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Would like some thoughts: Wharton vs. MIT Sloan (E&I)

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Would like some thoughts: Wharton vs. MIT Sloan (E&I) [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2007, 15:14
As IтАЩm feverishly collecting data points, IтАЩd like to get GMAT ClubтАЩs views on this. GMAT Club has been so helpful all the way from sitting in the library grinding throught CR drills through to the application process, so I'd really appreciate any input at this point in the MBA journey.

After the Rnd2 dust has settled, I am now choosing between of Wharton & MIT Sloan. To be more specific, I am choosing between Wharton & MIT Sloan's E&I program.

I have a passion to create. Background is 6+ yrs high-tech product development. U-grad internship & full time work both in "incubation/R&D" groups which brought products from glimmer-in-eye concept to fruition. I have spent a year doing my own, more low-tech buiness doing the same concept -> R&D iteration -> reality things. The path I see right now for me is MBA -> Strat/Consulting to get more breadth -> Start Up -> VC. Certainly that order could change, skip-steps, flip, etc. The end goal of VC has to do with knowing that I just love to create, and it really doesn't matter what to me - it is the innovation and process of going from zero to something that makes me tick.

The closer it gets to Wharton's absolute Rnd2 deadline of this Thursday and the more data points I have gathered, the harder the decision has become. Admit weekend at MIT really really threw a wrench in things. Prior to that weekend, I thought it was Wharton for sure. During the flurry of MIT admit weekend, I was pretty sure I had gone 180. Taking a step back to look at things more holistically, it's now basically a coin flip.

The factors I am considering is that historically, Wharton has produced more VC/PE folks while Sloan's brand-new E&I program is simply tailor-made to get its students actively going through the process of forming a startup and subsequently networking with VCs. The other consideration is that coming from a high-tech background, I am concerned about being pigeon-holed into being able to do only high-tech stuff. There is much to be said about specialization, however, so maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing.
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2007, 16:16
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To me its a question of risk aversion. I'm pretty risk averse in some ways (in some ways im not) but when it comes to my career, I like to hedge my bets. Maybe thats a bad thing -- sometimes I wonder what might have happened to some of my entrepreneurial work if I just went gusto on it rather than "in my spare time" - but in any case...

Personally, and this is just me.... if I were in your shoes I would be picking Wharton.

A few reasons for this:

1. If I suddenly discover that I dont want to do what I thought I wanted to do, Wharton will likely facilitate a change better than a specialized and tailored program from MIT.

2. I'm in IT, I'm already considered a geek. I want to break that image and burn it. I'd feel more comfortable that Wharton would allow me to do that. MIT, besides obviously having a technology bend, even has required courses in E&I including "Introduction to Technological Entrepreneurship". That reinforces, not breaks down, the stigma.

3. Brand recognition and alumni strength within IB/PE/VC/etc. Wharton, I would imagine, wins hands down. If I really want to do entrepreneurial crap and get VC, Wharton will have a million and half connections in the industry. MIT will too but I imagine Wharton's name would carry more weight within the industry.

4. MITs program is basically brand new. I dont want to spend my hard earned money so they can "test out" a new idea and iron out the kinks. This is a big big risk issue for me. The Class of 08 is the first class with the option to do it. How will they do? Will anyone in the class get seed $? Will anyone successfully launch anything? By the time I find out, it would be too late. This alone puts Wharton way ahead of the game for me. A proven ultra elite MBA vs an unproven customized program. No question.

5. Even assuming the MIT program has its issues ironed out... How is the MIT program really SUBSTANTIVELY different from just taking additional entrepreneurship courses and participating in business plan competitions?
Why wouldnt I get a very very similar experience at Wharton?
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2007, 17:09
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rhyme wrote:
(comments that make sense)


I generally agree with rhyme. However, let me spin it somehow:

- If you want a very small chance of becoming a billionaire, go with MIT (billionaires are usually focused rather than broad and risk takers).
- If you want to make an above decent living, go with either.
- If you want to maximize your chances of getting a high paying job no matter what* to every last percentage, go with Wharton.
- If you want to be happy, go with the place that made you feel better, and go with the place you will be less likely to ask yourself in a few years time: "what if?"

* i.e. no matter whether you change your desired career, no matter what the economy looks like when you graduate, etc.

Good luck, it's a tough one. Probably much closer to a coin flip than you'd think from reading us.

Hope it helps. L.
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2007, 19:18
lepium wrote:
rhyme wrote:
(comments that make sense)


I generally agree with rhyme. However, let me spin it somehow:

- If you want a very small chance of becoming a billionaire, go with MIT (billionaires are usually focused rather than broad and risk takers).


Well, I'm not sure I agree.. he can still be a risk taker without going to MIT. MIT just introduces more risk, but that doesn't necessarily correlate to better odds. He's just as likely to become a billionaire out of Wharton as he is MIT. In fact, I'd argue that his odds of becoming a billionaire are probably so small that an any MBA - MIT or Wharton - wouldn't dramatically alter his odds.
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2007, 21:43
rhyme wrote:
Well, I'm not sure I agree.. he can still be a risk taker without going to MIT. MIT just introduces more risk, but that doesn't necessarily correlate to better odds. He's just as likely to become a billionaire out of Wharton as he is MIT. In fact, I'd argue that his odds of becoming a billionaire are probably so small that an any MBA - MIT or Wharton - wouldn't dramatically alter his odds.


What I was trying to convey is that the E&I seems to make more sense to a focused approach, while the Wharton option would make more sense in the risk averse (not so focused) approach.

