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Yale or Wharton??

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Yale or Wharton?? [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2014, 10:08
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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, 10:14
If you're looking for a positive experience and to make close friends, why is Tuck out of the discussion?
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Re: Yale or Wharton?? [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2014, 10:17
sharktopus wrote:
If you're looking for a positive experience and to make close friends, why is Tuck out of the discussion?


I think I already picked Yale over Tuck.

If you are interested in the reasons, I will be happy to elaborate:) For now I don't want to offend/influence other people who are still thinking of these two schools.
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Re: Yale or Wharton?? [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2014, 10:21
Tough decision. You hit some good points: 1) Career wise Wharton beats Yale in marketing/strategy in Tech. 2) you enjoy the people at Yale more.

One thing I would suggest is to talk with Alumni from both schools who have graduated recently. Also speak with current students. I know at Wharton, the Dean of Student Life, Dr. Kembrel Jones, has done an amazing job changing the culture and student experience. Recruiters have noticed that Wharton students are more collaborative and less cocky than they have been in the past.

Even though you say you aren't concerned about rankings or brand, it sounds like you actually do care on some level. That's not a bad thing, and maybe when you were deciding which schools to apply to brand was not a criteria, but now that you are in, I would reevaluate what you want to get out of a program.

Try going to local happy hours to meet new admits to see if you like the student body.

Good luck!
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Re: Yale or Wharton?? [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2014, 10:39
MBAUnderDOG wrote:
Tough decision. You hit some good points: 1) Career wise Wharton beats Yale in marketing/strategy in Tech. 2) you enjoy the people at Yale more.

One thing I would suggest is to talk with Alumni from both schools who have graduated recently. Also speak with current students. I know at Wharton, the Dean of Student Life, Dr. Kembrel Jones, has done an amazing job changing the culture and student experience. Recruiters have noticed that Wharton students are more collaborative and less cocky than they have been in the past.

Even though you say you aren't concerned about rankings or brand, it sounds like you actually do care on some level. That's not a bad thing, and maybe when you were deciding which schools to apply to brand was not a criteria, but now that you are in, I would reevaluate what you want to get out of a program.

Try going to local happy hours to meet new admits to see if you like the student body.

Good luck!



Interesting info, thanks!!

I care about brands, not rankings to be precise, you caught me
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Re: Yale or Wharton?? [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2014, 11:03
I am all about going to a place where your heart is. Yes, Wharton is ranked much higher than Yale, but at the end of day, they both are top notch schools and attract similar type of recruiters, unless you are talking PE/HFs. Also, based on my interactions, I found students at Wharton much more accomplished than ones at Yale, so there could be a possibility of you standing out at Yale during recruiting.

When I was withdrawing from Tuck & Yale, all my friends thought that I was crazy, but at the end of day, I felt that I would be much more proud of being a Dukie than a Yallie or Tuckie.

And Yes, Yale's bumper sticker on your car would look so cool :)
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Re: Yale or Wharton?? [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2014, 11:24
Interesting school choices given your career goals and desire for a great experience. Would have though Haas and Sloan would have been obvious schools to apply to. Either way, congrats on your admits!

The most obvious part of the answer is this: both schools can get you into Tech on the west coast. Because of that, if you have a strong feeling towards one or the other for less tangible reasons, then you should not hesitate to go there.

Beyond that, I would personally go to Wharton. My belief is that Wharton's reputation in the business world is simply stronger. There are likely multiple execs at every interesting tech company from Wharton, as a result of it’s strong placement, longer history, and just generally larger class.

Moreover, not only do a much larger number of Wharton students start their own business (59 to 10), but also a significantly greater percentage (7.5% to 4%) of the class does. That means that you will be surrounded by more people with similar ideas and interests, and more opportunities to get involved on the ground floor with a start-up, if that’s what you desire. Plus, it simply means more likelihood that people in your network will have a cool business in a few years (or that alumni from a few years ago will have a cool business for you to join now). Finally, the bonus of the semester in San Fran is huge.

If you’re not sure about the students or experience though, then I’m not sure if it’s worth it. Then again, I know a number of Wharton students/grads, and none of them have described it as depressing.
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Re: Yale or Wharton?? [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2014, 19:51
bgp2587 wrote:
Interesting school choices given your career goals and desire for a great experience. Would have though Haas and Sloan would have been obvious schools to apply to. Either way, congrats on your admits!

The most obvious part of the answer is this: both schools can get you into Tech on the west coast. Because of that, if you have a strong feeling towards one or the other for less tangible reasons, then you should not hesitate to go there.

Beyond that, I would personally go to Wharton. My belief is that Wharton's reputation in the business world is simply stronger. There are likely multiple execs at every interesting tech company from Wharton, as a result of it’s strong placement, longer history, and just generally larger class.

