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I am trying to make a decision between two schools, and am having a difficult time so would like some feedback from the board.
First, for background: - 7.5 years experience at a Top-3 US financial institution in various roles, most recently as a financial analyst in the residential mortgage department. - Attended various schools (due to multiple geographic relocations) for 9 years, 2.8 GPA, degree in Bus Adm (Finance concentration) from CSUF, a large “commuter” school in Southern California. - Looking to get into financial consulting, eventually non-profits or governmental/public sector, but will most likely be building experience in a private consulting firm. - Will be quitting my current position and going to school full-time, so funding my MBA is definitely a concern. Schools that can offer fellowships, assistantships, etc. are obviously more attractive. - Looking to develop strong international experience while earning MBA, so emphasis on international programs. - Also placing strong emphasis on internship opportunities. I did not take intern while in undergrad since I was already employed full-time, so I’m really looking to network and build connections within the industry.
- Accepted to Georgetown (no fellowship) and UCI (partial fellowship). - I’m waiting to hear back from UCLA (haven’t received interview invitation) and USC (interviewed yesterday). Top pick is UCLA; however, a waitlist decision is probably the most favorable decision I will receive since I have still not received an invite to interview. - Denied at Duke. - Accepted at U of Rochester and waitlisted at CMU Tepper, but will be withdrawing my applications from both of those schools.
UCI has given me a deadline of 3/21/13 to submit my statement of intent with initial deposit, so I am having to make a decision a bit quicker than I’d like. Therefore, at this point, it comes down to UCI vs. Georgetown.
Pros for UCI: - After fellowship, Georgetown is $35k more expensive over the two-year program. - I am planning on working in SoCal when I graduate, so UCI would, I believe, have a lead on Georgetown in employment opportunities in SoCal. - UCI campus offers a great “lifestyle”-it has great weather and is in a great location. - Able to network and build connections – both business and personal – in SoCal while I’m at UCI.
Pros for Georgetown: - More name recognition nationwide - Attending a school outside the geographic area where I attended undergrad will look better on my resume (shows a willingness to diversify my experiences) - Opportunities due to attending school in DC - Larger alumni network - Difference in rankings (high 20s, low 30s vs. 50s for Georgetown)
Does anyone have any input? I’m strongly leaning towards Georgetown, but I’m focusing on the following points as deciding factors: - Do you think spending the extra $$ for Georgetown will yield appropriate results? - Does anyone know of the opportunities afforded to Georgetown graduates in SoCal? - Georgetown has a larger alumni base, but I’m not sure how strong it is or how that would help me in SoCal? - Has anyone ever tried to petition for a merit fellowship after being denied? - Does anyone know what assistantship, scholarship, etc. opportunities are available at Georgetown? - Would it be worth it to put my deposit in for UCI so I can attend both admit weekends? I’ve toured both schools so I’m not sure how much more I would learn from admit weekends, and I’d prefer not to spend money unnecessarily.
So if you go to G'Town, you'll have to do some legwork to land back in SoCal and there likely won't be a lot of G'Town alumni around. That said, the Georgetown MBA will probably carry some weight over "local" MBA programs (other than Anderson and Marshall). Also, if you're not hell-bent on interning in SoCal, G'Town probably has better intership opportunities in the east coast to diversify your experience.
If you want to stay in SoCal (I'm assuming you're there now as you went to csuf undergrad), then uci is a no brainer. Yes, Georgetown as a university is more well known than UCI but ultimately everyone gets an MBA to further their career. As CobraKai said, West coast placements from GT are going to be difficult. Not impossible but keep on mind that most of your network will be mid Atlantic based.
As soon as I read that you want to work in SoCal immediately after school, I also voted for Irvine. Georgetown is a great school, but does not have the pull or network in SoCal that Irvine does. If we were talking about schools that were of on different levels of prestige (e.g., Harvard vs. CSULB), I'd suggest otherwise, but GT and UCI are both regional schools.
This probably goes without saying, but if you're fortunate enough to secure an admit to UCLA, I'd take that with no money over UCI with your fellowship.
Re: UCI ($$) v. Georgetown (no $)
24 Mar 2013, 06:05