Uncertainity !! : The B-School Application
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# Uncertainity !!

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17 Jan 2007, 09:59
doesnt make any sense now!!!

Last edited by Ozmba on 11 Jul 2007, 16:47, edited 1 time in total.
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17 Jan 2007, 10:41
I was struck by this fear a while back so I prepared applications for a boatload of schools R2.
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17 Jan 2007, 10:50
I think I'm in the worst situation.

I applied to only 3 schools in R2. UCLA, HAAS, and Chicago GSB.

I'd rather not get into these schools than go to another school I didn't want to go to.

10 more weeks to go.

*sigh*
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17 Jan 2007, 10:54
I applied to six schools in Round 2. Two long-shots, two that I think I have a decent shot at, and two "safeties." I'm right there with you, a little restless because the next two and a half months of waiting is going to suck.

The idea of a safety school might seem silly with something as important as business school -- why would you go somewhere you're not that excited about. But this whole process seems like such a crap-shoot at times. For instance I have a friend who was turned down at five schools but accepted to Stanford. I've heard lots of stories like these.

So at the end of the day I applied to a couple "safeties" because I don't want to do the whole wait-a-year-and-reapply thing (which I'm sure some people don't mind doing). This is really the perfect time for me to leave the workforce and get an MBA so if I get into an elite school that's great, but if not, I'm totally willing to go to a school ranked in the thirties. (Yeah, yeah, yeah I know rankings aren't the most important thing -- you should find a school that "fits," yeah whatever, we all want brand-name diplomas, let's just admit it).
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17 Jan 2007, 11:03
I think I'll beat all you guys in this..

I applied to only two ultra-elites.
I am already 30 yrs old...can't wait another year.
Started the process late, and with skepticism. But finally bought into it. Want to go to B-school for possible career change and to get a better paying job (though i could never mention this in my essay, ironically)

I am seriously contemplating 3rd round for Wharton and Ross. Though from some other threads, I find that I might need Jesus shoes to make that worthwhile.

Very very crappy feeling...(phew!)
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17 Jan 2007, 11:17
I have applied to four schools, all in R2: one elite and three near-elites.

I am only 25, but I feel this is the best time for me to go to b-school FT because I see no reason in putting my career on hold for another year or two. I know what I want to do, but I probably can't get there without the help of a strong MBA program.

H/S/W would be great, but my stats and WE are only so-so; furthermore, I know current students at two of the near-elite programs i'm applying to and they have reassured me that my career aspirations (IB or IM) can certainly be achieved with an MBA from their school.

Now it's just a waiting game to see if I get accepted.
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17 Jan 2007, 11:46
Cmon guys.... Im so confident of getting in somewhere that I am already making a 3 month vacation plan. I wanna first hit the bahamas, then Mt kilimanjaro and then end up at the white beaches at mauritius

..now back to reality, Im thinking of putting in apps for Haas R3 and McCombs (rolling) as both have strong career placements for what I want to do
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17 Jan 2007, 12:05
eazyb81 wrote:
I have applied to four schools, all in R2: one elite and three near-elites.

I am only 25, but I feel this is the best time for me to go to b-school FT because I see no reason in putting my career on hold for another year or two. I know what I want to do, but I probably can't get there without the help of a strong MBA program.

H/S/W would be great, but my stats and WE are only so-so; furthermore, I know current students at two of the near-elite programs i'm applying to and they have reassured me that my career aspirations (IB or IM) can certainly be achieved with an MBA from their school.

Now it's just a waiting game to see if I get accepted.

wow, my situation is almost identical to yours... except im 24 years old... and i applied R2 to two elites and two near-elites.... if you're an engineer, that would be freaky.
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17 Jan 2007, 12:08
polobrute wrote:
eazyb81 wrote:
I have applied to four schools, all in R2: one elite and three near-elites.

I am only 25, but I feel this is the best time for me to go to b-school FT because I see no reason in putting my career on hold for another year or two. I know what I want to do, but I probably can't get there without the help of a strong MBA program.

