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OK, this is a good problem to have but I'm still really torn. And since I got such awesome advice from you all about the application process back in the fall, I'd love to get your feedback one more time!
Here's the deal:
1) Admitted to Ross with a full scholarship and Haas with a half 2) Have visited both schools and like each equally for many of the same reasons - friendly students, laid-back cultures, and great campuses 3) Want to break into the tech sector and, all thing being equal, would prefer a smaller school, so that favors Haas 4) However, I've been told that Ross has pretty strong West Coast connections (since folks want to get out of Michigan) and feels pretty intimate due to the culture - plus, coming from the nonprofit sector, an extra $50K is not chump change
Bottom Line: Are the above Haas advantages worth $50K?
If you want tech, go with Haas. Not to say Ross would not be a great option. However, if you want to work in tech that points to being in Cali and the connection with Berkeley is going to be 100x more powerful in tech in the bay area than UMich. I am sure you would find a job you will love coming out of Ross...however, the breadth of options will be far more at Haas. Ross will get some of big players but the opportunties for start ups and small to mid caps wont be the same.
If you feel the fit is better too, that is one more reason why it would make more sense. 50k seems like a huge number but in the grand scheme of post MBA life it wont make or break you, especially if you are entering the tech field which is not going to be a low paying area. _________________
Kellogg Class of 2010...still active and willing to help. However, I do not do profile reviews, don't offer predictions on chances and am far to busy to review essays, so save the energy of writing me a PM seeking help for these. If I don't respond to a PM that is not one of the previously mentioned trash can destined messages, please don't take it personally I get so many messages I have a hard to responding to most. The more interesting, compelling, or humorous you message the more likely I am to respond. GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings
I think the answer really depends on the jobs you're targeting in tech. If you're looking to land a job at Amazon, Microsoft, etc., you should have no reservations about attending Ross. As riverripper mentioned, Haas will give you access to significantly more opportunities with smaller companies in tech.
Haas will be much more immersive for tech (>play conference, etc.), so you're getting some value for that added tuition and cost of living, but only you can decide what that experience is worth to you. In your situation, I'd choose the full-ride at Ross for every career path other than landing a job at a small tech company, such as a venture-backed internet start-up. _________________
If you're pretty sure about wanting to work in tech, go to Haas. The location matters a lot in this case, since the epicenter of so many of the tech jobs will be in the Bay Area, just like NYC to finance, Texas for oil/gas, LA for entertainment, etc.
Also, it does help being plugged in locally to what is going on - stuff that is much harder to get access to if you're not local. There's a difference between "news sources" you get at a distance and what you actually hear through the grapevine (or what I call the value of informal gossip). It's not just about which startup got funded (official news), but the personal relationships and what is really going on that won't make it to print (which comes through the grapevine/gossip/rumor mill). You're more likely to absorb all this on much deeper level in 2 years living in the epicenter of the industry rather than a few thousand miles away from it.
It's like finance and NY. You can certainly keep updated on all the PE funds, which banks are hiring, which MD is leaving to start his/her own shop, etc. But it's another thing to be living in the city 24/7, meeting people in passing whether they are classmates or friends of friends or whatever who work in the industry, and absorbing what they know and talk about on a daily basis (even if each piece of info may seem trivial on its own) - which will give you a much richer understanding cumulatively of what really goes on beyond just the news headlines that someone in say Florida may be reading on the WSJ. _________________