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Booth vs Anderson ($$$) for tech?

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Booth vs Anderson ($$$) for tech?  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Apr 2019, 07:03
As the title suggests, I'm trying to decide between Booth or Anderson. Considering my fellowship at Anderson and additional cost of Booth, I'd likely have to take on an extra $100 K in debt at Booth. I should note that I'm currently on the waitlist at Booth (meaning I'd have to miss out on pre-MBA programming like Random Walk and Startup Summer), and I've already accepted my offer from Anderson. I'm trying to make a decision before the R3 deadline (5/16), but it's been challenging so far.

Some background - I work in risk mgmt consulting and am looking to double-pivot into a biz dev, biz ops, or product marketing manager role in the tech industry post-MBA. I currently live in Chicago, but grew up in the Bay Area, and could definitely see myself back in CA long-term. The way I see it:

UCLA Pros: Save $100 K, still recruits well in big tech, live in LA, perhaps enjoy better connections with smaller tech companies based in LA

UCLA Cons: More rigid curriculum, less prestige

Booth Pros: More flexible curriculum, additional prestige could be useful to someone looking to double-pivot, don't have to move cities

Booth Cons: $100 K in added debt, potentially fewer networking opportunities at smaller west coast tech companies (although the prestige could solve for this, not sure)

I'd appreciate hearing anyone's perspective, especially if you've attended either of these schools, or have tried to double-pivot into tech. Thanks so much in advance!!
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New post 23 Apr 2019, 09:49
Congratulations on your admits!

There is a point when you have to accept the offers and commit not only financially but also emotionally. I have known people who have done that and later received offers from higher-ranked schools (clearing WL) but they just let them go since they already moved on in their mind to the next stage.

From recruiting perspective into large companies, Booth would have a dominance compared to Anderson. As you probably know/feel, if one has gone to University of Chicago, there is a large local network and you can get almost anything done and accomplished through it in Chicago. If you were going for a traditional role in MS, APPL, or AMZN then I think Booth would be a very strong play and much stronger than Anderson. Booth is also strong in the startup world and has a number of things that encourage entrepreneurship - Polski center (maybe renamed recently?), new venture challenge, etc. You could easily work/join pro bono with a startup by a second year or a recent alum if you have time to put in and get some work experience under your belt to demonstrate to potential recruiters and put on your resume and also get your feet wet. Booth program is bigger, more competitive to get into, and attracts a global pool of talent. Anderson is more regional is a different caliber of program, professors, and classmates.

It really depends on how you want to play it. Booth will delivery a lot more on-campus recruiting opportunities. (Does not mean more opportunities equals more offers, just more opportunities). The brand is stronger and so able to command more attention from employers and gets you in with higher grade students - people who you will spend 75% of your time. You will need to beat out your peers and other top 5 students for the best roles and opportunities. Double-pivot is usually harder since few folks want to hire even for an internship a person without prior experience. An internship is just 8 weeks, so there is no time for training or anything like that and while the goal is to see you in action, most employers still try to get interns that will be a good fit with their past experience. What I would recommend to you is that regardless of where you head, make sure you figure out a way to differentiate yourself and work on your public speaking skills as well as presentation skills - take 3 months of classes, toast masters, whatever you can to get better and delivery, interviewing, and PPT. No matter how good you are, you can still improve and this will help a lot during the large recruiting events when 10 students surround a recruiter and try to be memorable (Souvik said these are called death circles, which I think is quite accurate).

At the same time, $100K less debt reduces your monthly payment by about $1,200 for the next 10 years. That's something to contend with and taking into consideration that you will be likely taking not the best role in your target industry/etc, you are likely not to be getting top dollar either, not right away at least.

A thing about LA:
LA has a ton of smaller companies, though I am not sure many of them can sustain an MBA-level PM or someone who is not technical enough to fit in multiple roles. It is potentially good for breaking into the tech space and starting your own venture but besides some gaming and entertainment companies, I don't feel MBA PM role tech is that strong in SoCal. I know they have those faceless buildings in Irvine.

P.S. I think Booth is still a bit better value. I could see taking Anderson at Full scholarship but Booth which has been in the Top 3 rank for the last number of years, I feel commands a premium (of course this is all just in my head). Though you are still on the WL so maybe they will make your choice easier - it would not be a bad thing per se to get dinged. Definitely would help with the agony.
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Re: Booth vs Anderson ($$$) for tech?  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Apr 2019, 13:54
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Congrats on the admit & scholarship!

Just wanted to quickly note an observation, BB, for whatever reason, has a strange bias towards Anderson. I have looked through tons of school comparisons and he is (almost) always against choosing Anderson vs whatever other school for whatever reason.

