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Confused! Advice on Which BSchools to Apply

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Confused! Advice on Which BSchools to Apply  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2017, 13:27
Hello!

I'm a Chilean Industrial Engineer currently working as strategy consultant at a big retailer. Took my gmat (740, Q:49 V:41) and my TOEFL (108)

I've decided I want to apply to Kellog, MIT & Wharton. However, I'm not sure about which other schools to apply to.

I like Kellog because it's near Chicago, has a great spirit and causes a one of a kind level of fanatism in its students. Also, its pretty clear about my wife being able to audit clases, which is definitely a plus.

MIT is a mix of entrepenurship, being part of a School that's strong in all aspects of a n MBA, but also has the harder, engineering side of it close at hand. Ive always been a fan of modeling, operantions etc, and think this school could give me a chance to dive deeper there.

Wharton, even though has a rep of being hard on finance, has a strong presence on all the other aspects of business. Its avery strong all around business school.

I want to apply to 4 schools to keep me focused, so im trying to choose which one. My other 2 choices are Berkeley (oddball) and Booth.

Would love to know more about your thoughts on 2 things:
First, on my thought process for picking my first 3
Second, on the other 2 schools.
thanks!!
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Re: Confused! Advice on Which BSchools to Apply  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2017, 15:15
JUrbina wrote:
Hello!

I'm a Chilean Industrial Engineer currently working as strategy consultant at a big retailer. Took my gmat (740, Q:49 V:41) and my TOEFL (108)

I've decided I want to apply to Kellog, MIT & Wharton. However, I'm not sure about which other schools to apply to.

I like Kellog because it's near Chicago, has a great spirit and causes a one of a kind level of fanatism in its students. Also, its pretty clear about my wife being able to audit clases, which is definitely a plus.

MIT is a mix of entrepenurship, being part of a School that's strong in all aspects of a n MBA, but also has the harder, engineering side of it close at hand. Ive always been a fan of modeling, operantions etc, and think this school could give me a chance to dive deeper there.

Wharton, even though has a rep of being hard on finance, has a strong presence on all the other aspects of business. Its avery strong all around business school.

I want to apply to 4 schools to keep me focused, so im trying to choose which one. My other 2 choices are Berkeley (oddball) and Booth.

Would love to know more about your thoughts on 2 things:
First, on my thought process for picking my first 3
Second, on the other 2 schools.
thanks!!


Thank you for the post! You have a really strong background and would be a good fit for these schools. On average, applicants apply to 5 schools so you may want to add a couple more actually. Your profile is well suited for the schools you identified and for the extras, I recommend looking at Haas, Booth and perhaps Tuck!

I would be happy to explore your profile further and discuss how we can work together. I can compare you to the other Chilean applicants I have been helping this year.

Scott@personalmbacoach.com

www.personalmbacoach.com

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Scott
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Re: Confused! Advice on Which BSchools to Apply  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2017, 16:23
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Hey JUrbina. Not an admissions consultant, but thought I'd weigh in a bit as a prospective student applying this year, in case it's helpful. I've visited Kellogg and Haas (and will be applying) and for a while strongly considered Wharton (but didn't visit and decided not to apply). Didn't look too closely at MIT but have a friend that graduated this year. Booth I think I took a closer look originally than MIT, but also decided not to apply or visit (but because of my friend feel like I slightly have more of a feel for MIT than Booth).

One thing that could be helpful is to share your reasons for getting an MBA and what you want to do after. Not sure if you want to do something that involves your engineering background. Some of the thoughts I'm sharing below might become irrelevant or less true (or truer) depending on that. Some of my thoughts might be influenced by assuming you may lean towards the engineering, quant, schools.

The part I might be able to add the most value to is with Haas. I know you already say it's a bit of an oddball, so if this info below is stuff you know and why you called it that please disregard. First off it's way-way smaller than the other schools you mentioned (500 students to the Booth's 1,200 as the next closest) and that impacts the experience and feel. I also think it plays out in the number and variety of courses offered and potentially the depth that class topics might go into (depending on the subject/focus). They just aren't going to have as many classes and professors as Wharton or Harvard being 1/3 as small. I am applying to relatively smaller schools except for Kellogg and what I love about Kellogg is the wide course selection and ability to really feel I could get a rich business academic experience and could choose to go deep into a number of topics there. Haas I sometimes have wished they had a little bit more of what I want to study from looking over the class schedules and website (not to where I won't get an excellent education and business management foundation, but more on how specialized I can get). I like it for other reasons though- the rich personal experience in my opinion with the smaller school, access to Silicon Valley and a lot of hands-on opportunities to learn what I want to, that I could be happy with an excellent general management curriculum. Note: my interests aren't obscure but also not super common. When you're talking entrepreneurship classes at Haas there are obviously a lot of options, but for depth in a variety of topics I'm talking relative to schools like Kellogg and Wharton from my research. Just from what you shared about Wharton and MIT not sure I've gotten those same vibes from Haas (except for the entrepreneurship part at MIT). Primarily it was Wharton's strong presence in all other aspects (I took that to mean a lot of classes and excellence in a wide variety of fields) and then the heavy modeling, engineering at MIT (from my research and visit Haas has struck me more on the opposite side of the spectrum from engineering, finance, quant, etc.) where I saw the most difference.

