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In retrospect....

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Re: In retrospect.... [#permalink] New post 12 May 2011, 16:09
eskimoroll wrote:
Interesting. Maybe I didn't meet those people since my wife and I skipped the champagne reception during R1 ASW to have dinner with some good friends. We're pretty laid back anyways but we were happy to meet lots of really nice folks that I'd gladly call friends. I've got a lifetime to network. My two years at HBS will be spent making meaningful relationships. :-D


Well shoot... Now I'm really hoping I get to meet you and your wife. :-D I can't wait to get a whole new set of really good friends who open up the world to me. It's going to be a good 2 years!
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Re: In retrospect.... [#permalink] New post 12 May 2011, 21:35
Rhyme you are the go-to guy mann. Thanks lot
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Re: In retrospect.... [#permalink] New post 13 May 2011, 01:48
icemanjs4 wrote:
eskimoroll wrote:
Interesting. Maybe I didn't meet those people since my wife and I skipped the champagne reception during R1 ASW to have dinner with some good friends. We're pretty laid back anyways but we were happy to meet lots of really nice folks that I'd gladly call friends. I've got a lifetime to network. My two years at HBS will be spent making meaningful relationships. :-D


Well shoot... Now I'm really hoping I get to meet you and your wife. :-D I can't wait to get a whole new set of really good friends who open up the world to me. It's going to be a good 2 years!


Ditto dude. There's a bunch of us regulars on gmatclub that have decided to go to HBS so I'm looking forward to putting a face to a screen name. :-D
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Re: In retrospect.... [#permalink] New post 13 May 2011, 04:10
Just stumbled on this post - thank you! ive been feeling overwhelmed with school choices and it's good to hear this from someone's who been through it already!
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Re: In retrospect.... [#permalink] New post 13 May 2011, 20:34
Insightful, indeed!

:-)

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Re: In retrospect.... [#permalink] New post 14 May 2011, 22:30
Great topic. I hope more 2008/2009/2010 gmatclubbers will chime in with their 'in retrospect's as well :)
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Re: In retrospect.... [#permalink] New post 16 May 2011, 06:58
http://poetsandquants.com/2010/06/30/best-mba-speakers/

Echoes some of the same messages that were just expressed on this thread.
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Re: In retrospect.... [#permalink] New post 17 May 2011, 07:32
rhyme wrote:
Quote:
Great insight Rhyme and we could definitely use much more of this. Maybe when you have the time, would you consider posting your thoughts/impressions on courses/profs that you came across during your time at Booth and write a short brief about it.

There wouldnt be much point - I took 21 courses out of who knows how many options. The odds that mine are the same you'd want are slim, and on top of that, there's no guarantee that the same professors are teaching the same courses anymore (I can think of at least 2 that I took who I know have moved on to other places). That said, its not hard to find out who is well respected. Schraeger and Bester are classics known for their impressive courses. Kevin Murphy is considered the most bad!@(# econ professor there - and with good reason - his course demands approximately 16 hours a week of study when most courses average 4. Those who take him cry like schoolgirls during the course and then feel like hardened men when done. It's not for the faint of heart, but if you want to learn from "the best", his class would be hte generally accepted answer. Richard Thaler is also incredibly well known as the father of behavioral economics. In my personal opinion, his research is more impressive than his class, but I am in the minority there - most people love it. Steven Kaplan is probably the most sought after PE professor, and I'm told he's a hardliner... cell phone goes off in class, get ready to get thrown out. Rajan and Zingales are both well known for their respective fields, if those interest you. Kevin Rock teaches a number of advanced finance courses - cases in financial management is probably his most famous and is heavily in demand by those interested in banking jobs. Its a tough class for those without a banking background - and the only class I took that I didn't get an A in.


Quote:
I understand that something of this nature is already available to current students but not sure if the course reviews there are insightful enough (the school hasnt yet granted us access).


You probably do have access if you have a cnetid. Try to find them and try again. That said, don't expect too much. You'll see a score of 1 to 4 on a few dimensions. Pay attention to anything lower than a 3, and pay particular attention to the distributions. Most classes have a distro you'd expect: a few 1's (people pissed off at life), a few 2's (mad for some reason), a few 3's, a lot of 4's and a few 5's. The ones to watch out for are the ones with oddball distros: lots of 1's and lots of 4's. In my experience those classes are trouble.

