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Tuck vs Darden ($$$+chance at prestigious fellowship)

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Tuck vs Darden ($$$ + chance at prestigious fellowship)

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Tuck vs Darden ($$$+chance at prestigious fellowship) [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2013, 17:16
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If you are not already sick of such questions, please help me here with a dilemma.

First the complete application season status:
Wharton, Booth (ding w/ interview), Sloan (ding w/o interview)
Tuck (Admit)
Darden (Admit w/$$$ + chance to interview for Jefferson fellowship which would also cover living expenses +$3,000/yr stipend)
LBS, Haas (WLed)
Kellogg (Applied R2, no result out yet, of course)

I will admit Tuck was one of my first loves and till a few days back (before the Darden scholarship info) I didn't even consider not going to Tuck. But now I feel I am in a massive dilemma regarding the situation - Darden is really keen on having me and $110k+ over two years is nothing to sneeze at while Tuck refused my request for any $$.

My background is: Indian/M/CFA/Engineer with 5+ years in third-party research services (mainly fixed income). I am a bit uncertain about the direction of my career. Off the bat, I would try to get an summer internship with GS/JPM/UBS etc. and try to get a full-time offer (FTO). I plan to meet the full cost of education through loans and a FTO would be really important to get over the sinking-in-debt feeling. Assuming the said FTO materializes, I would like to explore opportunities beyond ibanking in my second year such as with IFC, WB or just plain ol' corp. finance. Investment banking is a close plan B if these options do not play out well. I would ideally like to get back to India/HK/Singapore in 7-10 years post-MBA.

Making lifelong friends and quality of life are very important considerations while at both during MBA and beyond that. Much more important than slight differences in salary. That being said, I am sensitive to career opportunities (does it open doors?) and quality of network (will people bat for me if I want to move into PE in Asia 3-4 years down the line?).

So here is how my analysis breaks down to:

Tuck
+ Ivy league, top-10, bigger brand (just my perception?)
+ Highly regarded alum network
+ Relatively strong connections to PE (and many students with prior IB/PE exp; I know I wouldn't get in but the network is important I suppose given my ambivalent career goals)
- No $; a longer debt repayment period
- Very cold winters (but then I dont mind the idea of skiing :P)

Darden
+ Top-15 (though not THAT below Tuck in US News rankings)
+ Full tuition + chance at Jefferson Fellowship (Full cost of attendance + up to $3000/yr stipend) (My client, who is in sell-side research, says if you are getting full ride and fellowship, the school will cater special attention to see you get placed and the fellowship will help me distinguish my resume better, any idea on the validity of that opinion?)
- Top-15 is lower than top-10
- I somehow like the sound of Boston/NY better than GA (note that I have never been to the states)

#Not sure about either school's standing with IFC et al.

Would I be really foolish to give up on greater long-term benefits with Tuck for short-term benefits? Or is Darden here a "no-brainer" (as my client says)?

Last edited by joy4ol on 13 Jan 2013, 19:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tuck vs Darden ($$$+chance at prestigious fellowship) [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2013, 16:55
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cheetarah1980 wrote:
In fact at Booth it's common knowledge that you pretty much have to take dump on an MD's desk not to get a banking offer.


Challenge accepted.
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Re: Tuck vs Darden ($$$+chance at prestigious fellowship) [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2013, 13:08
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Go to Tuck. Even though Darden places at BBs, it's still not a core finance school and the competition will be tougher (less spots for each bank, more students). Also as an international student, you will get beat out more by US based students who will do a better job networking for the few spots. In the same time, overall quality of Tuck students will be higher than Darden's, making it a more competitive process from that perspective. $100K is like first year bonus at a BB (pre tax though). You will survive.

