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Booth VS LBS for a Canadian interested in entrepreneurship and VC

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For entrepreneurship and VC, should I go to Booth or LBS - which is more versatile globally?

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Booth VS LBS for a Canadian interested in entrepreneurship and VC  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 25 May 2020, 18:08
Hello, I got an offer to LBS and Booth for fall 2020 entry. I have a background in M&A advisory at KPMG and middle market private equity experience at a well known Canadian firm. I am also Canadian. I am interested in entrepreneurship and VC. Outside of my professional life, I am very involved in the arts. I even have a Soho House membership. With all that in mind, I'm contemplating LBS and Booth. I'm finding from a personal perspective, I would love to be in London but from a MBA network perspective, I think Booth is stronger. The downside with Booth is that the case studies will be US centric and so will be the classroom culture.

LBS:

Pro:
-London is awesome
-highly international class and smaller class size
-learn about markets outside of the US

Con:
-though a global brand, if I ever come back to North America to start a venture, I feel LBS doesn't have the same kind of recognition as Booth
-I feel entrepreneurship and VC is not as big in general in London as it is in the US?
-MBA doesn't carry the same weight in the UK as it does in the US

Booth:

Pro:
-strong VC and startup culture and resources
-Strong recognition

Con:
-larger class size, more superficial connections?
-prefer to be in the east coast or somewhere like London
-more focused on the US economy so you lose some of the international aspects

Would you say Booth or LBS is more recognizable and versatile in the world? It's hard decision for someone like me who enjoys travelling and possibly living in different countries.

Lastly, I'm entering during COVID - not sure if I should defer. The only benefit I see doing school now is that when I graduate I can ride the economic boom wave and be in school during economic downturn. The learning experience will online in the fall for sure. I'm hoping in Jan 2021 the learning experience will be in person but it's hard to say.

Thoughts???? Booth or LBS. Defer or not defer.

Originally posted by Xinxinzhang on 22 May 2020, 16:09.
Last edited by Xinxinzhang on 25 May 2020, 18:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Booth VS LBS for a Canadian interested in entrepreneurship and VC  [#permalink]

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New post 22 May 2020, 18:47
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IMO ... Booth, starting this fall. Be in school during the nonsense and come out when things have stabilized (hopefully). And, if they've not, get another relevant MS in ??? from a great school in the UK (LSE, LBS, Oxford, Cambridge, etc.) or Europe (INSEAD, etc.) ...

From Booth, you can add a variety of exposures / experiences to give you a greater international flair. I suspect that if you accept -- and contact career services immediately -- you can get some early help on trying to finagle an internship in Europe (rather than taking one in the US) between years. Call it a hybrid exposure ... The, if you'd like, it could potentially give you grounds to recruit for FT jobs in Europe and North America.

IMO, that'd be easier than attending school in London and getting a North American internship ...
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Re: Booth VS LBS for a Canadian interested in entrepreneurship and VC  [#permalink]

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New post 22 May 2020, 19:29
Booth!!!!!

Without a doubt.
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Re: Booth VS LBS for a Canadian interested in entrepreneurship and VC  [#permalink]

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New post 22 May 2020, 20:37
Definitely Booth. Bigger class is helpful for alum network and on campus employment and a very selective program keeps the alum network tight.

There isn’t a whole much of comparison between the two. LBS would only make sense if you wanted to live in London.

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Re: Booth VS LBS for a Canadian interested in entrepreneurship and VC  [#permalink]

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New post 22 May 2020, 21:24
I agree with bb!

There is absolutely no comparison b/w these two schools.
The alum network at BOOTH is far, far better than LBS.
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Re: Booth VS LBS for a Canadian interested in entrepreneurship and VC  [#permalink]

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New post 23 May 2020, 05:26
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Ok I didn’t want to reply but your sentence “US centric case studies” made me to. What do you mean by this statement? I’m happy for you that you got into Booth but this clear lack of knowledge on your part of absolutely baffling!

I’m a Canadian who graduated from Kellogg and have interned at a VC firm in US during my MBA. Your conundrum is a non-starter! Pick Booth as LBS is a no-name in North America relative to Booth and VC/ent. opportunities in US far outmatch those that LBS will provide (if any).

As for your point on deferring, there’s a strong case to defer here even with Booth (if they let you) as any MBA’s value if driven by the networks you can build in-person which won’t be possible virtually. Jan 2021 won’t be the earliest when schools open as fall is probably going to see a second wave in NA.

TL;DR: Go with Booth if you can’t defer.


Xinxinzhang wrote:
Hello, I got an offer to LBS and Booth for fall 2020 entry. I have a background in M&A advisory at KPMG and middle market private equity experience at a well known Canadian firm. I am also Canadian. I am interested in entrepreneurship and VC. Outside of my professional life, I am very involved in the arts. I even have a Soho House membership. With all that in mind, I'm contemplating LBS and Booth. I'm finding from a personal perspective, I would love to be in London but from a MBA network perspective, I think Booth is stronger. The downside with Booth is that the case studies will be US centric and so will be the classroom culture.

