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Is "where you do your MBA" only important right after grad?

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Is "where you do your MBA" only important right after grad? [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2012, 08:47
Hi everyone,

I have a question regarding the relative value of "where" you do your MBA. I've heard that the most value the MBA brand (of your school) can provide is for the first job immediately after graduation, and after 5+ years out of MBA school, where you did your MBA won't matter much at all, and it'll only be about your experience. Is this true?

I'm currently debating between going to school in the US and Canada (I'm from Canada) - I don't have a specific city/state/area in mind as for where I'd like to relocate for post-MBA work, and would love to keep my options open for the future. I'm just afraid that going to school in Canada will limit me to just employment opportunities within Canada, not necessarily immediately after grad but also 5, 10 years down the road. However, if I choose to go to a US school (i.e. a Georgetown, McCombs, or UNC-KF) and decide to come back to Canada right after graduation, work for a few years, and then go to the US to look for work, will I get much value out of doing the MBA in the US or should I just stick with Canada? Will it be more about work experience at that point, or will a US MBA brand still be of much more value than doing a CDN MBA?

Thanks!
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Re: Is "where you do your MBA" only important right after grad? [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2012, 09:49
In response to your first paragraph, I think the two are connected. Ultimately, experience is what matters, but where you go to school will have a large effect on what your particular experience ends up being. Suppose you want to work for company A, which only brings in experienced hires from industry B. Then suppose that industry B only hires from a particular business school, say HBS. In this scenario, going to HBS doesn't guarantee a spot at company A, but not going to HBS means you probably won't get in at Company A. I would try to figure out what you want to do after school and then attend a program that has successfully placed students into that industry.

In regards to your second point about geography, all the schools you listed are regional schools, so most of the opportunities you'll source through career services will be more local. If you want to work in Canada after graduation, probably better to stay in Canada than go to a regional US school. Only glaring exception on your list might be McCombs if you're interested in energy (which is obviously very big in Canada and Texas)
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Re: Is "where you do your MBA" only important right after grad? [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2012, 01:20
tctc33 is right on the money...

If you're looking for more "international" or less region-specific options post MBA, then you would be better off targeting a top 10 US school. Canadian schools such as Rotman, Schulich & Ivey are great regional schools but do not garner much recognition in the States...Vice versa I'm sure a Georgetown or KF will not get much attention in Canada. Having an idea of where you would like to work & live in the long term will help you better assess your target schools. In your scenario of working in US after say 10 years in Canada, the MBA location, whether it be from Rotman or KF, would be pretty insignificant..
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Re: Is "where you do your MBA" only important right after grad?   [#permalink] 02 Jul 2012, 01:20
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