H/S/W would be great, but my stats and WE are only so-so; furthermore, I know current students at two of the near-elite programs i'm applying to and they have reassured me that my career aspirations (IB or IM) can certainly be achieved with an MBA from their school.

Now it's just a waiting game to see if I get accepted.

wow, my situation is almost identical to yours... except im 24 years old... and i applied R2 to two elites and two near-elites.... if you're an engineer, that would be freaky.

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17 Jan 2007, 12:18
Quote:
This is really the perfect time for me to leave the workforce and get an MBA so if I get into an elite school that's great, but if not, I'm totally willing to go to a school ranked in the thirties

From the elites to the thirties is a lot of ground. Are you really sure?
Is a school ranked in the thirties really worth it, especially if you know you have the goods to get into a top program.
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17 Jan 2007, 12:27
imjimmy wrote:
Quote:
This is really the perfect time for me to leave the workforce and get an MBA so if I get into an elite school that's great, but if not, I'm totally willing to go to a school ranked in the thirties

From the elites to the thirties is a lot of ground. Are you really sure?
Is a school ranked in the thirties really worth it, especially if you know you have the goods to get into a top program.

If an applicant was dinged by elite schools, how can you say that they have "the goods" to get into an elite school?
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17 Jan 2007, 13:13
Like I said, this whole process can be something of a crapshoot. Some people with great profiles can be dinged across the boards. I'm not saying this happens often, but anecdotally I've heard of this, and also if you go to admissions411 you can see that some people will be dinged everywhere but accepted at a great school like Wharton.

So given that it can be a bit of a crapshoot, if I were dinged at my top choices (elite schools) I have to think: Do I go to a safety school (ranked in the 30's) or wait another year to play the crap-shoot game again with no guarantees.

Like I said, I'm interested in the brand-name and all, but you can get hooked up with a great job and make comparable life-time earnings with an MBA from a school like Vanderbilt or Rochester, these are great schools that produce very succesfull people. They may not have the clout of a Kellog or Harvard, but the top performers out of these schools probably do as well as some of the mid-performers at ultra-elites.

Disclaimer: Obviously I'm speculating a little bit here, don't have any studies I can reference, but even schools ranked in the 40's and 50's charge almost as much money as elite schools, and my capitalist intutition tells me that these schools would not be able to lure people into their programs at those costs without people getting a return on their education.
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17 Jan 2007, 13:24
johnnyx9 wrote:
So given that it can be a bit of a crapshoot, if I were dinged at my top choices (elite schools) I have to think: Do I go to a safety school (ranked in the 30's) or wait another year to play the crap-shoot game again with no guarantees.

Like I said, I'm interested in the brand-name and all, but you can get hooked up with a great job and make comparable life-time earnings with an MBA from a school like Vanderbilt or Rochester, these are great schools that produce very succesfull people. They may not have the clout of a Kellog or Harvard, but the top performers out of these schools probably do as well as some of the mid-performers at ultra-elites.

My thoughts exactly.

Well said.
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17 Jan 2007, 13:33
johnnyx9 wrote:
Like I said, this whole process can be something of a crapshoot. Some people with great profiles can be dinged across the boards. I'm not saying this happens often, but anecdotally I've heard of this, and also if you go to admissions411 you can see that some people will be dinged everywhere but accepted at a great school like Wharton.

So given that it can be a bit of a crapshoot, if I were dinged at my top choices (elite schools) I have to think: Do I go to a safety school (ranked in the 30's) or wait another year to play the crap-shoot game again with no guarantees.

Like I said, I'm interested in the brand-name and all, but you can get hooked up with a great job and make comparable life-time earnings with an MBA from a school like Vanderbilt or Rochester, these are great schools that produce very succesfull people. They may not have the clout of a Kellog or Harvard, but the top performers out of these schools probably do as well as some of the mid-performers at ultra-elites.

