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Booth($$) vs Haas for tech strategy?

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Booth($$) vs Haas?

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New post 23 May 2015, 11:24
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I'm an engineer going to business school. Booth let me in on Rd 2 with $50k, while Haas just accepted me off waitlist. I'd like to go back into tech or cleantech and work a strategy/bizdev/corpdev role if possible. I'm not sure if Haas's proximity to silicon valley would be preferable in that it would give me access to these companies during the school year for projects or if Booth's slightly higher prestige would be preferable. Certainly booth would make it easier to get into MBB, but I'd rather go straight into corpdev if possible rather than spend 2-3 years traveling for 60-70 hrs a week.

Should I stick with Booth or should I go with Haas? Despite the lack of scholarship there is only a $23k difference between the schools.
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New post 23 May 2015, 11:33
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merper wrote:
I'm an engineer going to business school. Booth let me in on Rd 2 with $50k, while Haas just accepted me off waitlist. I'd like to go back into tech or cleantech and work a strategy/bizdev/corpdev role if possible. I'm not sure if Haas's proximity to silicon valley would be preferable in that it would give me access to these companies during the school year for projects or if Booth's slightly higher prestige would be preferable. Certainly booth would make it easier to get into MBB, but I'd rather go straight into corpdev if possible rather than spend 2-3 years traveling for 60-70 hrs a week.

Should I stick with Booth or should I go with Haas? Despite the lack of scholarship there is only a $23k difference between the schools.


For nearly any other situation, I would say Booth--particularly for MBB as you mentioned. However, given what you are looking to do, I think Haas' proximity to those jobs as well it's reputation in tech make this a much tougher decision. You seem to know exactly what you are looking for in terms of a career post-grad and that path tends to favor Haas in this case. If 23k is the difference between the schools, I wouldn't even bother letting that number influence the decision. Haas seems to be the perfect school for what you are looking to do in this case. Best of luck, these are two great schools.
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New post 25 May 2015, 19:30
I'm obviously a bit biased here as I'm heading to Booth and didn't apply to Haas but I think Booth is a no brainer here. If the choices were reversed (Booth vs Haas with $$), it would be a lot tougher. Booth is very strong in tech and sends a ton of people into the roles you're looking to get into. Haas sends a larger percentage of its class into tech but that's more about self selection than a greater ability to obtain the roles. Also, for larger tech companies, I don't think proximity to SV will be all that helpful as they'll all recruit on campus at Booth.

You should definitely look into each of the school's offerings if you haven't already and see if either will provide you with significantly greater opportunities to help you achieve your end goal. There are also clear culture differences between the two schools which shouldn't be underplayed. Hopefully you had a chance to visit both and get a sense of what life as a student would be like at each.

At the end of the day, these are two fantastic options but I tend to think that Booth's greater prestige/momentum, strengths outside of tech (in case you decide to do something else now or in the future), and the scholarship they've offered outweigh Haas' proximity advantage. I hope to see you at Harper in the fall and wish you best of luck with whichever decision you make.
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New post 25 May 2015, 19:48
jessepinkman wrote:
I'm obviously a bit biased here as I'm heading to Booth and didn't apply to Haas but I think Booth is a no brainer here. If the choices were reversed (Booth vs Haas with $$), it would be a lot tougher. Booth is very strong in tech and sends a ton of people into the roles you're looking to get into. Haas sends a larger percentage of its class into tech but that's more about self selection than a greater ability to obtain the roles. Also, for larger tech companies, I don't think proximity to SV will be all that helpful as they'll all recruit on campus at Booth.

You should definitely look into each of the school's offerings if you haven't already and see if either will provide you with significantly greater opportunities to help you achieve your end goal. There are also clear culture differences between the two schools which shouldn't be underplayed. Hopefully you had a chance to visit both and get a sense of what life as a student would be like at each.

At the end of the day, these are two fantastic options but I tend to think that Booth's greater prestige/momentum, strengths outside of tech (in case you decide to do something else now or in the future), and the scholarship they've offered outweigh Haas' proximity advantage. I hope to see you at Harper Center in the fall and wish you best of luck with whichever decision you make.



I appreciate the advice you both have given. I do think that cultural fit could be a deciding factor, but what I don't know is how the student culture plays out at Haas. I sat in on a class at the school, but that was it. I have talked to people from every other school I applied to, but Haas is so small, I didn't have anyone in my network. I did connect better to my interviewer there than anyone else, but that could just be a personal fit. The Booth culture didn't turn me off - and I could see myself finding my people there, but it's a little bit alien coming as an engineer. Berkeley's strong engineering department might make it a better fit culturally. I just really can't tell.

