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Social impact investing: Kellogg w/ $$, Sloan or Wharton?

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Social impact investing: Kellogg w/ $$, Sloan or Wharton? [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2012, 04:57
Hi guys,

I'm new here to the club. Just wanted to get a sense of how people would advise me on school choices. I'm interested in social entrepreneurship and impact investing in emerging markets. I want to be mindful of the fact that those career options don't necessarily pay the most money at the outset, but I want the best overall school that will allow me to explore the most things.

I'm deciding among Wharton, Sloan, and Kellogg with 60k scholarship. I am leaning toward K given the cash, student body culture, and overall well-rounded focus of the school but am I wrong to pass up Wharton or Sloan?

Would welcome helpful comments... thanks!

Last edited by nsurpr on 03 Apr 2012, 12:28, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Social entrepreneurship / impact investing? [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2012, 06:17
nsurpr wrote:
Hi guys,

I'm new here to the club. Just wanted to get a sense of how people would advise me on school choices. I'm interested in social entrepreneurship and impact investing in emerging markets. I want to be mindful of the fact that those career options don't necessarily pay the most money at the outset, but I want the best overall school that will allow me to explore the most things.

I'm deciding among Wharton, Sloan, and Kellogg with 60k scholarship. I am leaning toward K given the cash, student body culture, and overall well-rounded focus of the school but am I wrong to pass up Wharton or Sloan?

Would welcome helpful comments... thanks!


Hi nsurpr - I am also interested in the same thing. I 100% recommend Kellogg, and I'm more than happy to share why.

What emerging markets are you most interested in?
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Re: Social entrepreneurship / impact investing? [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2012, 06:18
You're dealing with schools within the top 5 so there really is no wrong decision here. I do not think you'd be missing anything from a prestige standpoint by choosing Kellogg (except maybe a little to Wharton, but not much). I do not know much about Sloan, so I really can't comment on their resources in this space. However, I do know that Kellogg has numerous resources devoted to social entrepreneurship and impact. First there's the SEEK major which provides a classroom foundation. Then you have the experiential learning labs (Venture Lab, Sustainability Lab, Entrepreneurship and New Venture Lab) to give you hands on experience. When I went to Kellogg for DAK 1 I could also tell that the OCR in this space is definitely more robust than other schools'. The $60K scholarship also doesn't hurt either.
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Re: Social entrepreneurship / impact investing? [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2012, 06:32
I also applied to these three schools and am also interested in Social entrepreneurship and emerging markets.
For all the reasons exposed by cheetarah, I think that Kellogg has the strongest program for social entrepreneurship. Wharton tries to push this topic with social impact being one of the three priorities of the dean but I think it still trails behind Kellogg. MIT has the less focus on the topic, but many entrepreneurial projects at MIT touch this topic.

You can take a look at this article about social entrepreneurship mba rankings, more than the ranking itself, it's interesting as it summarizes some of the courses/programs... focusing on Social entrepreneurship at the ranked schools:
http://poetsandquants.com/2010/08/13/so ... -programs/
So for your interests, I think Kellogg makes the more sense, especially with the scholarship.
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Re: Social impact investing: Kellogg w/ $$, Sloan or Wharton? [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2012, 12:50
@ mbalady: i'm interested in Southeast Asia

I think with Sloan, they do a lot of experiential lab classes to do work in China/India/emerging markets for consulting projects, which I think is really cool. And the name is top notch all over the world. But I didn't get a strong sense of belonging when I went to AdMIT day. Felt too techy/engineer-ish for me? Not that it's a bad thing but my inner gut tells me that I would connect better with Kellogg kids (TBD at DAK...)

With Wharton, the brand abroad is amazing as well, and they have the student run social venture fund which is affiliated with acumen and looks pretty great too. But my concern is the schools incredibly finance oriented and I'm looking to get a more diversified experience (have done banking and private equity for 6 years now)

That's not to say I won't go back into finance, but only interested in emerging market impact investing. K and W seem best there, I'd venture to say W with the edge but K not too far behind?
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Re: Social impact investing: Kellogg w/ $$, Sloan or Wharton? [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2012, 13:47
Im a recent Wharton admit so I may be biased. As a social entrepreneur and former PE guy, I want to transition to impact investing. Next year, Wharton will introduce a new course on impact investing and the content looks great. In terms of social entrepreneurship, it really is not much about courses but experiential learning on the ground cos its a buzzword. Similarly impact investing is sometimes an euphemism for growth sustainable investments, so finance and strategy are essentials. I guess since you have the finance expertise, you may want to focus on experiential learning. Sloan is reputed for that.

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Re: Social impact investing: Kellogg w/ $$, Sloan or Wharton? [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2012, 14:24
nsurpr wrote:
@ mbalady: i'm interested in Southeast Asia

I think with Sloan, they do a lot of experiential lab classes to do work in China/India/emerging markets for consulting projects, which I think is really cool. And the name is top notch all over the world. But I didn't get a strong sense of belonging when I went to AdMIT day. Felt too techy/engineer-ish for me? Not that it's a bad thing but my inner gut tells me that I would connect better with Kellogg kids (TBD at DAK...)

