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I received a $50K fellowship for UCLA Anderson and no money from NYU Stern. Primary goal is to enter into the Tech industry in a product management role.
UCLA Anderson ($50K fellowship) Pros: - UCLA has very good placement into technology companies that I want to work for - Change of scenery ... I've lived in the NY area for all of my life and I've always been curious about Los Angeles. - $50K fellowship will do a lot to ease the financial burden.
Cons: - Away from family and friends ... Don't really know anyone in LA. - Slightly lower ranked than NYU Stern (debatable) ... also I feel the Anderson brand is a bit weaker compared to Stern.
NYU Stern (no money) Pros: - Higher ranked school - While I'm curious about LA, I do love NYC, so I wouldn't mind staying in New York. - Visited the "campus" and really liked the area.
Cons: - No scholarship / fellowship money - Weaker placement into Tech ... but I'm not sure if this is just due to "taste" (i.e. not many people pursuing tech at NYU Stern) - Also, overall tuition and cost of living is more expensive than UCLA
I agree, unless you are planning to fly right back to NYC after graduation, I would go for Anderson. One note is that goals change while you are in BSchool. I have seen 80-90% of people here change their decisions (or they were changed for them) in terms of where they recruit and end up working but these schools are close enough. $50 is worth taking.
Obviously a lot can be said about staying put vs. change of scenery - that really depends on what you are looking for (security vs. adventure).
The choice should be a no brainer. UCLA is damn good in placing people in the tech industry and with the $$$ helping you financially , you would not be carrying the monster of MBA debt on your back. The location will eventually come into context. Staying close to the tech industry will give you first hand experience and will allow you to meet people in local events and career forums. It might be possible in NYC but my guess is most of the events in NYC would revolve around financial aspect of business.
I might be wrong but NYC seems to have a decent tech industry as well. Have you spoken to any tech club members from Stern? That should give you a clearer picture.
That said, Anderson is great for tech on the west coast, so do take location (during and immediately after MBA) into consideration. The 50k is looking good now but over the course of your career it will not mean all that much. Consider other aspects like long-term goal, alumni positions and locations etc. Also think about which student body and school you are a better fit with.
I voted Anderson because I think it's a fantastic program and great for tech.
Do update us on your decision. Good luck! It's a great problem to have