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Johnson MBA / Stanford MS. Help me decide please!

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Johnson MBA / Stanford MS. Help me decide please! [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2009, 14:38
Guys,

I am not very fond of these X vs Y threads but I really need insightful advice on my current situation..

I am 24, currently working as the head of the implementation team in an engineering firm that makes sales,marketing and implementation of technical industrial equipment. As many of you know, I want to advance my career and looking for an MBA from a top school that would be reputed both in US and in my country.

My company is going to sponsor me, but the exact amount of sponsorship is not certain as of now. Historically, it changed between 25% and 100% for sponsored employees, and currently I am not very optimistic for a full sponsorship due to the global crisis. My company will let me gain a certain amount of work experience post graduation. My preference as an MBA track would be Finance,but consulting is also another area that I am really interested in. I am also looking for opportunities in the Energy sector nowadays. Basically I'm a career switcher and an international.

After a quick background info, here comes my question.

I am accepted at Cornell, waitlisted at Wharton and also accepted at Stanford for its MS in Management Science and Engineering program.

Wharton is out of the game until I get an acceptance there after R3.

I am really stuck between which decision I should make. Stanford MS ? or Cornell MBA? Here are some cons and pros of each decision.

Stanford pros:

- One of the most reputable schools worldwide, also in my country (far overweighs cornell)
- Not MBA but good program. 8 options of tracks to choose from, one of which is Economics and Finance
- Can be finished in 1 to 1.5 years.
- Tuition is $40k (when compared to 100k of that of Cornell. It is going to be a very important factor if I get only a minor sponsorship)
- 29 months of OPT (Ability to stay longer and gain more international work experience)
- California sunshine (much better than ithaca)
- Can take classes from GSB

Stanford Cons:

- No internship (if finished in a year)
- Not MBA
- Not much info on career services.


Cornell Pros:

- MBA
- 2 years: better networking.
- Reputed well (though not as much as stanford)
- Good finance program ( though I don't know how I would be placed as being both a career switcher and an international)

Cornell Cons:

- Location
- Tuition
- 12 months of OPT


So, what do you think? I really really need your help!

PS: Votes with comments will be appreciated.
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Re: Johnson MBA / Stanford MS. Help me decide please! [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2009, 16:14
It's tough to say. As a career-changer it seems like Cornell makes more sense. I don't know if the Stanford program will really be amenable for a move into finance or consulting. Can you get input from the program on the career tracks that many of the students follow? I agree that Stanford is a wonderful addition to a resume, but if your goal is really to jump into something almost completely new, then it sounds like it would be tough to do in that program.
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Re: Johnson MBA / Stanford MS. Help me decide please! [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2009, 16:20
You are still young, I would go with the MS from Stanford, their brand overwhelms Cornell and I am a Cornell Grad...
I also think the Stanford MS program is very well regarded on its own.
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Re: Johnson MBA / Stanford MS. Help me decide please! [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2009, 16:42
my research proved that there were many people went into consulting and finance jobs. but of course no idea about their backgrounds.

I'm leaning towards Stanford as also falibay mentioned I might get an MBA 3-4 years later. I believe Stanford MS would absolutely make a great addition to my resume both for my career prospects and for my prospective MBA in the future...

any thoughts?
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Re: Johnson MBA / Stanford MS. Help me decide please! [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2009, 18:48
Stanford would no doubt be a great addition to your resume (especially if your planning to pursue an MBA again later)..

But do you want to jump ship now (do you hate your current work) ?? or is it ok for you to take a similar job after your MS..wait and apply mba later..and then do the job switch right after?
I would think it's really tough in this economy to switch your career track especially if you don't have the opportunity to intern somewhere else first. Cornell would allow you to intern in the summer.

I know this is not your question..but If you get into wharton (hopefully you can make it)...I would recommend you going there...easy.
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Re: Johnson MBA / Stanford MS. Help me decide please! [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2009, 20:11
Are you sure that the finance track at Stanford is really like a "traditional" finance track (in the MBA sense)? Or is it more of an engineering management-ish type finance track? I have a friend who's headed to the Stanford program next year, and his impression is that the program is definitely niched into specifically engineering management (as opposed to the broad management opportunities afforded by an MBA).

Aren't the average starting salaries out of Stanford like 70k-75k or so (I'm not sure about this, I just thought I remembered my friend saying this). Compare this with the average salaries out of top MBA programs at more like 100k-120k. My point isn't that people, on average, make more money out of MBA programs and that you should go where people report higher salaries - it's that this might suggest that there are very different opportunities out of the two programs (additionally, consider that the Stanford program is only 1-year).

So I guess my point is that in light of the difference in starting salaries, the possible difference in focus between the programs (specifically engineering management versus traditional MBA finance/management), and the difference in length of the programs, I would ask if the finance opportunities out of Stanford are really like the finance opportunities out of top MBA programs. Maybe they are, maybe they aren't - I would just look closely at it. If they're not, I would definitely vote Cornell if "traditional" MBA-type finance is your career goal. That's my two cents.
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Re: Johnson MBA / Stanford MS. Help me decide please! [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2009, 20:14
Ozzie - at DJ I am going to convince you to come to Johnson!
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Re: Johnson MBA / Stanford MS. Help me decide please! [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2009, 14:57
Guys,

Thank you very much for spending time to write to me in order to make some useful comments. All of you have some valid points but the fact that Cornell's tuition more than doubles Stanford makes me very uncomfortable.

In fact, I am really not sure about getting a traditional post-MBA job with those well-known salaries especially in this market.

At this time, I am leaning towards Stanford, and the fact that I can have my MBA later in 3-4 years again at another top 15 (maybe top 5 after US career and a Stanford degree in my hand) seems very interesting to me.

wonderheaven, you gotta try very hard buddy.. :)
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Re: Johnson MBA / Stanford MS. Help me decide please! [#permalink] New post 28 Mar 2009, 16:23
if you're planning on getting your mba later, i'd go for stanford ms.
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Re: Johnson MBA / Stanford MS. Help me decide please! [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2009, 09:08
Decision made for me.

If Wharton does not accept me, it is Stanford. I informed Johnson about my decision. Good luck to those waitlisted at Johnson. I hope some of you will get my place!

Thanks to those voting in my thread!
Re: Johnson MBA / Stanford MS. Help me decide please!   [#permalink] 13 Apr 2009, 09:08
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