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Tuck Vs. McCombs

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Tuck vs. McCombs

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Intern
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Joined: 25 Jan 2011
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Tuck Vs. McCombs [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2011, 05:59
Trying to help out our friend C20 with the great options of choosing between Tuck and McCombs:

"I got in off the Tuck waitlist today!!!! I accepted UT McCombs' offer two weeks ago and have been making all these Austin relocation plans....now what do I do??? I had been waiting for this call since March; I thought my ship sailed!!!!"

"Well...I didn't really meet any students at Tuck or McCombs, I just met a few that walked me around. It was actually Spring and Summer breaks, respectively. Since I was visiting Tuck as a waitlister, I haven't really been exposed to as much as I have been at McCombs. I like the collaborative feeling, 'work hard, play hard', career services, and international opportunities at McCombs. I am unsure of all of that exists at Tuck -- I know the career services are Top-Notch, just dont know if that collaborative environment exists, again, because I didn't see school vibrant with life at the time. I also dont know if there is a 'work hard, play hard' mentality at Tuck. I know the work hard exists, but do the students unwind?"

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Please comment with your thoughts.

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Affiliations: Tuck - Class of 2013
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Re: Tuck Vs. McCombs [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2011, 07:39
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OK, I will be in Tuck class of 2013 so I am biased but...

Cost
Tuck $171,300
McCombs $131,360

Mean Base Salary Post Graduation
Tuck $106,578.00
McCombs $95,000.00

20 Year Career Pay
Tuck $3,092,471
McCombs $2,529,283

Mean GMAT
Tuck 716
McCombs 684

Alumni Network Rank
Tuck 1
McCombs 24

I think that any top 20 school will provide you with a great experience and with similar class sizes Tuck and McCombs are going to have similar cultures also. For me you have to take the long view, yes Tuck is $40,000 more expensive, but I think that the $500,000 additional career income more than offsets this.

For me the decision was simple. I guess the only reason you would go to Austin is if you want a city experience instead of two years in the wilderness.
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Re: Tuck Vs. McCombs [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2011, 08:30
The choice definitely has to be Tuck. Unless he wants to work in the Southwest or has a specific focus like energy/cleantech that McCombs is known for, Tuck will have better access to better jobs overall. Austin is an amazing city and it would be really awesome to go to school there, but the long-term benefit of Tuck is surely greater (although 2 years of glory in Austin almost makes up for it).
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Re: Tuck Vs. McCombs [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2011, 10:02
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I used to think there is a lot of difference among the top schools. Now I realized that unless you plan on going into fields that care about school prestige such as top tier consulting and investment banking, you can go anywhere within the top 20ish. Companies will recruit for the same role within their core schools. If your school is one of the core schools, you will be fine anywhere. The determinant of the core school has less to do with prestige but more to do with:
1) Conversion rate – a larger class size help. It doesn’t matter if the school is Harvard. If year after year, the company doesn’t convert the offers, they will not recruit at the school anymore. A larger class size help, because students can only accept so many offers.
2) Alumni base – having alumni advocate is very important. Again, it goes back to class size. Bigger class size, bigger alumni base.
3) Distance to company branch – recruiting cost is an important consideration. Plus, conversion rate is usually higher for schools closer by. If the student choose to go to the school, the student is more likely to want to live in that general area. Alumni base will also be bigger at companies closer by.
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Re: Tuck Vs. McCombs [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2011, 10:44
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I actually was faced with this decision a few months ago, but to help complicate things I had a scholarship + instate tuition at Texas. I ended up choosing Tuck and it was pretty much a no brainer because Tuck was my number 1 choice from the beginning.

The collaborative atmosphere and work hard/play hard mentality are the main reasons I fell in love with the school. Tuck had by far the most laid back and friendly students that I came across, and they definitely know how to party. I weighed the career options between the 2 schools, and unless you are planning to stay in Texas post graduation then Tuck opens the most doors.

After evaluating the pros and cons as a whole, the only upsides I saw at UT as compared to Tuck were the football team (huge horns fan), cost, and the city of Austin.

Good luck with your decision.
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Re: Tuck Vs. McCombs [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2011, 18:29
Anyone that was accepted at both schools should have a pretty good understanding of the strengths of each school, so I won't bother listing the details. This answer usually depends on the person's specific goals, but in this case I think we can make some general recommendations.

