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Re: If business schools were car brands (updated) [#permalink] New post 24 Mar 2011, 10:34
thetiming wrote:
Awesome post!
I really enjoyed this one.
It made me consider Kellogg =)
(I am currently only considering UK Schools + INSEAD + HEC Paris probably...)


I do have a soft spot too for "the people's car". I grew up with an old school VW Beetle in the family (probably a Brazilian or Mexican manufactured one) - the sound of the rear engine and that hard-to-describe smell in its vinyl interior etc. And my school bus when I lived overseas was a red VW Vanagon. If I had more garage space I'd love to buy an old Beetle, just for kicks.

And the Beetle as you may know was designed by Ferdinand Porsche (who then started his own company and built the Porsche 356 which essentially started out as a "kit car" built on VW Beetle parts after WWII, with the 911 simply being an evolution of the 356).
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Re: If business schools were car brands (updated) [#permalink] New post 24 Mar 2011, 18:31
Hey man awesome post! I'd say the analogy is a spot-on.

I used to own a brand new Mercedes, and although it was a beauty to look at, it had a number of electrical issues that made me wary of German quality. I subsequantly purchased a Toyota and since have had no electrical faults and ZERO passion. The car does not seem to have a soul like German cars do. Definitly not as enjoyable to drive as the German cars. I'm now comtemplating a BMW... (Literally and metaphoricaly)
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Re: If business schools were car brands (updated) [#permalink] New post 24 Mar 2011, 20:35
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samwzhang wrote:
Hey man awesome post! I'd say the analogy is a spot-on.

I used to own a brand new Mercedes, and although it was a beauty to look at, it had a number of electrical issues that made me wary of German quality. I subsequantly purchased a Toyota and since have had no electrical faults and ZERO passion. The car does not seem to have a soul like German cars do. Definitly not as enjoyable to drive as the German cars. I'm now comtemplating a BMW... (Literally and metaphorically)


I know what you mean. I tried to pinpoint exactly why that is, because when you look at it objectively, they're just machines. So why do some "feel" like they have soul or passion while others don't. For example, objectively speaking, one could say that the old VW Beetle is a piece of sh*t, but for some irrational reason I still like it a lot, even if it's far less reliable than an 80s Honda Civic.

And then I realized it's because you can't look at cars objectively - while technical specs are objective, the *experience* one has when driving is totally subjective.

My take on it is that the key thing is *how* a car is put together - in other words, the whole (i.e. driving experience) is subjective, while the sum of parts (i.e. tech specs) is objective. And as human beings, we look at the whole.

To use a completely gross generalization, a perfect car would have:

German engine
Japanese electronics
Italian exterior
British interior

I know what you mean about electronics -- for some reason it's the achilles' heel for a lot of German cars (BMW, Benz, Audi, etc.). I don't think it's that the Germans suck at electronics, but that the Japanese have mastered electronics design and manufacturing (not just for cars, but consumer electronics).

I think historically where the Germans and Japanese differed in cars is their sensibility. The Germans tended to focus on a combination of masterful craftsmanship using high quality components (much like Swiss watchmaking). It's engineering as an art. The Japanese on the other hand focused maximizing practicality and consistency - engineering for the everyday. Of course there's overlap between these attributes, but there's enough of a difference in priorities. As a result, I think the Germans tended to be better with design and craftsmanship, whereas the Japanese tended to be better with manufacturing consistency. The difference between building for quality and performance (German) versus building for reliability and consistency (Japanese).

But again these are subtle differences that may make a big enough difference in the driving experience. If you're reasonably lucky, those old diesel Benzes can last 200K+ miles; likewise I doubt anyone will say an Acura NSX is sterile.

Of course, the differences were even greater with older models. Now, so many of the auto manufacturers have learned so much from each other that they are starting to be the same. American cars are becoming much more reliable (and stylish). The Germans have brought in Japanese consultants to improve their manufacturing processes. And the Brits and even Italians are building more reliable cars - learning a thing or two from the Japanese and Germans.

