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Booth vs CBS vs Sloan

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What school to choose?

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Booth vs CBS vs Sloan  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Dec 2015, 04:07
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Hi all,

I am happy to announce that I got accepted into multiple M7 schools (completely beyond expectations), including Sloan, Booth and Columbia. I come from a 'non-traditional' background (non-US citizen), have a decent undergrad GPA from an average school and a decent gmat score (740). Upon applying to business school, and for the past two years, my plan was to move into investment banking post-MBA. Even though I still think that banking is a great career path, several factors make me think twice whether it is a path I want to pursue after my MBA.

I sincerely enjoy dealmaking and executing transactions. It is exciting, fast-paced and gives me a lot of energy. Admittedly, the steep pay-curve is a factor that I consider as well. From this perspective, banking would make a lot of sense. However, the main reasons that make me think twice are having absolutely no control over your schedule, lots of bankers seem miserable, exit opions are limited and looking at my friends - it even has a serious impact on their health (for some of them). It seems like a lot of (prospective) MBA students have no idea what they are getting themselves into, and I believe I belong(ed) to this group as well.

That's why I gave management consulting a second thought. I love travelling, regardless if it's for work or not. There have been months that I was living out of a suitcase because of work-related travel and certainly did not mind. The broad(ER) range of exit opportunities appeal to me, and even though you are still working a lot of hours, I enjoy the predictability of not having to work every weekend. Furthermore, management consultants do not get laid off as quickly as banking (big deal if you're on a Visa!).

I am not asking you for advice on what career path to take. I believe that I will enjoy both, though my preference is management consulting at the moment. However, it seems much harder to break into MBB than into IBD (post-MBA). Therefore, I have the following questions:

1. Is it possible (and common) to recruit for both banking AND consulting in your first year? I want to make sure that banking is my back-up option if I am not getting a summer-internship offer from MBB (or Deloitte perhaps).

2. What school would you recommend in this case? I am leaning towards Columbia at this point. I really connected with the students, love to use the flexible curriculum (internship throughout the year) and location. It is generally known that you will need to go to a lot of coffee chats and do a lot of networking to break into banking. Being based in NYC would save me a lot of time in this respect.

What school do you recommend?
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New post 17 Dec 2015, 05:02
JackDaniels wrote:
Hi all,

I am happy to announce that I got accepted into multiple M7 schools (completely beyond expectations), including Sloan, Booth and Columbia. I come from a 'non-traditional' background (non-US citizen), have a decent undergrad GPA from an average school and a decent gmat score (740). Upon applying to business school, and for the past two years, my plan was to move into investment banking post-MBA. Even though I still think that banking is a great career path, several factors make me think twice whether it is a path I want to pursue after my MBA.

I sincerely enjoy dealmaking and executing transactions. It is exciting, fast-paced and gives me a lot of energy. Admittedly, the steep pay-curve is a factor that I consider as well. From this perspective, banking would make a lot of sense. However, the main reasons that make me think twice are having absolutely no control over your schedule, lots of bankers seem miserable, exit opions are limited and looking at my friends - it even has a serious impact on their health (for some of them). It seems like a lot of (prospective) MBA students have no idea what they are getting themselves into, and I believe I belong(ed) to this group as well.

That's why I gave management consulting a second thought. I love travelling, regardless if it's for work or not. There have been months that I was living out of a suitcase because of work-related travel and certainly did not mind. The broad(ER) range of exit opportunities appeal to me, and even though you are still working a lot of hours, I enjoy the predictability of not having to work every weekend. Furthermore, management consultants do not get laid off as quickly as banking (big deal if you're on a Visa!).

I am not asking you for advice on what career path to take. I believe that I will enjoy both, though my preference is management consulting at the moment. However, it seems much harder to break into MBB than into IBD (post-MBA). Therefore, I have the following questions:

1. Is it possible (and common) to recruit for both banking AND consulting in your first year? I want to make sure that banking is my back-up option if I am not getting a summer-internship offer from MBB (or Deloitte perhaps).

2. What school would you recommend in this case? I am leaning towards Columbia at this point. I really connected with the students, love to use the flexible curriculum (internship throughout the year) and location. It is generally known that you will need to go to a lot of coffee chats and do a lot of networking to break into banking. Being based in NYC would save me a lot of time in this respect.

What school do you recommend?


Hi Jack,

Congrats for all those great acceptance :thumbup:

Have you got any scholarship?
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New post 17 Dec 2015, 09:43
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From Tuck - got my acceptance call today ($30k). Not from CBS / Sloan / Booth
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Re: Booth vs CBS vs Sloan  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Dec 2015, 10:12
Congratulations on your multiple Admits! Pretty impressive! Have you thought about shooting for HSW? you still have 2-3 weeks. LOL.

