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Wharton vs. Booth ($)

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Wharton vs. Booth ($) [#permalink] New post 18 Dec 2013, 17:29
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As the dust settles over the MBA process, I am facing a quandry, albeit a good one. I was accepted to Wharton with no scholarship, and Booth with a $30,000 per year offer. I honestly expected to get nothing from any school, and was shocked and humbled to receive the Booth offer. My post-MBA goal is private equity or general management.

When I try to extrapolate what $60,000 really means, its an absolutely huge number that I feel could have a large impact on my life. I'd need to make $100,000 pre-tax to pay off the principal, not to mention the impact it would have on my credit score, monthly expenses, etc. I am married and there is a chance my wife does not work during my studies, so that is another consideration. The cost of living between Chicago and Philadelphia isn't all that different, but Chicago also does offer the possibility of rooting down long-term. Also, PE is very hard to continue in after an MBA, and there is no guarantee I can continue.

Thoughts?

Last edited by chromium73 on 19 Dec 2013, 10:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wharton vs. Booth ($) [#permalink] New post 18 Dec 2013, 21:28
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Congratulations! I love this time of the year with all the choices. Reminds me getting a big box of chocolates and deciding which one to eat first.... not quite the same though. Quick question about your plans:
You said you wanted to get into PE after MBA
Quote:
My post-MBA goal is private equity or general management.


However, then you said this:
Quote:
Also, PE is very hard to continue in after an MBA, and there is no guarantee I can continue.

Do I interpret correctly that subconsciously you are thinking about general management?

Both schools are financial power houses. Booth is very strong in Chicago and Wharton is strong on the East Coast. Wharton has been taking heat and criticism all the years since the 2008 financial crisis and I think there is still a cloud hanging over the reputation and the fact that placement numbers lag is not the problem with the cadre (don't think you will be special).

I think the lifestyle in Chicago would be better than what you would find in PHL. You can live in Chicago downtown which provides for all there is to offer in downtown, makes a great commute and keeps you plugged in with the students (I believe Aqua is one of the "official" residences for the bschool students... it ain't cheap though - around $2,500 for a one bed-room.)

Most folks don't stick around PHL, and even though Chicago is not the end point for all Booth grads, I have a feeling more people do stick around and call it home. If you graduate from Booth and stick around Chicago, you have a great support network.

Having said that, in the grand scheme of things, the differences between the schools are pretty minor. It is not like you are comparing a top 10 school and DeVry University. These are two amazing schools and programs and neither will be a mistake, will just lead you a different path, and there are many paths to the same end goal that offer different experiences that bored forum posters like me may not take into consideration ;-)

Congratulations and good luck!
I vote for Booth :-)
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Current Student
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Joined: 08 May 2011
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Re: Wharton vs. Booth ($) [#permalink] New post 19 Dec 2013, 06:58
bb wrote:
Congratulations! I love this time of the year with all the choices. Reminds me getting a big box of chocolates and deciding which one to eat first.... not quite the same though. Quick question about your plans:
You said you wanted to get into PE after MBA
Quote:
My post-MBA goal is private equity or general management.


However, then you said this:
Quote:
Also, PE is very hard to continue in after an MBA, and there is no guarantee I can continue.

Do I interpret correctly that subconsciously you are thinking about general management?

Both schools are financial power houses. Booth is very strong in Chicago and Wharton is strong on the East Coast. Wharton has been taking heat and criticism all the years since the 2008 financial crisis and I think there is still a cloud hanging over the reputation and the fact that placement numbers lag is not the problem with the cadre (don't think you will be special).

I think the lifestyle in Chicago would be better than what you would find in PHL. You can live in Chicago downtown which provides for all there is to offer in downtown, makes a great commute and keeps you plugged in with the students (I believe Aqua is one of the "official" residences for the bschool students... it ain't cheap though - around $2,500 for a one bed-room.)

Most folks don't stick around PHL, and even though Chicago is not the end point for all Booth grads, I have a feeling more people do stick around and call it home. If you graduate from Booth and stick around Chicago, you have a great support network.

