don't even bother! [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2013, 08:54
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His argument is simply trite. I can provide a bit more insight into what startups actually would look for (I work in a tech startup and often times work on projects in leading VC firms in the Bay Area)

Granted, bschools will not teach you technical skills (e.g. script writing and programming) relevant in the tech startup field. Unless bschools quickly adapt its curriculum, students going forward will just need to be dynamic and adapt to the demand of future employers. The founders at the company, a pretty successful "brand-name" startup, I am at still highly value a bschool education, since essentially it is a filtering process to source candidates who are eager to prove his/her mettle. A better argument would be that bschool students must stay ahead of curb and anticipate demand in skills, and not just assume 2 years at school is all that would be required to get that sweet high paying job.

Case in point: I came into my current with only a quant finance background, mainly from bulge m&a, and I realized that I would need to at least understand data and programming architecture in order to fully grasp the firm's business model. I took free online courses on postgresql, python, and C++ and, bam, I'm back in the game. Although I'll never be as skilled as CS majors, having a grasp of technical skills played a key role in my success at my current position.

Overall, this article is poorly written, cites irrelevant and wrong "facts," and takes far too many illogical assumptions.

Let's all assume his quant score far outweighed is verbal score...
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Re: If you can't get into a Top 5, don't even bother! [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2013, 09:25
Since he's so focused on startups, I'm also curious why he seems to think 3 East Coast schools and a Chicagoland school would be the best choice. The vast majority of VC money is in the Bay Area. So, Stanford makes sense, but Haas isn't worth it?

To another point, if you want to get hired in the first round at a startup, business school might not be the best idea, no matter where you go. At that point, startups are usually looking for people who can put their product together, not provide business oversight. However, if you're looking to found a startup, a good business school is key. I don't know many other ways to get introduced to the VC industry and make connections with people at VC firms. They're not going to respond to an emailed pitch deck.

I'm sure Wharton is a fine school, but I've run in to more than enough of these kind of Wharton alums to know it isn't the place for me. This is probably why schools stress fit so much in the admissions process. I'd go postal if I had to deal with more than one of his type on a class project.
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Re: If you can't get into a Top 5, don't even bother! [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2013, 23:25
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Two words about Wharton - Donald Trump.
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Re: If you can't get into a Top 5, don't even bother! [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2013, 00:14
Mr Jay bhatti... Seriously? :-D

I must thank you for at least including MIT/Kellog to the list. An egoistic, chauvinistic dud that you appear to be, you could have very well stopped at HSW.
But then again... seriously? :roll:
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Re: If you can't get into a Top 5, don't even bother! [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2013, 04:23
When I was reading this article I had a feeling that the author can not a graduate from Wharton. There are plenty of flaws in his argument. He might sound right in the sence that it is worth doing an MBA with a top business school, but when I saw his top 5 schools list (which by the way does not include Booth or Columbia in the US), I though he can't be serious. Moreover, if someone want's to work in Europe, it would be far better to go to top European business school, right? such as LBS or Insead.

I genuinely believe that the value of MBA is not limited to short-term outcomes, it has much more value in the long-term horizon.
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Re: If you can't get into a Top 5, don't even bother! [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2013, 15:25
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Well, good thing he's a Wharton alum instead of an HBS alum (although he's likely a Wharton alum because he got rejected by HBS), otherwise he might be writing "If you can't get into HBS/Stanford don't even bother!"
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Re: If you can't get into a Top 5, don't even bother! [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2013, 23:33
At the HBS roadshow I met a local alum who said literally during his public speech - If you can't get into HBS you shouldn't go anywhere - quite arrogant but not a rare idea among alumni. Nevertheless, the point is that the top schools can give you resources which you can't get at lower ranking schools and probably at some point TOP 5, 10,20... (for every person this point is different) there is no reason to go to the business school at all and you better try other things saving your money, time and energy. At least I got that article in that way even though it has some flaws.
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Re: If you can't get into a Top 5, don't even bother! [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2013, 05:54
polyaris wrote:
At the HBS roadshow I met a local alum who said literally during his public speech - If you can't get into HBS you shouldn't go anywhere - quite arrogant but not a rare idea among alumni. Nevertheless, the point is that the top schools can give you resources which you can't get at lower ranking schools and probably at some point TOP 5, 10,20... (for every person this point is different) there is no reason to go to the business school at all and you better try other things saving your money, time and energy. At least I got that article in that way even though it has some flaws.


There's nothing you can get at Harvard that you can't get at Stanford. Yes, the worth of an MBA starts to drop rather significantly as you go down the rankings, but saying there are only 5 schools you should go to for all careers is beyond ridiculous. If you want to go in to IB, why leave off Booth? If you want to get in to tech, Kellogg and to a lesser extent Wharton and Harvard wouldn't really even be on my list. Haas certainly would be though.