Dont sweat this stuff, you'll figure it all out quite quickly.

Quote:
I would be more than happy to keep the chain going by posting my own reviews, as I go through the program.


A noble offer, but you won't. Life will take over and this site will be the last thing on your mind.


Thanks Rhyme, this is all very helpful. And hey you're still on here posting reviews so let's give him the benefit of the doubt :wink:
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Re: In retrospect.... [#permalink] New post 17 May 2011, 09:47
Michmax3 wrote:
rhyme wrote:
Quote:
Great insight Rhyme and we could definitely use much more of this. Maybe when you have the time, would you consider posting your thoughts/impressions on courses/profs that you came across during your time at Booth and write a short brief about it.

There wouldnt be much point - I took 21 courses out of who knows how many options. The odds that mine are the same you'd want are slim, and on top of that, there's no guarantee that the same professors are teaching the same courses anymore (I can think of at least 2 that I took who I know have moved on to other places). That said, its not hard to find out who is well respected. Schraeger and Bester are classics known for their impressive courses. Kevin Murphy is considered the most bad!@(# econ professor there - and with good reason - his course demands approximately 16 hours a week of study when most courses average 4. Those who take him cry like schoolgirls during the course and then feel like hardened men when done. It's not for the faint of heart, but if you want to learn from "the best", his class would be hte generally accepted answer. Richard Thaler is also incredibly well known as the father of behavioral economics. In my personal opinion, his research is more impressive than his class, but I am in the minority there - most people love it. Steven Kaplan is probably the most sought after PE professor, and I'm told he's a hardliner... cell phone goes off in class, get ready to get thrown out. Rajan and Zingales are both well known for their respective fields, if those interest you. Kevin Rock teaches a number of advanced finance courses - cases in financial management is probably his most famous and is heavily in demand by those interested in banking jobs. Its a tough class for those without a banking background - and the only class I took that I didn't get an A in.


Quote:
I understand that something of this nature is already available to current students but not sure if the course reviews there are insightful enough (the school hasnt yet granted us access).


You probably do have access if you have a cnetid. Try to find them and try again. That said, don't expect too much. You'll see a score of 1 to 4 on a few dimensions. Pay attention to anything lower than a 3, and pay particular attention to the distributions. Most classes have a distro you'd expect: a few 1's (people pissed off at life), a few 2's (mad for some reason), a few 3's, a lot of 4's and a few 5's. The ones to watch out for are the ones with oddball distros: lots of 1's and lots of 4's. In my experience those classes are trouble.

Dont sweat this stuff, you'll figure it all out quite quickly.

Quote:
I would be more than happy to keep the chain going by posting my own reviews, as I go through the program.


A noble offer, but you won't. Life will take over and this site will be the last thing on your mind.


Thanks Rhyme, this is all very helpful. And hey you're still on here posting reviews so let's give him the benefit of the doubt :wink:


At least one person in the room believes me! :shifty:
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Re: In retrospect.... [#permalink] New post 17 May 2011, 12:58
rhyme wrote:
riverripper wrote:
Having just gone to my Kellogg 1st year reunion, I was shocked at how many people hated their jobs and really blown away by how many had already moved on to a new job. Some of this may be a result of tough recruiting and improving options. However, a lot is people taking jobs based on brand/pay without regards to other factors. It seems pretty common for some companies to give the bait and switch, this may be unintentional on their part...honestly it is very difficult for a company to know exactly what you will be doing 18 months after recruiting take place. My friends from banking all looked like walking zombies and most talked about how it was a two or three year plan before leveraging their experience for something better suited to having a life.

There is a lot to be said about really looking hard at any company you are planning on joining, get away from the folks involved in recruiting. Remember they are basically sales people, they are selling their company to you. Even if they are alums and you like them, I found it rare that they would open up about the really bad things about a company. However, alums and others I could contact who worked at companies who were not involved in the recruiting process were generally very very open about the pros/cons of their company. There were companies I decided to completely avoid based on what I learned; I felt no matter how great the brand, pay, and supposed opportunities that I would hate being there.


This is good advice. Like riverripper, I've been shocked by the number of people looking to leave their firms. To be fair, I was one of those (and I've since left) largely because I was sold what I thought was a bag of goods in recruiting and the real job didnt come close to living up to the real thing. It wasn't money in my case -- just the lesser of a few options and the only job offer I had that didn't require me to move or to go back to consulting (which I had no interest in doing) - but after a year at that gig (actually after about 2 weeks) it was clear to me that it wasn't a fit. They (recruiters) know how to market to MBAs... I had dinner with the CFO and CEO of a company that employes over 50,000 people - and yet, when the rubber met the road, the job lacked responsibility, challenge and intellectual rigor.

