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Need help regarding school selection

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Need help regarding school selection [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2008, 17:46
Hello,
I am a Fall 09 applicant from India currently working in US for last 6 years. 29/m/married. Background Engineering with 8 years of W/E in IT. Graduated from a top univ from India. GMAT 740.
I want to work in retail in supply chain management post MBA. I have been working in this area from IT side for 4 years as a consultant. I have a few questions regarding school selection.

1. From my reading so far, I feel that schools with focus on General Management are a better fit for my profile and post-MBA goals. Tuck, Duke, Darden come to mind. Can you recommend any other? Thought about Sloan and Ross, but felt that their focus is more on operations than on GM. Am I right?

2. My spouse is currently working at a good position for a well known Bank and she plans to continue working although she is flexible about the employer. Knowing this, would I be better off avoiding schools in remote parts if Long distance relationship is not an option? If so, should I rule out Tuck and Darden?

3. Since my long term goal is to return to India, I am looking at schools that have a good brand name abroad, especially in India. After talking to several people, I feel that Tuck and Darden don't have that good a brand name in India. How much would brand of school matter for the future job offers if I plan to work in states for a few years after my MBA?

4. I have heard both positive and negative opinions about case study method. One of fears about the case study method is getting dominated by people who come from particular industries such as IB or Finance. Although adcoms assure me that my fear is imaginary, I have experienced such thing in my past education and can't come over it. What is your opinion?

5. I would prefer schools where a good percentage of the class is married. Although I have nothing against singles, I think gone are the days when I could live a single lifestyle. I feel that I would miss out on the social life (and hence networking) if I join a school with majority of the class single. Tuck with more than one third class married really stands out. Any other schools that one can recommend me?

Considering the above criteria in that order of importance, can anyone recommend me some schools preferably from top 20?

Thank you so much.
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Re: Need help regarding school selection [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2008, 18:53
Tuck is 90 minute drive from the closest thing that passes as civilization, 2 hour drive from Boston. That is in the summer time. It snows there in the winter - lots. So, if you want to live in the same house/apartment with your wife and have her work at a career-oriented job, tuck is out.

Before everyone else jumps in, I know tuck helps spouses get jobs around town/on campus(i asked all about this when I was in the process). But it doesn't sound like his wife is prepared to work part time in the Dartmouth library or stocking shelves on the campus mini-mart. And, yes, I am sure there are technically some appropriate jobs in the town, but odds are neither of those (2) people will quit in the next year. =)
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Re: Need help regarding school selection [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2008, 18:56
If your wife's career is important to you (it should be) then I would eliminate Tuck. There are limited job opportunities in Hanover, and judging by what you said she is in...there wont be jobs for her there. This is why I didnt apply to Tuck last year, its a great school but not worth my wife's career. In the end if you went there, it would most likely end in a long distance relationship.

If you want operations I would say Ross would be a great school for you. It has a great GM rep and has one of the best reps in the operations area. Judging by your very brief profile I would say with some good presentation you would be competitive at Duke and Ross both of which would be good schools for you. Both also are rather community oriented and your wife would be welcome. Our Indian members did well at both those schools last year, especially at Ross. Darden also has a very good rep, not sure much about its community since I didnt research it but it would be a good school to look into.

You are probably only going to do this application process once (with some luck of course). I would definitely pick on dream school.If you are going to have a dream school that is a top 5 I would say go with Kellogg over Sloan. Nothing against sloan since it and Kellogg are basically equal in operations. Its just that you said you are looking for a school like Tuck in terms of what it is like for spouses. I can tell you Kellogg is second to none in that area. It and Tuck both treat significant others like students, your wife could sit in on classes, join clubs, go on class trips, use the career services area, etc. However, Kellogg is in a MUCH better location for your wife's career, Chicago is a 30 minute train ride.

Not to be harsh but your chances as an Indian IT guy at MIT are slim...as a whole Sloan is extremely popular with engineers and IT people (the MIT brand to those people is god like). I know there has been discussions about Sloan being tough for Indians but I think it goes beyond that to its tough for all engineers. Schools like a nice mix of students, and its a safe bet that a much higher percentage of applicants to MIT are engineers/IT folks. So though it would be a great school for you, you arent going to be as competitive as you would be at some of the other ultra elites like Kellogg or Chicago where though its a tough hill to climb its not quiet as steep.

Being married definitely adds a lot to the decision process, keep her involved. I would suggest you have your wife research her job possibilites in the various locations. Unfortunately the very top schools are the ones located in the big cities where as many other schools are more surbuban. There are some other great schools that would work for you and your wife. Haas comes to mind since it has a great brand (berkeley is strong worldwide) and its location would be great for your wife.

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Re: Need help regarding school selection [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2008, 23:16
River covered most of it, but I would have to second his recommendation for Ross and Kellogg. If you want GM, those are two great schools that are not in the middle of nowhere.

Berkeley's name should be decent in India (at least my Indian buddies tell me that), and they have a good GM program, probably close to or on par with Ross. UCLA is also a good school for GM that may have some name in India.

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Re: Need help regarding school selection [#permalink] New post 31 Jul 2008, 14:53
Thanks all three of you. You guys are great.. Can you please address point 4 from my post?
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Re: Need help regarding school selection [#permalink] New post 31 Jul 2008, 17:45
i've never heard of #4 before, so I can't comment on it. From all the classes I've sat in so far, the case studies have been very well rounded with people contributing from all industries.

The only reason I don't like case studies as the *only* method for teaching is because different subjects require different methods to teach effectively. Case studies are great to learn from a real issue, but 100% case studies is a bit too rigid for my tastes.

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Re: Need help regarding school selection   [#permalink] 31 Jul 2008, 17:45
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