I do think it is a matter of ruling out Haas, but there is a definite personal appeal in the location as (a) I am already in the region (b) I'd prefer to stay here long term, and (c)I've lived in Chicago previously so it would not be a novel experience or anything. I also think my personality/interests might make me more interested in a smaller company/startup. These companies would be open to a Booth student, but they would not be able to travel to do recruiting or gain exposure.

I just can't strike a fatal blow against the idea of Haas, but I guess not being able to flip over itself is also its own decision, once the timer runs out.
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New post 26 May 2015, 12:24
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merper wrote:
I'd like to go back into tech or cleantech and work a strategy/bizdev/corpdev role if possible. I'm not sure if Haas's proximity to silicon valley would be preferable in that it would give me access to these companies during the school year for projects or if Booth's slightly higher prestige would be preferable. Certainly booth would make it easier to get into MBB, but I'd rather go straight into corpdev if possible rather than spend 2-3 years traveling for 60-70 hrs a week.

First and foremost, congratulations on the accomplishments of the Chicago scholarship and being accepted to Berkeley. In my opinion, you should choose the school based upon where you want to work afterwards and the school culture. However, if I was in your shoes, the scholarship would definitely tilt things towards Booth.

To me, both career opportunities and prestige are generally a function of region. IMHO, Haas is better for nearly all west coast job opportunities vis-à-vis Booth in the midwest and northeast, primarily because both large and small firms tend to recruit locally -- with the exception of IB/consulting.

I disagree that entering MBB will be easier if you attend Booth. If you look at the number of Booth and Haas alumni in MBB as a proportion of the entering class size, the figures are comparable (see attached table, data from LinkedIn and aggregated by P&Q). I think this is a better way of interpreting the numbers than looking at % of class entering "consulting" or the total number of alumni in MBB. The trouble is that these data include people with prior MBB work experience that returned to consulting, people previously sponsored by MBB, and it may count undergrad alumni as well. Also, it does not include people who declined MBB offers and those that left MBB. It is not a measure of people who were able to change careers into MBB with a different background (like engineering in your case), which would be an ideal dataset but not available. The case interview prep work will be the same. Given that Booth is ~2.4x the size of Haas, the consulting club will be larger and may have more cases to practice with.

From my first-hand experience and in talking with others, if the firm you want a job/internship at recruits on-campus, the difference between these schools won't matter much.

Role wise, if you want strategy/bizdev/corpdev, I can share some first-hand experience. Here in NYC, I work in industry and interview MBA candidates each year applying for an internship in our strategy & corporate development group (works is usually either "strategy" PPT decks or DCF modeling of JV/M&A opportunities). Over the past few years we've had people from Stanford, Kellogg, and Harvard but the schools only mattered insofar as which programs we selected to set-up resume drops (we pull from most top 10 schools including Booth, but not Haas because of its location). Our preferred criteria for interviews was IB or MBB pre-MBA experience or industry experience (our industry or an adjacent one). In general, the schools and GMAT scores didn't matter (a super high score + quant work experience could actually hurt you). Bias within networks is also very present. For example, we've had a Harvard alumnus who preferred HBS, an ex-McKinsey guy preferred M over BCG/Bain/bankers.

Because Booth is larger, I assume more traditional companies will do resume drops at Booth than at Haas. However, I'm sure that some California-based companies may not bother looking at Booth whatsoever and will end up with hires from Stanford, Haas, UCLA, and other regional California-based schools. In a similar fashion, I'm sure plenty of NYC/Boston firms won't look at schools west of Chicago.

Given this, I would suggest going to LinkedIn and looking at companies you would like to work at. See what the alumni at Chicago versus Berkeley look like. Look for people in senior roles that might be able to be a sponsor for you if you get in.

I agree with everyone's favorite meth addict that big tech (Amazon, Google, etc.) will recruit at both schools. There will be more Haas alumni at nearly all bay area tech firms. However, there are notable Boothies that probably help steer a network bias towards Chicago in the recruiting process at some large tech firms that like to hire MBAs -- the CEO of Microsoft, CFO of IBM, and head of corp. dev. at Google to name a few. Recruiting at other tech firms happens late and requires a lot of student initiative. Generally smaller firms are looking for immediate hires and won't be interested in interviewing you for a position in the fall that you can't start until the summer. Again, the location of where you want to work (SF vs NYC, etc.) makes all the difference here. The SF Bay Area reigns in all things tech (except maybe fashion?), but the NYC tech ecosystem is growing fast.

