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Ross vs Wisconsin ($$$)

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Which program should I choose?

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Ross vs Wisconsin ($$$) [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2013, 06:09
Just looking for some opinions as I'm completely torn on what to do.

I've been accepted to Ross with no money whatsoever and also to Wisconsin's Corporate Finance and Investment Banking specialization with a project assistantship, which would require me to work approximately 15 hours a week but which would also cover full tuition, $10k stipend per academic year, and comprehensive health benefits. Obviously Ross is more highly regarded, but I am wondering if the Wisconsin offer is too good to turn down.

My profile is as follows:

White / caucasian male, 28 years old and just under 6 years of solid work experience (1 year in consulting and the last several years in financial analysis at a Fortune 500 company) at matriculation, GMAT: 690 (43Q 41V), interested in moving into corporate development for either a tech / e-commerce, CPG, or other retail company. I'm looking to end up in Chicago post-MBA, but I'm open to other locations depending on the job.

Are the prestige, network, and recruiting at Ross enough to offset the money Wisconsin is offering me, especially with my goals? I have visited both schools and found both campuses to be lovely. I could see myself at either school. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your time!

Last edited by Midwest6 on 29 Jan 2013, 10:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ross vs Wisconsin ($$$) [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2013, 07:36
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Midwest6 wrote:
Are the prestige, network, and recruiting at Ross enough to offset the money Wisconsin is offering me, especially with my goals? I have visited both schools and found both campuses to be lovely. I could see myself at either school. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.



In my mind, yes. It's tempting to have school covered and come out with no debt, but I think the gap here is just too big. Taking the longview, Ross will have better recruiting opportunities right after graduation and will provide a much stronger network as you progress in your career. Ross places well in Chicago, I'm not sure about Wisconsin. With Kellogg, Booth, and Ross in the region, I'd imagine top companies in Chicago don't do much recruiting there (this is just an assumption, someone feel free to prove me wrong).

Compare the employment reports to see what the differences are in opportunities post-MBA:
http://www.bus.umich.edu/Admissions/MBA/MBA_Empl_rep.pdf
http://bus.wisc.edu/mba/your-career/job-placement-salary-stats

Another turnoff for me for the Wisconsin deal is the 15 hours of work a week - that's time you could be spending recruiting/networking/participating in clubs/enjoying life.

Congrats on the acceptances!
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Last edited by CobraKai on 29 Jan 2013, 07:47, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ross vs Wisconsin ($$$) [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2013, 07:40
Cant understand how GMAT clubbers actually vote for Wisconsin, but the gap is WAY too high. Not worth trading a solid Top 13 school for a Top 25 school.
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Re: Ross vs Wisconsin ($$$) [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2013, 09:15
CobraKai wrote:
With Kellogg, Booth, and Ross


Dont forget about Mendoza and Kelley.
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Re: Ross vs Wisconsin ($$$) [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2013, 09:26
Well, I guess you applied acknowledging that there is a huge chance you'll have to finance the whole stuff out of pocket... So why it should be your first consideration?

My vote is for Ross.
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Re: Ross vs Wisconsin ($$$) [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2013, 09:40
I understand where you're coming from, but seriously it would be Ross.
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Re: Ross vs Wisconsin ($$$) [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2013, 10:18
I didn't apply to Ross, but all the schools I applied to include health benefits when you enroll. I believe all grad schools do.

Ross is a much larger program--this is worth thinking about. I just looked it up at it's 5 times the size (1000 vs 215). That is a HUGE difference in culture.

I'm with Cobra: working during business school sounds horrendous. If you could negotiate that away, perhaps, but I'd rather spend my time attending recruiting events, leading clubs, and networking.

Can you talk to other admitted students and see who you connect with more? Reach out to alums and current students as well in your target area. Finally, talk to the career center people. That was the most helpful thing I did when deciding. They are a wealth of information!

If you have these chats and decide that Wisconsin is just as good a fit as Michigan, then enjoy. I think you may end up being more impressed by the Ross people in the end, but god speed either way.
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Re: Ross vs Wisconsin ($$$) [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2013, 11:16
I agree with the overall trend of this thread. I tend to view schools in competitive clusters based on companies that recruit there and consensus rankings. Within a cluster I think people should go with the school they fit best with, regardless of actual ranks and at times money can make a difference. However, I would not put Ross and Wisconsin in the same school grouping.

If you are recruiting for IB, I would say that Ross gives you the opportunity to go to New York (or anywhere) whereas at Wisconsin you likely will have to be in Chicago, where frankly there are much fewer opportunities for banking, since Wisconsin is a much more regional business school. Like people said, you will also be competing with people from Booth and Kellogg that want to stay in Chicago, as well as people from other schools that can make a solid case for going to Chicago (i.e. they are from there originally). Ross puts you on equal footing in Chicago whereas Wisconsin does not, and opens up more national opportunities.

I did IB recruiting this past fall in New York and at multi-school networking events hosted by companies I did encounter folks from Ross...I did not see anyone from Wisconsin to be honest. That's not to say that you can't get NYC IB from Wisconsin, but I would pay special attention to the employment report and even try to reach out to alumni to gauge the feasibility. Based on my brief knowledge of the schools, it seems a much more difficult task from Wisconsin.
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Re: Ross vs Wisconsin ($$$) [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2013, 20:11
I think everyone here is on the money. Since your goals are quite specific about wanting to move into IB in Chicago, you should definitely speak to recruiters, career center, alums and current students who want to pursue similar goals.

That said, I think having that Project Assistantship and stipend on the resume could also help; but on the other hand, it could eat away at some valuable time during your MBA (recruiting, networking, groupwork etc.)

Good luck!
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Re: Ross vs Wisconsin ($$$) [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2013, 21:55
Just a current Wisconsin student chiming in here, I have full scholi due to project assistantship as well and 13 hrs is overestimated. It's some kind of requirement to call it 1/3 of a 40hr work week, really it's much less. And it's something to put on resume to brag about. Plus might want to think about being able to freely choose what you want to do when you graduate and not on chasing the paycheck to make payment on that 100k debt you incurred.
Re: Ross vs Wisconsin ($$$)   [#permalink] 29 Jan 2013, 21:55
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