Wondering if you could help me out with a Profile Evaluation (sorry for the length). My biggest question is if I am crazy for wanting to attend a 25-35 ranked school when I might have a small shot of attaining admission to a top 10. It basically comes down to the class "brand vs. regional school" and "fit vs. ranking" debates. I know in my heart where I want to go, but just looking for a sanity check (since all advice I have received so far is to shoot for the "best" school possible, regardless of current career aspirations). Could you still give me your thoughts about my chances for the H/S/W, regardless?
Thank you so much!Target Programs
1. Wisconsin - Madison (Operations and Technology Management Track)
2. MIT - Sloan or CMU - Tepper (Technology Leadership Track)
3. Booth or Kellogg (just because they are close to Wisconsin / brand name...neither really the best for what I want to do professionally)Rounds Applying
Service obligation until 2015. Looking to matriculate Fall 2015.
1. Wisconsin (R1 or R2 2013 as they will let me defer enrollment by a year if accepted)
2. Other School (R1 or R2 2014)Why Wisconsin over a Top 10 School?
1. Want to work in northeast Wisconsin area upon graduation. Having lived all over the United States for the past 10 years, I know that I will be unhappy anywhere but Wisconsin. Lots of family in the area. Want snow. Want seasons. Want to be able to go to Packer/Brewer/Badger games. Don't want to live in Chicago (Bears still suck).
2. Want to become a member of the Badger Band and eventually earn a spot on the Green Bay Packer's professional drumline (was a member of the Navy Drumline for 4 years during college. I really miss music and being able to perform on a drumline. Always been jealous of the drummers in the Badger Band. Ultimately want to earn a spot on the Green Bay Packer's drumline (which is mostly former UW-Madison drummers)
3. WI GI Bill would provide free tuition. Might have a chance to earn up to additional $20K/yr scholarship money to pay for housing/food.
4. Their program is very specialized. The Operations and Technology Management program looks exactly what I want to get out of an MBA. Not really interested in some of the top schools that have a more "general" approach which seem more geared towards the finance types. (i.e. HBS)
5. Graduate debt free (not starting in a $150K hole). Can buy a house after graduation and not worry about getting a job that pays the most but may not necessarily be what I want to do just because I'm tied down by loan payments and trying to break even.
6. When people talk about the cost of the top MBA programs, they don't really talk about the quality of the education. It basically turns into a discussion about the brand and leveraging their network to get a high paying job at a big name company. I'd much rather tap into the University of Wisconsin network over a school I'm not truly passionate about. Additionally, I have a great network from my USNA undergrad, so the only reason a top school would interest me is because of the recruiting some of the big names (i.e. Google, Facebook) do at the top schools. However, I'm pretty set that I want to work in the northeast Wisconsin area so I'm not sure that even matters.MBA Goal
Career transition from the Navy's Cyber Command to an IT civilian leadership position. Looking to get a job in the Green Bay, Wisconsin area. Not typically looked at as a "powerhouse" when it comes to technology, but there are many IT consulting companies such as "Skyline Technologies" that I would be very interested in working at. Not really sure if it would matter whether my MBA was from Wisconsin or MIT for my goals if I'm not trying to get a job at a Google type company or a large consulting firm in the Chicago area. Ultimate career goal would be to get an IT leadership position with the Green Bay Packers.MBA Potential Areas
Wanting to get a job in one of the following areas:
1. IT Management
2. IT Business Consulting
3. Project ManagementGMAT
Target 700-720 range. Enrolled in MGMAT class
, taking the actual test in December.Undergrad
United States Naval Academy
BS Computer Science and IT (Double Major)
Michigan Technological University
Attended for one year after high schoolProfessional Experience
Information Professional Officer - 3 years at matriculation
IP Officers are basically the "IT Leaders" of the Navy. Job areas might range from shipboard communications, network management, communications security (COMSEC) management, etc.
Cryptography Manager - currently transitioning to
Will have 4 direct enlisted reports
Deputy Department Head - 1 year
4 direct civilian division head reports
69 indirect civilian reports
Notable Collateral Duties:
Safety Officer, Officer Account Treasurer
Surface Warfare Officer - 2 years
Main Propulsion: 30 direct enlisted reports
Air Department: 20 direct enlisted reports
Community Liaison Officer
Coordinated many high profile events between the ship and its namesake city which received notable attention in various media outlets
Notable Collateral Duties:
Catholic Lay Leader, Tours Coordinator, Morale Fund Treasurer
1. Command soccer team captain, command intramural football team
2. Treasurer for local chapter of a global professional organization that ties together civilian and military IT leaders.Certifications
Will have Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) before leaving current duty station in 2015. This is a very well-known certification in the Information Security world and by itself typically yields jobs in the $90K+ range (depending on location)
Well it's pretty clear that you strongly prefer Wisconsin to going to any other top MBA program. This is a personal decision. I suspect that several of the top programs could prepare you for what you want to do just as well as Wisconsin could. However, they aren't located where you want to be. And there is nothing wrong with wanting to live in Wisconsin or Green Bay or Poughkeepsie. The choice I think is one of immediately doing what you want, i.e. get your MBA from Wisconsin, or attending at top MBA program like MIT Sloan or CMU Tepper or Duke that would open doors if you chose to move from Green Bay at some point in the future. And there is no right or wrong, just a personal decision that you need to make.