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ROCHESTER SIMON VS PEPPERDINE GRAZIADIO - HELP!!!!

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08 May 2010, 04:04
Hey Guys,

I'm having a hard time deciding between Rochester Simon and Pepperdine Graziadio, MBA full time program.
I know the rankings; there is a huge gap between the two schools, Simon is great: astonishing No. 5 in the world for Finance (48th overall) in the Financial Times' ranking 2010, 27th in US News (No. 13 in Finance) when Pepperdine is 82nd in US News (and 72nd in the FT EMBA rankings - it doesn't appear in the MBA rankings).

But it's not totally relevant in my case...

If it was just a problem of ranking i wouldn't write this post... The problem is that i want to live in southern California after graduation for family reason, therefore, it all comes down to the placement opportunities offered by the schools in this region.

In Which school do you think i should go in order to have a chance to find a good position in finance? (IM, S&T or PE - I already have a Ms in Finance from a European B-school, it could help).

I forgot, USC dinged me yesterday, and I am waiting to hear from UCLA... But I didn't get an interview invite and it's getting late.
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08 May 2010, 11:30
I would think of both schools as regional schools, so that being said, Pepperdine would likely give you a stronger foothold into the Cali labor market if that's where you want to be post-MBA. Have you looked at the employment reports for both schools to see the typical positions and the geographical distribution of their recent grads? That might be a good place to start. Best of luck and congrats on your admits!
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08 May 2010, 11:54
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I live in LA for a number of years.

Pepperdine's placement is not that great. UCLA or USC would be a different story, but not for this one.
Simon is in Rochester where the only large company is Kodak and is not a whole lot else to do. Most take their internships in NYC and that's where most look for jobs.

If you are going to major in Finance, by all means go to Simon.
If you want to live in SoCal and don't so much care about your focus (just want an MBA), then go to Pepperdine
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08 May 2010, 16:08
Never even heard of the second program
Rochester is in the top5 in Finance. I've read some comments by a recent grad here (in Russian). He has landed a great six-figure job in Tyco International.
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09 May 2010, 07:36
bb wrote:
If you are going to major in Finance, by all means go to Simon.
If you want to live in SoCal and don't so much care about your focus (just want an MBA), then go to Pepperdine

BB, can you be more accurate? Does it mean that if I go to Pepperdine, the odds to work in finance are really low? That if i wanna work in finance in Southern California, I should go to Rochester?

bb wrote:
If you are going to major in Finance, by all means go to Simon.
If you want to live in SoCal and don't so much care about your focus (just want an MBA), then go to Pepperdine

And if I care about majoring in Finance AND want to live in Southern California?

Because as I told you in my first post, the problem is not to choose a B-School based on the rankings, if it was the case, i would definitly go to Rochester. but to choose the school that gives me the best chance in LA...
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09 May 2010, 09:41
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Rochester is a lot more serious school with higher caliber of professors and students.
If you want to go to finance, go to Rochester; no matter where you live.

You have to also remember only 3 Fortune 500 companies are (or maybe just 2 now) are based out of Los Angeles area, so chances are you may move somewhere else.

Finally, pepperdine alumni network is not very strong (quantity but not quality) and 5 Simon grads in LA may be a lot more helpful to you than 10K of Pepperdine - see the picture?

I think there are very few reasons to go Pepperdine if you have been accepted to Simon and you are looking to major in Finance. (winter is the only one I can think of).
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09 May 2010, 15:51
No more opinion?

I just received the answer of some friends working in LA, and basically they told me that Pepperdine has an excellent reputation (coming after UCLA and USC of course), and that the alumni network is pretty strong... one of them is working at P*mco and he told me that he knows many Pepperdine alumnis that are working in top notch financial companies...

Concerning Simon, they didn't hear about any Rochester's alumni in LA... So it seems that I would have to forget about LA if I go there...

To be honest I don't know what to think... I'd like more opinions about these two schools, which companies are coming to the recruiting events for example... I am pretty sure that the B-schools' websites are biased, do you know which web site i could trust regarding the different stats available?
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10 May 2010, 18:57
I am from So-Cal also. I am currently waitlisted at USC and have been accepted to Austin McCombs and others but McCombs is the current front runner. I'm pursuing a part-time degree at these schools however so keep that in consideration. I ultimately decided not to apply at Pepperdine because I felt that other top schools such as Austin will still be seen as more favorable that Pepperdine in So-Cal.

