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Kellogg vs. Tuck

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Kellogg vs. Tuck [#permalink] New post 28 Mar 2013, 18:44
I'm a non-traditional applicant from nonprofit/military/government with interests in doing a rotational program or consulting (vague I know). I've been accepted to Kellogg and Tuck and curious what people think based on my (vague) goals.

At this point, I'm leaning Tuck. While my goals seem to be Kellogg's bread and butter, I really value "the MBA experience" and don't view the 2 years as just a means to an end. While I initially applied to Tuck and Kellogg because they both were hyped as great experiences with students passionate about their respective schools, my limited experience w/ Kellogg has made me question if its reputation actually holds true. During my visit to Kellogg and in viewing this forum, I don't get the impression that Kellogg is really anyone's top choice (save for a few marketing folks) and I'm getting the vibe that it is a place people seem to end up if they don't get into any of the other top 8 schools (H/S/W/B/M/C/T). It even seems like Yale/Fuqua steals a decent number of Kellogg admits.

While I am by no means a rankings whore, I do want to go to a school where students (not just alums) are passionate about the school and excited to be there. Is my perception off on Kellogg? Have I been exposed to an unrepresentative sample there?

Tuck, on the other hand, seems to have lived up to the hype of having passionate "Tuckies", many of whom had Tuck as their first choice and are thrilled to be there.
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Re: Kellogg vs. Tuck [#permalink] New post 28 Mar 2013, 20:23
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Completely unrelated to your question but I have actually looked at your profile today after I noticed that you withdrew your application from Yale and then noticed you still have not picked a school and was very curious where you were planning to go and almost PM'ed you but then kids were eating dinner and that though flew away .... small world. I am glad you posted this. Was Yale too "obvious" or "pigeon hole" of a school?

You will get a lot more school pride with Tuck than Kellogg, just by sheer number of alums (the more the number, the looser they are). However, surprisingly enough both schools have a similar yield rate of about 55%. Duke and Yale are hovering just around under 50%, so I am not sure that they steal folks but basically all schools below H/S/W are usually what people tend to think they will "settle" for.

Both programs are good, solid, and will be great experience, but they will be completely different experience or rather as different as the two can be - setting (Chicago vs. Remote), large class vs. small, student culture, etc. There are really more differences between the two. I would agree and admit that in my experience, applicants tend to side/err on the side of Tuck outside of the HWS choices due to the small class size, strong alum base, and as you pointed out, actually wanting to be there. It seems Tuck has a strong and unique identity that puts it aside from any school including the HSW due to its small class and remote nature that unites all students and I think Kellogg is still working on building its identity up. Just my opinion and curious if others have anything to add.
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Re: Kellogg vs. Tuck [#permalink] New post 28 Mar 2013, 21:03
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I wholeheartedly agree with bb.

The thing about Tuck is that it's so easy for someone who feels ambivalent about the school to find a reason to go somewhere else. The remote location is a highly effective filter that ensures only the most passionate people accept the invitation to matriculate (in fact, the location keeps a lot of people from applying in the first place, which is great). Though some may apply without visiting, most won't accept until after they've visited and fallen in love.

There are a few things that ensure Tuckies are super close:

Everyone's out there, together and alone. What I mean is that Tuckies have each other and ONLY each other, 2.5 hours from Boston. No one moves to Hanover already knowing a bunch of friends in the area. No one grew up in Hanover. No one is skipping the MBA party in favor of some other local party. Hanover has a population of 11,000. Dartmouth has 6,000 students, and the other 5,000 residents feed, clothe, and otherwise support the students. Your only social/intellectual/emotional stimulation is likely to come from other Tuckies.

Any top MBA is harsh, but winter in Hanover kicks things up a notch. When you survive something harsh with others, there's a natural sense of camaraderie.

There aren't a whole lot of Tuckies. Small class sizes mean that you know everyone. It means that you get personal attention and support from peers, faculty, and staff. Therefore, it's natural for Tuckies to feel a lot of gratitude and pay it forward. It's a virtuous cycle.

I can't comment on Kellogg, as I haven't visited the campus (campus visits for the fall semester had already ended by the time I applied/returned to the US). But I'm sure they don't have the closeness I saw when I went to Tuck.

About a third of students were in Tuck-branded clothes.

Anytime a student was headed towards/returning from the interview rooms, other students addressed him by name and wished him luck/asked how it went.

The professor of the class I observed had me introduce myself before he got started. I spoke for about 30 seconds and the whole class applauded me for about the same length of time. They are just so damn amicable.

Tuck spirit is a veritable force to be reckoned with. I feel it, and I only spent 6 hours there!
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Re: Kellogg vs. Tuck [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2013, 00:34
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PanchoPippin wrote:
I'm getting the vibe that it is a place people seem to end up if they don't get into any of the other top 8 schools (H/S/W/B/M/C/T). It even seems like Yale/Fuqua steals a decent number of Kellogg admits.

While I am by no means a rankings whore, I do want to go to a school where students (not just alums) are passionate about the school and excited to be there. Is my perception off on Kellogg? Have I been exposed to an unrepresentative sample there?