For cleantech, the on-campus network at Berkeley is amazing but the job prospects (for the space in general) are dismal -- especially with cheap oil and limited climate change regulation with any teeth. I don't have any data to back it up but from my understanding the west coast is better for cleantech than the mid-west or east coast. I think part of this has to do with California's push of more strict environmental regulation (AB32, LCFS, RPS). Also, a lot of cleantech firms are based there: eSolar, MiaSole, SeaMicro, Luxim, Sapphire, Solazyme, Amyris, Tesla. Academically, Berkeley, Chicago, and MIT have a joint-initiative on energy efficiency. Both Berkeley and Chicago manage Dept of Energy labs that include cleantech research.

merper wrote:
Despite the lack of scholarship there is only a $23k difference between the schools.

I'm not sure how you did your math but roughly 15-19k higher tuition and fees at Booth does mitigate the value of your the Booth scholarship. While living expenses are MUCH higher in the bay than Chicago, Boothies tend to rent newer apartments with fancy amenities (Millennium Park Plaza, MDA City Apartments, and Columbus Circle) and similar rent prices compared to what current Haas student report in the student housing survey on the admitted students website. Most Haas students generally share older houses or apartment buildings in North Berkeley or Elmwood/Rockridge that are much more basic than what you get in Chicago for about the same price if you share. One bedrooms will be more expensive in Berkeley/SF. Given all of that, Chicago is basically giving you what is financially equivalent to a nice used or modest new car. Would you give up a car to go to Berkeley over Chicago? That is, on top of all the other student loans you will take on. If you really want to live in the Bay Area, I think it makes sense to pay the premium of Berkeley over your Booth option. However, it is still very possible for you to find a job in the Bay Area even if you go to Chicago -- just somewhat more difficult than attending Haas. Is that additional effort worth 20-30k in post-tax dollars? That pays for plenty of career search and interview trips to SFO/OAK! To me it might be. Tough decision!!!

merper wrote:
The Booth culture didn't turn me off - and I could see myself finding my people there, but it's a little bit alien coming as an engineer. Berkeley's strong engineering department might make it a better fit culturally. I just really can't tell.

I would be astonished if you are classified as an outsider by "coming in as an engineer" at either Booth or Berkeley. While Chicago is known as a economics powerhouse, there are more engineers in the current Booth class (17% of a much larger class) than Berkeley (~20% of a much smaller class). Regarding your other comment, the academic departments at Berkeley are very separate so I don't see the strength of Berkeley's engineering department influencing the culture at Haas in any meaningful way. Like MBA programs at many schools, Haas is in a bubble and it's up to you to reach out to other groups via campus clubs and classes (taking a graduate engineering class once you can take electives might be a good option). You might find a few graduate students taking Haas classes, but not many.

The weather, academic structure, and culture of Haas and Chicago are VERY different. Did you attend First Day? I would suggest visiting Berkeley if it wasn't so late (graduation was last weekend). I recommend talking to alumni or current students to get a sense of their experienced and what they like best/least about both schools.

Either way, both schools are amazing. Congrats and try to have fun with the decision-making process!
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New post 26 May 2015, 23:03
Wow, Mr. Murray, that post is too awesome to even quote. I am taken aback at the wealth of information and the fact that you actually took the time to type it all out for me - and you seem to know the schools in extreme detail (are you a former boothie? You must be to know about MPP and MDA). Thank you so much.

I think you basically spelled out all the points I considered. As for consulting and finance, I can only say that I remember seeing a post here sometime saying that Haas students had to hustle a bit more rather than rely on the wow factor of their degree and that Deloitte showed up as an equal candidate in consulting recruiting compared to MBB for the most recent year (compared to booth where there is very little Deloitte for people going into consulting)

However, I think you highlighted my dilemma in these comments:

Quote:
Recruiting at other tech firms happens late and requires a lot of student initiative. Generally smaller firms are looking for immediate hires and won't be interested in interviewing you for a position in the fall that you can't start until the summer. Again, the location of where you want to work (SF vs NYC, etc.) makes all the difference here. The SF Bay Area reigns in all things tech (except maybe fashion?), but the NYC tech ecosystem is growing fast.

Quote:
If you really want to live in the Bay Area, I think it makes sense to pay the premium of Berkeley over your Booth option. However, it is still very possible for you to find a job in the Bay Area even if you go to Chicago -- just somewhat more difficult than attending Haas. Is that additional effort worth 20-30k in post-tax dollars? That pays for plenty of career search and interview trips to SFO/OAK! To me it might be. Tough decision!!!


I think I am interested in recruiting for a smaller tech firm. In clean tech I have few specific targets in mind, but I think I would prefer something much like a west coast startup rather than a Google. I think proximity might be more valuable, but you're right - is it really worth $25k? If business school is about learning how to make decisions between fuzzy choices, then this might be the first one I have to make.