Some of my friends who chased money are happy - some are just wired for the 100 hour week - others are miserable beyond compare. A "sorta friend" of mine who I ran into while visiting London told me he was making $100K ish base, plus a $50K sign on, plus another $100K bonus on top of that and he was unhappy beyond belief. First class was empty and I got him bumped up - we spent the next 10 hours catching up. A year later he called to tell me he was back in town, had quit, was making half what he had been and was a million times happier. Good for him I say.

I've since gone to a non-traditional firm myself (they dont come to campus) and I couldn't be happier. I may not be making quite as much as some of my peers, but I've got everything I need: a comfortable single family home to raise my family in, a nice backyard i can spend years fighting weeds in, a interesting job, a loving wife, and I'm home by six.

The broader point riverripper makes is a good one: the 'menu' of options presented at MBA programs is woefully small when one stops to consider all the opportunities that are out there. And if you step away from either brand or money for a moment, and really think about what you would want to do, the world opens up.


Haha, add me to the list of people who quit their first post-MBA job less than a year after starting it. :lol: I went to Kellogg fully expecting to pursue a non-traditional route but fell victim to the consulting sway and eventually took that path.

Worst idea ever.

After a waste of 7 months I'm back at a non-traditional company doing work that is actually interesting and meaningful to me (with a small pay raise to boot). Just yesterday I was at home after work cooking dinner (something that wouldn't be possible if I were still a consultant) and somehow the thought came to my mind about how much incredibly happier I am now that I've prioritized an industry, type of role, company and especially company culture that really appeal to me.

Moral of my story: The recruiters and practitioners at the firm I joined duped me. Only rely on the people you trust the most when evaluating a company.
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Re: In retrospect.... [#permalink] New post 18 May 2011, 04:43
Rubashov1 wrote:
Moral of my story: The recruiters and practitioners at the firm I joined duped me. Only rely on the people you trust the most when evaluating a company.


I'm so sorry to hear that... I got duped into my current "consulting" company and after fighting to find interesting work inside and outside of the firm decided to give up and apply to B-School. I went into the firm expecting to work on a team with other smart consultants on challenging projects but was instead shipped off to a government site where I was tasked with filling a staff augmentation role that is usually performed by someone with far less education than I have. When I looked for work outside I was told I lacked experience in a certain industry (say, finance) or that I hadn't worked in the public sector. I think those responses are in part due to the tight labor market. Most of the system engineering skills I've gained working for government clients are transferable to other industries.

Anyway, at an ASW, I asked the consulting panel about the types of projects they work on. How would I know I wouldn't be tasked with an IT implementation project or worse - staff aug - if I joined their firm. Every panelist up there said that there was no way a client would pay all that money for a top MBA to do anything less than C-level strategy consulting. A former banker and I talked about it afterwords and both agreed that we don't plan on recruiting heavily for consulting this fall because we aren't confident that we'll be given meaningful work.

Point of my story - thanks for sharing your experience. It's yet another data point that confirms my fears about consulting.
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Re: In retrospect.... [#permalink] New post 18 May 2011, 06:07
Rubashov1 wrote:
rhyme wrote:
riverripper wrote:
Having just gone to my Kellogg 1st year reunion, I was shocked at how many people hated their jobs and really blown away by how many had already moved on to a new job. Some of this may be a result of tough recruiting and improving options. However, a lot is people taking jobs based on brand/pay without regards to other factors. It seems pretty common for some companies to give the bait and switch, this may be unintentional on their part...honestly it is very difficult for a company to know exactly what you will be doing 18 months after recruiting take place. My friends from banking all looked like walking zombies and most talked about how it was a two or three year plan before leveraging their experience for something better suited to having a life.

There is a lot to be said about really looking hard at any company you are planning on joining, get away from the folks involved in recruiting. Remember they are basically sales people, they are selling their company to you. Even if they are alums and you like them, I found it rare that they would open up about the really bad things about a company. However, alums and others I could contact who worked at companies who were not involved in the recruiting process were generally very very open about the pros/cons of their company. There were companies I decided to completely avoid based on what I learned; I felt no matter how great the brand, pay, and supposed opportunities that I would hate being there.


