Am now in Kathmandu, about to disappear for the next two months. Short msg, because the power has tripped twice already in midst of composing this.
Really appreciate the high resolution analysis and personal experiences from all.
After the various comments and own personal decision inclination, am leaning towards LBS. Hope to catch up with all of you this Fall!
Once again, congratulations on your offer!
I sympathise, quite sincerely, with all those whose candidacies were rejected or assigned to the Wait-list. I’m especially surprised (and say so very honestly) that so many strong applicants were turned down; not only were there several strong profiles, but these profiles also appeared to demonstrate that critical “fit” with the unique London Business School culture. I wish everyone all the best in their future endeavours.
And now, on to keeping my promise to outline my rationale for picking London Business School over The Wharton School. In truth, jasonjason, you appear to know what factors are important in making this decision that you alone can make; additionally, bsd_lover has chimed in with a few reasons that coincide with mine. Here is why I made my
• Technically, I did not choose London Business School over Wharton. I was accepted to three programmes, and by a process of elimination, picked the one I believed to have the best “fit” in terms of campus experience, and post-MBA goals. The decision was never a pure “Wharton vs. London Business School” tussle, if that distinction matters.
• I visited two campuses of the three programmes to which I was admitted (I did not visit London Business School), and it was immediately clear to me, and this is my personal opinion, that I would not enjoy my time at Wharton:
o I perceived the student body to be somewhat homogenous and parochial, and could not garner the same enthusiasm I did (and still do) for London Business School. I do not describing Wharton in a negative tone (it’s a fantastic programme, after all), but I just didn’t enjoy the “vibe” of the student body I met with. Conversely, my interaction with current students and alumni at London Business School has been such that I eagerly sought the opportunity to be a part of that community. The community is extremely heterogeneous (a factor of considerable importance to me), the people seemed a lot nicer, and the alumni in my home city have not only been extremely accessible, but their career progress since leaving London Business School is comparable to those of their peers in top U.S. MBA programmes.
o I absolutely
dreaded the thought of being confined to Philadelphia for two years, and location played a significant
role in my decision-making process. In that regard, London was the clear choice. It was important for me to attend a programme in an “Alpha” city, and this played handsomely into London’s favour.
• I disagree that there is a “…trade-off is in terms of reputation and brand…” as one compares Wharton to London. Among the top Finance and Consulting firms around the world, the London Business School brand is well-known and highly regarded. I am too ill-informed about the Wharton brand (not having conducted the extensive research into it as I did for London) to make a definitive statement, but I’m quite sure it is strong (likely even stronger!) than London’s; after all, it’s a much older programme with ivy status, and its historically larger classes means it obviously has a larger alumni network. However, you will recall that I was not weighing London Business School directly against Wharton on a relative basis, but holistically assessing the merits of each school. That London Business School is well-recognised in the industries and companies I intend to target proved sufficient for me. My colleagues at work have reacted very positively to my admission, and there has never a “question mark” in the assessments of my peers and superiors as to why I’d made my choice. That said, it is my experience that some
of the smaller companies in Industry (non-Finance & non-Consulting roles) in certain
regions are not familiar with the London Business School brand.
This is a summary, of how I made my decision.
I did some research into recruiting for offices outside London (both for Finance and Consulting) and discovered exactly what bsd_lover mentioned in his response. Consulting recruiting is very
global, and one’s home-base (the location of one’s MBA programme) plays a small role in one’s final office assignment. In other words, as long as slots are available in one’s office(s) of choice, one stands an equal chance as someone from Wharton, or IESE, or CEIBS (as long as the Consulting company recruits there). For Finance, one must run after the offices/regions in which one is interested. Two treks, as far as I know, are run by the student body for those with a Finance focus; one to the United States, the other to Asia.
The only advice I can render is that you make your decision based on careful research, and not the impressions of those with opinions based not in fact, but assumption.
For your three follow-up questions:
1) Recruiting representation at London Business School, to the extent that I can comment from my research, is excellent. I will try to attach the latest Employment Report, and perhaps you can review if for the success of the last class for which information is available, and for a list of the companies that recruit on campus.
2) I cannot comment on Europe, I’m afraid. I’m not sufficiently informed, but perhaps the Employment Report (should I succeed in attaching it to my response) will answer that question to some extent.
3) I have found (and this is the limited experience of one who has never set foot on the London Business School campus, and cannot even be considered a student of the programme) that the alumni network is present in all major regions around the world. You must note; however, that the network, while present, might be perceptibly smaller in cities outside Europe and top U.S. programmes likely dominate. The reason for this is clear: many top U.S. programmes have a longer existence, and typically admit larger classes. For instance, of the following top U.S. programmes; Wharton, Harvard, Kellogg, Booth, and Columbia, I believe Booth and Kellogg have the smallest class sizes of ~ 550-600; Harvard and Wharton easily have students in excess of 850. This compares to London’s class size of ~400 which, prior to 2009, was typically maintained within the 300-320 target. In terms of its strength, I have found the alumni in my home-city to be well-placed, very accessible, and impressively successful.
1. All top recruiters recruit regularly from LBS. A full list can be found on LBS website somewhere.
2. I would say Shanghai Hong Kong Singapore are probably doing the best. London has seen a decent recovery and on campus recruitment for internships was very strong. However, I don't know much about the scene in the US.
3. LBS alums know that attending LBS is a different experience of moving to a new environment(at least for 90% of the students). By and large I have found them to be incredibly helpful and supportive. Some very busy and senior people take time out for you. But like alums everywhere, they will open doors, the rest is up to you.
Thanks a lot, BSD and Dr M. I agree with the points you guys made.
Three questions -
1. From your perspective, how is recruiting representation at LBS?
2. From your perspective, how is Europe doing, vis-a-vis US? E.g. If I wanted to be in London vs. NY vs. Shanghai or Tokyo for example.
3. Both of you are not alumnus yet, but how would you rate the strength of the alumni network (though the fact that you are both contributing so much speaks volumes in favour of the LBS crowd, thanks again).
Will be out of email contact for 2 months starting tomorrow, so it has been a crazy rush trying to decide and work out long-term plans and ask for deferment on matriculation decisions.