Without a scholarship at McCombs, I'd advise just about everyone to choose Tuck in this scenario. Even with a full-ride at McCombs, Tuck wouldn't be an unreasonable choice. Beyond the differences in career placement and alumni network, there will also be a significant improvement in the quality of student discussion at Tuck. If you've been on enough class visits at different schools within the top 20, you've probably experienced the difference between a great class discussion and a weak one (IMO, this is one of the most important considerations). Class discussion doesn't necessarily get less insightful as you get closer to #20, but there seems to be some correlation overall.

As asimov suggested, the difference in career placement at top schools tends to be over-exaggerated. However, I'd submit that the placement at McCombs truly is a step behind the placement at Tuck (especially among typical MBA employers). The list of top employers can be a little deceiving, but the list of companies that recruit on-campus should paint a clearer picture.

All that said... I'm a really big fan of both schools. Congrats to anyone that gets accepted to either/both.
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Re: Tuck Vs. McCombs [#permalink] New post 22 Jun 2011, 18:57
"significant improvement in the quality of student discussion at Tuck". Dude, give me a break. You are going to choose a business school based on that?

I'm not making the case that Tuck is better or worse than McCombs. I am, however, going to speak up against an absurdly elitist statement that isn't rooted in anything substantial. Do you even go to Tuck? How could you know about the quality of discussion in one school vs. another? Choose a school because they focus on something you want to do, or its located in a region where you want to work, or you visited and found the environment to be really stimulating. Choose a school because it has some professors in your field that you admire. Choose a school for any other reason than the "significant improvement in the quality of student discussion".
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Re: Tuck Vs. McCombs [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2011, 09:25
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annemba wrote:
"significant improvement in the quality of student discussion at Tuck". Dude, give me a break. You are going to choose a business school based on that?

I'm not making the case that Tuck is better or worse than McCombs. I am, however, going to speak up against an absurdly elitist statement that isn't rooted in anything substantial. Do you even go to Tuck? How could you know about the quality of discussion in one school vs. another? Choose a school because they focus on something you want to do, or its located in a region where you want to work, or you visited and found the environment to be really stimulating. Choose a school because it has some professors in your field that you admire. Choose a school for any other reason than the "significant improvement in the quality of student discussion".

I'm going to school to learn from and with my classmates - classroom discussion is a pretty important component of that process. The statement wasn't meant to be elitist, it's the perspective I've gained from visiting many different schools.

annemba wrote:
How could you know about the quality of discussion in one school vs. another?

You visit and observe the classroom dynamics. Visiting one class can't tell you what every class will be like, but it's not statistically irrelevant.

annemba wrote:
Choose a school because they focus on something you want to do

Not particularly relevant for most MBA candidates applying to the top 20 schools, but certainly relevant for some.

annemba wrote:
or its located in a region where you want to work

Not particularly relevant for most MBA candidates applying to the top 20 schools, but certainly relevant for some.

annemba wrote:
or you visited and found the environment to be really stimulating.

I'm pretty sure that's why I said you should evaluate the school's based on quality of classroom discussion. How students engage in the classroom can say a lot about student interaction in other areas of the program.

annemba wrote:
Choose a school because it has some professors in your field that you admire.

Some people fall into the trap of choosing a school because they admire a famous professor. Chicago Booth has a very long list of famous professors, but those aren't the professors you hear people recommending to incoming students. This criteria is a bit dangerous, especially considering you may never have the opportunity to take a class with the professor you based your school-choice on.

annemba wrote:
Choose a school for any other reason than the "significant improvement in the quality of student discussion".

I'll repeat it again. I never intended to insult you or other McCombs admits with an "elitist statement." I'm objective in my evaluation of each school and that requires an honest assessment. Overall, Tuck has a stronger program than McCombs, I don't see any debating that. Without knowing the specifics of the admit's goals and preferences, I can't provide anything more than a general recommendation.

We should be able conclude that some MBA programs are stronger than others without being labeled an elitist. If I were an elitist, I would have told you that brand name > all.
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Re: Tuck Vs. McCombs [#permalink] New post 03 Jun 2012, 17:38
I don't see anything that Av has said on this thread that can be seen as "elitist" or "outlandish" in any way. It should be obvious that your fellow students and their quality will have a huge impact on your experience and learning while pursuing an MBA. I don't understand why it is elitist to recognize that a 7th ranked program would tend to attract better candidates than a 22nd ranked program, thus positively impacting your experience with classmates and teammates.

It's simply the natural tendency of students to prefer a higher ranked school, leading to a stronger student body at the higher-ranked schools.
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Re: Tuck Vs. McCombs   [#permalink] 03 Jun 2012, 17:38
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