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Yale or Wharton??

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Yale or Wharton?? [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2014, 10:05
Hi guys,

I was fortunate enough to be accepted to both programs, and now I have this tough decision to make.

I understand to many people the answer can be obvious, but here's my thought. I personally don't care too much about rankings and employment data, the most important thing I look for from an MBA experience is a new platform for me to meet intellectual people and friends, and to open doors of career opportunities (or startup ideas). I want my 2 years to be happy, memorable, and life-changing (this is very important to me).

I come from a marketing and strategy background and am hoping to work in marketing/strategies in the tech industry (yes preferably in the west coast, so I quite like the Semester in San Francisco program with Wharton). I haven't really visited either of the schools and for some reason I can't. It's really the feelings I have from connecting with different people from these schools along the application process.

* Yale
1. Everyone I met was wonderful (admission committee, alumni, other admitted students)!! I can feel that they all truly love Yale and are so passionate about the Yale community (people are smart and nice, not arrogant at all). I trust that's the life-changing and meaningful place I look for.
2. I know that Yale has put a lot of investment to develop SOM, with the innovative curriculum, the efforts to hire Dean Snyder and other well-known professors from other top schools. It has a clear vision and development strategy and I believe this is a very promising program.
3. Yale is Yale, there's few place you can compare it with. Many years in the future, I would feel so proud to tell my kids that their mom is a Yale alumnus (too bad I wasn't able to attend Yale undergrad, now I think I just want to make up for it, but my head is telling me MBA is really not like undergrad). I have admired the Yale brand my entire life.

My major concern: Even though I personally don't care too much about ranking/employment stats, recruiters/industry leaders might. People have this impression that Yale is a nonprofit school and is not as strong as Wharton, opportunities may be limited (we all will have to invest a lot in the MBA education, everyone surely wants to maximize the return).

* Wharton
1. There's no doubt that Wharton is the among the best business schools in the world, it has great influence in diverse job functions and different industries, a Wharton degree can get you to a lot of places (have to admit a Wharton MBA can get you more opportunities than a Yale MBA can, at least in the near future)
2. I know the student body is much larger at Wharton than Yale, there're different kinds of people (like in the real world you have to deal with different kinds of people), they all are smart and have competitive profile. Some of them are really nice, some tough and practical, some very aggressive... I'm sure there're different kinds of people at Wharton and Yale. But for some reason I just sense I will be happier at Yale. Maybe I haven't researched enough about Wharton yet, so correct me if I am biased)
3. Recruiting is awesome (as far as I know), it has the Semester in SF program that I am interested in.

My major concern: I worry I will have a depressing life at Wharton because I have heard many people (even other applicants or alum) say that the Wharton experience is "depressing". I don't fear challenges or competitions but I want to be part of a positive community.

As if my decision isn't hard enough, I even got the same amount of scholarship from both programs, not a lot of money but I feel honored to be recognized. But still Wharton has a higher estimated expense in total.

I appreciate your comments and advice. Thanks!!
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Re: Yale or Wharton?? [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2014, 20:37
I think people here tend to be more obsessed with rankings than the population in general. The fact is, what you'll learn and the quality of people you'll meet will be comparable across top schools, and you'll all be working together in the same jobs down the road. Going to a higher-ranked school just makes it easier to get the most desirable ones. FWIW, I think Yale SOM has very similar 75th percentile GMAT/GPA numbers to HSW, but students who attend there are more likely to come from "less prestigious" backgrounds and also pursue more "untraditional" career paths upon graduation. Yale was actually the only school outside the "M7" to which I applied, and I have been really impressed with everything I've learned.

I think that Wharton will undoubtedly open more doors if you want to do tech marketing/strategy, both because of the network and the name, but that's not to say you couldn't do that out of Yale as well. I would try to do a bit of research or reach out to SOM and ask about their placement or if they have any alumni contacts in that area, as well as what specific resources would be available during your time there. It seems like Yale would be a better "fit" for you, but you'll have to realize that you are giving up something more tangible in the form of career options and "prestige" (if that matters to you).
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Re: Yale or Wharton?? [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2014, 01:05
Expert's post
Congrats on the great decision you have on your hands!! It's a great place to be.

Both schools are great in their own right. I don't know as much about the Wharton program, but marketing/strategy at Yale certainly has its place. A lot of people are interested in tech and all the big guys come here for recruiting too. I know people going to Google, MSFT, Amazon, LinkedIn, a bunch of tech start-ups, etc. Yale has a San Francisco job trek in January that over half of the first-year class attends to get to know companies and see if there's a good match there. From a purely recruitment perspective, I would not worry about your internship chances coming from Yale; all the options are there.

At the end of the day for me, bschool is/was about finding a place where I fit with the people of the school and the mission of the school resonated with me. Like you, I didn't focus my search on rankings or recruitment. My view was that if I went somewhere where I would be a part of the community and where my peers would push me to better myself in all aspects, then I would find the "right" job and the "right" path. For me, that community was Yale and I wouldn't change that decision if I had to do it again.

Happy to chat offline more about Yale if you'd like. Just PM me and we can figure something out. If you want to know more about tech recruiting, reach out to the Tech Club (http://som.yale.edu/our-programs/full-t ... mbassadors) or I'm happy to connect you directly as well.



Besides, I think you just answered your own question ;)
littlebeanbag wrote:
for some reason I just sense I will be happier at Yale

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Re: Yale or Wharton?? [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2014, 04:08
As someone (hopefully) making a similar decision between a higher ranked school Tuck and Yale SOM, I definitely understand the thought process. I am still waiting to see if I get into Yale, but I am leaning towards accepting should I get in. Aerien put it best, at a certain point among the top 15 schools, outwith of a few jobs in PE/HF the outcomes will be fairly similar if you are a competitive candidate, so it is about finding where you fit best / feel the most at home rather than a simple rankings matter.

With that said, Wharton is significantly more highly ranked, but remember if you don't like the people you are with / aren't passionate about the school then you likely won't get as much out of the network down the line.
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Re: Yale or Wharton?? [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2014, 09:33
Whether Google meets you at Yale or at Wharton you're going to be the same person. The fact that you got into Wharton and Yale with the goal of doing tech marketing/strategy shows that you're probably going to be successful at it either way. If, as Aerien says, all the major tech firms recruit at Yale for the jobs you want then that pretty much puts it on the same level as Wharton for you.

It seems like you want people to convince you to go to Yale in the same way that I wanted people to convince me to go to Kellogg. Go with your heart.
Re: Yale or Wharton??   [#permalink] 27 Mar 2014, 09:33
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