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CBS J-term vs Cornell Tech ($$)

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Cornell Tech Thread Master
Joined: 29 Apr 2014
Posts: 22
Location: India
Concentration: Technology, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 710 Q46 V41
GMAT 2: 700 Q48 V37
CBS J-term vs Cornell Tech ($$)  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2018, 21:31

I have a decision to make between CBS J-term and Cornell Tech (50k scholarship).

About my background:

Indian female, 30. Extremely passionate about tech & entrepreneurship and have built significant expertise in e-commerce, product management and brand development. Eventual goal is to start my own venture but short-term is to work at a consumer-tech company as Product Manager (Amazon, Google, Warby Parker) and then a VC.

I am looking to take a full loan to support the MBA since family/personal savings are not significant. Given the visa situation (H1B lottery specifically) I am quite nervous about just taking a leap of faith and investing in CBS even though I am leaning towards it.

Following are my pros & cons for each. Would appreciate your insights on it.

Cornell Tech

- I find the program fascinating and aligned with my personality: The approach to breaking the traditional MBA mould, to build a start-up during school, courseworks such as artificial intelligence and blockchain and to collaborate cross-functionally with engineers, designers.
- Focus on tech & entrepreneurship: The placements seem to be good basis my conversations with students - but it is definitely limited in comparison to CBS.
- Money: I will be taking a full loan and financing my MBA is a big consideration. The scholarship of 50k will definitely take the pressure off and the 1-year = less living cost so I am currently looking at a difference of 130k between Cornell and Columbia and the interest would also be higher on CBS
- The alumni have been extremely responsive

- Even though it is the Cornell brand: The program is still new
- The placements are limited to tech even though I want to pursue that - It limits exploring options.


- Brand, Brand, Brand. CBS MBA will be for life. There is no risk even if I have to return to India given the uncertainty with visas - Columbia MBA is very well recognised. Cornell is just not the same.
- Network: Larger network of alumni
- Still very entrepreneurial: Companies I admire such as Away, Lola have been founded by Columbia alumni
- In-semester internships
- Not limited to tech: Can easily explore consulting etc. if it has to come down to casting a wider net or visa purposes

- J-term: I won't get a full 12 weeks of summer internship (Probably 6-8 weeks) but I do get in-semester internships. However that reduces my chances of converting the internship to a full-time role. Students from J-term however have been employed in the past easily (based on chats with students) so I don't think this is 100% limiting.
- Money! A difference of 130K. Plus I think there is a lot more travel and partying involved at CBS so I think I am looking at more than that.

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Re: CBS J-term vs Cornell Tech ($$)  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2018, 10:17
Congratulations on getting into these two programs!
Sorry I have missed your post originally - thanksgiving and travel have gotten in the way.

Your work experience sounds great - as long as you have some brand names on your resume - that will help with recruiting in the US. Otherwise, if it is a local unknown company, US recruiters discount some of the international experience/accomplishments.

In terms of choices, I am not too familiar with either of these somewhat unique programs but looking at Columbia vs. Cornell, there are some general thoughts:
1. Recruiting is tougher at Johnson due to its remote location. Not as many companies want to come out
2. Being in the city you are closer to employers and networking is a lot better, and so is the energy and quality of life
3. Cost is a big component. H1B is unknow, and picking a cheaper program is always a benefit
4. Not having a proper summer internship slot is a downside for an international applicant but it sounds like with the Tech MBA from Cornell, you would not have one anyway, is that correct? Internships are usually very important if you are switching industries or have no brands on your resume. If you are staying and have an impressive resume, less priority
5. CBS has been somewhat diluting their brand. I am glad to hear that in India it has a strong name. They have been admitting a number of applicants and deferring them a year with an offer of a partial/full scholarship in a yer - very odd but it definitely worked for a number of folks.
6. You will have to work your butt off to get a good internship and even harder to get a good job - it will be endless hard work of networking, applying, writing, calling, chatting, and emailing. Neither program will guarantee a job, though it is possible you will run into one easier at one school than the other.

I am mixed personally. The cost is a big concern for me but if the Tech MBA program has a new name, few recruiters come on campus, and there is no internship, then it is probably not worth it. (correct me if I am off about internship/recruiting).

P.S. Congrats again!

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Re: CBS J-term vs Cornell Tech ($$)  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Nov 2018, 13:29
Congrats goenkashreya for your admittance :)

I agree with bb about his analysis. I would add something from my point of view. Columbia is better than Cornell. If you can get a good and afford the loan while going back to India (worst scenario), then go for it. Otherwise, stick to the lowest cost with Cornell and work hard to get interviews and offers.

I would like to comment on very small thing about converting to consulting while being at Columbia. It is highly unlikely that you get offer from big firms if you did not so full internship there.This was my friend's experience while he was in Kellogg's one year mba. He got offers from small consulting companies.
But he ended up in good job in Dubai.

Good luck
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Re: CBS J-term vs Cornell Tech ($$) &nbs [#permalink] 29 Nov 2018, 13:29
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