Tuck, on the other hand, seems to have lived up to the hype of having passionate "Tuckies", many of whom had Tuck as their first choice and are thrilled to be there.


I know EXACTLY what you mean about wanting to feel like people are excited to be there. I went to a small liberal arts college and it made a huge difference that people chose it over the likes of Brown, Harvard, etc. The culture of the school made it choice-worthy in a way that exemplified the uniqueness of the school. It feels good to be someplace people genuinely want to be. This is why there are jokes about Tufts being the poison ivy. Supposedly people only go there who don't get into Harvard and Princeton, so they're all bitter (i.e. poisoned). Haha, that image cracks me up.

I feel like you might be referencing my choice to attend Yale over Kellogg, so I also want to chime in about that. Do NOT take the gmatclub forums as a totally representative sample of a school's value. The forums tend to be a bastion for people who won't settle for less than HSW, which means that Kellogg ends up falling into the "back-up plan" category. Kellogg is many many people's top choice and they ARE passionate about the school.

I haven't visited Tuck, but I do have to say that I understand what you mean about a school's reputation not always matching the experience. It was the case for me that I didn't find the Kellogg culture to be nearly as bubbly and enthusiastic as I'd expected. I guess it's like going to see a movie you've heard only AMAZING things about. You're bound to be just a tad under-whelmed.

I think you'd be well served by attending during their welcome weekends if you can. From what I've heard, 75% of people decide while they're there that THIS is where they want to be. It's a really intoxicating experience, apparently.

Good luck!
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Re: Kellogg vs. Tuck [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2013, 04:30
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PanchoPippin wrote:
I'm a non-traditional applicant from nonprofit/military/government with interests in doing a rotational program or consulting (vague I know). I've been accepted to Kellogg and Tuck and curious what people think based on my (vague) goals.

At this point, I'm leaning Tuck. While my goals seem to be Kellogg's bread and butter, I really value "the MBA experience" and don't view the 2 years as just a means to an end.


Go to Kellogg to open up a nonprofit/military/government spot on the WL for

<--------------------------This guy

In all seriousness, I know exactly what you mean, especially about the MBA experience and not just getting a prestigious degree to achieve career goals. If I were accepted in the EA round, I would have mailed in the $4K deposit check to Tuck without waiting to hear back from Kellogg. I enjoyed my visits to both schools, but Tuck had something "extra". Like others have said, everyone's in it together. For example, one thing at Kellogg that kind of turned me off was the "commuter club" made up of students that lived in Chicago and commuted to Kellogg. In my mind, that fractures the MBA community a bit by spreading them out...I figured most would live in Evanston. Most people wouldn't care about that, but for me, community was a big reason in choosing which school I'd attend.

I will say that not EVERYONE that goes to Tuck had it as their first choice...I think some people get passionate about it once they attend and are happy they ended up there. The reason I say this is during my school visits (talking to both applicants and current students), I came across two types of applicants at Tuck:

1) Those (like me) who were keen on fit. Wanted to go to a small school, be involved with the community, etc. The people had Tuck at the top of their list but were also considering schools such as Darden, Johnson, Duke, etc. i.e. being in a small town didn't faze them.

2) Those who were trying to get into the best school possible. These folks were applying to HBS, Wharton, Columbia, Sloan, etc...especially if they were just gunning for for Northeast placement.

I found this intersection of applicants to be interesting, but it's clearly a result of Tuck being a unique school in the top 9, making it the number 1 choice for applicants looking for fit, but just another usual suspect for those applying on brand. As such, type #1 admits really want to be there, while I get the vibe that type #2 applicants "settled" for Tuck.

Good luck with the decision!
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Re: Kellogg vs. Tuck [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2013, 05:46
BB: I really liked Yale SOM and really got a great vibe from the students there, but just a couple things made me realize I wouldn't choose SOM over Tuck (I viewed the schools similarly when applying). My interests are general management/consulting, and that didn't seem to be SOM's strengths. Also, it was a little dissapointing to feel like although Yale itself is a powerhouse institution, SOM seemed to be their "weakest" school.

On another note, BB, it really rings true when you say that in your experience most people choose Tuck over all non H/S/W schools, which is why I'm suprised when I see a lot of people definitively putting Tuck below K/Chi/Mit/Col, especially when Tuck's career prospects seem to be at least as good.

CobraKai/Machini: Thanks for your responses; I've followed your comments and esp CobraKai since we're coming from similar backgrounds.

Any pro-Kellogg sentiments?
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Re: Kellogg vs. Tuck [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2013, 18:23
PanchoPippin wrote:
BB: I really liked Yale SOM and really got a great vibe from the students there, but just a couple things made me realize I wouldn't choose SOM over Tuck (I viewed the schools similarly when applying). My interests are general management/consulting, and that didn't seem to be SOM's strengths. Also, it was a little dissapointing to feel like although Yale itself is a powerhouse institution, SOM seemed to be their "weakest" school.

On another note, BB, it really rings true when you say that in your experience most people choose Tuck over all non H/S/W schools, which is why I'm suprised when I see a lot of people definitively putting Tuck below K/Chi/Mit/Col, especially when Tuck's career prospects seem to be at least as good.