(And yes, in b-school, depending on your prof, you may do a bunch of case studies on auto and motorcycle manufacturers in your operations or supply chain classes)

As such, it seems like a lot of car guys feel the newer models (of any company) tend to be less exciting to drive even if the performance and reliability is better. For me personally, I'm not a fan of all the electronic gadgetry that they continually load into the new models. For so many cars now, there's this huge center console (BMW's iDrive amongst others) that it starts to look like a friggin space shuttle, which takes away from the raw experience. I guess that's what "soul" is in a car - less electronic aids, giving you a closer connection to the actual engine, high quality materials (rather than breakable plastic bits) and road.

And if you're getting a BMW, get an M3 :)
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Re: If business schools were car brands (updated) [#permalink] New post 24 Mar 2011, 21:42
AlexMBAApply wrote:
samwzhang wrote:
Hey man awesome post! I'd say the analogy is a spot-on.

I used to own a brand new Mercedes, and although it was a beauty to look at, it had a number of electrical issues that made me wary of German quality. I subsequantly purchased a Toyota and since have had no electrical faults and ZERO passion. The car does not seem to have a soul like German cars do. Definitly not as enjoyable to drive as the German cars. I'm now comtemplating a BMW... (Literally and metaphorically)


I know what you mean. I tried to pinpoint exactly why that is, because when you look at it objectively, they're just machines. So why do some "feel" like they have soul or passion while others don't. For example, objectively speaking, one could say that the old VW Beetle is a piece of sh*t, but for some irrational reason I still like it a lot, even if it's far less reliable than an 80s Honda Civic.

And then I realized it's because you can't look at cars objectively - while technical....

And if you're getting a BMW, get an M3 :)


Hey Alex that's it! Wow you pinpoint ideas and explain concepts so veeery well. I might just get an M3, after all that student loans are repaid, of course. Hey hope to chat with you in person sometimes!
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Re: If business schools were car brands (updated) [#permalink] New post 24 Mar 2011, 21:56
funny! def turned me off from Harvard and on to Northwestern. This is a good one. Thanks!
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Re: If business schools were car brands (updated) [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2011, 06:34
Thank you for the excellent analogy! It definitely makes me reconsider schools that I had previously crossed off the list because of their "specs"
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Re: If business schools were car brands (updated) [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2011, 07:38
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AlexMBAApply wrote:
And then I realized it's because you can't look at cars objectively - while technical specs are objective, the *experience* one has when driving is totally subjective.

...

As such, it seems like a lot of car guys feel the newer models (of any company) tend to be less exciting to drive even if the performance and reliability is better. For me personally, I'm not a fan of all the electronic gadgetry that they continually load into the new models. For so many cars now, there's this huge center console (BMW's iDrive amongst others) that it starts to look like a friggin space shuttle, which takes away from the raw experience. I guess that's what "soul" is in a car - less electronic aids, giving you a closer connection to the actual engine, high quality materials (rather than breakable plastic bits) and road.

And if you're getting a BMW, get an M3 :)


I think your description of the "experience" is dead on. My wife had always owned beat-up Toyotas that lasted for 200,000 miles, and she saw cars in a totally utilitarian way. She wouldn't even consider a BMW when it came time for a new vehicle. I finally convinced her to come for a test drive, and I encouraged her to push the car in the corners (explaining the benefits of DSC). By the time we got back to the dealership she was wearing a big wide grin that she couldn't wipe off. I picked up our BMW a week later. Of course when the sunroof malfunctioned outside of the warranty and cost $2000 to fix, she let me hear about it.

With respect to all the technology in cars these days, I agree that some of the connection with the car and the road is lost (not to mention it takes little driving skill to go fast without killing yourself now). On the other hand, having 2 kids now I appreciate things like 4-wheel drive, ESC, traction control, DVD player, etc. My ideal setup in the future would be 2 cars - one for driving the kids to hockey and getting groceries, and one to drive on weekends and track days for fun. Right now, this is my goal:

Family vehicle:

2010 RS4 Avant
Image

Fun vehicle:

993 Turbo S
Image

or

964 Turbo 3.6
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Re: If business schools were car brands (updated) [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2011, 10:07
^^^

Yeah, what's up with the electrical gremlins in German cars? Seems to be a recurring problem.

I started off very much like your wife - treating cars like a purely utilitarian thing for the longest time, until I started test driving and getting into different kinds of cars over the years (and having friends who were car enthusiasts), and I was won over. Living in LA also helps, seeing car porn everywhere (i.e. BMW 3-series is like the Honda Accord of LA; 911s are everywhere, and I see at least one Italian/British exotic everyday just in traffic).

