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Weighing Location/Family in Business School Decision

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Weighing Location/Family in Business School Decision [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2012, 01:39
Hi Everyone,

How have the rest of you (especially those of you with families of your own) weighed the location of a business school versus its reputation? How many of you would turn down an offer from a top 5 school to go to a top 12 school in the same city or closer to your husband/wife/kids? From a purely rational unemotional standpoint, would the opportunities one got at an elite business school be compromised if family concerns required lots of travel on weekends (when you might otherwise be networking or getting involved in your b-school community)?

I would love to know how some of the rest of you have wrestled with these questions.
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Re: Weighing Location/Family in Business School Decision [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2012, 14:32
I have no family of my own (meaning wife and kids), but I will say that one of my roommates who's a 2nd year at UVA right now did factor this into his decision because his wife had his first child right during the winter break of his first year there, and he's from Virginia too. He could have went to a better program, like a Kellogg, but staying closer to his family (both parents and his child) did play some part into his decision. And of course, UVA has an elite tier business school so some things were easier. His wife is right now a stay at home mom, and is very supportive of what he wants to do which made some things easier, but depending on applicants for full time programs that have spouses and kids, yes, that must play a factor into a final decision. Not every man who's married will have a wife that will let him do everything he wants to professionally, and vice versa. Will the applicant alone leave, or will everyone go to the new area with him or her?
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Re: Weighing Location/Family in Business School Decision [#permalink] New post 04 Mar 2012, 20:07
jonnyh wrote:
Hi Everyone,

How have the rest of you (especially those of you with families of your own) weighed the location of a business school versus its reputation? How many of you would turn down an offer from a top 5 school to go to a top 12 school in the same city or closer to your husband/wife/kids? From a purely rational unemotional standpoint, would the opportunities one got at an elite business school be compromised if family concerns required lots of travel on weekends (when you might otherwise be networking or getting involved in your b-school community)?

I would love to know how some of the rest of you have wrestled with these questions.


I would say that a top 5 and a top 12 isn't that big of a difference. Besides the initial "woohs" and "wows", these programs will help you get to where you want to go. So given the ranking, I would certainly weigh more on family than on school reputation. Notice though that if you're talking about top 5 and top 20, there may be some difference, depending on where you want to work afterwards, what you want to do, and how much "name-brand" you care about.
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Re: Weighing Location/Family in Business School Decision [#permalink] New post 15 Mar 2012, 17:58
Not exactly the same thing as family, but I pushed off choosing between love and school till after I heard the decisions. I applied to only one school in the same city as my serious partner (but the most reputable for that area), and the rest were higher-ranked programs elsewhere. In the end my decision was made for me by the adcom committees, and I'm grateful to not have to choose.

But factor in that my partner and I lived on opposite sides of the globe the year before school, I don't know if we could survive two more years, especially considering that my post-MBA goals require long-term international assignments, so 3 years apart could easily turn into 5 years apart. At this point, I know we can handle the distance for limited periods of time, but if I were to go to school in a different city, I would feel the pressure to only take post-MBA jobs in the same city as him. It will be nice to have a few years together now during school, if we have to face more distance apart later. He is stuck where he is now, but his PhD will finish about the same time as I'll be done with international rotations, so we can figure things out then.

Don't underestimate how much it sucks to be in an LDR in a situation where there are a lot of single people looking to hook up. When your friends couple, it's exacerbates the loneliness yet you can't indulge because you're still in a committed relationship.

Also, the best financial decision was going to the school in the same city as my partner. I got a generous scholarship, and my cost of living is very low since we'll be living together. Not to mention all the money saved by NOT having to travel to see each other on weekends or holidays.


bakfed wrote:
I would say that a top 5 and a top 12 isn't that big of a difference. Besides the initial "woohs" and "wows", these programs will help you get to where you want to go. So given the ranking, I would certainly weigh more on family than on school reputation. Notice though that if you're talking about top 5 and top 20, there may be some difference, depending on where you want to work afterwards, what you want to do, and how much "name-brand" you care about.



I agree with the quote. Although I'll be going to a rank 30 school, it has the regional prestige and from alumni network, it will get me where I want to go. If two schools will get you the same post-MBA job you want, other factors like cost of living, "wow" factor, family weigh heavier in the decision.
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Re: Weighing Location/Family in Business School Decision [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2012, 22:39
histgirl wrote:
Not exactly the same thing as family, but I pushed off choosing between love and school till after I heard the decisions. I applied to only one school in the same city as my serious partner (but the most reputable for that area), and the rest were higher-ranked programs elsewhere. In the end my decision was made for me by the adcom committees, and I'm grateful to not have to choose.

But factor in that my partner and I lived on opposite sides of the globe the year before school, I don't know if we could survive two more years, especially considering that my post-MBA goals require long-term international assignments, so 3 years apart could easily turn into 5 years apart. At this point, I know we can handle the distance for limited periods of time, but if I were to go to school in a different city, I would feel the pressure to only take post-MBA jobs in the same city as him. It will be nice to have a few years together now during school, if we have to face more distance apart later. He is stuck where he is now, but his PhD will finish about the same time as I'll be done with international rotations, so we can figure things out then.

Don't underestimate how much it sucks to be in an LDR in a situation where there are a lot of single people looking to hook up. When your friends couple, it's exacerbates the loneliness yet you can't indulge because you're still in a committed relationship.

Also, the best financial decision was going to the school in the same city as my partner. I got a generous scholarship, and my cost of living is very low since we'll be living together. Not to mention all the money saved by NOT having to travel to see each other on weekends or holidays.


bakfed wrote:
I would say that a top 5 and a top 12 isn't that big of a difference. Besides the initial "woohs" and "wows", these programs will help you get to where you want to go. So given the ranking, I would certainly weigh more on family than on school reputation. Notice though that if you're talking about top 5 and top 20, there may be some difference, depending on where you want to work afterwards, what you want to do, and how much "name-brand" you care about.



I agree with the quote. Although I'll be going to a rank 30 school, it has the regional prestige and from alumni network, it will get me where I want to go. If two schools will get you the same post-MBA job you want, other factors like cost of living, "wow" factor, family weigh heavier in the decision.


Thanks a lot. These are very useful insights. There are a lot of people on these board who, for better or worse, do not seem to be factoring in any part of the decision besides rank. It's nice to see some approaching the question differently.
Re: Weighing Location/Family in Business School Decision   [#permalink] 26 Mar 2012, 22:39
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