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Safety School (w/ Full Ride) vs. Top 5 US

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Safety School (w/ Full Ride) vs. Top 5 US [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2011, 03:26
Hi all,

I'm a 26-year old Canadian looking to get into management consulting/venture capital upon graduating from my MBA. Ultimately, preferably sooner rather than later, I want to pursue my entrepreneurial ambitions. It's just a matter of when I am ready and in the right situation.

I have two choices:
- Richard Ivey School of Business in London, Ontario 1 year-program on a full-ride, or
- Chicago Booth

I have been going around in circles about this decision, because:
- Although it's clear that Chicago Booth is better for my traditional career (management consulting or vc), I fear that being indebted to student loans will limit my entrepreneurial aspirations while I am still young. If I go to Booth, I will likely spend the next 4 years (2 MBA + 2 Consulting/VC) working off my debt.
- I think that long-term I want to live in my hometown of Toronto, Canada and I'm not sure what value my Chicago Booth network will have to me in Toronto. I know that Ivey has a plethora of senior business leaders in Toronto.

If you have any thoughts, recommendations, or feedback, please let me know! Any input is appreciated.
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Re: Safety School (w/ Full Ride) vs. Top 5 US [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2011, 05:26
sanka wrote:
Hi all,

I'm a 26-year old Canadian looking to get into management consulting/venture capital upon graduating from my MBA. Ultimately, preferably sooner rather than later, I want to pursue my entrepreneurial ambitions. It's just a matter of when I am ready and in the right situation.

I have two choices:
- Richard Ivey School of Business in London, Ontario 1 year-program on a full-ride, or
- Chicago Booth

I have been going around in circles about this decision, because:
- Although it's clear that Chicago Booth is better for my traditional career (management consulting or vc), I fear that being indebted to student loans will limit my entrepreneurial aspirations while I am still young. If I go to Booth, I will likely spend the next 4 years (2 MBA + 2 Consulting/VC) working off my debt.
- I think that long-term I want to live in my hometown of Toronto, Canada and I'm not sure what value my Chicago Booth network will have to me in Toronto. I know that Ivey has a plethora of senior business leaders in Toronto.

If you have any thoughts, recommendations, or feedback, please let me know! Any input is appreciated.



As a Canadian, I can say that the diversified experience you will get away from your home will mature you as a professional. My personal opinion is that in the top 5 universities in the US, you actually get to see the world's best achievers, something I have never seen at Ivey or Rotman (please do not take any offence, it is an honest observation). I would value those peer relationships and networks that I build with the strong VC/Finance alumni of the school over the loan debt. These are my 2 cents. At the end of the day, it is completely your choice :)
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Re: Safety School (w/ Full Ride) vs. Top 5 US [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2011, 05:39
Arindamcanada,

Thanks so much for your input. I really appreciate your opinion. The 'best in class' argument is a good one. I was looking up profiles of Ivey MBA's and I did not see anything that was overly impressive. I think the same is true of the lower quartile of top US MBA's, but the top is much higher.

Did you end up going to Ivey or Rotman? What was your thought process in choosing either?
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Re: Safety School (w/ Full Ride) vs. Top 5 US [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2011, 05:45
sanka wrote:
Arindamcanada,

Thanks so much for your input. I really appreciate your opinion. The 'best in class' argument is a good one. I was looking up profiles of Ivey MBA's and I did not see anything that was overly impressive. I think the same is true of the lower quartile of top US MBA's, but the top is much higher.

Did you end up going to Ivey or Rotman? What was your thought process in choosing either?


No I am going to neither Ivey or Rotman. But I did make class visits to HBS, MIT Sloan, Kellogg, Booth, Wharton, Ivey and Rotman and I thought the US schools were quite a distance apart in quality of students (average), resources, networks, worldwide acknowledgement and industry recognition. I did sit in a class at a top10-top20 US school and that is where I found Canadians schools comparable. MBA is a life-time thing, so why not go for the best. Hope you make the best decision, I know finance can be a sticky spot but if you think it will not be a deal breaker, then I would say go and get your dream fellow Torontonian.
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Re: Safety School (w/ Full Ride) vs. Top 5 US [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2011, 05:55
Another fellow Canadian here. That's a tough one. Personally I would consider the value of the life experience going to Chicago would bring. Who knows, maybe it will change your perspective on living in Toronto (at least in the short-to-medium term)? I don't know what your entrepreneurial aspirations are, but I would think that for almost any industry there's a much larger market in the US... perhaps you'll find you are better off starting your business in the US and ultimately migrating back to T.O. My vote would be for Chicago, it will put you in a very elite group, and the Booth brand will garner respect in both MC and entrepreneurial ventures no matter where you are.

