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Joined: 08 May 2011
Posts: 217
Location: United States
Schools: Wharton '16 (M)
WE: Analyst (Venture Capital)
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13 Feb 2014, 18:42
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Hi all,

I hope this piece of writing helps someone out there who is making decision in 2nd round.

I have talked with a great number of staffs, alums, and students from all 3 schools. From all of the conversations I have, it comes down (only apply to me) the 3 golden aspects to look for business schools: branding, career help, and fit/network. I already discounted other aspects like living environment, weather, partners club, etc … I think it is just inappropriate to have factors in the picture.

Branding: Wharton has an edge
I went to mid-ranked undergraduate school (top 30-50, I guess), so school branding & solid MBA stamp on my CV is an important factor for me. When you say you are from this school or that school, ppl may look at you differently. I know in US, Wharton and Booth is more less similar school, in fact, some of my friends in US told to choose Booth over Wharton. However, Wharton name is huge in Asia, especially in India (?? I can’t explain myself??), I have talked with a few Indian friends who are going/hold MBA as well, they told me it’s no-brainer answer, Wharton is definitely the choice. People here in Asia perceive Wharton is prestigious, Booth is very good. This is to show how popular Wharton is. I think it is due to the old historic H/S/W, and Booth, even though is quite strong in recent 5 years, still need some time to catch-up in global context.
MIT is definitely is a big name for tech, but most of the people don’t think MIT is for business.
Having said that, I have a chat with a Wharton alum (’08 or ‘09), with 5/6 years post-MBA working experience, she said no one cares, choose what you like, employers care what you have done and what you bring to the table. All are same schools to her. Perhaps, she is my favourite alum I have talked so far, for being so honest and not selling me on her school.

Career help: MIT, MIT and MIT
For the short-term goal of internal strategic planning in big tech firm, I think all schools could land me this job. I have shifted in my career plan, I am seriously considering doing start-up during schooling or just after MBA. Given my tech background, and MIT’s extraordinary entrepreneurial ecosystem, MIT is the winner (of course, after Harvard and Stanford). Please see this report: http://poetsandquants.com/2013/11/18/th ... eurship/3/
When I reach out to Wharton/Booth: the A, B & C resources may help you, you may want to reach out to X, Y & Z institute as well … When I reach out to MIT Sloan: which field you want to start-up? Are you interested in D, E & F? Do you want to work part-time in start-up while schooling? Send in your CV we have a student club to help you, etc … Start-up is like a norm in MIT, and entrepreneurship is everyone business. Another plus point is that students can find partners from other schools in MIT (world-class MIT engineering school is a dream place to look for strong-tech partner)
Wharton/Booth are also strong in start-up, but that could not beat MIT.

Fit/network: perhaps Booth
I put them together because no mater how big the network is, if I don’t fit in, I am not going to be able to make friends. MIT is definitely a fit. It is so easy (for me) to connect to MIT people, from adcoms, alums, students, to newly admitted students, given that more than 50% of them from tech/engineering background. It is too much comfortable until I wonder: do I go out of my comfort zone? I promise myself to take risk during MBA, to try new/crazy things, to network with new people, to do whatever I like w/o being concerned of finance or family.
And Booth just has nice subsets of all kind of people, in the other words, diversified. I can find lots of people like me, and lots of people not like me. I have a feeling that, at Booth, if I want to take a step back, I have a community behind me, if I want to reach out, I will have plenty of people to challenge me. Wharton, yes, is also very diversified, but I have hard time to connect with students. It’s not that all bad, I will be trained to work with not-my-type classmates. Wharton is well-known for party & wine, I’m not so big on that, but call me for good food! In other words, choose MIT to pamper myself, choose Booth to go out of comfort zone, and choose Wharton to go far from comfort zone.
Wharton alumni network is the biggest, and Booth comes very close. MIT has small class size, and not a lot of students go to Asia post MBA, I found MIT network is limited compared with the other 2 schools in Asia context. Booth has a big plus because of EMBA campus was in Singapore (moved to Hong Kong last year). But Booth will still keep a small campus in Singapore for career office, executive training as well as alumni gathering.
In this regards, perhaps Booth is the choice for fit/network.

----------------

It happened that in the past few weeks, Booth just did exactly right things to me as it did to boost ranking in the last 5 years. I have got the best support from Booth for all of my inquiries; they connected me with all of the people & even more than what I requested: they connected me with a very high-profile senior executive who is currently in Booth Global Advisory Board. She talked with me for close to 1 hour, and was very humble as she could, honest & passionate about Booth. I am just impressed with how strong the Booth community is. And I have a strong sense of Booth has the best career support for me among the 3 schools. Putting all together, plus the scholarship money factor, I lean towards Booth.

Deposit paid, I am going to Booth. Keep in mind: “The grass is NOT greener on the other side”, I am moving forward.

Thanks all for all your help so help. I really appreciate that, especially to those I have personal conversation with.
It is already Valentine day here in Asia. Happy Valentine Day to all GMAT Club readers!
Best,
Poem
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Re: Wharton vs Booth (w$60K) vs Sloan [#permalink] ### Show Tags 14 Feb 2014, 01:45 Congrats poem. You couldn't really make a wrong decision there and going with your gut is the right call. Booth is a fantastic school! Re: Wharton vs Booth (w$60K) vs Sloan   [#permalink] 14 Feb 2014, 01:45

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