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Where should I apply? Journalist making career change.

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Where should I apply? Journalist making career change. [#permalink] New post 01 Feb 2014, 12:08
Hey guys, thanks to this board and all the others for the great GMAT help. I just took the test Tuesday and did much better than I expected, which changes the types of programs I'm looking to apply to - trouble is I'm very late to get started on the application process. Just looking for advice on where to apply at this stage - I'm looking for a reputable, career-focused B School that will give me significant funding if not a full-ride for this fall. Midwest or West coast preferred. Interested in marketing and corporate strategy. Have the 295 best book, just looking for personal experiences.

My quick stats
Age: 24 when program starts
Undergrad GPA: 3.17 (Journalism at Big Ten school)
Post-grad work experience: Little over 2 years come August (newspaper no one has heard of).
GMAT: 720 total (45q/44v), 7 INT Reasoning, 6.0 AWA
Nationality/race/sex: American white boy

I've already applied to Minnesota and WashU-STL and will be applying to my in-state school (where I'm near assured of a full-ride) plus Iowa, which waived my fee. I'm also considering applying to Indiana, Washington-Seattle, UCLA and (if I have any shot in hell) Northwestern. Any comments/feedback on additional schools would be helpful or else reasons I shouldn't apply to Tippie or the four other schools on the list. Thanks!

P.S. I highly recommend the Princeton Review GMAT book - bought one Jan. 3 knowing nothing about the test, had my strong score Jan. 28. Don't let that stupid test hold you back!
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Re: Where should I apply? Journalist making career change. [#permalink] New post 01 Feb 2014, 12:32
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bschoolnoob wrote:
Hey guys, thanks to this board and all the others for the great GMAT help. I just took the test Tuesday and did much better than I expected, which changes the types of programs I'm looking to apply to - trouble is I'm very late to get started on the application process. Just looking for advice on where to apply at this stage - I'm looking for a reputable, career-focused B School that will give me significant funding if not a full-ride for this fall. Midwest or West coast preferred. Interested in marketing and corporate strategy. Have the 295 best book, just looking for personal experiences.

My quick stats
Age: 24 when program starts
Undergrad GPA: 3.17 (Journalism at Big Ten school)
Post-grad work experience: Little over 2 years come August (newspaper no one has heard of).
GMAT: 720 total (45q/44v), 7 INT Reasoning, 6.0 AWA
Nationality/race/sex: American white boy

I've already applied to Minnesota and WashU-STL and will be applying to my in-state school (where I'm near assured of a full-ride) plus Iowa, which waived my fee. I'm also considering applying to Indiana, Washington-Seattle, UCLA and (if I have any shot in hell) Northwestern. Any comments/feedback on additional schools would be helpful or else reasons I shouldn't apply to Tippie or the four other schools on the list. Thanks!

P.S. I highly recommend the Princeton Review GMAT book - bought one Jan. 3 knowing nothing about the test, had my strong score Jan. 28. Don't let that stupid test hold you back!


So -- silly question. Why do you want to go to business school? You are considering a pretty wide range of schools without a consistent theme. You are relatively late in the game for this year's admissions cycle -- if you think you want to gives schools at a level such as Northwestern a try, I'd strongly encourage you to apply next fall and give some real thought to why you are applying.

What's more important to you? Going to a great school (i.e. Top10/20) or going to any b-school for free?

-Brian
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Re: Where should I apply? Journalist making career change. [#permalink] New post 01 Feb 2014, 13:12
Brian,

I'm applying because things are absolutely horrible in the journalism industry right now - I had to beat out 200 other applicants for a $14 an hour job in Corvallis, Oregon (high COL) which I turned down. There are no raises, people are laid off all the time and it's damn near impossible to move up. I made a New Year's resolution to get the hell out, did some research, and liked what I saw from the MBA degree as far as career prospects. I'm applying to schools that, first and foremost, have good local jobs in a relatively low COL environment and don't cost hundreds to apply to (with the exception of UCLA and Foster - I'd just like to live there). I have a cousin whose wife and he (both non-practicing attorneys) racked up almost 170k in combined student debt and will be paying it off until they're in their 50s - I'm completely debt-free and prefer to stay that way in case this goes sideways upon graduation. As far as B School ranking, sure it'd be great to go IVY or NW but I'm a little too conservative to go $150k plus in the hole (5-6 YEARS of journalism employment) and risk being the one guy who can't get a good job afterwards because of my lack of business experience.