I don't know the answer to your first question unfortunately. What I can say is that it is very common for MBA students to change their options/direction/career path due to a variety of factors. Often, thus, the school they go into is not always the "ideal" school on paper but picking a solid well-rounded program. Of course the trouble is - all of these are :)

One item to note is that Tuck had 92 out of 260 people going into consulting last year.
Booth had 150 out of 500 - also a lot
CBS had 127 out of 527
Sloan 116 out of 334

Just thinking about it, I would vote for Booth. Booth seems to have good placement into the Finance and Consulting jobs (I don't have visibility into what specific functions or industries). It also seems to be best-ranked of all and with best overall employment numbers.... in terms of grads with jobs at graduation and 3 months after.

Another school that stands out seems to be Tuck. I know it is not on the original list, but with a much smaller program of 281 people (graduating class size), it will be a different feel and a different experience - small town vs. NYC, Boston, Chicago. I can see how someone may be attracted to this program, esp. taking into consideration the history and other elements.

Going to be a hard choice :-)
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New post 17 Dec 2015, 10:34
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Great news from Tuck. You have plenty of Brand school to choose from. I can observe that you have a good way of planning for your career.

Regarding you questions:

1- It is common to do what you need and target the job segment you want. You will work closely with career service to shape your requirements. I have friends who had summer internship in consulting and discovered that consulting is not their dream job and they hence shift to their back up plans. I have another one who targeted Deloitte (NOT any other MBB) because he likes it and he got an offer. As long as you can prove you have or acquire the talent. Just work early on both plans.

2- I can't recommend any school for you because all are on par. I'm biased towards Tuck. Booth, CBS and Tuck are all strong with slight variations between them. It is up to you to choose factors such class size, location of the school...etc. However, I can see how you like CBS. So, my recommendation is to follow your gut. All schools will lead to your dream.

You can consider BB notes.

Wish you success :gl
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New post 21 Dec 2015, 03:12
Thanks a lot for the replies. Curious to hear your opinions on one last point, as people seem to have different views on this:

To what extent is it true that CBS students are required to do coffee chats 24/7, whereas at other schools such as Booth you will not have to fly to NYC all the time?
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New post 23 Dec 2015, 03:44
JackDaniels, I am going to take out a little bit of pressure from your shoulders: you'll do great whatever you go. These are fantastic schools. Your choice of school will shape the experience during these two years, but all of them will get you where you want to be.

Much congratulations on your acceptances!
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New post 23 Dec 2015, 09:01
JackDaniels wrote:
Thanks a lot for the replies. Curious to hear your opinions on one last point, as people seem to have different views on this:

To what extent is it true that CBS students are required to do coffee chats 24/7, whereas at other schools such as Booth you will not have to fly to NYC all the time?


It's not true unless you confuse quality for quantity, which goes for any school. I didn't recruit first year, went to a total of three events second year and ended up with offers from the firms you'd want for consulting. To be fair most of the differences between these schools (at least CBS and Booth) are superficial at best. Booth has great academics (something i probably value more than most) while CBS has a better backyard to explore career options and network. Sloan will lead to the same places, but offers a material difference in a little more tech and logistics.
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New post 23 Dec 2015, 17:18
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I have heard from many people that is extremely hard to recruit for both banking and consulting as the seasons and many network on events overlap so eventually youll have to choose.

Seems like you feel the cbs pull more so I'd so go with that. I doubt cbs would be held to higher networking standards than booth, though obviously can't confirm either way. I'd suggest speaking to students recruiting at both schools to get their experiences. Most of the banks and consulting firms are in Chicago too so I can't really see it being too different though.

Congrats on all your options!
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New post 26 Feb 2016, 15:59
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Congrats on your offers! I go to Booth, here are some answers to your qns:

1. getting into the top 3 banks are just as hard as MBB. MBB hire about 40/yr, while 15 or so banks hire about 80/yr. Larger banks hire 4-10 each. I'd say consulting is harder because there are more people competing (~300 this year) vs banking (~80).

2. We don't go to NYC as much, banks come on campus. It's important to understand that the vast majority of consulting jobs offered at Booth are for Chicago-based positions; banking defaults to NYC.

3. It's not possible to recruit meaningfully for both consulting and banking at the same time, since there is too much overlap e.g. Goldman and McKinsey hosting events at the same time.

4. Banks tend not to hire people who didn't do banking internships. Consulting gives far more full-time than internship offers. Therefore it makes sense to do banking in the summer and take a consulting FT offer, while the reverse would be more difficult.

5. Both are very competitive industries. As a non US citizen, it will be hard enough preparing for one set of interviews - preparing adequately for both is unlikely unless you have a very strong business background.

6. Booth has a great culture, you will love the people. A large part of culture comes from the diversity of the pool - despite being such a strong finance school, only 80 people recruit for IB while others are recruiting for IM, consulting, tech etc

Hope this helps!

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Re: Booth vs CBS vs Sloan   [#permalink] 26 Feb 2016, 15:59
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