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Rankings [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2006, 13:07
I noticed many people focus so much on the rankings that they forget that there are plenty of schools out of top 10 that can fit your goals and personality much better than those in top 10.

Even though I do look at the rankings, I am more concerned about the right setting as I don't want to be in the cut-throat environment that would stress me out. The only way I use rankings is to find out more about the school and its programs... and if a lower ranked school has the program I like, I would much rather go there than a school with brand name w/out a program I like. I hope I am not alone in this reasoning... just this hype over rankings is amazing...

I understand it is a very individual decision, and I don't want to create a debate on this issue, just wanted other "silent" members to see that rankings are not everything. There are plenty of great schools that are not even ranked... like Princeton University or J. Hopkins... etc.

Here is the link of what AACSB had to say about rankings... and for those who are really concerned, there is a great chart comparing the media sources that rank schools:
http://www.aacsb.edu/publications/Archi ... p26-32.pdf

I hope some of you might find this file interesting even though many points are frequently discussed among our members!!!

Good luck to all in the busy application season!!!
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2006, 13:51
Princeton does not have a business school. Don't know about Johns Hopkins.

People follow rankings because the ability to find a job correlates very highly with the ranking of the school. Hjorts cluster system is probably the best breakdown I have seen. I think it's pretty clear than other than for a few specialties, any ultra-elite will provide better job opportunities than any elite, and so on down the line.

To put it another way, even if you have to endure a bad "fit" for 2 years, you will be better positioned in the job market for the rest of your life if you go to a higher ranked school. You'll have better access to summer internships, jobs upon graduation, and if you ever decide to change jobs or careers (you will, probably 10 times in your life) the higher ranking will make a difference each time you are in the job market. It's short sighted to weigh the next 2 years too heavily when compared with the rest of your working life.

Personally, I go the other way on fit; I actually think it is highly overrated. Perhaps it's because I'm generally a happy person and I make friends easily and perhaps I can imagine a business school experience where every last second is not tied up with the school, but fit is way down on my list when considering schools; below location, weather, access to preferred job markets, easy access to airports, and of course rankings both current and future. If a school is highly teamwork oriented, I can handle that, and if a school is highly competitive then the challenge will get me going so bring it on.

To me, business school is the bridge that gets me to the important stuff on the other side: which can be summarized by job/location/pay/future potential. The important stuff is what comes after business school; the real consideration should be whether the schools you are considering can get you there. Higher ranked schools will offer better opportunities down the road.
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2006, 14:06
I agree with you pelihu... there are many factors that I am considering myself... like airports, weather, etc. and yes opportunities after the degree mean a lot too.

I just noticed a trend like "it's either top 10, or I am not going at all," which is kind of ridiculous to me... I see these Chinese students whose mom and dad dream that their child goes to top 10 school, but once the kid is there, s/he is not necessarily happy... Where is any common sense here?

So what I was implying is that use the rankings, look at different sources, but don't rely on those completely... as simple as that.

I think the article gives a good comprehension on what's behind the marketing campaign.
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2006, 14:14
Yes, I agree that "top 10 or bust" is a silly strategy. Each person has a different situation. Some people need to go part-time and stay in a particular area because they have families. Others might have a job or career already in place where they need an MBA, but are not changing careers so school reputation means less to them. Personally, I'm leaning towards staying on the west coast, so I would consider a lower ranked school (say elite instead of ultra-elite) if given the choice provided I'm convinced that the lower ranked school could facilitate adequate access to jobs that I'm interested in.

But I think by and large, most people would be best served by attending the best (most highly ranked) school they can get into. Selecting among schools within the same cluster for preferable traits makes sense. Selecting a lower ranked school because of "fit" generally does not make sense.
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2006, 21:23
Pelihu
I was wondering whether you are considering Berkeley part-time. Haas and Stanford GSB are the only good schools in the West Coast, if you don't want to apply to UCLA, right? I am in the Bay area, so am applying to these two schools, but Stanford is a long-shot for me given my age.
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2006, 22:41
U2 Lover, IMHO if you have post MBA entrepreneurial aspiratations, then rankings aren't really a huge issue. The good thing about gaining admissions to a "top ten" is that the level of discussion will be substantially higher, which in turn will force your mind to open up new dendrital pathways. If you are young and looking to jump start a solid career right out of school, then rankings are indeed imperative.

