### Which would you choose?

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25 May 2011, 20:38
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Really, ignore all the fricking statistics. I have contributed to them, they are BS.

So now, what continent do you want to be on? That is pretty much your question. Both schools have fine links to consulting, just neither in the others territory. Applying for top 5, especially given your age, is just indulging in some kind of ranking self-appraisment. If you wanted to go there, you should have applied this time, else you wouldn't throw away a grand for an experiment (if you did, you should have your offers withdrawn).

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26 May 2011, 12:43
I meant only to say second guessing yourself isn't worth it. As for the money side - the firms you want to recruit for pay the same whether you went to Wharton or Washington State - the difference is the odds of getting the Oportunity based on where they recruit and how heavily.

Being sat next to someone who earns 35k more in the future means little to you and your career. Add to that whether you are looking at 1, 3, 5 year out salaries. It is a hugely multivariate model.

Of course LBS has better people. There are way fewer Brits at Stern.

Looking back at admits after applying to places you decided on is in my mind akin to any retrospective assessment. Too much hindsight and a lot of risk from rebasing assumptions.

Posted from my mobile device
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26 May 2011, 13:59
3underscore wrote:
Apologies if you didn't like my tone - not really intentional, just posting late in a day of a really long week.

Posted from my mobile device

No worries, appreciate you taking the time to post.
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26 May 2011, 14:28
doolittle wrote:
3underscore wrote:
I meant only to say second guessing yourself isn't worth it. As for the money side - the firms you want to recruit for pay the same whether you went to Wharton or Washington State - the difference is the odds of getting the Oportunity based on where they recruit and how heavily.

Being sat next to someone who earns 35k more in the future means little to you and your career. Add to that whether you are looking at 1, 3, 5 year out salaries. It is a hugely multivariate model.

Of course LBS has better people. There are way fewer Brits at Stern.

Looking back at admits after applying to places you decided on is in my mind akin to any retrospective assessment. Too much hindsight and a lot of risk from rebasing assumptions.

Posted from my mobile device

I agree about the second-guessing. I'm more than likely to go with one of these two than to re-apply for that reason. But I don't want to rule that option out of hand without giving it fair due. That's the best way to avoid regret later down the line, in my opinion.

Agreed also about pay post-MBA. I'm not concerned about my salary in a consulting firm being different coming out of school A or school B. But I still think the average salaries of my peers coming out of school are indicative of something. Why are they earning $35k more on average than the next guy? If there was no reason we'd all take the extra$35k. I would guess that the stat would be driven by a much smaller low end (fewer people missing the traditional post-MBA paths entirely and landing in much lower-paid roles) and a fair few extra real high-end achievers in the class (people pulling in huge salaries that count for a couple of people in the averages). The bulk would probably still be getting the same mid-level consulting and finance jobs that so many MBAs in all schools are going for. But that doesn't mean there's no value in knowing/associating with that bigger pool of high-achievers over that 2 years, or in not having to sift through so much at the lower end.

LBS vs Stern for Brits? Well, LBS is only 8% British. And personally I think Americans are generally way better at business than Brits, for a whole load of reasons. Still, I'll find out at the LBS admit weekend. Shame I couldn't make the Stern one, makes it a less fair comparison.

I take the point about excessive hindsight and introducing risk through modified assumptions... it's an interesting way of thinking about it.

Cheers

Perhaps I should be clearer:

On the 'quality' of classmates - I'm thinking really long-term, where I expect the value of the networks to really play out. I think any of the top 20-30 or more schools could get me the consulting interviews I need, but I suspect there's a much bigger difference between the top few and the rest from a network point of view. When I'm 45 and thinking about my next big venture, who can I call? A middle manager who's well-paid but who has taken a fairly conventional and unspectacular path, or someone who's out doing something really innovative or operating at a really high level? To me that's roughly what the difference looks like.

