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Booth vs. Wharton ($)

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New post 27 Dec 2018, 10:16
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Hi all,

I was fortunate to be admitted to Booth and Wharton (40K scholarship). Would appreciate any advice you have on which makes more sense. While I’d originally thought Wharton was the obvious choice given its brand and being part of HSW, I felt the culture at Booth was a much better fit. I’m also much more drawn to Chicago than Philly and the more flexible curriculum.

It feels to me it comes down to stronger Wharton brand vs. better fit at Booth.

For reference, I’m in consulting now and likely want to shift to industry in transportation/hospitality. I’ll likely return to East Coast after graduating.

Thanks all!

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Re: Booth vs. Wharton ($)  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Dec 2018, 10:23
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Tagging Wharton alumnus ak139 for his/her inputs. He/she also got an offer from Booth but chose Wharton.

You can read one of his/her post here https://gmatclub.com/forum/insead-vs-wh ... l#p2197218
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Re: Booth vs. Wharton ($)  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Dec 2018, 11:45
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Congrats on the admits. Such a great problem to have.

Wharton with $ is > Booth in general but there are 2 things to consider in your case I feel -

1) How prestige hungry are you?
Wharton has a slightly better prestige standing vs Booth but you should think about how much of your self-worth is based on having that additional prestige? In ten years, will you be super-proud about belonging to the Chicago Booth community? Or will you wish you had the Wharton brand instead?

2) Fit - maybe attend both admitted school weekends to review your current feel of "fit". Sometimes initial "fit" perceptions can be misleading.. or based on limited info. Both programs have big classes but Wharton is 30% larger than Booth.
Finally, I think its worth asking Booth for money telling them about your other option. I feel they'd match the Wharton $ and then it might be an easier decision.

If you're still torn, go with your heart / gut feeling.
Good luck!
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Re: Booth vs. Wharton ($)  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Dec 2018, 12:31
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TL;DR - If you've already done your homework on both schools, go with your heart and go to Booth. If you haven't done enough homework yet, go to the Welcome Weekends for admits to get more data points - particularly before you dismiss a scholarship.

Hey there -

Congrats on your offers! : ) For context, I'm a Wharton alum who had an offer from Wharton $$$, Booth and LBS $.

It sounds like in your heart of hearts, you have a preference for Booth. You should go forth and be happy with that choice - there really is no downside here, particularly given your goals. : )

The only caution I have is - have you really done your homework on the two schools? If you have, then it certainly sounds like you're trying to convince yourself to turn down Wharton because you love Booth more -- go with Booth. After the first couple years, the school's reputation doesn't matter - YOUR PERSONAL WORK AND REPUTATION IS WHAT MATTERS. As a hiring manager, I mostly focus on what candidates have done in their jobs - the school they went to is really minor (and I can't imagine a case in which it swayed my decisions).

But if you haven't done enough homework on the two schools? You probably owe it to yourself to do more research. At a bare minimum (and assuming you have the time and resources), I would suggest attending the admit welcome weekends for both schools. This will give you a better sense of the people/culture/school, and help you to make better judgments. I know the Wharton Welcome Weekend is normally late-Jan - not so sure about the Booth equivalent.

Good luck!


--- ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY ---

(1) On school culture and fit: When I was facing the same decision on which school to attend, I always thought that by nature, I was more of a fit at Booth. Because I never had a chance to visit any of these schools beforehand and had limited interaction with alums (living in SE Asia at the time), my ingoing hypothesis was that I was more of a fit at Booth. Basically (and entirely working off stereotypes), I felt Booth was a better fit because it would be a little more intellectual/academic, a little more eccentric / quirky, and more accepting of a sociable introvert who was not an out-and-out extrovert. Despite its stronger reputation, I was extremely nervous about fitting in at Wharton -- I was worried that it was full of Donald Trump wannabes and full of cutthroat competition.

Looking back, I don't think those concerns about Wharton were really warranted. Wharton was waaaaay more collaborative and empathetic than I thought it would be. While I wasn't friends with everyone (the school is just too big), I found my tribe pretty quickly. And kudos to the school for doing a great job at guiding that process of bonding and developing friendships and collaborations. My classmates (even those casual acquaintances who didn't necessarily become friends) concretely helped me land a job at McKinsey, were a huge source of emotional support during the stresses of the first year, and many continue to be a presence in my life to this day. I go on vacations with some of them, I've officiated at a friend's wedding in Singapore recently, we share regular career advice.... the list goes on and on. The reason I'm even writing this post is because Wharton changed the trajectory of my life - and I feel a great sense of gratitude and affection for the school.

Now, I can't say that Booth wouldn't have offered a similar (or even better) experience - we're obviously dealing with counter-factuals here. And I'm just one data point, but I can say that my initial concerns about not fitting in at Wharton were unfounded. I even stretched myself by going to the occasional crazy party (ask more recent alums whether Wharton 64 and the White Party are still regular fixtures in the social calendar lol).

(2) On academic flexibility and why I chose Wharton: My circumstances were different than yours are -- I didn't have a strong business background (philosophy major in undergrad and was a professional speechwriter at the time) -- so I actually appreciated the balance that Wharton struck between structure and flexibility. I liked how Wharton focused on ensuring that everyone had strong, comprehensive business foundations across the critical disciplines and then let you disperse and take advantage of its hundreds of electives. I was a little concerned that with Booth's greater flexibility, I would make poor choices based on what I didn't know I didn't know. (NB - To be fair, I'm sure that Booth has a set of recommended classes to provide a little more structure for folks like myself.)

I would also add that Wharton does encourage a fair amount of flexibility - even in the first year. Students can test out of core classes (and most test out of at least one - with many waiving way more), and then can take electives instead. I also appreciate the need to test out - you have clear external validation that you actually do pass muster. Even someone like me who mostly took core classes in his first year took on some electives - I did an independent project with some classmates doing a feasibility on an offshore wind energy project in Lake Michigan for the state government of Michigan.

So you definitely do have options to increase flexibility in your curriculum, if that's important to you. : )
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New post 27 Dec 2018, 12:53
Thanks so much for the detailed responses, ak139 and stoiczoan. ak139, I am planning on attending both welcome weekends in Jan and am keeping an open mind. Really appreciate the advice and insight; it’s definitely made me think a little differently about the choice!

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Re: Booth vs. Wharton ($)  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jan 2019, 15:52
I would reach out to your contact in the Booth admissions office and mention that you got into Wharton with a scholarship and see if they are able to offer you a similar scholarship at Booth. Wharton is a common cross-admit with Booth and Booth has been focused on winning these admits (currently around 50% from conversations I have had with admissions), so they may be willing to make the decision easy for you.
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New post 07 Mar 2019, 08:17
Plenty of people choose Booth over Wharton. It’s not how it used to be.

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Re: Booth vs. Wharton ($)  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Mar 2019, 09:42
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Coming from a finance background, I personally think Booth has more prestige than Wharton.
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New post 07 Mar 2019, 19:45
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lingx073 wrote:
Coming from a finance background, I personally think Booth has more prestige than Wharton.


I disagree and I go to Booth. The only lens through which Booth is more prestigious than Wharton is academically (e.g. Nobels). Other than that, Wharton is more prestigious than Booth.
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Re: Booth vs. Wharton ($)   [#permalink] 07 Mar 2019, 19:45
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