Moreover, not only do a much larger number of Wharton students start their own business (59 to 10), but also a significantly greater percentage (7.5% to 4%) of the class does. That means that you will be surrounded by more people with similar ideas and interests, and more opportunities to get involved on the ground floor with a start-up, if that’s what you desire. Plus, it simply means more likelihood that people in your network will have a cool business in a few years (or that alumni from a few years ago will have a cool business for you to join now). Finally, the bonus of the semester in San Fran is huge.

If you’re not sure about the students or experience though, then I’m not sure if it’s worth it. Then again, I know a number of Wharton students/grads, and none of them have described it as depressing.

Last edited by coffeetalk on 28 Mar 2014, 16:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yale or Wharton?? [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2014, 20:16
marbarstar wrote:
bgp2587 wrote:
Interesting school choices given your career goals and desire for a great experience. Would have though Haas and Sloan would have been obvious schools to apply to. Either way, congrats on your admits!

The most obvious part of the answer is this: both schools can get you into Tech on the west coast. Because of that, if you have a strong feeling towards one or the other for less tangible reasons, then you should not hesitate to go there.

Beyond that, I would personally go to Wharton. My belief is that Wharton's reputation in the business world is simply stronger. There are likely multiple execs at every interesting tech company from Wharton, as a result of it’s strong placement, longer history, and just generally larger class.

Moreover, not only do a much larger number of Wharton students start their own business (59 to 10), but also a significantly greater percentage (7.5% to 4%) of the class does. That means that you will be surrounded by more people with similar ideas and interests, and more opportunities to get involved on the ground floor with a start-up, if that’s what you desire. Plus, it simply means more likelihood that people in your network will have a cool business in a few years (or that alumni from a few years ago will have a cool business for you to join now). Finally, the bonus of the semester in San Fran is huge.

If you’re not sure about the students or experience though, then I’m not sure if it’s worth it. Then again, I know a number of Wharton students/grads, and none of them have described it as depressing.


Oh, boys and gents, or whatever gender you are -- I have a sibling that went to Yale SOM. Yup. And guess what? The majority in the class got crap-ass jobs. Oh yes. Some went to the job they had prior to starting at the school. Majority took a position that they were overqualified for in NYC just to be in NYC. Sure, now, 5 years later, they are finally where they should have been 5 years ago. Would you like to know my point? All IVY, no walkie. Keep working on making that school top 10, dean, because you got a lot of work to do. Keep attracting people just because you're any IVY cause that's all you got. And when you graduate from there, that's all you get. A brand on your resume. Enjoy! You get to brag to all your friends that you went to Yale. Woohoo! What are you doing now? Oh...unemployed? Interning at a cosmetics place? Oh, you're waiting for the right opportunity cause you're a leader in "business and society"? I've worked with one, and trust me, ain't no leader in business and society there...So keep your fantasies up. Some will be the CEOs at the next popular iPhone app, and others will be still figuring out what that MBA was supposed to help them out with...while they figure out how to get out of debt.


Why did you apply to Yale if it's so bad?
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Re: Yale or Wharton?? [#permalink] New post 28 Jun 2014, 09:08
This may be too late at this point. But I hope you made the right decision and decided to attend Wharton.

I'm surprised you even wrote that it could be "depressing" here -- that's just preposterous. There are 800+ students here, so you'll most certainly find the right group of people to hang out with and will walk out of here with great friends. You can join the hockey team, rugby team, soccer team, basketball, be a leadership venture fellow, a student life fellow, enjoy small group dinners and BYOs with the food club, do wine tastings at the wine club, scotch club, go get you butt kicked at the Marines bootcamp in Quantico or with the FDNY (fire fighters), climb Kilimanjaro or Cotopaxi, trek in Antarctica or the Alaskan glaciers, spend a semester in SF, start a company, sing and dance in the Follies and the Dance Show, box in Fight Night against Penn Law, spend a week on the beach in South Beach Miami right before graduation with 500+ fellow classmates, or ski in Park City or Breckenridge with 1,000 classmates, participate in over like 30 great theme parties (like White Party, Walnut Walk, etc), or just travel the world with your small group of best friends. I mean there are tons of stuff to do here. You will not be bored. I loved it. Best experience thus far. I don't know anyone who went here who hated it or found it slightly "depressing". (And I'm not even talking about getting great jobs and the 80,000+ alums). Plus Philly today has an amazing food scene with BYOs and probably a top 3 (or the top) microbrewery scene, so it's a great place to live. I wouldn't even think twice about it.
Re: Yale or Wharton??   [#permalink] 28 Jun 2014, 09:08
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