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UT McCombs $$$ vs. Duke/UCLA

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UT McCombs $$$ vs. Duke/UCLA [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2011, 08:30
UT: accept with full ride
Duke/UCLA: accept [will need to take on debt for nearly all tuition 100k] (I have no undergrad debt)

Post MBA goals: Entrepreneurship / Health Care / Energy

I work in an alternative investment firm, but post-MBA I'm interested in going startup route (either immediately after MBA or after working corporate for a few years).

Regions: Prefer any land near Pacific Ocean... esp SoCal
Personality: I see myself loving any of these 3 communities

I have some friends who say the prestige / national recognition of Duke/UCLA would be worth paying up.

I am a deer in the headlights right now :shock: any help weighing these options much appreciated!
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Re: UT McCombs $$$ vs. Duke/UCLA [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2011, 09:02
Expert's post
Well, let me start by disclosing that my MBA is from Duke--best experience of my life, and I have a few classmates on the West Coast. Having lived and worked in Los Angeles, however, I must grudgingly admit that if your long term goals are to be on the West Coast, you could not do better than UCLA. Don't underestimate the value of network. It becomes the most important component of a top MBA down the road--not always with the first job out of school, but moving up and on later, it will figure in more importantly. UT is a great school, but I personally feel you'd not regret spending the money to go to UCLA. Also, who knows? you may can get some traction by contacting admissions at UCLA to inform them of your scholarship to UT and see if you might be able to be considered for any financial assistance if you commit to UCLA. Worth a shot.
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Re: UT McCombs $$$ vs. Duke/UCLA [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2011, 09:06
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First of all, congrats on the acceptances. This is what I call "a good problem to have."

All 3 schools have something to offer you. I think it's up to you to figure out what is the most important factor. B-school lesson #1 priortization :)

Fuqua - If you want to go into healthcare, Fuqua offers one of the BEST healthcare programs in the country (maybe the world). HSM has so much more resources at its disposal than the rest of the daytime MBA programs. There's also a decent entreprenuer program here.

McCombs - If you want to do energy. McCombs will probably offer you the best connections, especially if you want to go into traditional energy like Big Oil. McCombs is also known to have a good entrepreneur program. I believe there's an on campus incubator. The plus side is that you also get $100K to boot.

Anderson - If you want to live in SoCal, Anderson will offer the best connections. However, if location is the primary concern, you will be able to get a job in SoCal out of the other to schools (pharma recruiting from Fuqua, and alternative energy developer from McCombs).

As far as prestige, Anderson and McCombs are both regional schools and are on par with either other. Fuqua's brand carries well in the East Coast, but gets weaker as you move West.

Bottomline: You can't go wrong with any of these schools. If I were in the position, I would take the $100K from McCombs and never look back.
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Re: UT McCombs $$$ vs. Duke/UCLA [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2011, 09:48
I had a very similar dilemma. My first step in making the decision was to ask myself the question: "Can I achieve my career goals as a student at the lower ranked school?" If you think UT can get you where you want to be, take the money and save yourself 6+ years of loan payments. Also, the full-ride scholarship would certainly make your resume stand out.
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Re: UT McCombs $$$ vs. Duke/UCLA [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2011, 13:37
McCombs for sure!
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Re: UT McCombs $$$ vs. Duke/UCLA   [#permalink] 17 Mar 2011, 13:37
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