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UCLA ($$) vs. Kellogg for Finance

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UCLA ($$) vs. Kellogg for Finance [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2014, 18:55
Hi, would greatly appreciate some help / advice / thoughts in choosing between schools.

I have been accepted at both UCLA (with 40k) and Kellogg (no money) and am torn between which school.

I am currently in Finance (S&T) but want to transition to IB or investment management after school. I feel that while Kellogg is a better school overall, UCLA does have quite a strong program / recruiting for Finance within the LA / west coast area. Kellogg doesn't seem to be quite so strong in Finance. Personally, I live in Chicago so going to Kellogg would be easier, but I feel long term I may want to transition to the west coast.

I've looked at the UCLA employment report and they send quite a few people to Finance, Goldman, investment management, etc. but I'm not sure if those are sales vs. true quant roles.

Do you feel that Kellogg really is that much better than UCLA (ranking aside)? Is UCLA's Finance program that strong or is it just in my head / perception?
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Re: UCLA ($$) vs. Kellogg for Finance [#permalink] New post 28 Mar 2014, 05:33
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I got $40k at UCLA and (I think) no money at Kellogg, so I should be able to give you a good perspective haha.

For me, choosing Kellogg was an insanely easy choice.

1) The average starting salary/bonus is $25k higher at Kellogg than that right there is "worth" considerably more than $40k. The difference gets even more huge when you look at 5 year out and 20 year out salary data.

2) Prestige. Kellogg is a top 5 school, UCLA is barely top 15. Kellogg is a national brand, UCLA is specific to California only. I really didn't like being beholden to one specific region....especially a region that has employment issues (UCLA has the worst employment figures out the top 25).

3) Recruiting. I want to do consulting, so a little different than you, but 3x more people get into consulting at kellogg than UCLA, and they have like 10-15 times more people get MBB. For finance, there might be slightly more people who get finance jobs than Kellogg (I don't have the employment report in front of me), but it's important to realize there's A LOT of self selection going on (most finance people choose to go to columbia or booth) and to look at the quality of the jobs. If you want a finance job from Kellogg, you can get it. At UCLA, very few people get front office investment jobs, most of the finance jobs are lower quality. At Kellogg, if you want to be an investment banker, you can get it.

4) Community. UCLA has a lot of commuters who have lived in LA their whole life. Kellogg is the closest knit community there is (well, maybe after Tuck). I've heard people complain about the UCLA community and have some unhappiness with their time there, I've never heard a negative thing from a Kellogg student. That's a bit anecdotal, but was important for convincing me.

Only thing in UCLA's favor is the weather, kinda sad I have to deal with polar vortexes, but that's a bad reason to choose a school haha.
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Re: UCLA ($$) vs. Kellogg for Finance [#permalink] New post 28 Mar 2014, 06:40
I'm probably biased since I've lived in CA my whole life, but I'd say Kellogg would be worth the extra $40k. Honestly, $40k seems pretty marginal in the grand scheme of b-school costs and I think worth it for a better school!
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Re: UCLA ($$) vs. Kellogg for Finance [#permalink] New post 28 Mar 2014, 08:38
This is an easy one, I would go with Kellogg. I agree with mgh in that Kellogg applicants tend to be self selective with more of a focus on GM / consulting. During my research, I actually thought Kellogg was a bit underrated in finance. Overall, the it comes down to Kellogg is a national school whereas UCLA is regional. Therefore I would guess that Kellogg will get more recruiters on campus than UCLA.

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Re: UCLA ($$) vs. Kellogg for Finance [#permalink] New post 28 Mar 2014, 13:48
UCLA Anderson is a great school, but I vote Kellogg
Re: UCLA ($$) vs. Kellogg for Finance   [#permalink] 28 Mar 2014, 13:48
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UCLA ($$) vs. Kellogg for Finance

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