At Fuqua (similar to Darden) and landed a BB summer associate role. Saw these play out first hand.
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Re: Tuck vs Darden ($$$+chance at prestigious fellowship) [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2013, 15:34
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joy4ol, I think you'd be better off going to a better source of information than GMATClub. The people who would really know which school is the best choice given your goals are students at Darden, Tuck, who are recruiting for IB and corp fin and people who have worked at IFC, WB. Most of the people who have responded to this thread aren't from either school, and others have yet to even attend school. People are going off of hearsay and rankings, more than what actually is possible given the resources and alums of both schools. People on this thread have said that Darden is a non-target school for IB, yet Consulting2Finance (who actually goes to Darden) made it clear that Darden got the full recruitment resources (company presentation, dinners, coffee chats, on campus interviews) of all the BB banks.
GMATClub is a great resource but when it comes to picking a school you have to take the advice you get with a very large grain of salt. People have their own biases, preferences, and agendas when posting and what is really opinion is communicated as fact. Just because someone heard from one student at a school that IB recruiting is low doesn't mean that that's the truth. You're getting second or third hand information. Personally, I do not know enough about Tuck or Darden to comment on whether you should take or leave the money. Try reaching out to LadyRoadWarrior. She's a first year at Tuck. She's not recruiting for finance but she'll know who to put you in touch with. I hope this helps.
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Re: Tuck vs Darden ($$$+chance at prestigious fellowship) [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2013, 21:42
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Congrats on the full-ride and being nominated for Jefferson Fellowship. Being nominated alone is a pretty huge deal.

I am a first year student that interviewed for the Fellowship but did not receive it. I put being a finalist on my resume...I'm not sure if it improved my candidacy at all but one bulge bracket complemented me on it this past week.

I think culturally Tuck and Darden and pretty similar due to the fact they both are isolated tight-nit communities. I think a lot of people choose between the two schools.

I can't speak to Tuck, but would happy to discuss investment banking prospects from Darden. We are a core school for every bulge bracket, with strong alumni networks at both GS and JPM, as well as DB, CS, Citi and Barcap. I myself will be going to a bb this summer and had multiple offers. PM if you would like to speak more.
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Re: Tuck vs Darden ($$$+chance at prestigious fellowship) [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2013, 09:18
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Hi all,

I am a second year student at Darden, and wanted to offer a couple of thoughts. Understandably, decision-making time is not always easy and you want to make an informed decision as possible. So I hope my perspective might be of help.

First off, figuring out how many people went to certain banks and comparing across schools can be misleading - and in my view, isn't the right reason to attend a school. I'm not saying the numbers are wrong. But, looking purely at placement numbers doesn't account for the total number of offers that were given out (and then accepted or declined), nor does it account for the vastly different class sizes in some of the comparisons. While I do think it is important to see the types of employers that recruit from each school, I am skeptical that digging deep into the data will be the best basis for your decision.

Secondly - and I will just speak only for Darden since I haven't attended the other programs - but I was very impressed by the caliber and range of employers that Darden attracted in the Investment Banking field. Admittedly, I did not recruit for banking so I didn't go through this particular process. But, I did work at GS for 4 years prior to school, so I am fairly familiar with the industry, and I can't think of a major IB player who I did not see on campus with the exception maybe of some of the boutiques. Point is, banking is one of Darden's strengths as far as recruiting goes. As a side note, I saw some concern on the thread about international student recruiting - I am happy to connect you with international classmates who went into finance/banking, if you send me a message.

Third, I do agree that rankings are important - and cause some of the school decisions to be really difficult - but as important, I believe, is the idea of "fit." In your gut, is there a program that feels right for you? To me, this is very important because the MBA was, in my opinion, a life experience, rather than just a mechanism to change jobs. You will hopefully make friends and networks, learn about truly difficult skills beyond the coursework like communication and teamwork, travel to places you've never been, take part in fun school traditions, encounter unexpected challenges, meet inspiring professors or business leaders, and take steps towards a great career. Consider the environment in which you think you will thrive and take advantage of these opportunities. For me (again, personally), of course I wanted to get in front of the employers I was most interested in, but I tend to think you will have that opportunity at any top school - and at that point it's largely up to you to land it (not a brand name). I made what I thought was a tough choice at the time to come to Darden (I was targeting companies in California, where I also had offers from MBA programs), but I went with my gut; in retrospect, I couldn't have been happier with my decision, and it turns out, I'm headed to California afterwards. I'm not saying that Darden is right for everyone - it might not be! My point is that choosing an MBA program is a personal choice and hopefully through campus visits, honest conversations with students/staff, and some research, you will cut through the noise and get a good sense for the program that feels best for you holistically, including recruiting and other considerations.