With Wharton, the brand abroad is amazing as well, and they have the student run social venture fund which is affiliated with acumen and looks pretty great too. But my concern is the schools incredibly finance oriented and I'm looking to get a more diversified experience (have done banking and private equity for 6 years now)

That's not to say I won't go back into finance, but only interested in emerging market impact investing. K and W seem best there, I'd venture to say W with the edge but K not too far behind?


Good stuff. For careers that are off the beaten path, my general suggestion is to go to the school that will equip you the best in that area - both in learning and career prospects. I know Kellogg has resources in the SE/Impact Investing space... I actually just did some quick googling and found that opportunities abound at Wharton as well. Keynesmba also provides good information above.

That all being said, my suggestions are:

1. Go to both admit weekends if you are able to and assess how you fit at each school.
2. While at each school, inquire about the specific initiatives that interest you/ find out if there are other efforts that aren't on the website but are relevant to your goals.. and learn how much access students have to them.

From what I have gathered, Wharton's reputation as being super-quant/stiff/unfriendly does not hold true, so even though it is strong in Finance, you will probably find folks who are interested in the same thing you are. In the same vein - Kellogg is much more than 'a marketing school'. 60k is a lot of money - however, if Wharton is the better school for you and your goals, that experience will be worth much more than 60k.
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Re: Social impact investing: Kellogg w/ $$, Sloan or Wharton? [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2012, 14:34
Come to wharton! I will further develop my social venture there through the Venture Initiation program :D..but to be honest all these schools are great, go visit, ring people up and follow your heart! Let us know of your decision!

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Re: Social impact investing: Kellogg w/ $$, Sloan or Wharton? [#permalink] New post 04 Apr 2012, 20:16
Along with all the other stuff other people have already said about Kellogg:

Kellogg already offers an Impact Investing class (I just finished it), which is in its 3rd or 4th year so far. For the class project, we get into groups and create a financial instrument or asset or vehicle. Many of these projects end up being real projects (example: Grain Fund Depot)

Furthermore, we host the International Impact Investing challenge (I can't post links yet but you can google)
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Re: Social impact investing: Kellogg w/ $$, Sloan or Wharton? [#permalink] New post 06 Apr 2012, 16:33
OK guys so I know the K/W/MIT programs in social impact / impact investing are all strong in their own ways. I think if I am interested in a specific area of focus or company, I will be able to find ways to get where I want to be because they are all great schools.

So said differently...

Are the Wharton or MIT brand names worth more than $60k if I am not interested in PE/HF/IM/high tech? My impression is that K/W/MIT will open pretty much the same doors and it will be up to me to capitalize. And 5-10 yrs down the line I will be judged on my body of work rather than on the school I went to. So I should go with the option that provides me a stellar education with less debt.

Please correct my logic or enlighten me if I am not thinking reasonably?
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Re: Social impact investing: Kellogg w/ $$, Sloan or Wharton? [#permalink] New post 07 Apr 2012, 13:16
nsurpr wrote:
OK guys so I know the K/W/MIT programs in social impact / impact investing are all strong in their own ways. I think if I am interested in a specific area of focus or company, I will be able to find ways to get where I want to be because they are all great schools.

So said differently...

Are the Wharton or MIT brand names worth more than $60k if I am not interested in PE/HF/IM/high tech? My impression is that K/W/MIT will open pretty much the same doors and it will be up to me to capitalize. And 5-10 yrs down the line I will be judged on my body of work rather than on the school I went to. So I should go with the option that provides me a stellar education with less debt.

Please correct my logic or enlighten me if I am not thinking reasonably?


I think your logic is spot on and I would not pass up the $60k from Kellogg. Congrats on having a decision between 3 great schools!
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Re: Social impact investing: Kellogg w/ $$, Sloan or Wharton? [#permalink] New post 07 Apr 2012, 23:10
thanks all... visiting wharton for welcome weekend and kellogg for DAK next two weekends. will have a decision by end of may :)
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Re: Social impact investing: Kellogg w/ $$, Sloan or Wharton? [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2012, 03:59
nsurpr wrote:
thanks all... visiting wharton for welcome weekend and kellogg for DAK next two weekends. will have a decision by end of may :)


Isn't Wharton's deposit due on May 3? I think you may need to decide before that. And please DO NOT pay two deposits just to give yourself more time to decide.
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Re: Social impact investing: Kellogg w/ $$, Sloan or Wharton? [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2012, 07:52
..oops I meant end of April...

Wharton Welcome Weekend is next weekend and DAK is April 21st weekend. Kellogg deposit is due May 1.
Re: Social impact investing: Kellogg w/ $$, Sloan or Wharton?   [#permalink] 08 Apr 2012, 07:52
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