You probably already know this but some great website forums for p-car freaks: Rennlist and Pelican Parts. And yes, the 993TT is absolutely sick. Not as fast or comfy as the 996 or 997 turbos, but the lines/curves on that car and the sound.

Now, if money were no object:

Image

I've always had a soft spot for the Shelby Cobras. Classic American.
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Re: If business schools were car brands (updated) [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2011, 13:12
Nice!! Very accurate.

Any chance to have you add Carnegie Mellon, Indiana, Vanderbilt, and USC. Oxford and University of Cambridge.

edit: Oh and IMD
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Re: If business schools were car brands (updated) [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2011, 09:56
730i wrote:
Nice!! Very accurate.

Any chance to have you add Carnegie Mellon, Indiana, Vanderbilt, and USC. Oxford and University of Cambridge.

edit: Oh and IMD


Running out of car brands. Or getting into territory where the schools have way more redeeming qualities than the car brands themselves (Yugo, Lada, Fiat, Vauxhall, SEAT, Kia, Daewoo, Proton).
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Profile evaluation request [#permalink] New post 07 Apr 2011, 16:33
Hi Alex,

Here's my profile:

Bio: 27 y.o. female, minority

Undergrad: Business Major, 75% cumulative average from a Canadian university on the east coast, (I think 75% is similar to an American GPA of 3.3 according to online research, but I think this is dependent on the scale/calculation used)

GMAT: In progress, aiming to take it this summer

Work Experience: Worked at a large consulting firm straight from undergrad for past 5 years; promoted twice, currently at a Manager level, extensive list of clients/projects across North America, strong performance assessments

Extra-Curriculars: Extensive community involvement across a number of charities in key leadership roles, managed sponsorship budgets and led efforts that raised tens of thousands of dollars, recipient of awards, extensive volunteering

Why MBA: Want an advanced degree to help land positions working in the non-for-profit/environmental sector, want to expand networks

Target schools: Stanford, Berkeley, Northwestern, Harvard (Are these within reach?)

Self-assessed challenges: Undergrad GPA is mediocre; upcoming GMAT, very comfortable with Verbal, not so comfortable with Quant, finding the time to do my GMAT/Application with very demanding work

Your honest opinion here would be much appreciated. Thanks!
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Re: Profile evaluation request [#permalink] New post 07 Apr 2011, 22:00
Focus on the GMAT, as that is what will dictate what your chances are (i.e. a high score won't be an asset, but a low score can be a liability). GPA won't really be an issue if you went to college outside the US (pedigree of school matters more, which is why so many internationals at top b-schools went to the top schools in their respective countries).

Having said that, shoot for 700+ no matter what. With a score like that, I'd say H/S/W will be stretches, and schools outside of that will be within reach. That is assuming you're not at McKinsey, Bain or BCG. If you're at one of those 3 firms, you won't be a shoe-in at H/S/W, but it won't be a stretch either. Historically, the M/B/B consultants have been the bread and butter of the H/S/W student body (i.e. they're not the majority of the class, but they certainly make up a healthy minority to the point where you feel like a large number of the M/B/B alums that apply are at one of these three schools). If you're not at M/B/B, you still have a shot, but it'll be a stretch, and you'll see more non-M/B/B folks ending up at schools like Kellogg, Booth, Sloan, Columbia, Tuck, Haas, etc.
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Re: Profile evaluation request [#permalink] New post 07 Apr 2011, 23:48
Thank you for the fast response Alex, I am truly grateful.

I read a whole bunch of your blogs posts tonight and found them to be very insightful and to the point. One of the posts regarding the age bias at H/S/W, left me slightly unnerved.

As I had indicated, I'm currently 27, so would be 28 (and almost 29) at matriculation, which is 2 years older than I guess the 'ideal' age. Would be I placed in the 'fat chance' group for H/S/W?

I also read a Stanford Admissions Blog archived post from 2007 where they claim that they have no age bias whatsoever and that it is a 'myth'. Are they feeding us some politically correct BS here or do you think there could be an inkling of truth to that?

I hope so :) Personally, I believe in this quote from Mark Twain:

"Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."

