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UCLA Anderson vs. USC Marshall

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UCLA Anderson vs. USC Marshall [#permalink] New post 25 Feb 2013, 10:17
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Hello fellow GCers,

I've been doing quite a bit of research on the full-time programs at UCLA Anderson and USC Marshall as these are the 2 programs I am now considering. Entrepreneurship (specifically in the alternative energy automotive industry) will be my concentration so a program that fosters development in this area is what interests me most. Here are a few major aspects I've been considering in my comparison:

- Strength of Entrepreneurship program
- Strength/reputation of overall program
- Student organizations/clubs
- Flexible/customizable curriculum for Entrepreneurship study
- Collaborative student body and sense of community
- Supportive faculty
- Career services geared towards placing Entrepreneurs in internships and post-graduation positions in their industry of interest
- Strength of alumni network

Again, I am most interested in the Entrepreneurship aspects of these 2 programs so factors such as recruiting may be less important. I also plan to remain on the west coast after graduation. I wanted to get the valuable thoughts and insight from other GC members (applicants, current students, alumni and experts alike) on this topic so any and all input is greatly appreciated.

Thank you all in advance!
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. USC Marshall [#permalink] New post 25 Feb 2013, 11:01
In the same boat myself. I'm deciding between UCLA with no scholarship and USC with 50% scholarship. I'm targeting a career in tech post-MBA. At this point I'm leaning strongly towards UCLA, primarily due to the overall reputation of the program and the job placement statistics in comparison to USC.
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. USC Marshall [#permalink] New post 25 Feb 2013, 11:08
At the beginning of my pursuit, I was looking at both UCLA and USC. However, I decided not to apply to USC for a few reasons.

1. The recruiting isn't quite as strong overall at USC as it is at UCLA
2. They are both regional schools, but UCLA feeds better into the Bay Area, where I'd love to move after school. UCLA also has a stronger brand name internationally.
3. I'm really looking to enjoy my 2 years, and enjoy West LA much more than the downtown area. I really love the outdoors and wanted to be close to the beach and state park. It doesn't hurt that UCLA is in the best part of the city and USC, well, is not.

Just my 2 cents as they are both good schools.
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. USC Marshall [#permalink] New post 25 Feb 2013, 13:45
I guess it all depends on getting off that wait list for us. Did you send any updates to ucla APEX?
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. USC Marshall [#permalink] New post 26 Feb 2013, 08:50
sufjan wrote:
In the same boat myself. I'm deciding between UCLA with no scholarship and USC with 50% scholarship. I'm targeting a career in tech post-MBA. At this point I'm leaning strongly towards UCLA, primarily due to the overall reputation of the program and the job placement statistics in comparison to USC.

Sufjan - Now that SC scholarship must make it an ever tougher decision... However, I get the same impression that UCLA is a bit stronger in the tech arena and definitely has better job placement stats (especially last year). What tech aspects did you find attractive at each school?

codytravers wrote:
At the beginning of my pursuit, I was looking at both UCLA and USC. However, I decided not to apply to USC for a few reasons.

1. The recruiting isn't quite as strong overall at USC as it is at UCLA
2. They are both regional schools, but UCLA feeds better into the Bay Area, where I'd love to move after school. UCLA also has a stronger brand name internationally.
3. I'm really looking to enjoy my 2 years, and enjoy West LA much more than the downtown area. I really love the outdoors and wanted to be close to the beach and state park. It doesn't hurt that UCLA is in the best part of the city and USC, well, is not.

Just my 2 cents as they are both good schools.

Great input, Cody. I would have to agree with all 3 of your points. As a fellow Entrepreneur, what specific aspects did you like about each program in regards to this field of study?

C5z06 wrote:
I guess it all depends on getting off that wait list for us. Did you send any updates to ucla APEX?

You're definitely right about that, Z06. Yes, I sent the UCLA WL manager an update last week very briefly covering my interview/class visit experience the week prior as well as a couple work and extra curricular advancements. Have you sent an update email?

BTW great username, I hope you drive one.
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. USC Marshall [#permalink] New post 03 Mar 2013, 11:20
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Hi guys,

I just wanted to weigh in with some thoughts on entrepreneurship at Marshall.