There are a finite number of top schools that are "worth it" depending on what your goals are, but there certainly is not a list of 5 that everyone should go to.
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Re: If you can't get into a Top 5, don't even bother! [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2013, 08:25
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An absolute moron wrote:
The sad reality is that an MBA is not as valuable today as it was 30 years ago. Stanford University published data stating that from 2005 to 2008, over 94% of graduates had jobs by graduation. However, since then, only about 75% of graduates had jobs lined up at graduation.

The U.S. economy was booming from 2005-2008, and we have been in a tremendous recession since. The dip from 94% to 75% is CLEARLY signficantly impacted by the poor performing U.S. economy...

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Also, the “value” of an MBA is largely determined by the increase in opportunity post-MBA vs. pre-MBA. While I agree that post-MBA benefits aren’t as good as 2005-2008, I would argue that the pre-MBA opportunities aren’t either…


A pretentious d-bag wrote:
Many of my classmates from the Wharton Class of 2002 complain that their MBA was only valuable during their first job out of school. Once they went looking for another job, no one really cared what school they went to or how well they performed at the school. It was as if their degrees were rendered meaningless in all future jobs.

So, once you’re in the door at a company, there is no difference in value for a Top 5 MBA vs. any MBA. I've heard that before and I'm sure it's true. However, it definitely weakens the initial ‘if not Top 5, don’t bother’ argument...


A guy who tricked the Wharton admissions committee in 1999 wrote:
Some classmates who work at startups actually hide the fact that they have an MBA from their work colleagues. Most startups look down on candidates with an MBA. They do not consider MBAs “rebellious” enough to be part of a startup or they find them lacking in core skills needed in an early stage startup: engineering, fundraising experience, bootstrap-marketing expertise, previous startup experience.

This only supports a don’t bother with ANY MBA argument and does nothing to distinguish Top 5 vs. any.


A pathetic excuse for a writer wrote:
Twenty years ago, an MBA candidate would be competing with just his classmates for a job. However, today, he also has to compete with those graduating from the school’s executive and part-time programs.

So, twenty years ago, MBAs used to be a more effective way to differentiate yourself. Sure, I buy that. However, increased competition is not a logical reason not to pursue an MBA, specifically if you’re seeking a position that virtually requires the degree (i.e., consulting, i-banking, brand management, LDPs, etc.)


A guy who cannot think logically wrote:
Finally, the economic conditions that exist today have resulted in companies paying less and hiring less. MBAs just cannot get the job offers that their peers got several years before. An even more painful fact is that most employers now only hire a few MBAs and only recruit from a select few schools. So, those students going to second-tier MBA programs are finding fewer job opportunities at top firms.

Once again, the “value” of an MBA is relative. While it’s true that hiring and salaries have been down for MBAs, so has the job security and promotion/raise opportunities for those who continue to work…again, the benefit post-MBA is less than prior years, but so are the opportunity costs…
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Re: If you can't get into a Top 5, don't even bother! [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2013, 10:01
Nice - I don't get the part about about MBAs competing with PT and Exec MBAs from the same school. PT/Exec guys are often company sponsored and returning to the same company, and if they're not, I've heard (sorry about the hearsay, I just haven't cared enough to verify it) that a lot of Part-time/Exec programs don't have access to the same career management center that the Full-time students do, and are definitely NOT competing for summer interships that can turn into full time offers, thus doing nothing to decrease the "value" of a full-time MBA.
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Re: If you can't get into a Top 5, don't even bother! [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2013, 17:57
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Let's pretend his thesis was this: "If you can't go to one of YOUR top 5 MBA choices. don't even bother." For me there were only about 7 business schools that I would choose to attend. Outside of those (of which only 1 or 2 is "top 5" by his standards), I probably would have decided not to get my MBA. I'm curious if others feel the same way.
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Re: If you can't get into a Top 5, don't even bother! [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2013, 18:38
machichi wrote:
Let's pretend his thesis was this: "If you can't go to one of YOUR top 5 MBA choices. don't even bother." For me there were only about 7 business schools that I would choose to attend. Outside of those (of which only 1 or 2 is "top 5" by his standards), I probably would have decided not to get my MBA. I'm curious if others feel the same way.