Having said that, in the grand scheme of things, the differences between the schools are pretty minor. It is not like you are comparing a top 10 school and DeVry University. These are two amazing schools and programs and neither will be a mistake, will just lead you a different path, and there are many paths to the same end goal that offer different experiences that bored forum posters like me may not take into consideration ;-)

Congratulations and good luck!
I vote for Booth :-)


Thanks bb.

Here are my thoughts.

PE: A lot of money, interesting problems. Minimal job security, large execution risk post MBA. Brutal hours if its anything like my current gig where if I'm home before 11PM I'm celebrating.

GM: Operational exposure, top flight companies, opportunities for career progression. Opportunity to work in cities with lower cost of living and tighter communities. I may be crazy but I'd live in Minneapolis over New York if I could and have a backyard and two dogs. I guess I'm lame.

I won't decide on an answer to this question in the next 2 months, its more existential. I just want to enjoy my MBA experience. I think I leave both of these options open with either school.
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Re: Wharton vs. Booth ($) [#permalink] New post 19 Dec 2013, 13:16
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chromium73 wrote:
Thanks bb.

Here are my thoughts.

PE: A lot of money, interesting problems. Minimal job security, large execution risk post MBA. Brutal hours if its anything like my current gig where if I'm home before 11PM I'm celebrating.

GM: Operational exposure, top flight companies, opportunities for career progression. Opportunity to work in cities with lower cost of living and tighter communities. I may be crazy but I'd live in Minneapolis over New York if I could and have a backyard and two dogs. I guess I'm lame.

I won't decide on an answer to this question in the next 2 months, its more existential. I just want to enjoy my MBA experience. I think I leave both of these options open with either school.


Congratulations! :) I came to this thread after reading your 760 GMAT score story! I can feel your relief post the exam, I myself had a torrid preparation time for the GMAT, working & such, and scoring only 680s/690s in the 2 weeks leading up to the exam. But I scored a 750 during the official test, kept my mind cool & calm! Now the next step is the application process, which I intend to initiate in 12 months from now.

But here's my big surprise question to you ( more of me seeking some advice) Is there a "sweet-spot" in terms of time of applpying to MBA schools post your GMAT? have you heard any stories or such? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you! Wish you the best!

Vishnu
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Joined: 08 May 2011
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Re: Wharton vs. Booth ($) [#permalink] New post 19 Dec 2013, 16:48
vishnuns39620 wrote:
chromium73 wrote:
Thanks bb.

Here are my thoughts.

PE: A lot of money, interesting problems. Minimal job security, large execution risk post MBA. Brutal hours if its anything like my current gig where if I'm home before 11PM I'm celebrating.

GM: Operational exposure, top flight companies, opportunities for career progression. Opportunity to work in cities with lower cost of living and tighter communities. I may be crazy but I'd live in Minneapolis over New York if I could and have a backyard and two dogs. I guess I'm lame.

I won't decide on an answer to this question in the next 2 months, its more existential. I just want to enjoy my MBA experience. I think I leave both of these options open with either school.


Congratulations! :) I came to this thread after reading your 760 GMAT score story! I can feel your relief post the exam, I myself had a torrid preparation time for the GMAT, working & such, and scoring only 680s/690s in the 2 weeks leading up to the exam. But I scored a 750 during the official test, kept my mind cool & calm! Now the next step is the application process, which I intend to initiate in 12 months from now.

But here's my big surprise question to you ( more of me seeking some advice) Is there a "sweet-spot" in terms of time of applpying to MBA schools post your GMAT? have you heard any stories or such? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you! Wish you the best!

Vishnu


When you take the GMAT doesn't really relate to when you should apply for an MBA. Its good for 5 years so you're done with that part. If you are asking what my timeline was after I applied it was something like this:


- Chose list of schools in June/July (I was a reapplicant tho and already had visited most of the schools)
- Wrote essays for 4 Round 1 schools in August/September/early October
- Interviews in November
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Re: Wharton vs. Booth ($) [#permalink] New post 10 Feb 2014, 16:12
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Alright. Time to air my thoughts on this process. I still have 4 days to decide, but I'm pretty committed to my decision at this point. Its safe to say this has been one of the more challenging thought experiments.