I was enrolled in the full-time MBA program from July 2011-August 2012. I'm currently on a leave of absence from Marshall, pursuing my own transportation startup in India, Zoom. I officially started the company while at Marshall. Also, while at Marshall, I was the Founder and President of the USC Energy Club, the largest such integrated energy club in Southern California.

I can confidently say that I would not be where I am today without Marshall, in particular the Greif Center. One of the standout classes within Greif was Investing in New Ventures. The class was co-taught by an experienced LA-based VC investor as well as the Director of the Greif Program. The class provided me with invaluable insights into fundraising, startup valuation, term sheet dynamics, and tools for presenting to investors. Largely due to the real-world expertise shared by the two professors, I was better able to face investors. In fact, I was able to share several term sheet drafts with my professors. Our company has since closed on convertible debt from 10+ high net worth investors in the US and UK. This would likely not have been achieved had it not been for the mentorship in this class and within the Greif Center in general.

In addition to the coursework, Greif also sponsors or co-sponsors various fast pitch and business plan events over the course of the year. In addition to these invaluable presentation experiences, Greif also works to facilitate networking within the Trojan family as well as the greater LA community. I found particular value from these events as it helped widen my network immensely. I received many invaluable introductions for Zoom through these informal channels.

Leading up to Marshall, my background was 4+ years in energy finance, particularly cleantech. I spent all 4 years working in New York City at very well-established institutions (hardly entrepreneurial settings). I always knew that I had a deep passion for cleantech and that I wanted to make a full-fledged career in the sector. However, I also knew that I wanted to pursue something more entrepreneurial within the space. With that in mind, I sought out MBA programs with a stellar track record for entrepreneurship (both in an institutionalized and informal fashion). I wanted to be in California since it was closer to the VC community for cleantech.

Ultimately, I was torn between USC Marshall and UCLA Anderson. However, what ultimately swayed me was the comprehensiveness of the Greif Program at Marshall. Greif is the oldest institutionalized entrepreneurship program in the country and this is evidenced by the vast number of courses and other opportunities that are available to Marshall MBAs. Moreover, the faculty within Greif is comprised largely of ex-entrepreneurs and investors so all the advice is particularly relevant.

In general, I'm very pleased with the decision. I'm still in touch with the Greif Center today, despite being half a world away in Bangalore. Nothing beats the tight-knit community of the Trojan family.
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. USC Marshall [#permalink] New post 06 Mar 2013, 13:06
Awesome thread and posts! Thank you very much for the helpful information.

I'm in the same boat as to USC Marshall vs. UCLA Anderson but in regards to the entertainment industry.

Having lived in SoCal for 16+ years, I would concur that the Trojan Network is unparalleled and invaluable for supporting a post MBA career.
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. USC Marshall [#permalink] New post 06 Mar 2013, 18:58
jjv2011 wrote:
Awesome thread and posts! Thank you very much for the helpful information.

I'm in the same boat as to USC Marshall vs. UCLA Anderson but in regards to the entertainment industry.

Having lived in SoCal for 16+ years, I would concur that the Trojan Network is unparalleled and invaluable for supporting a post MBA career.

Anecdotally, I've heard the Anderson network is slightly stronger in entertainment than the Marshall network. That said, you live in SoCal now and probably have a much better pulse of the situation! :)
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. USC Marshall [#permalink] New post 06 Mar 2013, 21:04
kingfalcon...I'm curious to learn where your anecdotal evidence originates?

In regards to your profile, it looks like you may have a few options, where do you plan/hope to set up camp in the fall? I don't see Marshall or Anderson among the schools you applied.
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. USC Marshall [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2013, 05:56
jjv2011 wrote:
kingfalcon...I'm curious to learn where your anecdotal evidence originates?

In regards to your profile, it looks like you may have a few options, where do you plan/hope to set up camp in the fall? I don't see Marshall or Anderson among the schools you applied.