Disclaimer: Obviously I'm speculating a little bit here, don't have any studies I can reference, but even schools ranked in the 40's and 50's charge almost as much money as elite schools, and my capitalist intutition tells me that these schools would not be able to lure people into their programs at those costs without people getting a return on their education.

I have a study somewhere which basically argues the exact opposite. They tracked people who went to top schools and those that didn't. On average, those that didn't had no discernable increase in salary compared to those without an MBA. Caveat: they dont define "top school".
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17 Jan 2007, 13:48
rhyme wrote:
johnnyx9 wrote:
Like I said, this whole process can be something of a crapshoot. Some people with great profiles can be dinged across the boards. I'm not saying this happens often, but anecdotally I've heard of this, and also if you go to admissions411 you can see that some people will be dinged everywhere but accepted at a great school like Wharton.

So given that it can be a bit of a crapshoot, if I were dinged at my top choices (elite schools) I have to think: Do I go to a safety school (ranked in the 30's) or wait another year to play the crap-shoot game again with no guarantees.

Like I said, I'm interested in the brand-name and all, but you can get hooked up with a great job and make comparable life-time earnings with an MBA from a school like Vanderbilt or Rochester, these are great schools that produce very succesfull people. They may not have the clout of a Kellog or Harvard, but the top performers out of these schools probably do as well as some of the mid-performers at ultra-elites.

Disclaimer: Obviously I'm speculating a little bit here, don't have any studies I can reference, but even schools ranked in the 40's and 50's charge almost as much money as elite schools, and my capitalist intutition tells me that these schools would not be able to lure people into their programs at those costs without people getting a return on their education.

I have a study somewhere which basically argues the exact opposite. They tracked people who went to top schools and those that didn't. On average, those that didn't had no discernable increase in salary compared to those without an MBA. Caveat: they dont define "top school".

That would certainly be an important factor to determine before evaluating the study.
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17 Jan 2007, 13:53
I saw a different study that rates prospects based on the state of the economy. If I recall, they compared Yale to Michigan and Kellogg (recalling off the top of my head). In 2000, when the economy was extremely strong (right before the crash), Yale placed 18 people or something like that at McKinsey. Michigan was in the 20s and Kellogg in the 40s. In 2003 when the economy was in the crapper, Yale placed like 3 people at Mckinsey, Michigan in the 20s and Kellogg in the 30s. Schools ranked even lower were virtually non-factors.

So, it might be true that, when the economy is good, it might not hurt you to consider lower ranked schools. The simple explanation is that a lot more people from all places will get job offers. But if the economy is bad, then those at lower ranked schools will suffer - huge tuition burden without a good job is a scary thought. Consider that most people in their 20-30s will change jobs 10 times and careers 5 times. Who here is so confident that each time they look for a job the economy will be booming?

Also, one must consider that some jobs are only open to graduates of certain schools. The most elite recruiters will start, and possibly end with H/S/W, while elite recruiters in certain fields might include Kellogg, Columbia, Chicago & MIT for certain positions. Sure, the valedictorian with an impeccable work history from Vanderbilt or Georgetown might be considered for some of these jobs, but I would guess that these people probably could have attended higher ranked schools.

Certainly, each applicant must consider their own situation; but I think that most will agree that it makes sense to go to the highest ranked school possible. Now, does it make sense to only consider the top schools and forget about all others? Each person must decide that for themselves.
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17 Jan 2007, 14:14
pelihu wrote:
Also, one must consider that some jobs are only open to graduates of certain schools. The most elite recruiters will start, and possibly end with H/S/W, while elite recruiters in certain fields might include Kellogg, Columbia, Chicago & MIT for certain positions. Sure, the valedictorian with an impeccable work history from Vanderbilt or Georgetown might be considered for some of these jobs, but I would guess that these people probably could have attended higher ranked schools.

Possibly, but how many people going to "Near-Elite" programs are expecting to have these mega-elite positions handed to them coming out of b-school? I find it hard to believe that there are people going to Notre Dame or Minnesota and expecting to land jobs in PE upon graduation. There's a very large gap between top-shelf jobs and crap jobs.