Thanks for listening to my rambling.
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Re: Where should I apply? Journalist making career change. [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2014, 11:45
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bschoolnoob wrote:
Brian,

I'm applying because things are absolutely horrible in the journalism industry right now - I had to beat out 200 other applicants for a $14 an hour job in Corvallis, Oregon (high COL) which I turned down. There are no raises, people are laid off all the time and it's damn near impossible to move up. I made a New Year's resolution to get the hell out, did some research, and liked what I saw from the MBA degree as far as career prospects. I'm applying to schools that, first and foremost, have good local jobs in a relatively low COL environment and don't cost hundreds to apply to (with the exception of UCLA and Foster - I'd just like to live there). I have a cousin whose wife and he (both non-practicing attorneys) racked up almost 170k in combined student debt and will be paying it off until they're in their 50s - I'm completely debt-free and prefer to stay that way in case this goes sideways upon graduation. As far as B School ranking, sure it'd be great to go IVY or NW but I'm a little too conservative to go $150k plus in the hole (5-6 YEARS of journalism employment) and risk being the one guy who can't get a good job afterwards because of my lack of business experience.

Thanks for listening to my rambling.


It's not rambling -- it's good to see/hear your thinking. Let me ask you a different question -- if you had $150K in cash lying around, would you still be applying to the same schools? I am pushing you here because you only get to go to business school once -- and you only get one post-business school job. You want to make sure it's the best you can get. Generally, that's pretty highly correlated with the level of school you go to.

Does that make sense? My guess is that the average salary of the job (and future jobs) you'll get out of the top set of schools more than makes up for the debt you'd not incur at lower schools.
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Re: Where should I apply? Journalist making career change. [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2014, 11:56
That absolutely makes sense Brian. I've had several people give me that advice and several others caution me to avoid debt like the plague - it seems to be a point of intense discussion within the B School community. The other issue is that I'm not all that confident in my ability to be accepted at a true top of the line school. I have a good but not great GMAT and interview/write really well so the interview and essay bit should go ok. But my GPA is only 3.17 and I have no relevant work experience. The more I research the more marketing seems to fit what I want to do so obviously NW, Duke, Michigan and Cal would all be tremendous fits but I just don't think I'd get an interview, much less admittance - I'm not in a position where I can spend $800 just to find that out. What are your thoughts? I can still send apps in, but Carlson, Kelley and Foster just seem more realistic and all have great marketing career placement.
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Re: Where should I apply? Journalist making career change. [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2014, 12:16
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bschoolnoob wrote:
That absolutely makes sense Brian. I've had several people give me that advice and several others caution me to avoid debt like the plague - it seems to be a point of intense discussion within the B School community. The other issue is that I'm not all that confident in my ability to be accepted at a true top of the line school. I have a good but not great GMAT and interview/write really well so the interview and essay bit should go ok. But my GPA is only 3.17 and I have no relevant work experience. The more I research the more marketing seems to fit what I want to do so obviously NW, Duke, Michigan and Cal would all be tremendous fits but I just don't think I'd get an interview, much less admittance - I'm not in a position where I can spend $800 just to find that out. What are your thoughts? I can still send apps in, but Carlson, Kelley and Foster just seem more realistic and all have great marketing career placement.


I think it all depends on what level of job opportunity you are hoping to have post b-school. I'm not personally afraid of debt -- to me, debt is just simply making a bet on yourself. If you believe in yourself -- it's worth the bet. Separately, you only apply to business school once -- worth finding $1,000 bucks just to give it a shot. You never know.