Some "old folks" like myself are actually going back to school with the primary intention of starting a business. I'm 33, and have enough background experience in the field that I continue to practice in, albeit at a much higher level, so rankings aren't such a major concern. Even so, I do want to challenge myself and get into the best possible program with the best possible fit.

School selection is indeed a tough choice, but don't overfixate on the rankings. There are several great programs in the top 20-30 as well.
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2006, 23:23
GMATT73 wrote:
Some "old folks" like myself are actually going back to school with the primary intention of starting a business. I'm 33, and have enough background experience in the field that I continue to practice in, albeit at a much higher level, so rankings aren't such a major concern. Even so, I do want to challenge myself and get into the best possible program with the best possible fit.

School selection is indeed a tough choice, but don't overfixate on the rankings. There are several great programs in the top 20-30 as well.


Matt, did you look at Babson College? It specializes in entrepreneurship and the GMAT isn't quite that high...

As far as rankings issue... I think I was misunderstood... All I was saying is that people get obsessed with rankings and overlook the "best fit" even though 2 schools are close in the rankings... that's all... I didn't say they aren't important... I look at them too, but some people's reasoning for going to top 10 school isn't quite convincing... and besides, I think it's important to know the politics behind the rankings... just came across that article and finally decided to post my opinion after a long observation!!! Hope I didn't create any enemies here :lol: :lol: :lol:
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Dec 2006, 01:59
venky_nag wrote:
Pelihu
I was wondering whether you are considering Berkeley part-time. Haas and Stanford GSB are the only good schools in the West Coast, if you don't want to apply to UCLA, right? I am in the Bay area, so am applying to these two schools, but Stanford is a long-shot for me given my age.
Venky


Hi Venky,

I'm applying to Haas full-time and as far as I know, you can only apply to one program per year. I will be applying to UCLA, I did my undergrad there and I have a lot of friends in the area. However, I do believe that Berkeley's reputation is trending upwards (their admit rates are getting tougher, their rankings have been moving up, their test scores have been climbing quicker, etc.) while UCLA will probably continue to maintain its current position. Also, I currently live in the Bay Area so Berkeley would be somewhat more convenient for me.

I'm older as well so I definitely consider myself a long-shot at Stanford; as of right now I'm still planning to apply but I'm pessimistic about my chances. I wouldn't say that Berkeley, Stanford and UCLA are the only good schools on the west coast, but I would agree that there is a drop-off in terms of name recognition and top-level job access after these three. Obviously Stanford will provide the best access, but UCLA and Berkeley will both allow for noticeably better access than anything from a lower cluster.
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for internationals, [#permalink] New post 02 Dec 2006, 11:14
I agree about the job opportunities, and that if you invest 2 years of not being paid / not progressing at your current employer or elsewhere you may expect to get the best out of it. To add an International perspective to the issue, several people's take on the issue is the following (at least in Argentina, probably Brazil and Chile are similar):

Ultra Elite / Elite: Admission to one of these will make me willing to rellocate for 2 or more years almost regarless of any situation (family, friends, job, etc.)

Trans Elite / Near Elite: If I'm hesitant about relocating then I'll probably stay home and go to top local (IAE, San Andrés). If I want to have the international experience and do not have much family or other concerns, I'll go anyway.

Top European (IMD/LBS/INSEAD/BOCCONI/IESE, etc.): makes much more sense for people with dual citizenship who are willing to rellocate to anywhere in the European Union.

Anything else: it's a hell of a lot of money to spend on something that's not as valuable. I'll better stay home and attend top local. Top local usually costs about 20 Thou U$ vs. you know for US schools. It's also much easier to get sponsorship from employers. And your living expenses are much lower. Most people go part - time. Actually part time programs are much more prestigious than the few full time programs (full time students are usually disgruntled former employees with not so much experience who are trying to switch careers, while full time are middle management trying to keep progress steady). All programs are 1 year.

This take does not mean that top local schools are comparable to Trans Elite programs, it just means that the much higher costs of going abroad do not outweight the perceived benefits of the program. Additionally, for individuals planning careers in Argentina, any program outside UE / E would not be easily assessed by local recruiters. So the "perceived" quality / usefulness of local programs kinda of matches the TE / NE programs. And going TE/NE means recruiters are much less likely to "go the extra mile" to sponsor work permits. So your international experience is usually limited to studying abroad, but not working abroad.

The "objective" comparison, judging by one of the rankings in which IAE was assessed, is that top local is about equivalent to US top 50+ or so.

Hope it helps. L.
for internationals,   [#permalink] 02 Dec 2006, 11:14
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