LBS:

Pro:
-London is awesome
-Highly international class and smaller class size
-Learn about markets outside of the US

Con:
-Though a global brand, if I ever come back to North America to start a venture, I feel LBS doesn't have the same kind of recognition as Booth
-I feel entrepreneurship and VC is not as big in general in London as it is in the US?
-MBA doesn't carry the same weight in the UK as it does in the US

Booth:

Pro:
-strong VC and startup culture and resources
-Strong recognition

Con:
-larger class size, more superficial connections
-not a fan of midwest culture
-US centric case teaching

Would you say Booth or LBS is more recognizable and versatile in the world? I feel like LBS is more limited in the UK and Booth is a lower ranked M7...so it's hard decision for someone like me who enjoys travelling and possibly living in different countries.

Lastly, I'm entering during COVID - not sure if I should defer. The only benefit I see doing school now is that when I graduate I can ride the economic boom wave and be in school during economic downturn. The learning experience will online in the fall for sure. I'm hoping in Jan 2021 the learning experience will be in person but it's hard to say.

Thoughts???? Booth or LBS. Defer or not defer.


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Re: Booth VS LBS for a Canadian interested in entrepreneurship and VC  [#permalink]

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New post 23 May 2020, 06:35
Thanks for all the feedback! Seems like everyone is supporting Booth. Is this mostly based on how these two schools fair in North America? Would you say LBS is just as strong in the UK in entrepreneurship and VC as Booth is in North America.
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Re: Booth VS LBS for a Canadian interested in entrepreneurship and VC  [#permalink]

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New post 23 May 2020, 07:27
I think Chicago Booth is global in ways LBS is not.

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Re: Booth VS LBS for a Canadian interested in entrepreneurship and VC  [#permalink]

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New post 23 May 2020, 08:44
Not downplaying your question but I expected better from a person in PE. It’s never a simple “I want to do entrepreneurship or VC” ask. You should always mention what industry/sub-sector/niche, what investment cycle (angel or seed or series A/B/C etc. ), what type of customer base, what geographies for selling products, competitive advantage etc are you looking at wrt entrepreneurship or VC?

In general, Booth is known (not well known) in UK circles but more than LBS as a brand name in Canada/US. I’ve worked in Canada long enough to tell you that US universities have a bigger sway in Canada than LBS or any other EU school (Insead is somewhat of an exception).

You need to figure out more reasons to choose LBS over Booth other than “I love living in London”.

Also think about what your Plan B as both, entrepreneurship and VC are extremely competitive in US and more so in Canada due to fewer number of VC firms. Booth again has a massive leg up here over LBS as there’s a reason why Booth brand name is even beating Wharton across multiple attributes!

Hope this helps. DM me if you have any particular questions.

Xinxinzhang wrote:
Thanks for all the feedback! Seems like everyone is supporting Booth. Is this mostly based on how these two schools fair in North America? Would you say LBS is just as strong in the UK in entrepreneurship and VC as Booth is in North America.


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Re: Booth VS LBS for a Canadian interested in entrepreneurship and VC  [#permalink]

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New post 24 May 2020, 00:00
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The resounding preference on this thread has been for Booth and I think that is backed by evidence. Booth will be a great place to be at for your goals and the network will also prove more advantageous in the long run - across US, Canada (and also Europe?).
Things you should also consider -

1) Booth and LBS are partner schools and you can easily spend an exchange semester at LBS - live in London, travel across Europe and enjoy the experience. You could also explore the VC/entrepreneurship scene in London while keeping your North American options open.

2) Booth has also has had a presence in London for many years (the executive MBA program is becoming popular across Europe and APAC) and they recently completed the move to a new state-of-the-art building which was supposed to have been inaugurated already if not for COVID. https://news.chicagobooth.edu/newsroom/ ... ity-london

So I think it's less of an either/or choice than you might think at first.
Come to Booth for the VC/entrepreneurial opportunities, and do the exchange program to add the London flavor to it.

Also I think people underestimate the benefits of a larger class size and overestimate the side effects. Eventually in any business school everyone has the same amount of "resources" available to network / form connections (e.g. # of hours available, physical energy available etc) and largely people form closer connections with max 25-50 ppl, decent acquaintance connections with another 100-150 folks. This will be the same whether you are in a class with 300 students or 600 students.