Thanks!
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Re: Profile evaluation request [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2011, 01:08
Hi, Honestly, GPA 3.3 is too low for the schools you mentioned
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Re: Profile evaluation request [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2011, 07:56
I appreciate your honesty. I can't change my GPA now, but with some persistence and determination on my GMAT, I still believe I have a chance. If I can't get into a top school, I see little value in me attending b-school given where I am at in my career.
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Re: Profile evaluation request [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2011, 09:52
lath2011 wrote:
I appreciate your honesty. I can't change my GPA now, but with some persistence and determination on my GMAT, I still believe I have a chance. If I can't get into a top school, I see little value in me attending b-school given where I am at in my career.


As I said before your GPA won't really matter because it's not from a US school (adcoms will look at your raw scores on your transcript, and most b-school forms will ask for your grades in the format that your school uses i.e. A-F, 0-100%, 1-9, 1.0-5.0, 1.0-4.0, etc.).

Again, the pedigree of your undergrad will matter more than your GPA if you went to a non-US school. That's why it's no accident that at the top schools, you'll see a lot of IITs, BeijingU/Tsinghua, Oxford/Cambridge, MoscowU, etc. Amongst Canadian undergrads, you'll see the overwhelming majority went to McGill, Queen's, Toronto, Waterloo, UBC or Ivey. Doesn't mean you can't get into a top b-school if you didn't go to these schools, but it's a bit of a self-selecting thing as well, since those who went to these Canadian schools tended to get the strongest job offers after undergrad anyhow.

As for age, yes it matters for b-school admissions - but even more so for men than women. In any case, there's nothing you can do about your age, so all you can do is if you really want to go to H/S/W, just give it your best shot, and you never know. The thing is, adcoms won't ever openly admit an age bias (at least explicitly), because it will open up a can of worms for them. That's why HBS publishes the distribution of their incoming students by grad year -- seeing that distribution is a strong enough hint about the sweet spot they are really looking for (between 24-27, or those who are 2-5 years out of undergrad) without having to actually say it explicitly. Although Stanford doesn't publish stats like this in such detail, if you look at their resume books or visit campus, you'll get a sense that the students do fall into a pretty narrow range in terms of age.

All you can do is just do the best you can, and have realistic expectations -- and know that while getting into H/S/W is great, it's not necessary at all to get where you want. Over the medium- to long-term, you're not necessarily going these H/S/W alums to be that much more successful than those who went to say Booth, Kellogg, Sloan, etc. And if they are more successful, it has little to do with the school and more to do with who they are individually.
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Re: Profile evaluation request [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2011, 10:19
I think you're spot on Alex, I have to remind myself to be realistic, but still try my best.

I was glad to see that I went to one of those Canadian schools you listed. I normally didn't think of my school as one with a lot of 'pedigree' but I suppose by Canadian standards, there are only a few.

Thanks again for your generosity in helping strangers, like me. You're an amazing resource.
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Re: Profile evaluation request [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2011, 10:57
It's good to be realistic. However, Please don't take my words wrong. Your GPA is not bad. I just was talking about Stanford, Harvard and Wharton with several hundred applicants each year, 2-8% acceptance and a mean GMAT of 720+. Still you have significant chances for the top 20, which is still great, even better than Harvard and Stanford in some ways.
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Re: Profile evaluation request [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2011, 11:07
saeedt wrote:
It's good to be realistic. However, Please don't take my words wrong. Your GPA is not bad. I just was talking about Stanford, Harvard and Wharton with several hundred applicants each year, 2-8% acceptance and a mean GMAT of 720+. Still you have significant chances for the top 20, which is still great, even better than Harvard and Stanford in some ways.


saeedt,

As I've said before, the GPA issue your brought up is relevant if she went to a US school. She did not.
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Re: Profile evaluation request [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2011, 06:05
hi AlexMBAApply,

It is true that GPA in its form of x/4 may best apply to US schools but there are many ways Bschools can convert the scoring system of other countries to their more convenient form, x/4. For example, one of my friends had converted his scores in a way I don't know. Later on applying, Pennsylvania state asked him to use WES (World Education System) for the conversion. WES produces a x/4 GPA.
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Re: Profile evaluation request   [#permalink] 09 Apr 2011, 06:05
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