Lastly, Tuck vs Darden vs some of the other great programs I have seen on this thread - all great options. At the end of the day, it's what you make of it and, the MBA is a great experience so I think you will have a good time wherever you go.

Hope this helps, please let me know if I can help answer any questions about Darden...
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Re: Tuck vs Darden ($$$+chance at prestigious fellowship) [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2013, 21:10
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If you're really interested in WB or IFC long term, I would definitely look into dual degree programs with either an MPP (Harvard Kennedy) or Int'l Relations degree (seems like there are all kinds of different acronyms for them...MALD, MA, MIA, MSFS). Take a look at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Study (SAIS) career stats, for example. The school is actually in DC, not in B-more, and a relatively significant percentage go right away to the WB (though not as many IFC...lot of people who goto programs like this have backgrounds like mine, i.e. NGO work). Other schools to consider are Tufts Fletcher, Georgetown School of Foreign Service, and Columbia's School of International and Political Affairs (SIPA). Nearly all of them offer dual degrees with top MBA programs, including Tuck with SAIS, Harvard Kennedy, and Fletcher though sadly Darden only allows you to take dual degrees via UVa constituents...and while I know the other schools I mentioned are of top quality I honestly know nothing about UVa's MPP or MA in IR. They could be great...I've just never heard of them and I'm in a field where these degrees are common.

That said, another thing to think about is how useful these dual degrees really are versus simply the MBA from a ROI perspective (I know....). Talking to people I know who got a dual Columbia MBA/MIA, most said the MIA was largely superflous and didn't really enhance things as much as they had hoped; this was obviously exacerbated by the cost of an extra year of living in NYC without a paycheck and all those other aspects of things that deserve being mentioned.

Also, in the states JD is used almost exclusively in reference to a law school- American law schools offer the JD (Juris Doctorate) to American grads, in addition to LLMs for foreign students. A dual degree in the aforementioned policy/IR fields would be referenced as MBA/MA, or MBA/MPP.

I'd love to help you further than that...but sadly since my area is LatAm and not APAC I can't vouch for the alum networks/career prospects of either school in, say, Tokyo or HK. I however have applied to both programs (and been admitted to Darden) with the intention of going into consulting and then maybe back to IR type work (which the IFC and WB are generally branded under) after some time. I am applying to Booth's IMBA and Wharton/Lauder Spanish track, but find these to be very different from say a Tuck/Sais MBA/MA as they are: A- two years at the same school, not three at two different schools and B- in many ways a good way to focus your network on your area of region within a preset MBA framework.

Sorry for the long post...just passionate about Int'l Relations and how an MBA can help people along in that field. Congrats on the admits, $$$, and consideration for a Jefferson...my UVa undergrad friends STILL talk about people they know who got that as though they were gods on campus.
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Re: Tuck vs Darden ($$$+chance at prestigious fellowship) [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2013, 03:18
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Joy4ol, I would strongly recommend you to choose Darden. As a current IFC employee, I can say that both schools are equally represented and have the same brand recognition within IFC. Going to Tuck won't give any advantage in this case. So given a very generous scholarship that Darden offers it is a no-brainer for me.

On a separate note, if you interested in the investment stream at IFC/World Bank then all joint degrees in the public interest are not relevant at all. As I undestand, you already have finance experience (fixed income researh), so you should be fine at the interview there.

Please feel free to PM if you need any additional info about IFC/World Bank.
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Re: Tuck vs Darden ($$$+chance at prestigious fellowship) [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2013, 15:47
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abacab wrote:
joy4ol wrote:
Congrats on your BB summer, Abacab. Is there a substantial difference in the number of recruitment slots that banks decide on at semi-core programs such as Fuqua/Darden? As I said before, I am a bit worried about the absence of international recruits at the top BBs like GS and JPM at Darden last year. You are right of course, about the likelihood of tougher competition for BB slots at Tuck. So if the difference is substantial, this will be an important point to consider.