Maybe that makes a little more sense.
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27 May 2011, 00:56
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After reading through the thread it seems like you have a pretty good thought process going on here. I just wanted to chime in in terms of the perceived salary differentials between a couple of the elites versus, say, some lower in the top 10-ish schools. As already noted, part of it is likely a higher percentage going into finance, versus going to work at a F500 company (where you might only make 100k base to start, but you won't be worked to death). I'm going to a top 20 school and with my background I could probably make quite a bit more in consulting or ibanking,but instead plan on doing CPG marketing with a starting salary of 100k-ish (funny enough, that's a 50% pay cut). Why? Because money isn't everything and i've already had one marriage fail from the hard work "lifestyle", and don't plan to lose another one on account of it. I have a feeling that you might have a lot more folks content with just working at a good company, and having a life, while still getting compensated well (but not spectacularly) at schools a bit further down the list. Also, I know that at a few schools like HWS, there are a handful each year that get some crazy salaries, based more on who they were prior to attending biz school then the name on their MBA diploma. I've heard of folks getting offers north of $300,000. Those will clearly skew the lines. In any event, if it was me, I would go with Stern, assuming that you like NYC. I would rather shoot my self in the leg than live in NYC, but admit i'm likely in the minority on that. Cheers, Tom doolittle wrote: Hi, I recently received offers from Stern (with a scholarship covering the majority of Yr1 fees) and from London Business School (don't know if any scholarship attached but will find out soon). I also applied to Yale but after a stint on the wait list was finally dinged. I'm curious as to what people would choose if put in this situation themselves (let's assume no or minimal scholarship from LBS). My background is in international development and I'm looking to move into consulting. I came into this process not knowing a great deal about business school and without the resources to make as many applications as I'd have liked in the short time available. I'm confident that if I applied next year with what I know now + R1 applications + a greater volume of applications, etc., that I could get an offer from 1 or more of the top 5 schools in the US. However I'm no spring chicken in consulting terms (will be 30 within a couple of months of starting school if I go this fall) and have to consider the potential implications of losing that scholarship at Stern if my confidence turned out to be misplaced. Given my background, it's a big financial commitment to do an MBA so scholarships are a fairly significant factor, although if I'm successful in the transition into consulting it's a cost I'll be able to bear. For what it's worth, I feel that there are positives and negatives about both schools: - Stern is clearly very strong in finance, but that's not likely to be my area of focus. When I visited the school I got a really good feel from it but at the same time some of the alums and current students I've met have been surprisingly unimpressive. It seems that there's a lot of variety in the quality of the students there and I imagine there to be a step change in that sense between Stern and the top few programs. Great faculty and great location, obviously. But why are Stern students coming out earning$138k compared to Columbia students in the same city coming out earning \$167k? And how much does that matter to my prospects, particularly in the long term where the value of your networks starts to come through? The thought of somewhere like Harvard suddenly seems more appealing from that perspective, even though the thought of being in what - to me - looks like an MBA factory (excessive class size, reliance on reputation has negatives as well as positives) has unappealing aspects too. Stern is not particularly known for consulting but it's clearly a growing area of focus based on the year-on-year recruitment stats and the way the school talks about it. I'm sure it's good enough to get me the interviews I need.
- LBS has great links with London consulting firms and has the city all to itself in a way that Stern doesn't. Its reputation is very strong in Europe but it seems less so overseas. It's very highly ranked in the FT but that seems to rely very much on its stats under international mobility, international faculty, international board, international experience, etc... strip that away and its other stats look very similar to Stern's. Similar quality of faculty, although not being attached to a university is, in my opinion, quite a big drawback. Haven't been able to judge the quality of the people yet but I imagine it to be a little bit more consistent across the board than Stern, although similar at the high end. The international aspect is obviously very interesting and could lead to a great international network, but I'm unsure as yet how much value I place in that. One other bonus would be that I could do an exchange at a leading US school and tap into the networks and reputation that way. That option's not available at Stern (although I could exchange to China/India, which is another interesting possibility... or to LBS perhaps!).

I realise that the obvious question is 'where do I want to work post-MBA', but I have very few ties and would rather leave that out of the equation for now.

That's just a brief sketch of my thoughts on it... plenty of thinking to do, but any opinions from you guys would be really interesting to hear.

Cheers!
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27 May 2011, 05:41
3underscore wrote:
Fair disclosure: I am British and went to Stern.

You know, you will meet great people wherever you go. The salary can reflect as little as more people going into I-Banking, less Non-profit people, loads of folk going to google where they get paid out of the wazoo to the point they do (10% payrise ahoy!). I get what you are saying, but - from experience - you will meet some extraordinary people wherever you go.

Ha, okay, I'll try not to be too negative about Brits in business then ('Brits in Business', sounds like a bad reality show). I'm sure you're right though, there will be great people everywhere.
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30 Jun 2011, 04:23
Ivan91 wrote:
So, what did you decide eventually ?