The advantage of having an extra 300 ppl in class will be felt much more in the alumni network and the increased probability of classmates doing really awesome things in their career. Booth's class size also means there is a sizable number of students interested in a wide variety of topics - just giving everyone more opportunity to find like minded people pursuing similar interests.
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New post 25 May 2020, 18:10
Thanks for the thoughts. I really appreciate it! I've been talking to a lot of people from both schools and I'm definitely leaning towards going to Booth and doing an exchange to LBS to enjoy the best of both worlds.
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Re: Booth VS LBS for a Canadian interested in entrepreneurship and VC  [#permalink]

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New post 26 May 2020, 18:41
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Hi OP,

As a current 2Y at Booth, I will share some info about Booth. I do not know enough about LBS to offer any insights on the comparison unfortunately.

1) Booth has a well rounded and very flexible curriculum. Cases are not all US centric and you can actively pick classes that give you more well rounded exposure - a few notable examples - a whole class on the Chinese Economy and Financial Markets; A course on emerging markets entrepreneurial finance and private equity; a course on International corporation finance taught by the former governor of the reserve bank of India (governor of the Indian equivalent of the Fed).

2) VC/PE finance is very robust - through alum networks/ opportunities made available through the school's job and internship portal/professor networks and support/In-house VC/PE lab classes that include internships/structured recruiting - there is a lot of action in VC/PE recruiting at Booth.

3) The weaker social bonding piece may be a valid concern - again I don't know enough about other schools to asses comparatives but yes we do not have set cohorts and the curriculum is more flexible. People forge connections through shared recruiting experience (Banking/Consulting), affinity groups and student clubs. We have a lot of very active professional and non-professional student clubs. Almost all students live in a cluster of buildings very close to each other in the Chicago Loop so there is a ton of offline proximity as well.

4) The class is about 40% international - and lots of international faculty/ a bunch of international clubs - eg: European Business Group/Middle East and North Africa club/ Emerging markets club - there is a lot of professional networking/learning and cultural immersion opportunity through these clubs.

5) Word of caution - Work authorisations for internationals (OPT/H1B etc) are becoming challenging for internationals - pls look into this before you decide. Where you want to work, do your target employers sponsor internationals? Do you have a plan B if you do not get the H1B lottery or there are regulatory changes/will you play on the safe side and recruit for Canadian offices while you are at Booth - pls think all of this through very deeply and do a ton of research. This is probably the most important aspect of your decision and one you should lend most credence to.
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New post 26 May 2020, 18:45
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Just a quick point on H1b; as a Canadian citizen, you don’t need H1b per se and can see if your employer can bring you to US on TN visa (covered under NAFTA).

kmwantstogoschool wrote:
Hi OP,

As a current 2Y at Booth, I will share some info about Booth. I do not know enough about LBS to offer any insights on the comparison unfortunately.

1) Booth has a well rounded and very flexible curriculum. Cases are not all US centric and you can actively pick classes that give you more well rounded exposure - a few notable examples - a whole class on the Chinese Economy and Financial Markets; A course on emerging markets entrepreneurial finance and private equity; a course on International corporation finance taught by the former governor of the reserve bank of India (governor of the Indian equivalent of the Fed).

2) VC/PE finance is very robust - through alum networks/ opportunities made available through the school's job and internship portal/professor networks and support/In-house VC/PE lab classes that include internships/structured recruiting - there is a lot of action in VC/PE recruiting at Booth.

3) The weaker social bonding piece may be a valid concern - again I don't know enough about other schools to asses comparatives but yes we do not have set cohorts and the curriculum is more flexible. People forge connections through shared recruiting experience (Banking/Consulting), affinity groups and student clubs. We have a lot of very active professional and non-professional student clubs. Almost all students live in a cluster of buildings very close to each other in the Chicago Loop so there is a ton of offline proximity as well.

4) The class is about 40% international - and lots of international faculty/ a bunch of international clubs - eg: European Business Group/Middle East and North Africa club/ Emerging markets club - there is a lot of professional networking/learning and cultural immersion opportunity through these clubs.

5) Word of caution - Work authorisations for internationals (OPT/H1B etc) are becoming challenging for internationals - pls look into this before you decide. Where you want to work, do your target employers sponsor internationals? Do you have a plan B if you do not get the H1B lottery or there are regulatory changes/will you play on the safe side and recruit for Canadian offices while you are at Booth - pls think all of this through very deeply and do a ton of research. This is probably the most important aspect of your decision and one you should lend most credence to.


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New post 26 May 2020, 18:48
Sorry I wasn’t aware of this; I think it’s great that Canadian students have that option! I just meant I guess that overall one needs to be cognisant of one’s visa situation and how it might change and factor that into this decision!

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New post 26 May 2020, 18:50
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Totally agree. Just wanted to provide the complete picture as you wrote a great reply above!

kmwantstogoschool wrote:
Sorry I wasn’t aware of this; I think it’s great that Canadian students have that option! I just meant I guess that overall one needs to be cognisant of one’s visa situation and how it might change and factor that into this decision!

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Re: Booth VS LBS for a Canadian interested in entrepreneurship and VC   [#permalink] 26 May 2020, 18:50

Booth VS LBS for a Canadian interested in entrepreneurship and VC

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