Yes there is a substantial difference. Banks like Morgan Stanley or JPM might have only 1-2 slots for a non-core school while Wharton or Harvard will have 7-8 spots. Not to mention the numbers you will see for JPM or GS are diluted by PWM roles and some IB roles are actually for international students home countries like Tokyo office which should not be counted. Then there is the group placement where your brand and alumni connection matters, along with post summer offer success. If you were at a place like Chicago, Columbia or Wharton where 70% of students are trying IB, competition is really bad. But a non finance, but top school like Kellogg or Tuck is much better for IB numbers game. There won't be enough qualified students on campus to compete with (many will try for consulting, true for Darden and Fuqua as well). Your short term goal is not IFC, it's a BB. If you land there, you can go to IFC regardless of Darden, Tuck or UNC. So go somewhere that will put you in best shape for BB. Recruiting is a tough game and everyone in each school thinks they will end up at MBB consulting or BB, and only a small portion does.

Where in the world did you the statistic that 70% of students at these schools are trying IB? I'm at Booth and less than 20% of my class is recruiting for IB positions. In fact, interes tin IB has gone DOWN at many of the "finance" schools over the last few years. In fact at Booth it's common knowledge that you pretty much have to take dump on an MD's desk not to get a banking offer. Most IB recruits actually wind up with MULTIPLE offers. I'm not saying IB isn't competitive in and of itself, but please don't give people the idea everyone and their mama is recruiting for it at certain schools. Maybe 10 years ago this was the case but definitely not today. The career interests of most business schools' student bodies have become much more diverse.
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Re: Tuck vs Darden ($$$+chance at prestigious fellowship) [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2013, 13:47
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Shawshank wrote:
Question to the other posters. If the OP were deciding between booth with no money vs darden $$$, would you guys say it's a no-brainer and go with booth? If so, it seems like people see a huge drop in prestige and opportunities between booth and tuck.


I'd still vote Darden. In my (non-expert) opinion, I think the Booth, Kellogg, Sloan, Tuck, Columbia, group will get you where you want to go. I view the difference in rankings among these schools to be perception and preferences - it's tough to make the ironclad statement that one school is "better" than the other. Especially since "better" is tough to define.

Also - Booth is a larger school, Darden is smaller leading to the culture discussion. Booth only requires one class while Darden has a year-long core where you can't place out of any classes. More variables arise in a Booth vs. Darden comparison.

Tuck and Darden have similar small-student body cultures and both have general management focused core curriculums that you take with your section.

My two cents.
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Re: Tuck vs Darden ($$$+chance at prestigious fellowship) [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2013, 17:15
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Maybe its an omen or something, I read this in the morning (http://news.efinancialcareers.com/uk-en/131760/how-banking-can-ruin-your-body-and-mind/) and was immediately reminded why I had second thoughts about ibanking in the first place. Still can't get "moobs" out of my head. And lets not even go near ED.

So if you would like to indulge me again, any idea which of these schools would allow me to better explore a career in international/developmental finance? Read IFC, WB etc. Is distance to NY/Washington a factor here?
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Re: Tuck vs Darden ($$$+chance at prestigious fellowship) [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2013, 16:53
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Shawshank wrote:
dan62287 wrote:
What if the alternative to Darden was Wharton instead of Tuck? Just out of interest, how far up the list does everyone think you need to go to make it almost a "no-brainer"?



Wharton/booth are complete no-brainers given the op's career goals (or most career goals in my opinion). Heck, i would turn down darden even if they offered me full tuition, room and board, and spending cash, for wharton/booth full-sticker.

That's rather harsh Shawshank, even though there's a lot of truth in there. And in any case I gotta choose from what I have in hand right now. (Unless something extraordinary happens at Kellogg in R2).

@Dan There's never a good answer to these questions. I tend to think of this in terms of value. A lot of it is perception. Look at that guy on qz.com (rightly pilloried on the other thread) who doesn't think getting an mba beyond the top-5 has any value at all. Do I agree with him? Of course not. But I cannot determine the value of an mba for him. So a lot of subjectivity comes into answering your question. Regardless, I am finding it extremely useful to see what other people's considerations are while making the decision. I don't find any opinion more legit than the other. In an ideal world I would have known where the opinionator (sorry nyt) is coming from so that I could understand their underlying reasoning better. Ultimately, for me its just a quest to estimate the value of both MBAs to me and find out if one a has greater marginal value (over the long run) than the price incremental. Sorry to go all philosophical on you :P But I won't chicken out and will still answer your question. I believe this would a close call for all schools from Columbia to Haas to Tuck.