Quote:
Certainly, each applicant must consider their own situation; but I think that most will agree that it makes sense to go to the highest ranked school possible. Now, does it make sense to only consider the top schools and forget about all others? Each person must decide that for themselves.

I think it's important to take rankings into consideration, but I also believe it's silly to base your entire decision on an arbitrary ranking system. Furthermore, whose rankings do you go by? BWeek? USNews? Forbes? Financial Times?

IMO, rankings should be used as a tool to help make your decision, but should not be the end all, be all in terms of making application decisions.

Last edited by eazyb81 on 17 Jan 2007, 14:29, edited 1 time in total.
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17 Jan 2007, 14:19
oops...my thoughts is that: is the ranking stable?
for example, BW ranking: there are changes every 2 years. Some schools disappear in the ranking, some schools down, some up. So, who know what will happend in the next two years?
And, not anybody can get in to top 10 schools. So how about the rest?
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17 Jan 2007, 14:48
Lots of good points in all of these posts.

I guess an important thing to keep in mind is that getting into a top school doesn't guarantee that you will be rich and successful (something that I kind of forget most of the time, I keep thinking once I get admitted to a good school I'll be on easy street). Once you get into school you have to really bust your @ss networking and positioning yourself to get the job you want.

And my attitude is that if I end up going to one of my safeties, I'll just have to work that much harder to make a good "return on the investment."

I know with some industries like private equity you really need an MBA to get to a certain level. In my industry (healthcare) an MBA basically means you get to leapfrog like four to eight years of working and you land higher up in the heirarchy. The "brand name" is important in the sense that my resume would catch someone's eye if it said "Wharton" on it, but it's not like PE where you HAVE to go to one of these top schools to have a chance.
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17 Jan 2007, 14:56
As far as rankings, I like the cluster system that Hjort has proposed; and actually, there is remarkable consistency in the rankings. Obviously, schools move up and down a few spots with each new ranking, but those moves are irrelevant. It takes a tremendous amount of time and money for a school to build the reputation and alumni base necessary to make meaningful moves in the rankings, no matter how you look at them.

Just look at Yale - impeccable name and a whole cr@pload of money, yet they can't move up no matter how hard they try. They don't have the long-term reputation, which means they have a more difficult time attracting top professors and top students, which then leads to fewer top jobs, which again makes it harder to attract top students and that professors will have more difficulty doing cutting edge research etc. etc. etc.

I would argue that, while rankings may change slightly every year, there is little real change in the overall position of each school over the short or medium term. 20 years from now, I bet is stays the same (barring some unforeseen geopolitical shift) for most top schools. Might Chicago or Kellogg gain a little ground and join H/W/S? Maybe. Might Michigan or Berkeley break into the ultra-elites? Maybe. Might one of them slip? Possibly. But really, I bet the class of 2029 will be shooting for the same top schools that we are.

Regarding lower ranked schools, I don't believe it's a no-brainer to get an MBA. As Rhyme pointed out, people with MBAs from lower ranked schools had no discernable increase in salary compared to those without an MBA. Throw in the cost of tuition, opportunity cost of 2 years, lost promotions & experience and so forth, and it's easy to see that if you aren't making 50-100% immediately after business school than before, it might be 20 years before you can recover the costs. Going to an ultra-elite is a no-brainer; going to an elite is almost a no-brainer but you need to work hard once you get there. Going to a lower ranked school - as I said each person must decide for themselves. Perhaps it will help you change careers or open up future promotions - but it sure makes sense to have a clear plan in advance.

I have a friend that went to a near-elite. 2 years and 100k in debt later and he's back at the same company (fortune 100) with a 20k increase in salary. If he had stayed and worked those 2 years, he probably would have earned the same increase in salary. He would have also banked 2 years of income and not incurred the 100k debt. Perhaps there's a greater chance he will be promoted now that he has an MBA. I don't know - and it will probably be a decade or two before he can be sure he's made the right decision.
17 Jan 2007, 14:56

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