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UMD Smith (with $60K) vs CMU Tepper

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UMD Smith (with $60K) vs CMU Tepper [#permalink] New post 17 Apr 2013, 10:58
Hi guys,

I am debating between the two offers, UMD Smith vs Tepper. I guess it is a no brainer to most of the people, but what if we take the fellowship into consideration?

With the fellowship from Smith, the tuition difference is about $73,000. I will most likely get Graduate Assistantship in the second year at Smith, so the difference could be as much as $90,000 to $95,000. Also, i will need to get a loan for the tuition. by the time i pay off the loan, i bet the interest i paid is almost the same or even more than the amount i initially borrowed.

As you can tell, i am already lean towards Smith. and this is my reasoning (PLEASE, CORRECT ME IF I WAS WRONG):

1. I am NOT planning to get into the hottest field like finance or I-banks. I have some general management experience from running a start-up retail business. I want to get into a large retail or consumer product corporation such as Amazon, Walmart, or Target, focusing in Global sourcing / Supply Chain. It is not a extraordinary goal, so i think Smith is good enough to help me achieve it.

2. I have a BS degree in computer science. Even though my post-undergrad experience was not mush CS-related, I would use Information System Management as a backup post-MBA plan. Smith is pretty good at information system (i know tepper is better, but still, the $70K+ difference). Even though my sourcing/supply chain goal didn't go well, i still have more options.

3. It is true that Tepper has a higher average salary, and more % of people have job offers by graduation. But don't you think that is simply because it has a stronger student body to start with? For example, if all the Tepper students went to Smith instead, i guess they will achieve the same, or at least similar, high salary and employment rate, right?

4. I visited both schools. I can tell that Smith truly invested a lot of $ in its facility. They also talked about how they have been improving their career service since 2011. are those a good signs that they are truly catching up?

I know when it comes to MBA, most people say that go with the best one you can get in. If i had to pick between a free-ride with Smith and Cornell/Columbia, i will certainly go with Cornell/Columbia. But is there a big enough difference between Smith and Tepper to give up the fellowship i received from Smith?

Please give me some suggestions, thanks!!!
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Re: UMD Smith (with $60K) vs CMU Tepper [#permalink] New post 17 Apr 2013, 11:14
Expert's post
The salary average differential is $15K and the rankings are 19 vs 37.

i think you will be fine at either school. Some suggest taking the money out of the equation since over a 40-year (or 20-year if you are lucky) career you are likely to reduce those savings to a negligible amount. However, going to Smith is definitely a SAFER option. Your earning potential may not be as high but your downside is pretty much nothing.

I would focus on:
1. Employability after graduation. Does Tepper have Amazon coming on campus? Does Smith have them?
2. Industries that Tepper and Smith Feed. Tepper is heavy in IT and Logistics/Operations which Amazon and Walmart would value
Tepper:
Image

Smith:
Image

Finally, Smith cast a poor impression on me when I met at one of the Career Fairs - their admissions team did not appear very knowledgeable about the space, other schools, and just left something to be desired of.

P.S. Faculty is important but so are your classmates - you will be learning A LOT together and having a higher caliber is very valuable as you will spend more time with them than with professors.
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Re: UMD Smith (with $60K) vs CMU Tepper [#permalink] New post 01 May 2013, 10:41
bb wrote:
The salary average differential is $15K and the rankings are 19 vs 37.

i think you will be fine at either school. Some suggest taking the money out of the equation since over a 40-year (or 20-year if you are lucky) career you are likely to reduce those savings to a negligible amount. However, going to Smith is definitely a SAFER option. Your earning potential may not be as high but your downside is pretty much nothing.


Hi, BB

i hope you still get a chance to see my response in this post.

i just find out that i am getting $30,000 from tepper, which shorten the "tuition gap" b/t the Tepper and Smith - to about $43,000.

in another word, paying $43,000 extra will get me a seat at Tepper. now does it becomes a [MUCH BETTER??] deal?

one other thing i kinda worry about is that everyone talks about Tepper's busy schedule and difficult curriculum. as a husband and a father of two young kids, i am wondering how much family quality time i need to sacrifice in order to do well at a school like tepper?

thanks in advance!
Re: UMD Smith (with $60K) vs CMU Tepper   [#permalink] 01 May 2013, 10:41
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