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Booth vs Tuck vs Ross (no $) vs Tepper ($$$$)

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Booth, Tuck, Ross, or Tepper($$$$)?

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Booth vs Tuck vs Ross (no $) vs Tepper ($$$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Apr 2019, 09:36
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Hi all,

After a busy application season, I'm lucky to have multiple good offers to consider. I received a very generous offer from Tepper ($50k/year), but no money from any other school. I reached out to the other 3 schools to see if they could do anything about the money, but no luck yet, and I assume they won't budge. To be upfront, I'm in the very fortunate position that the money isn't make or break for me. I'll be able to finance my way through b-school either way, but obviously $100k is $100k, and I don't want to overlook that.

My background:
-been doing data analytics at a manufacturing plant for the past 4 years
-looking to move away from operations and either go into corporate strategy, leadership development programs, or possibly tech PM (if possible) post b-school
-I'm very flexible on post MBA location. West coast, Midwest, and Northeast all have their different appeals to me. Pretty much anywhere but the South will do (no disrespect, I just know it's not my place)

Booth (no $)
pros:
+M7 prestige/very strong rankings
+strongest brand name?
+largest network
+I've been to Chicago a few times and really enjoy the city
+While the "Boothies are anti social" stereotype seems very prevalent on message boards, every Boothie I've talked to has given me the exact opposite impression. I'm really not concerned about not getting along with my classmates.
cons:
-largest class size and no real cohorts mean it's definitely the least "tight-knit" community, and I'm a little worried about not forming deep/meaningful relationships with my classmates
-less of a hands on approach; there's lots of tools and resources available, but you have to seek them out yourself

Tuck (no $)
pros:
+I really loved the tight-knit vibe I got when I visited
+I felt like I could really see myself fitting in here from my visit
+More of a hands on/high touch approach, especially with recruiting, it seems like. Example: I talked to a career adviser at the school, and without my asking, he forwarded my resume to a second year who recruited for the fields I'm interested in who then reached out to me to connect. I was pretty impressed by this interaction.
+Alumni network is VERY responsive and helpful from what I've been told
cons:
-While I don't mind Hanover and think I could be happy there, it definitely isn't a plus
-More case method than other schools, from what I've been told, which I'm less fond of
-One of the smaller networks, and more concentrated in the NE

Ross (no $)
Ross is an excellent program, and I was very happy to be admitted. But to be blunt, it's hard for me to justify passing up Booth for Ross, given that they are both mid-west schools, unless one of two things is true:
1) Ross places very well in tech and I've heard some rumblings (not sure if really true) that some tech companies highly target Ross for their team-based approach. If Ross is significantly stronger in tech than Booth, and I'm serious about pursuing that path, there is an argument for Ross.
2) Their alumni network is noticeably stronger/more responsive than Booth's.
Aside from these two factors, Booth seems like the stronger program. And if I wanted a more tight-knit/intimate program, Tuck seems to have more of that going for it than Ross, so I'm struggling to make an argument for Ross, but please correct me if you think I'm overlooking something. I should also say that I went to Tuck's admitted students weekend over Ross's (they were the same dates), so I admittedly have less of a feel for Ross than Booth and Tuck.

Tepper ($50k/year)
I'll be honest here, I know very little about the program. It was my safety, and they only very recently offered me the money, so before that it wasn't even in the realm of consideration against the likes of Tuck/Ross/Booth.
pros:
+$$$$ (let's not be coy here)
+places very well into tech, which could help me pivot into the industry
+I actually do kinda like their focus of analytics based decision making and leadership. Seems like it could play very well into my corp strategy goals.
cons:
-Easily the least prestigious program
-Not gonna lie, I worry that I'll spend the rest of my life wondering what doors I could have opened if I went to one of the other programs. No disrespect to Tepper, it's a great program, but it just it just isn't quite in the same tier as the other schools.

In general, my first priority is to successfully pivot my career and have access to the best opportunities and network possible. Culture and fit seem secondary to me, but I don't want to ignore them completely either. And of course, I don't want to completely overlook $100k.

Any help would be MUCH appreciated! Thanks everyone!
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Re: Booth vs Tuck vs Ross (no $) vs Tepper ($$$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Apr 2019, 13:11
$100k is a lot of money but you will be making a lot of money post MBA too (hopefully). Based on your write up I think Booth is best for you. Congrats!
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Re: Booth vs Tuck vs Ross (no $) vs Tepper ($$$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Apr 2019, 13:22
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Wow! Congrats on your hard work and admits! Great job!