Agreed wholeheartedly. Certain schools in this guy's "Top 5" I simply did not feel passionate about, and thus didn't make MY "Top 5", which to me is of much greater importance. Of this guy's "Top 5", I only applied to 2...the other three I didn't want to be anywhere near.
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Re: If you can't get into a Top 5, don't even bother! [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2013, 19:28
CobraKai wrote:
Nice - I don't get the part about about MBAs competing with PT and Exec MBAs from the same school. PT/Exec guys are often company sponsored and returning to the same company, and if they're not, I've heard (sorry about the hearsay, I just haven't cared enough to verify it) that a lot of Part-time/Exec programs don't have access to the same career management center that the Full-time students do, and are definitely NOT competing for summer interships that can turn into full time offers, thus doing nothing to decrease the "value" of a full-time MBA.

It depends on the school. At Booth PT and Exec MBAs do not have access to internship recruiting. They can recruit for full-time roles though. However, the majority do stay with their employers through graduation. I have yet to hear any 2nd years in the FT program say they felt at any disadvantage because PT students were also in the recruiting pool.
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Re: If you can't get into a Top 5, don't even bother! [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2013, 20:16
machichi wrote:
Let's pretend his thesis was this: "If you can't go to one of YOUR top 5 MBA choices. don't even bother." For me there were only about 7 business schools that I would choose to attend. Outside of those (of which only 1 or 2 is "top 5" by his standards), I probably would have decided not to get my MBA. I'm curious if others feel the same way.


Agree 100%. I had a clear pecking order and really didn't want to have to apply to my 5th and 6th choices in Round 2. And now since I'm not stressing about Round 2 interview invites, I can spend my weekends watching cartoons in a forever lazy onesie for adults if I choose to.




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Re: If you can't get into a Top 5, don't even bother! [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2013, 17:41
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I actually found this the most telling quip:

"The sad reality is that an MBA is not as valuable today as it was 30 years ago. Stanford University published data stating that from 2005 to 2008, over 94% of graduates had jobs by graduation. However, since then, only about 75% of graduates had jobs lined up at graduation. Stanford is a top MBA program, so you can imagine it being worse at other schools. "

There are a HUGE number of reasons one might postulate for this shift (that have nothing to due with decreased return)

* Stanford has grown in reputation as an excellent entrepreneurial school, perhaps a greater percentage of students are electing not to pursue a job right out of the program
* Perhaps a shift in the reporting methodology (i.e. perhaps its now defined as of the entire class, whereas it may have previously been defined as a % of those seeking employment - which is what most programs do)
* A change in the overall risk tolerance of students
* A change in the definition of "at graduation" (if you read the details of many employment reports you'll find its usually defined as within 3 months of graduation)
* A change in the % of students self-reporting
* The data range he chose seems cherry picked, why 2005 to 2008? Why not 2004 to 2009? Or 2000 to 2010? Or for that matter, compared a decade ago to the current decade? (Edit I now see Optimistic Applicant made this exact argument and actually bothered to look up data... kudos)

You could go on and on and on.... but the most peculiar claim is that since Stanford is "down", then the conclusion one should draw is that its "worse" at other schools. Common, thats just a basic fallacy. Show me aggregated data from the top 20 schools over a long period of time that shows a measured and controlled decrease, normalized against recessionary impacts, and I'll buy the argument. This is akin to the guy who says that school X placed 2 more people at Bain than school Y, thus, school X is better for recruiting.

And of course, the idea that the top 5 is all that matters seems pretty silly. The average staring salary at Booth this year for Chicago based job is $130,000. That hardly seems bad. Even so, why the elitism? For someone making $40K a year and going to $80K a year at a 2nd or 3rd tier school, the benefits are just as tangible.

My conclusion is that he's entire article is myopic, poorly researched platitude intended to garner discussion by putting forth an unpleasant and theoretically controversial view.
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Re: If you can't get into a Top 5, don't even bother! [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2013, 17:57
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I have yet to hear any 2nd years in the FT program say they felt at any disadvantage because PT students were also in the recruiting pool.


Give it time. You will.
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Re: If you can't get into a Top 5, don't even bother! [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2013, 01:40
rhyme wrote:
I actually found this the most telling quip:

"The sad reality is that an MBA is not as valuable today as it was 30 years ago. Stanford University published data stating that from 2005 to 2008, over 94% of graduates had jobs by graduation. However, since then, only about 75% of graduates had jobs lined up at graduation. Stanford is a top MBA program, so you can imagine it being worse at other schools. "

There are a HUGE number of reasons one might postulate for this shift (that have nothing to due with decreased return)

* Stanford has grown in reputation as an excellent entrepreneurial school, perhaps a greater percentage of students are electing not to pursue a job right out of the program
* Perhaps a shift in the reporting methodology (i.e. perhaps its now defined as of the entire class, whereas it may have previously been defined as a % of those seeking employment - which is what most programs do)
* A change in the overall risk tolerance of students
* A change in the definition of "at graduation" (if you read the details of many employment reports you'll find its usually defined as within 3 months of graduation)
* A change in the % of students self-reporting
* The data range he chose seems cherry picked, why 2005 to 2008? Why not 2004 to 2009? Or 2000 to 2010? Or for that matter, compared a decade ago to the current decade? (Edit I now see Optimistic Applicant made this exact argument and actually bothered to look up data... kudos)