-Brian
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Re: Where should I apply? Journalist making career change. [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2014, 14:12
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If I were in your position, I would apply next year. At this point, it is likely, you’ll be in the final round of application, which is ultra competitive, since most of the seats in the class have already been filled. This will also give you time to research and understand how b-school will align with your most-MBA goal better. Marketing is a pretty broad field, and different schools open up different opportunities.

If you want to go into consumer packaged goods (CPG) such as Proctor and Gamble, you are fine applying to schools like Wisconsin or Indiana, and your odds of getting in is very good.

If you want to go into other aspects of marketing, tech marketing, creative agency, etc. You may need to go to schools closer to those industries or have strong reputation, such as Duke, Berkeley, or Northwestern.

While it is undesirable to have debt, you can conserve fund by going to schools with lower cost of living, Duke, Wisconsin, or Indiana. Although, I think repaying debt would not be a big issue with post-MBA salaries from any of those schools.
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Re: Where should I apply? Journalist making career change. [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2014, 22:17
bschoolnoob wrote:
As far as B School ranking, sure it'd be great to go IVY or NW but I'm a little too conservative to go $150k plus in the hole (5-6 YEARS of journalism employment) and risk being the one guy who can't get a good job afterwards because of my lack of business experience.



There are people at top B-schools with a stranger background than yours. 720 GMAT is higher than I got, and your GPA isn't a death sentence either. If you're interested in the Midwest and marketing, I'd take a hard look at Ross.
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Re: Where should I apply? Journalist making career change. [#permalink] New post 15 Mar 2014, 17:33
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Love the avatar COBRAKAI.

-Noob -- What did you decide here? Would love an update to see where your journey is taking you.

Thanks!

-Brian
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Re: Where should I apply? Journalist making career change. [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2014, 09:28
brianlange77 wrote:
Love the avatar COBRAKAI.

-Noob -- What did you decide here? Would love an update to see where your journey is taking you.

Thanks!

-Brian


Hey sorry haven't been getting any emails for those responses. I've decided to attend school this year and, to that end, have received a nice scholarship offer from Olin business school that would allow me to graduate with only $50k or so in debt if I can keep my living expenses low, which shouldn't be too tough in STL. They have fantastic placement rates in marketing (and everything else), though I'm still hoping to hear back from Kelley - it will probably be one of those two schools. I've been a little surprised during this process about how well "B Tier" schools do with their marketing graduates relative to the top ones - I'd heard a lot about H/S/W/B (and NW, Ross and Fuqua in marketing) and how you should only go top 15 on this forum and others, but factoring in lower COL in the midwest and lower debt payments, I feel those early salaries will go farther in STL or KC and, long term, your career is what you make it. If a future employer doesn't think I'm qualified solely because I went to WashU instead of a top 10 school for my MBA 10 years back, that's probably not a company I want to work for anyway.

But please, let me know what you think of Olin, especially, or if you think Kelley might be a better fit.

Thanks,
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Re: Where should I apply? Journalist making career change. [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2014, 13:41
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bschoolnoob wrote:
brianlange77 wrote:
Love the avatar COBRAKAI.

-Noob -- What did you decide here? Would love an update to see where your journey is taking you.

Thanks!

-Brian


Hey sorry haven't been getting any emails for those responses. I've decided to attend school this year and, to that end, have received a nice scholarship offer from Olin business school that would allow me to graduate with only $50k or so in debt if I can keep my living expenses low, which shouldn't be too tough in STL. They have fantastic placement rates in marketing (and everything else), though I'm still hoping to hear back from Kelley - it will probably be one of those two schools. I've been a little surprised during this process about how well "B Tier" schools do with their marketing graduates relative to the top ones - I'd heard a lot about H/S/W/B (and NW, Ross and Fuqua in marketing) and how you should only go top 15 on this forum and others, but factoring in lower COL in the midwest and lower debt payments, I feel those early salaries will go farther in STL or KC and, long term, your career is what you make it. If a future employer doesn't think I'm qualified solely because I went to WashU instead of a top 10 school for my MBA 10 years back, that's probably not a company I want to work for anyway.