Are you burdened with undergrad debt? (Does not sound based on your priorities). I'd throw caution to the wind and go for Booth. Booth has the brand to open doors and attract a stream of on-campus recruiters. It feels good to have the extra confidence and be in a city that has employment opportunities on its own. And while additional odds are not a guarantee of success, it is good to have more employers coming to campus and a variety of clubs and activities.

As to Tech companies preferring Ross to Booth - I am skeptical per se but definitely an interesting perspective. Tech such as Google, Apple, FB, and Microsoft are hard to break into the PM roles. Most people I know did not make the cut (over the years) into one of those juicy internship roles, in part due to lacking prior work experience. It seems the best internship opportunities are awarded to those who have held similar roles in the past or have something other than their enthusiasm and wits to bring to the table. Good Tech roles are hard to break into. Both Apple and Amazon for example tend to hire a large number of MBA's into their supplier management groups or procurement arms. Several of the GMAT Club alumni have started out there after their MBA's but all have since left for other companies.

All popular with MBA's Tech and Consulting companies seem to have a group of recruiting ambassadors who interface with the students on a regular basis and are sort of the advocates for students and also advocates for the companies trying to snag the best tallent. Often courting hundreds of applicants only to pick 5 at the end. Individual odds are bad but if you have 100 of these companies, then the odds are much better.

Picking Tepper at partial scholarship - technically $$ ($$$ is full scholarship and $$$$ is something out of the world ;-) ), would probably be a downgrade compared to Booth at full price when you compare the on-campus recruiting benefits and the caliber of students and faculty that Booth is able to attract. CMU does have a techy touch to it and their Master's and Undergrads regularly recruit into the Tech giants at 100K+ starting salary with no experience but those are hardcore programming jobs. Many times the reason Booth does not place into Tech as much as other programs is that students are not interested in pursuing those roles and find consulting or finance roles more alluring.

I would not hesitate to head to Booth personally, unless you are risk averse and have a hard time passing up the $100K (about 30% of your total MBA cost if you figure living expenses and opportunity cost).
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Re: Booth vs Tuck vs Ross (no $) vs Tepper ($$$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2019, 05:40
Guys please enlighten me here ,Is it okay to negotiate either money/scholarships with schools ,I see this stuff a lot here?

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Re: Booth vs Tuck vs Ross (no $) vs Tepper ($$$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2019, 05:56
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Staphyk wrote:
Guys please enlighten me here ,Is it okay to negotiate either money/scholarships with schools ,I see this stuff a lot here?

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The general wisdom I've heard is it doesn't hurt to try, as they aren't going to rescind your admission because you asked for money, but success is far from guaranteed. In general, I think it's unlikely for schools to make any major changes to your aid package. Having a scholarship offer from another in-tier program can definitely help as leverage, but still isn't a guarantee.

If you do try to reach out to them, I think it's best to always be polite, be gracious of your admission/current offer, tell them "you're my top choice", and then explain why the lack of money is the only thing holding you back (usually easier to do if you have another offer that you find hard to turn down). Don't be demanding. As long as you are polite, gracious, and humble, the worst that will happen is that they'll say, "sorry, we can't."
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Re: Booth vs Tuck vs Ross (no $) vs Tepper ($$$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2019, 13:00
I dont think you will have a problem for any of the roles (except PM) at any of the schools you mentioned. All of these are top programs and can get you to where you want to go, but some may place better into tech--so look at placement stats!

If you are location agnostic for post mba and money is not an issue, then go on fit and where and who you want to spend 2 years with.

Best of luck!

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Booth vs Tuck vs Ross (no $) vs Tepper ($$$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2019, 16:20
given no money at booth/ross/tuck, i'd go with booth as it's in a different tier than ross/tuck and I personally wouldn't consider Tepper at all.

regarding your comment about building bonds, 65% of Booth students live in a 5 block radius in the loop with the great majority of those living in one building (millennium park plaza). If you want to make sure you develop strong bonds and are constantly surrounded by your classmates, live in MPP and you'll be set.
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Booth vs Tuck vs Ross (no $) vs Tepper ($$$$)   [#permalink] 19 Apr 2019, 16:20
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