A reasonable question indeed. Before I pivoted my goals to consulting, I was seriously considering pursuing entertainment, so I did a lot of research into which schools are strongest in the film/television industry. Admittedly, though, I didn't get far enough down the rabbit hole that I started calling studios or even current students at Anderson/Marshall. So, again, most of what I have heard is secondhand (perhaps that's a better word choice than anecdotal). And, two of my friends go to UCLA grad school (not Anderson) and have told me great things about the school. I am probably biased, though! :)

Edit: I forgot to answer the other part of your question. I'm interested in consulting and think I want to make my way back to California. Although, I am trying to keep an open mind when I get to school.
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. USC Marshall [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2013, 12:40
kingfalcon wrote:
jjv2011 wrote:
kingfalcon...I'm curious to learn where your anecdotal evidence originates?

In regards to your profile, it looks like you may have a few options, where do you plan/hope to set up camp in the fall? I don't see Marshall or Anderson among the schools you applied.

A reasonable question indeed. Before I pivoted my goals to consulting, I was seriously considering pursuing entertainment, so I did a lot of research into which schools are strongest in the film/television industry. Admittedly, though, I didn't get far enough down the rabbit hole that I started calling studios or even current students at Anderson/Marshall. So, again, most of what I have heard is secondhand (perhaps that's a better word choice than anecdotal). And, two of my friends go to UCLA grad school (not Anderson) and have told me great things about the school. I am probably biased, though! :)

Edit: I forgot to answer the other part of your question. I'm interested in consulting and think I want to make my way back to California. Although, I am trying to keep an open mind when I get to school.


Thanks for the response kingfalcon. UCLA and USC are both phenomenal schools...hence the dilemma of Anderson vs. Marshall. An understandable predicament when considering the investment into an MBA program. Ultimately, it seems like the choice comes down to the intangibles of personal experience interacting with the programs and which will help you get to where you want to be post MBA better. They're both extremely good choices.

I'm also curious to learn why you switched your focus from entertainment to consulting and what resources you used to investigate which schools are strongest in the film / television industry. What is your background WE?
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. USC Marshall [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2013, 12:46
I actually switched my focus because I felt saying I wanted to go into entertainment was too much of a leap given my previous WE (financial services). Primarily, I looked at employment reports, placement statistics, and club sites. Once I realized I wanted to do consulting first (and then perhaps specialize in entertainment), I realized Marshall and Anderson wouldn't be good fits for me since they don't place as well in consulting as I would like.
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. USC Marshall [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2013, 14:56
kingfalcon wrote:
I actually switched my focus because I felt saying I wanted to go into entertainment was too much of a leap given my previous WE (financial services). Primarily, I looked at employment reports, placement statistics, and club sites. Once I realized I wanted to do consulting first (and then perhaps specialize in entertainment), I realized Marshall and Anderson wouldn't be good fits for me since they don't place as well in consulting as I would like.


The MBA journey is an interesting process indeed. What specifically about consulting intrigues you rather than staying in financial services?

It sounds like Haas would be your top choice given the consulting focus and being in California. My brother-in-law went through the Haas evening program and had a great experience. He now works for a consulting firm in The City.
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. USC Marshall [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2013, 16:51
I would have to pick UCLA. Recruiting in consulting, banking and entertainment is better. Anderson also has stronger networks and is better recognized outside of socal.
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. USC Marshall [#permalink] New post 12 Mar 2013, 10:17
Excellent insight guys, thanks for all the great input.

It seems as if the US News report released this morning is in line with the opinions above (UCLA +1 position and USC -5 from last year).

Regardless, in the grand scheme of things, both are excellent programs in my opinion with strengths and weaknesses in different areas.
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. USC Marshall [#permalink] New post 13 Mar 2013, 13:57
i applied to marshall and was invited to interveiw but withdrew after hearing so many awful things from students... it really seems like the school is in a downward spiral and the administration is on a different page than students. ucla is a no brainer in my opinion (esp considering other factors like name brand, location, etc) ... as far as scholarships go, id def reach out to ucla and let them know if theres a substantial marshall scholarship.. update them on your personal/professional progress since applying and ask them to reevaluate you for a scholarship
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. USC Marshall [#permalink] New post 21 May 2013, 14:13
Quote:
it really seems like the school is in a downward spiral and the administration is on a different page than students. ucla is a no brainer


I can further attest to the downward spiral occurring at USC Marshall.

GO BRUINS!
Re: UCLA Anderson vs. USC Marshall   [#permalink] 21 May 2013, 14:13
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