But please, let me know what you think of Olin, especially, or if you think Kelley might be a better fit.

Thanks,
Noob


Olin seems fine for you. Honestly I think you're thinking way too short-term and are way too worried about debt (one of the things you'll learn about in business school is the concept of an investment and ROI)...which is understandable since journalism sucks right now and your cousin's story (but keep in mind going to a top business school is NOTHING like going to a third/fourth tier law schools, which most of the debt ridden law students attended...Top-10 business students who graduated at the height of the global recession a few years back are doing great nowadays). Anyways, other people have tried to convince you and failed, and you'll do fine in Olin. It's okay to have a risk tolerance less than other people.

That said, I think you're over estimating how much a career is based off of hard work...after working in a major corporation for 5 years, I can tell you success is mostly based off bullshit factors, prestige of college being one of them (this is even more true in marketing I'd assume, as there's no easy metric of success or failure). Business school is a brand that will be with you for the rest of your life, and every marketing company will have this bias. It might be unfair, but whenever you're competing with a top-10, you're going to have to "prove yourself" in the way the Top 10 kid doesn't....look up the "halo effect." It might be righteous to say "well, I don't want to work for a company that thinks that way!", but that's just how the world works, and you can't really fight it.
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Re: Where should I apply? Journalist making career change. [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2014, 16:06
Olin seems fine for you. Honestly I think you're thinking way too short-term and are way too worried about debt (one of the things you'll learn about in business school is the concept of an investment and ROI)...which is understandable since journalism sucks right now and your cousin's story (but keep in mind going to a top business school is NOTHING like going to a third/fourth tier law schools, which most of the debt ridden law students attended...Top-10 business students who graduated at the height of the global recession a few years back are doing great nowadays). Anyways, other people have tried to convince you and failed, and you'll do fine in Olin. It's okay to have a risk tolerance less than other people.

That said, I think you're over estimating how much a career is based off of hard work...after working in a major corporation for 5 years, I can tell you success is mostly based off bullshit factors, prestige of college being one of them (this is even more true in marketing I'd assume, as there's no easy metric of success or failure). Business school is a brand that will be with you for the rest of your life, and every marketing company will have this bias. It might be unfair, but whenever you're competing with a top-10, you're going to have to "prove yourself" in the way the Top 10 kid doesn't....look up the "halo effect." It might be righteous to say "well, I don't want to work for a company that thinks that way!", but that's just how the world works, and you can't really fight it.[/quote]

Mgh,

First off thanks for the reply - that was as rational as any advice I've been given recently. I wouldn't say I "have a risk tolerance less than other people" it's really more of a trust deficiency. I will admit my work experience these past two years has left its scars - I can't get a newspaper gig that pays $35k right now which makes me dubious that two years of the right B School will allow me to approach six figures. That sum is astronomical in my current industry. That feeling makes it hard to think that these placement numbers are applicable, that one degree (MBA) can really be that much more valuable than the other (BA in Journalism) to a person whose intelligence remains unchanged.

As far as my cousin's advice, good guess on the "3rd or 4th tier" bit - neither attended a US News top 75 school and I'm sure that factored in to their ROI. I get his advice of "pick the cheapest" is flawed, but my personal situation makes it hard to go to the other extreme. If my MBA program doesn't work out, if I'm one of the 8 percent (or whatever) of top 10 grads who can't find employment after three months, it's back to the journalism industry for me whereas if things don't work out for you, it'd be back to your current investment banking gig - let's just say one of our jobs would handle the $100k debt better than the other!

Then with the future concerns, my ignorance of that 'Halo effect' is a byproduct of my lack of corporate culture experience and I would love to hear more - do you (or anyone else) know anyone in marketing who was held back because he/she went Top 25 instead of Top 10 for MBA? I come from an industry where employers could care less where you went to school or what your GPA was - any insight to employer thought process in business would be fantastic. I feel as if Olin gives me a solid compromise between a school with a solid reputation and a way to avoid massive debt while transforming my life, though I feel Kelley could do as good a job or better, hence my reluctance to officially commit.