I am not thinking about this anymore till the Fellowship weekend now. I will give it my best shot and see from there. Meanwhile, I will continue to talk to alums from both schools to build a complete picture of what I will get into and what I will leave behind on the table.
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Re: Tuck vs Darden ($$$+chance at prestigious fellowship) [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2013, 19:47
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joy4ol wrote:
@LatAmMan that's an awfully helpful post there. Thnaks...

@LatAmMan, @Shawshank I understand I can apply to these joint degree program while still in year 1. What is the selectivity level of these MA/MPA type of courses at say Kennedy School or SAIS? Can a person with no related experience (as in my case) get into these programs based on pure interest?

On a separate note, was a little bummed to see that GS, JPM, Barclays, CS, Amex, BOA, hadn't hired a single international candidate from Darden last year (though DB, Citi, Fidelity, Jefferies and Nomura did). Even though I don't see myself going into ibanking right now, this data point is certainly not reassuring. Is it a matter of self-selection or am I missing something very basic here? Can somebody in the know chime in. Btw, Tuck doesn't break this information for internationals so no idea what's up with internationals there. I will also drop in a mail with the career services of both schools.



Yes, you don't need to have public sector experience to apply to policy programs. Actually you would stand out given your private sector work. Apply to kennedy and sais since tuck has formal joint degrees with both programs. Avoid columbia sipa; it has a very weak career services, weak student body and is just a cash cow for columbia university.

As I said before, darden makes little sense for your career goals. I'm NOT bashing darden by any means; it's a great general management program and for vast majority of people, darden will get them to where they need to be. In your case however, you should go to tuck. Or if you are willing to wait, strengthen your resume and re-apply to booth/sloan/wharton next year. But i'm guessing that you want to go this year.
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Re: Tuck vs Darden ($$$+chance at prestigious fellowship) [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2013, 19:48
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joy4ol wrote:
Shawshank wrote:
dan62287 wrote:
What if the alternative to Darden was Wharton instead of Tuck? Just out of interest, how far up the list does everyone think you need to go to make it almost a "no-brainer"?



Wharton/booth are complete no-brainers given the op's career goals (or most career goals in my opinion). Heck, i would turn down darden even if they offered me full tuition, room and board, and spending cash, for wharton/booth full-sticker.

That's rather harsh Shawshank, even though there's a lot of truth in there. And in any case I gotta choose from what I have in hand right now. (Unless something extraordinary happens at Kellogg in R2).

@Dan There's never a good answer to these questions. I tend to think of this in terms of value. A lot of it is perception. Look at that guy on qz.com (rightly pilloried on the other thread) who doesn't think getting an mba beyond the top-5 has any value at all. Do I agree with him? Of course not. But I cannot determine the value of an mba for him. So a lot of subjectivity comes into answering your question. Regardless, I am finding it extremely useful to see what other people's considerations are while making the decision. I don't find any opinion more legit than the other. In an ideal world I would have known where the opinionator (sorry nyt) is coming from so that I could understand their underlying reasoning better. Ultimately, for me its just a quest to estimate the value of both MBAs to me and find out if one a has greater marginal value (over the long run) than the price incremental. Sorry to go all philosophical on you :P But I won't chicken out and will still answer your question. I believe this would a close call for all schools from Columbia to Haas to Tuck.

I am not thinking about this anymore till the Fellowship weekend now. I will give it my best shot and see from there. Meanwhile, I will continue to talk to alums from both schools to build a complete picture of what I will get into and what I will leave behind on the table.



Just being honest. I'm a firm believer that you should go to the best b-school you get into, and especially given my career goals, darden just doesn't make sense, so yes, i would rather do wharton/booth full-sticker than darden jefferson fellowship. Of course, for others with different goals, they would pick differently.
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Re: Tuck vs Darden ($$$+chance at prestigious fellowship) [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2013, 15:22
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abacab wrote:
Not saying any place will guarantee a job. Just good to be aware that you could be on the half empty side as easily and best to stack up in the favorable side and put in the leg work.