Then I especulated that billionaires are focused (rather than broad) and got carried away...

And to bring back some sense to my post, I posted that it's very close to a coin toss.

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 [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2007, 09:28
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I am choosing MIT Sloan.

I considered all the advice, including that from rhyme and lepium. In the end it is the focus of the E&I that really attracts me to MIT Sloan.

Thinking to the future my thoughts were: "After all is said and done, will I regret not having what the OTHER program had to offer."

With Wharton, I would have that lingering thought "What if I was in the E&I right now?". Sloan is strong enough in all other aspects that I don't think I will miss too much the other way.

Addressing rhymes' question 5 - to be honest, in terms of getting an education focused on new ventures there is simply nothing like E&I. It is so much more than just e-ship classes and the b-plan competition, it is hard to know where to start. Several collegues who had Wharton as an option felt similarly that Wharton's entreprenuership track is great, but really seems to be shadowed by the finance heavy aspect of the school. Sloan feels more entrepreneurial.

From the VC-track perspective, this is a gamble. From limited datapoints out there, it seems the E&I is already fostering huge VC/Student interaction. Years and decade down the road, if E&I flourishes, then there will be disproportionate # of startups coming from Sloan (more so than even now), making the Sloan network stronger in that space. Speculative gamble, but one must make big bets to win big. In poker parlance, "we are deep and I'm calling a gutshot for implied odds".

This was such a hard decision, as the Wharton brand and network is so strong. In the end, as with any M7 caliber school, I don't think I'm giving up much with Sloan, and particularly in tech specializations, I think I will be better off. In terms of network, I'll have not only MIT Sloan, but MIT. In addition, I really felt more at home with the MIT Sloan crowd.

Thanks GMAT Club for all the help through this journey. I'll definitely be back here to lend perspective once in school.
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2007, 10:30
Congratulations ! I can understand the rationale behind your choice. If you are interested in running your own shop in the near future, MIT is the way to go. For wall street, Wharton is a no brainer.
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Re: [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2011, 07:52
k-rag wrote:
I am choosing MIT Sloan.

I considered all the advice, including that from rhyme and lepium. In the end it is the focus of the E&I that really attracts me to MIT Sloan.

Thinking to the future my thoughts were: "After all is said and done, will I regret not having what the OTHER program had to offer."

With Wharton, I would have that lingering thought "What if I was in the E&I right now?". Sloan is strong enough in all other aspects that I don't think I will miss too much the other way.

Addressing rhymes' question 5 - to be honest, in terms of getting an education focused on new ventures there is simply nothing like E&I. It is so much more than just e-ship classes and the b-plan competition, it is hard to know where to start. Several collegues who had Wharton as an option felt similarly that Wharton's entreprenuership track is great, but really seems to be shadowed by the finance heavy aspect of the school. Sloan feels more entrepreneurial.

From the VC-track perspective, this is a gamble. From limited datapoints out there, it seems the E&I is already fostering huge VC/Student interaction. Years and decade down the road, if E&I flourishes, then there will be disproportionate # of startups coming from Sloan (more so than even now), making the Sloan network stronger in that space. Speculative gamble, but one must make big bets to win big. In poker parlance, "we are deep and I'm calling a gutshot for implied odds".

This was such a hard decision, as the Wharton brand and network is so strong. In the end, as with any M7 caliber school, I don't think I'm giving up much with Sloan, and particularly in tech specializations, I think I will be better off. In terms of network, I'll have not only MIT Sloan, but MIT. In addition, I really felt more at home with the MIT Sloan crowd.

Thanks GMAT Club for all the help through this journey. I'll definitely be back here to lend perspective once in school.


k-rag:

I just ran across this post (4 years later!) and am in roughly the same boat. Can you provide some input on how your choice panned out, if you would do it differently, etc etc. Now it is the GC members looking for advice from you :-).
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Re: Would like some thoughts: Wharton vs. MIT Sloan (E&I) [#permalink] New post 07 May 2012, 21:41
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I just saw the reply to this post while cleaning out an old e-mail address. I realize this is a year late, but to have it in for reference on how it turned out, here it goes:

MBA life was an absolutely amazing whirlwind.
In the end, any of the M7-level schools is a good choice, and it's really true that you just need to select the school that's right for you, specifically.
I was one of the lead organizers for the MIT 100K Entrepreneurship contest when I was at Sloan. Loved it. I encourage all who are interested in tech entrepreneurship to consider the opportunity to participate in and/or organize the 100K as essentially part of the Sloan package.
I met a lot of MIT engineering folks and did a venture when I was in school with two of them. It was a great experience making, marketing and selling product.
I am now running a startup in Asia with a classmate and we have been growing the company (20 employees at this writing) with some decent product wins so far.
There are about dozen of my E&I classmates in my year who also founded startups. Lots more in the adjacent years. Even more who are working in startups. We all keep in pretty good touch and try to help each other.
The MIT brand is extremely strong in Asia. Since the class size is smaller than other schools, the network is a bit scattered, but strong.
I'm pretty happy with my choice. The only thing I would have done differently is go to more events and competitions at other schools to meet and build relationships with people there.
In the end, most alumni-oriented social functions tend to mix various schools, so you'll have plenty of opportunity to meet people from other schools afterwards in your specific locale.

Best to all the GMAT Club members who are embarking on this journey.
Re: Would like some thoughts: Wharton vs. MIT Sloan (E&I)   [#permalink] 07 May 2012, 21:41
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