Also, based upon my own research, Anderson places 30% of their class within the tech industry, which is much higher than Booth. So for those few available tech positions that Booth is placing people into, the competition is going to be sky high with a much higher caliber of students. You will have to work doubly hard there to stand out than you would at Anderson, where they claerly think you are an outstanding candidate since they gave you such a large scholarship.

Just do a quick LinkedIn search for the roles that you would potentially want to go in and see who at Anderson is in them (Product Manager Google UCLA Anderson). I have done the same analysis and found very satisfying outcomes.
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New post 23 Apr 2019, 14:08
I do :-)

I used to live in LA and known a number of Anderson Alums including very qualified ones that have had a hard time locating quality offers.

Let’s all hope I am wrong :-)

PS. Placement is a funny thing. Is it where applicants want to go to? Or is that options that are available to them? I know Booth and Kellogg place well into the McKenzie’s Chicago strategy office. Those are more coveted roles than a Sr. Manager of procurement at Amazon for example.

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New post 23 Apr 2019, 14:16
Just to add, LinkedIn research is tough. We have tried doing it and using it as an analytics tool but failed due to the complexity involved. Hopefully you can do better.

1. Some folks were hard to figure out if they have done FT or PT or EMBA program. We had to dig into each profile

2. Others were sponsored

3. Some were sponsored from other countries

4. Some folks were returning to the companies they used to work at

PS. Call me biased for recommending Booth.... though there is not yet an admit on that front.

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Re: Booth vs Anderson ($$$) for tech?  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Apr 2019, 03:22
If you're waitlisted at Booth and accepted with decent scholarship at Anderson, do you have anything in between (like Haas or something at top 8~14 level)? I guess even if you do, you decided Anderson ($$$) over them but contemplating about Booth because it's a different level? If you get off the waitlist, I think it's a good idea to matriculate for other opportunities if you're not 100% sure about tech or are thinking about back up plans as long as you're not super debt averse.
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Re: Booth vs Anderson ($$$) for tech?  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Apr 2019, 08:43
All,

I really appreciate the thought and effort you put into these responses. Certainly have a lot to think about if an offer comes in. I'm trying my best to gather as much info as I need to make my decision (talking to current students, researching on Booth's website, etc.) However, Booth could make my decision very easy in the end. I'll be very happy with Anderson if I end up there in the fall.
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Re: Booth vs Anderson ($$$) for tech?  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Apr 2019, 10:27
bb wrote:
I do :-)

I used to live in LA and known a number of Anderson Alums including very qualified ones that have had a hard time locating quality offers.

Let’s all hope I am wrong :-)

PS. Placement is a funny thing. Is it where applicants want to go to? Or is that options that are available to them? I know Booth and Kellogg place well into the McKenzie’s Chicago strategy office. Those are more coveted roles than a Sr. Manager of procurement at Amazon for example.

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I am going to Anderson this summer and this comment makes me very nervous.
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New post Updated on: 24 Apr 2019, 16:48
sorrowhill9 wrote:
bb wrote:
I do :-)

I used to live in LA and known a number of Anderson Alums including very qualified ones that have had a hard time locating quality offers.

Let’s all hope I am wrong :-)

PS. Placement is a funny thing. Is it where applicants want to go to? Or is that options that are available to them? I know Booth and Kellogg place well into the McKenzie’s Chicago strategy office. Those are more coveted roles than a Sr. Manager of procurement at Amazon for example.

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I am going to Anderson this summer and this comment makes me very nervous.


As long as you don't expect to be given anything on a platter or let down your guard, you should be OK. You will have to work for an internship and you will have to work for a job. But set your expectations right, there is no MBB on campus 4 days a week, and there is less on campus recruiting in general than at the Top 10 because east coast companies have no point in traveling to LA and the program size does not compare to Booth for example. The fact that LA does not have headquarters and the main industry is entertainment, leaves most jobs to be either less interesting roles in satellite offices OR heading to Bay Area or Seattle for recruiting.... and everyone else and their grandma recruits there as well.

You should be hungry and nervous at any MBA program since nobody guarantees any results and you are competing. Admissions was just a rehearsal, or a weeding process to see who could survive the process of recruiting. Sorry for being doom and gloom - again, the best thing that can happen is that I am completely wrong and you will just chuckle as you score a Goldman Sachs or Apple PM role. However, what I am hearing is that many employers want prior expertise and prior track record since for the best roles they do have a large selection of applicants.... this kind of sucks if you are changing industries, which makes internship hunt even so much more important and networking and recruiting more critical.

