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HELP: $120K to Kellogg MMM vs. GSB - goal is fintech/VC

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GSB (no scholarship) or Kellogg (full scholarship)?

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HELP: $120K to Kellogg MMM vs. GSB - goal is fintech/VC  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Feb 2019, 09:33
I feel very fortunate to have been admitted into two great programs. I attended both admitted students weekends and I am honestly torn. I prefer the culture at Kellogg and - given my goals (shorter term fintech or VC) - I feel like Kellogg might actually help me (a) break into VC space with programs like VC Labs and the strong network in Chicago and/or (b) enable me to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond. I am from the East Coast and would like to return post-MBA or live in Chicago as that is where my partner lives. I have 5 years of financial services / strategy / internal consulting background. The full ride at Kellogg + MMM program is compelling. But is Stanford still a better option?

I was struck by the academics at Stanford - the intellect of the students, the curriculum, the caliber of professors and speakers. I am very excited about soft skill development (e.g., Touchy Feely) but know that those types of courses exist at both schools.

I think Kellogg checks the box for all the courses, experiences, career paths I am interested in and it is a full ride. But Stanford is Stanford.

I need to make a decision by Wednesday - does anyone have a perspective?

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Re: HELP: $120K to Kellogg MMM vs. GSB - goal is fintech/VC  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Feb 2019, 12:02
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Congratulations on your admits! Amazing job with your applications, and Wow. Wednesday!


The bigger question is your partner/significant other. How do they feel? Do they think you should go to Stanford or Kellogg? I would base at least 50% of my decision on that, as long as they are being reasonable and not just trying to please you by telling you what they think you will want to hear (my wife does that for me and it always backfires, often comically so I always ask her over and over why she is making the decision that way when I suspect it benefits me more than her). In terms of your partner and you - BSchool changes a person substantially and chances are stacked against you. Business Schools work hard to shape new leaders and make a new person out of you. To do that, they have to break the old person and with that cut a lot of your old ways and life patterns off. You will be worlds apart when you graduate. Few distance relationships survive bschool - it is just the harsh reality. It is because bschools are so good at changing people.

In terms of VC, that is a VERY competitive field. I am afraid Kellogg does not come close to Stanford in terms of opportunities and connections. You can walk down the road from Stanford and find yourself in the VC capital of the world. Lots of Stanford Alums in VC and many of them are very accessible. This person has connected with a few Stanford Sloan alums even before matriculation and found them to be very helpful (https://gmatclub.com/forum/insead-vs-st ... 45636.html) - you can also reach out to them and a few of the alums/current students to get a sense of career opportunities in VC after GSB.

In terms of money and scholarship, many people have given up full rides at Booth, Tuck, Kellogg to attend Harvard or Stanford. As you know neither S or H offer merit scholarships so it is almost always a full trade off and I see people often making it. I don't know if it is right or wrong and frankly, neither do those people or anyone else - nobody has lived 2 lives. The general feel is that if you are given a chance to be at the top, you should not trade it off for $100K. Obviously background and having or not having $100K influences a lot in making that decision but more often than not, i see people erring on the not taking the money side when it comes to HBS/Stanford. I feel a big part of it is the regret many people are afraid of.....


So back to reality.... In conclusion, I will go back to what I said first - if you want to be in Chicago/East Coast/Close to your partner, then Bay Area may not be the most ideal location in terms of how you fit your life and the scholarship makes Kellogg a more "right" choice too. It is kind of hard - it is relationship + $150K vs. a very hot degree with better prospects in VC. If you were looking for a change and get out of your current life, then GSB by all means. I am much less bullish on it in what I know about you.


Congratulations again and good luck with your decision!
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HELP: $120K to Kellogg MMM vs. GSB - goal is fintech/VC  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Feb 2019, 15:22
GSB will give you a huge leg up in VC/tech so I think it's a no brainer for you despite the money from Kellogg
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Re: HELP: $120K to Kellogg MMM vs. GSB - goal is fintech/VC  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Feb 2019, 21:23
Thank you all - this is really helpful feedback. Just out of curiosity, if someone were to be in my situation but want to go into consulting, would that change your answer?

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Re: HELP: $120K to Kellogg MMM vs. GSB - goal is fintech/VC  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Feb 2019, 23:33
Cheaston wrote:
Thank you all - this is really helpful feedback. Just out of curiosity, if someone were to be in my situation but want to go into consulting, would that change your answer?

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Very likely would change towards Kellogg, though again, GSB is like a rare wine - how much it costs is not a simple supply/demand equation.
VC is a very very hard industry to get into and Stanford is probably one of the only paths with a chance to get there, and definitely a chance much better than anywhere else. It makes Stanford an almost binary choice. Consulting is strong in many programs and probably is even stronger in terms of on campus recruiting in Kellogg than Stanford.
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Re: HELP: $120K to Kellogg MMM vs. GSB - goal is fintech/VC   [#permalink] 05 Feb 2019, 23:33
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