I decided on Stern. If there had been comparable financial offers on the table it would have been a much tougher choice, and if I wasn't from the UK and looking for a change somewhat it would have been even tougher still.

I went to the LBS admits weekend and met some great people. The faculty seems great, and there's a real sense of quality about a lot of what they do. That said, the depth and variety of student activity for example doesn't seem comparable to somewhere like Stern, plus the fact that LBS is not really connected to a university is a big drawback for me. In contrast, NYU seems to be taking some really interesting steps to become a genuinely global university with all that entails, and Stern itself is positioning itself in an interesting way in response to the financial crisis. And then of course there's the New York vs London debate. For me New York has the edge, not just for being new to me, but as a much bigger economy with more diversity of business. For someone who hasn't completely made up their mind what they want to do, this is a big draw for me - I think New York has a lot of everything, London less so.

More than that though, I actually think the schools are of comparable quality on all but a few measures. LBS does extremely well in the FT mainly because it scores off the chart in terms of the international nature of its programme, which the FT puts a lot of weight on. Take that away and the difference would more or less disappear in my view. Having a highly international student body is a great thing, and I really experienced what that means in practice at the admits weekend, which surprised me a bit actually in terms of how meaningful it was. The prospect of getting to know all of those people so well was genuinely exciting and I could see how it could enrich my career and my life. But does it mean that LBS is a much better school in other respects? I don't think so.

One thing I would say in its favour is that LBS students are - from what I can tell - probably a bit more senior in what they've done before and there is a higher proportion of people coming from the very top companies. In part because of the FT ranking, and in part because the competition in Europe is less tough (in my opinion), LBS is rightly regarded as the best business school in Europe - or at least comparable to any other. That means that you get a lot of the best people from around the world who want to study and/or live in Europe, which adds up to an impressive student body (although I met a few fairly unimpressive people too - as with any school I guess). While at LBS you will still get a good chunk of people who tried and failed to get into HBS, Wharton, Stanford, etc., I think you will get more of that at Stern. So the calibre is, loosely speaking, in my opinion a little bit lower in general at Stern, as I believe that the admissions process - while imperfect and a bit of a crapshoot at times - is broadly able to filter quality. But that's the only real thing I can say that I believe is definitively in LBS's favour. And as we've discussed on this thread, there will be more than enough great people at Stern to be getting on with, so it's not a deal breaker.

Stern genuinely feels much more down to earth to me, which is important for how much I will enjoy the experience and consequently how well I'll do on the programme. LBS is a little bit pretentious in a characteristically British way, but at the same time it feels a little bit insecure, as though slightly aware that it doesn't quite deserve its #1 global status. It seems like a really great school, and they outlined a really interesting direction for the future during admits weekend. As one of the most globally-minded business schools I'm sure they will continue to do well. But for me I've realised that it just doesn't feel right. It's hard to put into words but there's a richness and depth to Stern that doesn't seem to exist at LBS as a relatively small and isolated institution.

I'm happy with the choice of Stern over LBS. I do slightly regret not pitching for HBS, Sloan and Chicago, at least to find out more about the fit, but I just didn't have time and had no idea of my chances of getting in. I didn't want to have to wait another year. With the options I have in hand, I think this is the right choice, and I would certainly have taken this outcome at the start of the process.

I hope that sharing my experience is helpful for someone and good luck to anyone still applying/deciding.

Cheers

Last edited by doolittle on 22 Jul 2011, 12:09, edited 1 time in total.
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26 Jul 2011, 19:21
Congrats doolittle - I don't think you would have regretted either choice, but am certain you will be happy with this one. Drop me a message when you are in NYC and we can try to catch up some time. I am sure I can offer some helpful course insights for the first round of choices at least (later you will know all the right people for the info anyhow).
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Re: Stern ($$) vs LBS vs Re-apply top 5 [#permalink] ### Show Tags 27 Jul 2011, 04:44 Cheers Ivan - p.s. here's hoping for a bit more from Berbatov this year... he was amazing at Spurs, seems to play better when he's the main man 3underscore - will give you a shout when I make it over! Thanks for all your feedback. Re: Stern ($$) vs LBS vs Re-apply top 5   [#permalink] 27 Jul 2011, 04:44
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