But if I where in your shoes I would take Pepperdine over Rochester, if you want to live in So-Cal people know the name and look on it favorably. "Whats Rochester?" is not something you want to hear at job interviews.

What do you want to do in finance anyway? Its a very broad field, you don't need to work for a Fortune 500 to be successful. I would think that PE is going to be tough at either school, probably tough out of USC for that matter.
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11 May 2010, 09:04
I'm from so cal, I've actually known several people who've gone through that program, including 2 family members. I would say it's probably 4th best interms of rep, under UCI Paul Mirage but have a fair alumni network. If you want to work in so cal, then I would take Pepperdine over Rochester since rochesters has 0 brandname.. I'm sure like 95% of the people here wouldn't know where it is or if there's even a school there.

The people that I've known that went through the full time program went into corp finance, one for a fortune 500 call mugi (something like that), and the other was my boss in college who now does corp finance at ATT in SF.

(I can be bias since I don't know anything about rochester.)
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11 May 2010, 13:31
Syner, have you seen the Graziadio campus? It's like a mythical castle by the sea.
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12 May 2010, 02:55
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Yes I know really well Pepperdine and it's gorgeous! I lived in Santa Monica for 6 months. But i didn't have any friend studying at Graziadio, the people i know were at the law school.

Someone studying at Cornell told me something really true: business is based upon competence (what you know) and who you know(networking).

Knowlege:
The finance program is pretty much the same in every school top 100 B-School in the US, moreover, if you want to know about cutting edge research, you better have to open your mind and read blogs and articles written by professors from other Universities and countries...etc...
Examples: HBS Working Knowledge, Free Management Library, EDHEC Risk Institute...etc

who you know:
A friend of mine is a Chicago alumni and is living in LA. He tried to convince me to apply to Chicago, but when i asked him about the network in LA, he told me that it wasn't really strong. to the people that says that quality is better than quantity, i would answer that this rule has its limit: the number of opportunities by alumni IS limited.
So if it's the case for schools like Chicago, I imagine what it could be for schools like Rochester.

Furthermore, we could discuss what "quality" means, if you had read the book "Outlier", you could remember that to be successful, you don't have to be the smartest guy, but just to be smart enough... (no worry, I don't have a IQ of 80 lol)

To finish, I think there is a problem that almost nobody thinks about when picking a program as they prefer to follow the rankings: If the school is located in a remote area, how can you build your own network when even your school's alumni are living and working far away? it's the case for a lot of schools where students struggle to be in touch with professionals in their target field... In this tough period, you can't totally rely on your school's career services, as Abby Scott, executive director of M.B.A. career services at Berkeley's Haas School of Business said, it is "the year of the networked job search."
"Just getting a coffee and exchanging an email with an alumni isn't enough,", adding that students are encouraged to deeply research a handful of target companies. "The student has to drive the interaction."
source: The Wall Street Journal "State of the Job Market for M.B.A.s"
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12 May 2010, 03:02
EndDream wrote:
What do you want to do in finance anyway? Its a very broad field, you don't need to work for a Fortune 500 to be successful. I would think that PE is going to be tough at either school, probably tough out of USC for that matter.

I would like to work in Investment Management, I am also interested by the Private Equity field but I know it is almost impossible to get in (even for students from UCLA or Berkeley) especially since the crisis.
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12 May 2010, 08:55
For investment management you should also get your CFA on top of an MBA.
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14 May 2010, 04:52
I definitely think about it, but it's not something that you wanna do while studying for your MBA; You don't wanna screw your degree by working simultaneously on another one...
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19 May 2010, 10:49
Rochester is hands-down the better school for finance, no question about it.

In California, though, you're going to find that people struggle with recognizing Kellogg, Ross or Tuck, even. You should honestly think about the JOB first in the SHORT-TERM, and then LOCATION afterwards once you've made a CAREER for yourself. If you manage an equity portfolio at CIGNA coming out of Rochester, I am sure that is more respectable to LA asset management firms than doing something in Deloitte's Malibu affiliate or something.
Re: ROCHESTER SIMON VS PEPPERDINE GRAZIADIO - HELP!!!!   [#permalink] 19 May 2010, 10:49
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