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Ok, it's my last comment on this topic since I don't want to go off-topic too much. It's NOT wise to turn down a better b-school just so you could be a "bigger fish in a small pond" at a lower ranked school. Such an approach may be advisable for undergrad but not for MBA.
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Re: Tuck vs Darden ($$$+chance at prestigious fellowship) [#permalink] New post 04 Mar 2013, 16:13
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Just an update - I didn't win the fellowship and my decision didn't become any easier after visiting both the schools. Interestingly, some other Fellowship nominees were in the exact same boat as me - they are spit between Darden and Tuck at this point. For any future applicant - the Jefferson Fellowship really is a big deal with LOTS of perks but only 1 (sometimes 2) get it from the business school each year.

I also got some idea of the number of people who went to some of the MBB, GS/JPM type firms for their summers I can safely say the differences between the two schools were few (yes, i normalized for class size). Not sure how that translates into full-time numbers but the P&Q numbers for 2011 consulting hires were a little harsh on Darden. People at both school were really amazing and I could easily see the value of a small class size. Classroom experience was equally great at both but I sensed Darden people really had to work a lot more with their 3 cases per day requirement. Also met both Consulting2finance and CurrentDardenStudent - genuine guys you can reach out to for advice on Darden!

Also, I realized that 'exploring' in second year is not really an option (at least one that can be planned sitting here, right now). This is not to say people don't do it, but my strategy of doing an banking internship and then exploring other stuff is impractical since most banks really expect you to accept their offer (if any) soon and have a decreasing signing fee structure to incentivize that. Also, being an international, I felt it's more practical to try to get recruited into established/larger firms which do sponsor work visas for their hires. So that again brings me back to banking/consulting given my unsure career plans.

As I said before, I am still undecided. I will drop in a last word on my decision on this thread at the end of this month.
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Re: Tuck vs Darden ($$$+chance at prestigious scholarship) [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2013, 17:43
joy4ol wrote:
If you already not sick of such questions, please help me here with a dilemma.

First the complete application season status:
Wharton, Booth (ding w/ interview), Sloan (ding w/o interview)
Tuck (Admit)
Darden (Admit w/$$$ + chance to interview for Jefferson fellowship which would also cover living expenses +$3,000/yr stipend)
LBS, Haas (WLed)
Kellogg (Applied R2, no result out yet, of course)

I will admit Tuck was one of my first loves and till a few days back (before the Darden scholarship info) I didn't even consider not going to Tuck. But now I feel I am in a massive dilemma regarding the situation - Darden is really keen on having me and $110k+ over two years is nothing to sneeze at while Tuck refused my request for any $$.

My background is: Indian/M/CFA/Engineer with 5+ years in third-party research services (mainly fixed income). I am a bit uncertain about the direction of my career. Off the bat, I would try to get an summer internship with GS/JPM/UBS etc. and try to get a full-time offer (FTO). I plan to meet the full cost of education through loans and a FTO would be really important to get over the sinking-in-debt feeling. Assuming the said FTO materializes, I would like to explore opportunities beyond ibanking in my second year such as with IFC, WB or just plain ol' corp. finance. Investment banking is a close plan B if these options do not play out well. I would ideally like to get back to India/HK/Singapore in 7-10 years post-MBA.

Making lifelong friends and quality of life are very important considerations while at both during MBA and beyond that. Much more important than slight differences in salary. That being said, I am sensitive to career opportunities (does it open doors?) and quality of network (will people bat for me if I want to move into PE in Asia 3-4 years down the line?).

So here is how my analysis breaks down to:

Tuck
+ Ivy league, top-10, bigger brand (just my perception?)
+ Highly regarded alum network
+ Relatively strong connections to PE (and many students with prior IB/PE exp; I know I wouldn't get in but the network is important I suppose given my ambivalent career goals)
- No $; a longer debt repayment period
- Very cold winters (but then I dont mind the idea of skiing :P)

Darden
+ Top-15 (though not THAT below Tuck in US News rankings)
+ Full tuition + chance at Jefferson Fellowship (Full cost of attendance + up to $3000/yr stipend) (My client, who is in sell-side research, says if you are getting full ride and fellowship, the school will cater special attention to see you get placed and the fellowship will help me distinguish my resume better, any idea on the validity of that opinion?)
- Top-15 is lower than top-10
- I somehow like the sound of Boston/NY better than GA (note that I have never been to the states)

#Not sure about either school's standing with IFC et al.

Would I be really foolish to give up on greater long-term benefits with Tuck for short-term benefits? Or is Darden here it a "no-brainer" (as my client says)?