I'm approaching a similar situation (applying to top US schools and have Rotman as my backup), and if I was offered a full ride at Rotman I would still take any of the US schools if I'm accepted. But I know I want to be in the NYC-area market for at least 5-10 years.
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Re: Safety School (w/ Full Ride) vs. Top 5 US [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2011, 06:08
Thanks so much both for your replies, fellow Canadians!

I have been leaning towards Chicago for some time, but I just haven't been able to 'pull the plug' on the full-ride at Ivey. I was speaking with my dad and his advice was "If there was no full-ride, it's Booth hands-down. So is $70k enough to make you switch your career direction?" I think the answer should be no; go for the best school because $70k is not a huge amount in the long run (although it certainly seems like it right now.)
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Re: Safety School (w/ Full Ride) vs. Top 5 US [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2011, 06:31
I got full scholarship from my backup school too. But the $ you save now will cost you more later. i.e. your earning potential (although not guaranteed). Although top schools do not give out full scholarship, they give a good %.
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Re: Safety School (w/ Full Ride) vs. Top 5 US [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2011, 06:55
Go to Chicago, we can be friends :lol:
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Re: Safety School (w/ Full Ride) vs. Top 5 US [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2011, 07:40
I have a slightly different opinion than others. Yes Booth is an awesome school. But if you want to live in Toronto in the long term I don't see the point of going to Booth (or any other top school in the US maybe except H/W/S). Ivey's network in Toronto is pretty much unmatched. And I met some Ivey alumni and they seem incredibly receptive. Is Booth's network that strong? Especially so far away from Chicago? Somehow I have an impression that commuter schools have a weak community feeling and hence a weak alumni network (I am sure there are exceptions to this).

Remember that at the end of the day the school does not make you, you make yourself. Especially if you want to be an entrepreneur. If you have a crappy business plan you won't get any venture funding even if you are from HBS. But otoh if you have a solid business plan your background isn't going to matter much.

And as far as consulting is concerned you will have access to top consulting firms at Ivey. Check out this Ivey Management Consulting Club Post Recruiting Survey Results

http://iveymbaa.ca/clubs/consulting-club/

Out of 21 students in the club, there were 16 first round interviews from M/B/B. On average each of the 21 students received 3 first round interviews (counting other firms as well). If you have the $70k full tuition scholarship on resume I am sure you will receive a first round interview from M/B/B. Of course after the first round it's your own merit and the school you attend doesn't matter.

In the long term $70K isn't a lot of money. But in the short term it is. If I were you and I knew I wouldn't have to worry about tuition I would take a bit more risk in entrepreneurial ventures. Otherwise if I am saddled with a $150k debt (at Booth) I would head to banking/consulting and apparently neither is a good preparation for entrepreneurship.

I personally am not interested in Ivey as I am not into consulting. But if I were I would take Ivey any day of the week (with a $70k scholarship). Without any scholarship obviously Booth. Btw I am from Toronto as well.
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Re: Safety School (w/ Full Ride) vs. Top 5 US [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2011, 08:01
All really good points above. I'm always amazed at people's willingness to lend advice to virtual strangers. I've gone back and forth between both options so many times now...I just might have to flip a coin :-P (joking, but only half-way)
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Re: Safety School (w/ Full Ride) vs. Top 5 US [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2011, 08:05
I should add a disclaimer: I have a slight anti-Ivey bias as I twitch a little bit every time I hear someone say (loud enough for everyone to hear) that they got an HBA, not a BComm. ("It's practically an MBA!!!")
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Re: Safety School (w/ Full Ride) vs. Top 5 US [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2011, 10:13
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sanka wrote:
I'm always amazed at people's willingness to lend advice to virtual strangers. I've gone back and forth between both options so many times now...I just might have to flip a coin :-P (joking, but only half-way)


That's what makes gmatclub unique and awesome!!
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Re: Safety School (w/ Full Ride) vs. Top 5 US   [#permalink] 18 Mar 2011, 10:13
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