It comes down to a bunch of personal factors really. I didn't have a chance to check out Haas culture first hand and as you say, school is closed now. I'm speaking with two students at Haas who chose it over booth tomorrow. I think this is the best chance to see if they can dislodge me from the Booth position I've settled into prior to the Haas phonecall.
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New post 28 May 2015, 10:08
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Ok, Booth it is. The money is probably more than enough to counter Haas's proximity advantage, plus I'd like a bit of a hedge and would like to live in the middle of a major city for once. Thanks for the input!
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New post 28 May 2015, 11:18
merper wrote:
Wow, Mr. Murray, that post is too awesome to even quote. I am taken aback at the wealth of information and the fact that you actually took the time to type it all out for me - and you seem to know the schools in extreme detail .


Mr. Murray did an AMAZING job with this one.
I am considering Booth vs Stern right now, and all this info in your thread is very helpful :-)
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New post 28 May 2015, 12:10
merper wrote:
Ok, Booth it is. The money is probably more than enough to counter Haas's proximity advantage, plus I'd like a bit of a hedge and would like to live in the middle of a major city for once. Thanks for the input!


congrats on the decision merper! see you at TNDC :lol:
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Re: Booth($$) vs Haas for tech strategy?  [#permalink]

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New post 28 May 2015, 12:29
merper wrote:
Wow, Mr. Murray, that post is too awesome to even quote. I am taken aback at the wealth of information and the fact that you actually took the time to type it all out for me - and you seem to know the schools in extreme detail (are you a former boothie? You must be to know about MPP and MDA). Thank you so much.


My pleasure. As it turns out, I decided on Haas (w. $$) and would be in your class if you selected it over Booth. While I have a long vacation planned, I can't wait for orientation in August. I attended Cal for undergrad and have friends that did both the Haas full-time and part-time programs. With respect to Chicago, one of my mentors at work who wrote a recommendation letter for me is a Booth alumnus and was the reason I threw in an application there as well. I did a lot of research with other alumni, current students, and incoming students. I wanted to share what I've learned.

merper wrote:
As for consulting and finance, I can only say that I remember seeing a post here sometime saying that Haas students had to hustle a bit more rather than rely on the wow factor of their degree and that Deloitte showed up as an equal candidate in consulting recruiting compared to MBB for the most recent year (compared to booth where there is very little Deloitte for people going into consulting)


Beyond similar posts to what you reference, I did heard a negative comment regarding the prestige of UC Berkeley from a LBS grad in McKinsey's NYC office when we discussed M7 schools vs Berkeley. However, when talking to senior managers who make the hiring decisions, I've heard it will come down to (1) raw intellect / GMAT / GPA, (2) if your communications during interviews are at a level appropriate for meetings with senior management (ExCo/CFO/CEO), (3) case interview performance, and (4) if you seem to be the sort of person they would like to work with.

The numbers do show there are a more substantial number of Haas alumni currently in Deloitte/PwC/EY than Booth alumni relative to class sizes. Accenture is a popular destination for students from both schools and A.T. Kearny is more popular at Booth than Haas. Looking at total alumni by consulting firm, it's clear that MBB consultants are most likely to be an alumni from a large school (hence second-round interviews at company offices are more likely to be with alumni from HBS, Wharton, Kellogg, Columbia, etc.). This doesn't move the needle for me, but it might for others.

merper wrote:
I think I am interested in recruiting for a smaller tech firm. In clean tech I have few specific targets in mind, but I think I would prefer something much like a west coast startup rather than a Google. I think proximity might be more valuable, but you're right - is it really worth $25k? If business school is about learning how to make decisions between fuzzy choices, then this might be the first one I have to make.

Without any scholarship differential, I see Berkeley as the clear-cut choice if you want to join a west coast clean tech startup. However, $25k post-tax is a very meaningful amount of money -- especially if you will be joining a start-up after school. IMHO, as I said previously, this tilts things towards Booth.

merper wrote:
It comes down to a bunch of personal factors really. I didn't have a chance to check out Haas culture first hand and as you say, school is closed now. I'm speaking with two students at Haas who chose it over booth tomorrow. I think this is the best chance to see if they can dislodge me from the Booth position I've settled into prior to the Haas phonecall.

While you should definitely talk to the other incoming students who faced the same decision point, I highly suggest making the effort to seek out the current students and alumni (ideally at at firms you are interested in) who have already experienced the two programs. The latter may be more effective at helping you land the job/internship you want than trying to reach out during recruiting season when everyone else is doing the same thing.
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Re: Booth($$) vs Haas for tech strategy?  [#permalink]

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New post 28 May 2015, 12:30
anna126m wrote:
Mr. Murray did an AMAZING job with this one.
I am considering Booth vs Stern right now, and all this info in your thread is very helpful :-)

Thanks Anna :)
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Re: Booth($$) vs Haas for tech strategy?   [#permalink] 28 May 2015, 12:30
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