This is good advice. Like riverripper, I've been shocked by the number of people looking to leave their firms. To be fair, I was one of those (and I've since left) largely because I was sold what I thought was a bag of goods in recruiting and the real job didnt come close to living up to the real thing. It wasn't money in my case -- just the lesser of a few options and the only job offer I had that didn't require me to move or to go back to consulting (which I had no interest in doing) - but after a year at that gig (actually after about 2 weeks) it was clear to me that it wasn't a fit. They (recruiters) know how to market to MBAs... I had dinner with the CFO and CEO of a company that employes over 50,000 people - and yet, when the rubber met the road, the job lacked responsibility, challenge and intellectual rigor.

Some of my friends who chased money are happy - some are just wired for the 100 hour week - others are miserable beyond compare. A "sorta friend" of mine who I ran into while visiting London told me he was making $100K ish base, plus a $50K sign on, plus another $100K bonus on top of that and he was unhappy beyond belief. First class was empty and I got him bumped up - we spent the next 10 hours catching up. A year later he called to tell me he was back in town, had quit, was making half what he had been and was a million times happier. Good for him I say.

I've since gone to a non-traditional firm myself (they dont come to campus) and I couldn't be happier. I may not be making quite as much as some of my peers, but I've got everything I need: a comfortable single family home to raise my family in, a nice backyard i can spend years fighting weeds in, a interesting job, a loving wife, and I'm home by six.

The broader point riverripper makes is a good one: the 'menu' of options presented at MBA programs is woefully small when one stops to consider all the opportunities that are out there. And if you step away from either brand or money for a moment, and really think about what you would want to do, the world opens up.


Haha, add me to the list of people who quit their first post-MBA job less than a year after starting it. :lol: I went to Kellogg fully expecting to pursue a non-traditional route but fell victim to the consulting sway and eventually took that path.

Worst idea ever.

After a waste of 7 months I'm back at a non-traditional company doing work that is actually interesting and meaningful to me (with a small pay raise to boot). Just yesterday I was at home after work cooking dinner (something that wouldn't be possible if I were still a consultant) and somehow the thought came to my mind about how much incredibly happier I am now that I've prioritized an industry, type of role, company and especially company culture that really appeal to me.

Moral of my story: The recruiters and practitioners at the firm I joined duped me. Only rely on the people you trust the most when evaluating a company.


What's the best way to find non-traditional opportunities? How did you know this would be something you find interesting and be happy with? I ask because it seems like people go into traditional paths thinking they'll have interesting work and be happy also. But if those jobs don't turn out as expected, I would think other opportunities would be just as likely to go sour. What's the best way to evaluate a company/position/company culture?
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Re: In retrospect.... [#permalink] New post 18 May 2011, 07:35
Rubashov1 wrote:
Quote:
What's the best way to find non-traditional opportunities? How did you know this would be something you find interesting and be happy with? I ask because it seems like people go into traditional paths thinking they'll have interesting work and be happy also. But if those jobs don't turn out as expected, I would think other opportunities would be just as likely to go sour. What's the best way to evaluate a company/position/company culture?


In terms of finding non-traditional opportunities, I think it's mostly about identifying an industry or function and doing as much research as possible on it. Look for industry groups and see who the members are. Look for conferences and exhibitions and see what companies are attending / presenting. Sign up for 10 different LinkedIn or Doostang job search emails and do a quick internet review on each interesting-looking company. Do general LinkedIn searches. Lots of ways but it takes (easy) leg-work. Triangulate that with your school's alumni database and LinkedIn and start to reach out to people that work at your target companies.

In terms of evaluating them, that's a toughie. I think half of it is gut feel (I did not listen to my gut enough when doing on-campus recruiting). The other half is tough. Grill your interviewers (obviously with finesse and tact). Google the company extensively for bad reviews from employees and customers (keeping in mind that most internet reviewers are nutjobs). But mostly try to find about 5 people that you really, really trust to give you their perspective.

Also, as someone mentioned earlier, when you recruit on campus it can be up to a year or more sometimes before you actually join. That makes it hard to define your specific role (consulting is obviously even more ambiguous). When you join just shortly after recruiting, which is more common in non-traditional paths, you can work more to really clarify the types of things you will be doing, especially in the near-term. I joined my 2nd post-MBA company knowing exactly what I would be working on for the first 6 months and a pretty good idea for the first 12-18 months.