You could go on and on and on.... but the most peculiar claim is that since Stanford is "down", then the conclusion one should draw is that its "worse" at other schools. Common, thats just a basic fallacy. Show me aggregated data from the top 20 schools over a long period of time that shows a measured and controlled decrease, normalized against recessionary impacts, and I'll buy the argument. This is akin to the guy who says that school X placed 2 more people at Bain than school Y, thus, school X is better for recruiting.

And of course, the idea that the top 5 is all that matters seems pretty silly. The average staring salary at Booth this year for Chicago based job is $130,000. That hardly seems bad. Even so, why the elitism? For someone making $40K a year and going to $80K a year at a 2nd or 3rd tier school, the benefits are just as tangible.

My conclusion is that he's entire article is myopic, poorly researched platitude intended to garner discussion by putting forth an unpleasant and theoretically controversial view.



You have ripped the assumptions apart rhyme and for that sole reason this should be the top post of this month :). Having read the headlines of the articles on few occasions I was convinced that the article is bound to be hollow. I somehow felt that the author has an entrepreneurial bend and is having hard time using his Wharton credentials to enter the start up arena. I also believe that his batch mates at Wharton were disillusioned by "What a MBA prepares for" v.s " What one aspires to be" and hit the ground reality when switching jobs.
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Re: If you can't get into a Top 5, don't even bother! [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2013, 02:11
rhyme wrote:
I actually found this the most telling quip:

"The sad reality is that an MBA is not as valuable today as it was 30 years ago. Stanford University published data stating that from 2005 to 2008, over 94% of graduates had jobs by graduation. However, since then, only about 75% of graduates had jobs lined up at graduation. Stanford is a top MBA program, so you can imagine it being worse at other schools. "

There are a HUGE number of reasons one might postulate for this shift (that have nothing to due with decreased return)

* Stanford has grown in reputation as an excellent entrepreneurial school, perhaps a greater percentage of students are electing not to pursue a job right out of the program
* Perhaps a shift in the reporting methodology (i.e. perhaps its now defined as of the entire class, whereas it may have previously been defined as a % of those seeking employment - which is what most programs do)
* A change in the overall risk tolerance of students
* A change in the definition of "at graduation" (if you read the details of many employment reports you'll find its usually defined as within 3 months of graduation)
* A change in the % of students self-reporting
* The data range he chose seems cherry picked, why 2005 to 2008? Why not 2004 to 2009? Or 2000 to 2010? Or for that matter, compared a decade ago to the current decade? (Edit I now see Optimistic Applicant made this exact argument and actually bothered to look up data... kudos)

You could go on and on and on.... but the most peculiar claim is that since Stanford is "down", then the conclusion one should draw is that its "worse" at other schools. Common, thats just a basic fallacy. Show me aggregated data from the top 20 schools over a long period of time that shows a measured and controlled decrease, normalized against recessionary impacts, and I'll buy the argument. This is akin to the guy who says that school X placed 2 more people at Bain than school Y, thus, school X is better for recruiting.

And of course, the idea that the top 5 is all that matters seems pretty silly. The average staring salary at Booth this year for Chicago based job is $130,000. That hardly seems bad. Even so, why the elitism? For someone making $40K a year and going to $80K a year at a 2nd or 3rd tier school, the benefits are just as tangible.

My conclusion is that he's entire article is myopic, poorly researched platitude intended to garner discussion by putting forth an unpleasant and theoretically controversial view.


This post should be moved to the AWA section... This is how you take apart a flawed argument..
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Re: If you can't get into a Top 5, don't even bother! [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2013, 07:59
rhyme wrote:
cheetarah1980 wrote:
I have yet to hear any 2nd years in the FT program say they felt at any disadvantage because PT students were also in the recruiting pool.


Give it time. You will.


And that's what kills me. There seems to be this idea that PT students are somehow inferior to FT students because they decided to keep their jobs while going to school. While looking at PT programs, I immediately knocked any program that treated PT students differently off the list.
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Re: If you can't get into a Top 5, don't even bother! [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2013, 08:46
rhyme wrote:
...entire article is myopic, poorly researched platitude intended to garner discussion by putting forth an unpleasant and theoretically controversial view.


True story.
Re: If you can't get into a Top 5, don't even bother!   [#permalink] 21 Jan 2013, 08:46
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