Edit: To hopefully restore order and sanity, let me illustrate 2 examples I know of who have had a hard time locating internships/offers:
1. International applicant who graduated 2017 from Anderson; very qualified and with strong WE and track record in finance (not Asian); took 6 months after graduation to get an offer and had trouble finding a strong finance internship. Not career changer.
2. Domestic applicant with a bit unusual background in security/gov work, class of 2016 (?). Career changer. After graduating, he went back to his old employer, pretty much to the old job with a bump in pay but hardly enough to justify the MBA expense. Switched jobs since but in a small company still, though likely happy. I don't know all the details obviously but both applicants seemed above average in their accomplishments and motivated. I was just surprised to hear that from both of them. I would totally expect that result from a Top 75 MBA for example, like Loyola in LA but not from Anderson. Hopefully this is not a story I will be publishing about you but if you are switching industries, you'd better have something to bring to the table.
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Originally posted by bb on 24 Apr 2019, 16:35.
Last edited by bb on 24 Apr 2019, 16:48, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Booth vs Anderson ($$$) for tech?  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Apr 2019, 13:03
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bb wrote:
sorrowhill9 wrote:
bb wrote:
I do :-)

I used to live in LA and known a number of Anderson Alums including very qualified ones that have had a hard time locating quality offers.

Let’s all hope I am wrong :-)

PS. Placement is a funny thing. Is it where applicants want to go to? Or is that options that are available to them? I know Booth and Kellogg place well into the McKenzie’s Chicago strategy office. Those are more coveted roles than a Sr. Manager of procurement at Amazon for example.

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I am going to Anderson this summer and this comment makes me very nervous.


As long as you don't expect to be given anything on a platter or let down your guard, you should be OK. You will have to work for an internship and you will have to work for a job. But set your expectations right, there is no MBB on campus 4 days a week, and there is less on campus recruiting in general than at the Top 10 because east coast companies have no point in traveling to LA and the program size does not compare to Booth for example. The fact that LA does not have headquarters and the main industry is entertainment, leaves most jobs to be either less interesting roles in satellite offices OR heading to Bay Area or Seattle for recruiting.... and everyone else and their grandma recruits there as well.

You should be hungry and nervous at any MBA program since nobody guarantees any results and you are competing. Admissions was just a rehearsal, or a weeding process to see who could survive the process of recruiting. Sorry for being doom and gloom - again, the best thing that can happen is that I am completely wrong and you will just chuckle as you score a Goldman Sachs or Apple PM role. However, what I am hearing is that many employers want prior expertise and prior track record since for the best roles they do have a large selection of applicants.... this kind of sucks if you are changing industries, which makes internship hunt even so much more important and networking and recruiting more critical.

Edit: To hopefully restore order and sanity, let me illustrate 2 examples I know of who have had a hard time locating internships/offers:
1. International applicant who graduated 2017 from Anderson; very qualified and with strong WE and track record in finance (not Asian); took 6 months after graduation to get an offer and had trouble finding a strong finance internship. Not career changer.
2. Domestic applicant with a bit unusual background in security/gov work, class of 2016 (?). Career changer. After graduating, he went back to his old employer, pretty much to the old job with a bump in pay but hardly enough to justify the MBA expense. Switched jobs since but in a small company still, though likely happy. I don't know all the details obviously but both applicants seemed above average in their accomplishments and motivated. I was just surprised to hear that from both of them. I would totally expect that result from a Top 75 MBA for example, like Loyola in LA but not from Anderson. Hopefully this is not a story I will be publishing about you but if you are switching industries, you'd better have something to bring to the table.


Hi bb,

Thank you very much for the insight. This is a much needed reality check for me. Sounds like recruiting at Anderson is more difficult than other T15 schools. I will definitely put in more effort in networking with companies and alums than i had initially planned. And if i dont get the "Dream job" i will have to lower my expectations.
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Re: Booth vs Anderson ($$$) for tech?  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Apr 2019, 13:35
I think you can get an idea by talking to current students at the programs. There is a lot of peer pressure and what many call fear of missing out that drives people to sign up for various events and treks and whatever. While it is not really healthy, it has many positive effects - iron sharpens iron.

No Fault or Anderson but I feel LA has more small businesses that don’t have the opportunities presented on the east coast. At the same time, you can’t beat wearing flip flops year-round. Again, I am hoping I am just full of crazy old man stories and everyone finds recruiting super easy.

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New post 30 Apr 2019, 11:20
I agree with BB, Booth is definitely a better school.

But UCLA is solid in tech...I have friends who went there and have solid jobs now in Microsoft and Google and Apple.

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Re: Booth vs Anderson ($$$) for tech?  [#permalink]

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New post 09 May 2019, 11:34
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Just found out I was admitted to Booth today! Now the real decision process begins... But I'm leaning towards Booth. Thanks to everyone who provided their perspective in this thread, it's much appreciated.
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Re: Booth vs Anderson ($$$) for tech?  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2019, 18:33
What did you end up deciding?

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Re: Booth vs Anderson ($$$) for tech?   [#permalink] 04 Oct 2019, 18:33
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