When I think of my 5-6 closest alumni friends, the 2 that are happiest with their jobs went the non-traditional, not on-campus route.


Thanks! Very helpful.
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Re: In retrospect.... [#permalink] New post 18 May 2011, 07:49
amylucha wrote:
Great post!!

Question for you (or anyone else) about rankings:

You said they don't really matter in the end, however, I've been struggling with this question and wonder which way I should go:

Pepperdine MBA vs. UCLA MBA

I'm looking at the fully-employed programs at both schools. Under normal circumstances, it would be a no-brainer for me (UCLA!). However, I have the opportunity to complete my MBA at Pepperdine 18 months earlier and with $60,000 savings over UCLA FEMBA.

If I was younger, this decision would be much easier (UCLA!), however, I will be close to 39 years old (!!) when I enter either program. So I am unsure if a degree from UCLA would give me as much benefit over a Pepperdine degree (job-wise) as it would for a much younger candidate.

Any thoughts?



I'm sort of in the same boat as you. I'm wondering if it is really worth it to pay for a top program at my age 34? I also have gone to a few events at Pepperdine and liked the atmosphere.

good luck with your decision!
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Re: In retrospect.... [#permalink] New post 18 May 2011, 07:57
Sage advice rhyme. Thanks
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Re: In retrospect.... [#permalink] New post 18 May 2011, 10:31
Great post guys - Rhyme, Riverripper, and everyone contributing here !! A big kudos to all of you.
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Re: In retrospect.... [#permalink] New post 19 May 2011, 00:30
This has been one of the most valuable threads around, especially with riverripper and rhyme weighing in with the one-year reunions and fellow alumni and how quickly they switched out of their tried-and-true post-MBA jobs and found something that was a better fit. The more examples and specifics, the better for us prospectives as we plan our MBA paths..
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Re: In retrospect.... [#permalink] New post 19 May 2011, 06:51
Quote:

But mostly try to find about 5 people that you really, really trust to give you their perspective.



Good advice. When I was considering my current role I reached out to two classmates who came from the firm. One was then working in private equity consulting practice of one of the M/B/Bs. It doesn't get much more sexy or desirable than that and yet, six months into the job, he told me he sometimes thinks of going back. That was pretty telling: He's making really good money doing one of the most in-demand jobs you could possibly get out of an MBA and yet he *actively* entertains going back to his old job? That said a lot.
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Re: In retrospect.... [#permalink] New post 19 May 2011, 07:03
rhyme wrote:
mEEchigan04 wrote:
Rubashov1 wrote:

Anyway, at an ASW, I asked the consulting panel about the types of projects they work on. How would I know I wouldn't be tasked with an IT implementation project or worse - staff aug - if I joined their firm. Every panelist up there said that there was no way a client would pay all that money for a top MBA to do anything less than C-level strategy consulting.


I imagine its obvious but they are drinking the koolaid and going to be dissapointed. That simply isn't true. I saw a bunch of Bain consultants spend MONTHS trying to put a $ value on the "Brand" of my prior company. I mean, literally MONTHS on that one piece of work. Strategic? Maybe .... I dont know. Meaningful? Not really. So at the end of this project they present a hundred page deck that effectively concludes that company X has $100M in more "brand equity" than company Y. This wasn't rocket science: start with each firms valuation, adjust for as many things as you can - size, geography, etc... and whatever you can't explain is "brand". They fancied it up with some complicated math and made up metrics, if the industry standard was to use X they would use X+A+2B+3C and then spend 30 pages backing up why that might yield a slightly better figure than just using X. A MCK team I ran into not long ago was working on a valuation model for spare parts. Seriously. Important? Yes, it was used in negotiations in the sale of certain assets, but strategic stuff thats really impactful? No.


This is a great thread with a ton of useful information for us incoming students. Is it possible to give a bit more background on what you all are doing in these "non-traditional" careers. Is that all strategic stuff that's really impactful?
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Re: In retrospect.... [#permalink] New post 19 May 2011, 13:05
I believe a non-traditional route is the best for me as the more I learn about large consultancies the less enamored I become. What role (if any) can your school's career development center play in identifying firms or providing another bit of feedback about a potential path?

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Re: In retrospect....   [#permalink] 19 May 2011, 13:05
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