Awesome situation to be in.

The answer, to me, is easy. Go to Darden. If you're recruiting for IB down to corp fin., I would imagine your chances are about the same at each school; that is to say very good. The difference in terms of quality is negligible - Tuck does have great alumni, and probably a better PE connection, but if you have a Jefferson fellow scholarship on your resume and what sounds like an awesome past.. you'll be just as competitive.

I would only consider Tuck in this situation if a) Dawna Clarke is willing to deal and move some cash your way, or b) you're nutso over Tuck and hate the idea of spending 2 years in Virginia (not GA, lol) for free.

Disclaimer: I'm an avid supporter of Tuck 99% of the time - this isn't one of them.

Edit: Just read about the Jefferson Fellowship - sounds awesome. Not to mention getting a scholarship named after the man, ahem president, the built the university is amazing
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Re: Tuck vs Darden ($$$+chance at prestigious fellowship) [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2013, 18:05
Congrats on the two admits that you have! Have you visited either of the schools? Asking because I didn't see any mention of the campus or students in your comparisons. If you haven't, I'd recommend visiting if possible. It's probably difficult given the distance, but I feel like it's important given the investment you make in the MBA. I haven't been to Darden, but Tuck has a lovely campus and intimate feel to the school. Also, do you know when you'd hear back about possibly receiving the Jefferson Fellowship?

FYI, don't know if that was a typo or not, but Darden is in VA and not GA lol.
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Re: Tuck vs Darden ($$$+chance at prestigious fellowship) [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2013, 18:33
Exactly what sesamemochi said. Have you visited either campuses? Tuck is one of those schools where you HAVE to visit in order to know whether you'll enjoy spending your next two years there. Most people either love it or hate it downright, mostly because of its remote location. Personally I thought the campus was beautiful and people are really nice, I simply cannot fathom living in Hanover, NH for two years of my life. It really is pretty much in the middle of the woods. If you're big into skiing / outdoorsy stuff, it might be the place for you. But if you come from a big city, this might be a very jarring change (which could be for the better but you just need to know what you're getting yourself into).

Haven't visited Darden but Charlottesville (in VA not GA as sesamemochi pointed out) is known to be a very very nice college town. In terms of immediate surroundings, Darden certainly trumps Charlottesville for the average person. Tuck may be closer to the major cities but not by much. It takes at least 4 hours to get to NYC.

Location aside, I'll still take the full scholarship at a well-regarded T15 school over being 200K in debt at a slightly more prestigious school. But it's all a matter of personal preference and differing priorities in life. Either way, you're in a good spot so congrats!
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Re: Tuck vs Darden ($$$+chance at prestigious fellowship) [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2013, 18:59
joy4ol wrote:

Tuck
+ Ivy league, top-10, bigger brand (just my perception?)
+ Highly regarded alum network
+ Relatively strong connections to PE (and many students with prior IB/PE exp; I know I wouldn't get in but the network is important I suppose given my ambivalent career goals)
- No $; a longer debt repayment period
- Very cold winters (but then I dont mind the idea of skiing :P)

Darden
+ Top-15 (though not THAT below Tuck in US News rankings)
+ Full tuition + chance at Jefferson Fellowship (Full cost of attendance + up to $3000/yr stipend) (My client, who is in sell-side research, says if you are getting full ride and fellowship, the school will cater special attention to see you get placed and the fellowship will help me distinguish my resume better, any idea on the validity of that opinion?)
- Top-15 is lower than top-10
- I somehow like the sound of Boston/NY better than GA (note that I have never been to the states)


I've always said money should be a tie-breaker, not the primary factor. In this case it truly is a tie-breaker - we're not talking a full-ride at a top 30 school, Darden is no slouch. Also, both Tuck and Darden have similar small student bodies with a tight knit culture. If you were deciding between Columbia and Darden the culture argument would be a factor.

I voted for Darden. For full disclosure, I'm a big fan of Tuck and if there wasn't money at either, I'd take Tuck in a heartbeat. But that full ride along with the added prestige of the Jefferson scholarship is hard to ignore. Best of luck with your decision.
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Re: Tuck vs Darden ($$$+chance at prestigious fellowship)   [#permalink] 13 Jan 2013, 18:59
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