My direct supervisor has told me I will be laid off come the start of the financial year, so the time for me to move on is now. Any help on that front is appreciated, but right now it looks like Olin though Kelley is lurking and I have an app in with Tepper as well.
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Re: Where should I apply? Journalist making career change. [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2014, 17:12
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bschoolnoob wrote:
Olin seems fine for you. Honestly I think you're thinking way too short-term and are way too worried about debt (one of the things you'll learn about in business school is the concept of an investment and ROI)...which is understandable since journalism sucks right now and your cousin's story (but keep in mind going to a top business school is NOTHING like going to a third/fourth tier law schools, which most of the debt ridden law students attended...Top-10 business students who graduated at the height of the global recession a few years back are doing great nowadays). Anyways, other people have tried to convince you and failed, and you'll do fine in Olin. It's okay to have a risk tolerance less than other people.

That said, I think you're over estimating how much a career is based off of hard work...after working in a major corporation for 5 years, I can tell you success is mostly based off bullshit factors, prestige of college being one of them (this is even more true in marketing I'd assume, as there's no easy metric of success or failure). Business school is a brand that will be with you for the rest of your life, and every marketing company will have this bias. It might be unfair, but whenever you're competing with a top-10, you're going to have to "prove yourself" in the way the Top 10 kid doesn't....look up the "halo effect." It might be righteous to say "well, I don't want to work for a company that thinks that way!", but that's just how the world works, and you can't really fight it.


Mgh,

First off thanks for the reply - that was as rational as any advice I've been given recently. I wouldn't say I "have a risk tolerance less than other people" it's really more of a trust deficiency. I will admit my work experience these past two years has left its scars - I can't get a newspaper gig that pays $35k right now which makes me dubious that two years of the right B School will allow me to approach six figures. That sum is astronomical in my current industry. That feeling makes it hard to think that these placement numbers are applicable, that one degree (MBA) can really be that much more valuable than the other (BA in Journalism) to a person whose intelligence remains unchanged.

As far as my cousin's advice, good guess on the "3rd or 4th tier" bit - neither attended a US News top 75 school and I'm sure that factored in to their ROI. I get his advice of "pick the cheapest" is flawed, but my personal situation makes it hard to go to the other extreme. If my MBA program doesn't work out, if I'm one of the 8 percent (or whatever) of top 10 grads who can't find employment after three months, it's back to the journalism industry for me whereas if things don't work out for you, it'd be back to your current investment banking gig - let's just say one of our jobs would handle the $100k debt better than the other!

Then with the future concerns, my ignorance of that 'Halo effect' is a byproduct of my lack of corporate culture experience and I would love to hear more - do you (or anyone else) know anyone in marketing who was held back because he/she went Top 25 instead of Top 10 for MBA? I come from an industry where employers could care less where you went to school or what your GPA was - any insight to employer thought process in business would be fantastic. I feel as if Olin gives me a solid compromise between a school with a solid reputation and a way to avoid massive debt while transforming my life, though I feel Kelley could do as good a job or better, hence my reluctance to officially commit.

My direct supervisor has told me I will be laid off come the start of the financial year, so the time for me to move on is now. Any help on that front is appreciated, but right now it looks like Olin though Kelley is lurking and I have an app in with Tepper as well.[/quote]

Candidly, I think it also depends a bit on what you are talking about as 'marketing' -- when I graduated from b-school (Duke) about 10 years ago, marketing meant (for the most part) top-flight CPG companies, and some other stuff in the periphery. Boy has that changed -- now, marketing is about Apple, Google, etc. I don't have data to support my claim, but I would be willing to bet that traditional CPG is getting more of its hires from schools 11-25 nowadays because of reduction in interest from top 10, then b/c of 'more competitiveness' from 11-25. So, if you want to 'do' traditional CPG for the next 20 years, I think you are fine at Olin. If you want more options -- worth a reconsideration IMHO.
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Re: Where should I apply? Journalist making career change.   [#permalink] 29 Mar 2014, 17:12
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