CobraKai/Machini: Thanks for your responses; I've followed your comments and esp CobraKai since we're coming from similar backgrounds.

Any pro-Kellogg sentiments?


Kellogg was my #1 choice fit-wise (though I applied to higher ranked schools). Now that I'm in, I have to choose between no money at Kellogg and a full ride at a lower ranked school, so even though it's my #1, I may not actually go. Good problem to have I suppose. I would have loved to have had Tuck as an option, but my girlfriend's career requires a big city so I didn't even get to apply.
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Re: Kellogg vs. Tuck [#permalink] New post 07 Apr 2013, 08:48
PanchoPippin wrote:
I'm a non-traditional applicant from nonprofit/military/government with interests in doing a rotational program or consulting (vague I know). I've been accepted to Kellogg and Tuck and curious what people think based on my (vague) goals.

At this point, I'm leaning Tuck. While my goals seem to be Kellogg's bread and butter, I really value "the MBA experience" and don't view the 2 years as just a means to an end. While I initially applied to Tuck and Kellogg because they both were hyped as great experiences with students passionate about their respective schools, my limited experience w/ Kellogg has made me question if its reputation actually holds true. During my visit to Kellogg and in viewing this forum, I don't get the impression that Kellogg is really anyone's top choice (save for a few marketing folks) and I'm getting the vibe that it is a place people seem to end up if they don't get into any of the other top 8 schools (H/S/W/B/M/C/T). It even seems like Yale/Fuqua steals a decent number of Kellogg admits.

While I am by no means a rankings whore, I do want to go to a school where students (not just alums) are passionate about the school and excited to be there. Is my perception off on Kellogg? Have I been exposed to an unrepresentative sample there?

Tuck, on the other hand, seems to have lived up to the hype of having passionate "Tuckies", many of whom had Tuck as their first choice and are thrilled to be there.


Hey, I've seen that you've changed your status, why did you finally choose Tuck over Kellogg?
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Re: Kellogg vs. Tuck [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2013, 17:43
I am convinced that for what I want to do there is no difference in job prospects between Kellogg and Tuck, and it really just came down to my visits at the 2 schools. At Tuck, I felt like there was so much school spirit and people wanted to be there. At Kellogg, it seemed like students were proud to go to a top school, but I just didn't feel the same energy. I just get the vibe that Kellogg is where a lot of top students end up who don't get into other top 10 schools.


amlo wrote:
PanchoPippin wrote:
I'm a non-traditional applicant from nonprofit/military/government with interests in doing a rotational program or consulting (vague I know). I've been accepted to Kellogg and Tuck and curious what people think based on my (vague) goals.

At this point, I'm leaning Tuck. While my goals seem to be Kellogg's bread and butter, I really value "the MBA experience" and don't view the 2 years as just a means to an end. While I initially applied to Tuck and Kellogg because they both were hyped as great experiences with students passionate about their respective schools, my limited experience w/ Kellogg has made me question if its reputation actually holds true. During my visit to Kellogg and in viewing this forum, I don't get the impression that Kellogg is really anyone's top choice (save for a few marketing folks) and I'm getting the vibe that it is a place people seem to end up if they don't get into any of the other top 8 schools (H/S/W/B/M/C/T). It even seems like Yale/Fuqua steals a decent number of Kellogg admits.

While I am by no means a rankings whore, I do want to go to a school where students (not just alums) are passionate about the school and excited to be there. Is my perception off on Kellogg? Have I been exposed to an unrepresentative sample there?

Tuck, on the other hand, seems to have lived up to the hype of having passionate "Tuckies", many of whom had Tuck as their first choice and are thrilled to be there.


Hey, I've seen that you've changed your status, why did you finally choose Tuck over Kellogg?
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Re: Kellogg vs. Tuck [#permalink] New post 10 Apr 2013, 03:01
congratulations on the decision ad have a great 2 years at Tuck!
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Re: Kellogg vs. Tuck [#permalink] New post 10 Apr 2013, 09:31
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You've already made your decision, but if anyone else is deciding, for what it's worth, here's my opinion.

I applied to both Tuck and Kellogg. Kellogg was always my number 1. I didn't get into Tuck, but I really didn't feel a connection when I visited, regardless.

I am used to a small college town atmosphere, but I didn't feel like I clicked with any of the people I met at Tuck. I also felt a sense of false closeness, that people were friends because the program is small and everyone is thrown together, but they weren't necessarily good friends. And the people I met were only polite, not friendly. I left with a bad taste in my mouth, but I still applied anyway.

I had the opposite experience at Kellogg. I wasn't keen on going to such a large program, but everyone seemed to know everyone. There seemed to be a genuine sense of joy among the students when I visited, and I had a good time, as well. My visit there reinforced my desire to go.

If I had gotten into Tuck and not Kellogg, I don't know that I would've gone there over Darden. Truly.

But the bottom line is: Go where you feel like you fit in. Every school is a #1 for someone.
Re: Kellogg vs. Tuck   [#permalink] 10 Apr 2013, 09:31
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