Over the past 6 weeks, I was trying to decide if money alone was a reason to go to Booth. If I had not received any fellowship money, it would not have been a question for me at all. Anyway, I attended both admit weekends, and spoke to upwards of 10 people at each school. I'm leaning toward Wharton... and here's why:

1) I'd rather live in Philadelphia than Chicago... at least right now. It's close to both my wife and my family, and I've lived in Philadelphia before.

2) I am still a bit undecided on what direction I will take in school. I either want to stay in private equity or do something quite different and enter a general management program. I feel Wharton's PE network and placement is significantly better than Booth. On the GM side, one could argue its a wash but I still had a better feeling in talking to folks at Wharton about this. The energy network at Wharton is also pretty superb.

3) Student body: I felt like I gelled with folks at the Wharton admit weekend better than I did at Booth. I found a nice cohort of people with similar interests that I could see myself getting down in the trenches with. Booth, albeit a more limited sample size, didn't hit the same way with me.

These reasons may sound stupid. Many people will say turning down a year of free tuition is downright crazy. At the end of the day I'm trusting my gut and what I think will make me happy. I'd rather be a little poorer and get the most out of my experience than be richer and constantly wonder "what if?"

No advice on a message board will help you make these types of decisions. They are intensely personal.
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Re: Wharton vs. Booth ($) [#permalink] New post 10 Feb 2014, 19:21
Congrats and thanks for the update. I'm in a similar decision situation (although not quite top 3 vs. top 5, like you). I'm starting to feel exactly what you wrote in your last two paragraphs: it's a personal decision and you should do what makes you happy. In some cases that may be taking the money, in some cases it may be going to the school that feels more "right" to you.
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Re: Wharton vs. Booth ($) [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2014, 07:02
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Now that I slept on it I'm slightly freaking out... great
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Re: Wharton vs. Booth ($) [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2014, 08:31
chromium73 wrote:
Now that I slept on it I'm slightly freaking out... great


Look at it this way: worst-case scenario if you go to Wharton is that you have more loans to pay off when you graduate. BUT, you're going to have a great job, you're going to be making a lot of money, and you'll have a great network (and the satisfaction that you went to a top 3 school). So maybe you hold off on buying that big house in the 'burbs for a few years, that's not too bad of a "worst case."
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Re: Wharton vs. Booth ($) [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2014, 09:05
Great options. Im looking at similar options in terms of applications for this year so I understand your conundrum. Your issues are quite layered... 60K plus a Booth education or Wharton at full price+ family... this is a problem to have. :) Chicago is a better city overall than Philly is so lifestyle at least for two years will be excellent. However, I got the same "rightness" when i visited Wharton versus Booth. It "feels" better and I'm not sure that that is as quantifiable (anything can be measured though right?). Neither school is the General Management powerhouse that say HBS is and both are the best in the business for any highly quantitative post MBA career.

Philly has New York nearby, which although it has declined as a Wall street oriented zone, is growing in terms of venture capital volume, technology and start up business, as well as finance and private equity of more distributed and innovative plays. The money, and personnel that was once centered on Wall street now extend throughout the entire region from vermont down through the Delaware valley to DC and imho that web will create much more wealth as well as opportunity over time than its original Wall Street configuration. The resources of that corridor alone are nigh limitless and you can get your house with backyard and dog too. Cost of living in Philly is also lower than Chicago so your expenses while there, while not enough to offset the 30K bonus from Booth, is a mitigating factor.

You will excel whichever choice you make I'm sure.
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Re: Wharton vs. Booth ($) [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2014, 11:52
Wharton it is, thanks for the words of wisdom folks.

chromium73, out
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Re: Wharton vs. Booth ($) [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2014, 11:58
Congratulations great choice!

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Re: Wharton vs. Booth ($) [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2014, 03:23
Quick question ... did you go back to Wharton and ask for any financial aid? I've seen people successfully do this. Also, because you have a family ... this would likely work in your favor. Not saying they'll match Booth ... but every nickel counts.
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Re: Wharton vs. Booth ($) [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2014, 03:35
I ran down every avenue at wharton and came up empty. At welcome weekend 1 met at least 10 people who tried to extract money using other scholarships as leverage. Chances are slim
Re: Wharton vs. Booth ($)   [#permalink] 09 Apr 2014, 03:35
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