Hope that is helpful and was not meant to try and convince you not to apply to Haas. You may have other reasons for loving Haas and someone (especially a current student or alum) might be able to come along and refute some of this. If the smaller school and collaborative atmosphere appeals to you (you might be considering two very different experiences and want to wait until you know where you're accepted to decide between them), I found a lot of similarities between Haas and Tuck. Booth seems way more aligned with Wharton and MIT and then Kellogg (to a degree) with the larger size, the number of classes and excellent education in so many different focuses, more "quant" like MIT and Wharton, etc. Plus it's in Chicago like Kellogg (and despite some different vibes and fit people often apply to both).

I saw you included a few more schools on your profile including Stern and Darden. Because of some geographical preferences, I didn't look closely into them, but it brought another school to mind only if it's helpful. Since you're also looking at Darden it made me think that you should take a look at Ross (less because they are similar, but more because you're looking at schools similar to its ranking). I found a lot of similarities to Kellogg at Ross in terms of the vibe and feel. Also despite it being smaller I thought it seemed to have a lot of excellent options for class and academics in a variety of fields like at Kellogg and Wharton. It could also maybe be some middle ground between a school like Haas and a school like Wharton in terms of size, options.

You might have thought a lot about your strategy for applying (such as saving some lower ranked schools for Round 2), but one other thought that came to mind about your schools was they're 3 of the top 6 schools (4 if you include Booth). The admissions consultants can better comment on your chances, but I've seen admissions to top schools sometimes be such a crap shoot even with very high stats. Had a lot of friends apply and sometimes admissions seems to make no sense. But since you were asking for feedback about the schools you picked their selectivity was the only other major thing that struck me and where it could be helpful to think about schools like Darden, Stern, and Ross. Again you might have a strategy for keeping some schools for Round 2 (and you did include other schools on your profile), so apologies if you've thought of all of this.

Finally to your question on whether three schools you mentioned as top choices make sense, I think there are always tons of different reasons why people like schools and the ones you listed make sense to me as a fellow applicant and are at a similar level to the reasons that I had a gut feeling for my top schools originally. I've seen/heard varying degrees of things like collaboration, methods, emphasis on finance/quant, etc. at those three but it doesn't strike me as odd for those three to be included together (vs. say including Wharton with a Haas or a Tuck).

Hope this was helpful and not recapping things you've already thought about. In case it could be helpful in your research and you don't already know about them, Poets and Quants, Veritas Prep, Clear Admit, MBA Mission are all websites where the school profiles helped me discover, narrow down, and do deeper research if you are looking for handy ways to explore schools that people here suggest.
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Concentration: Strategy, General Management
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Re: Confused! Advice on Which BSchools to Apply  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2017, 17:11
First of all Thad, thanks a lot for the great amount of thought you poured into answering my questions. As you point out, im playing my "dream card" in round one, which is why im applying to those top schools. I think very highly of Duke, Darden, Yale, stern and Ross (this is one is growing on me) and am saving those for a Round 2 application.

The info on Hass is very helpful and will use it to make a decision.

Now, to answer some of the questions. One of the main reasons to get an MBA is to "be a person of the World". I've lived my whole life in Chile and, while its a great country, I know there is much more out there. So I want to have the chance to get a job in the US or somewhere else. I also want to learn a lot in the MBA. I know that party and fun and experience is a great part of it, but dont want it to be only that.

I have always been very disperse, but i want to take the chance to specialize in the MBA. Thing is, im not sure yet what to specializae into. Thats why Im aiming for a "jack of all trades" kind of school, so i have more time to decide.

Also, im going to be married by the time I go there, so the city is very important for my wife. Thats why I've preferred big cities, so she can explore, and do more things or get the chance to participate in something (she is also an engineer and i know about VISA constraints)

I hope this helps you uderstand my motivations.
Writing it down has helped me too, so thanks again!
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Confused! Advice on Which BSchools to Apply  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2017, 17:51
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Since it seems like the experience is very important to you, then it could make sense to include Haas. In weighing the schools I'm applying to the thing that I like the most about Haas is I think it might give me the richest personal and leadership development experience. The small size, a lot of student driven initiatives and experiences, the core values, etc. I've gotten the international experience vibe a bit more from schools like Kellogg because of their KWEST trips, Stanford's global requirement, or Ross with their MAP projects, but I think about 1/2 of Haas students participate in the International Business Development class where they visit different countries and do consulting projects. But just comparing what my friends at Haas talk about compared to Kellogg, Stanford, MIT, etc. Haas friends talk up the quite frequent weekend trips around the West (Tahoe, Vegas, Lake Shasta, Yosemite, etc). while the other schools, it is the more week to two-week international trips and then staying pretty close to campus (some weekend trips though). I can vouch for those Western U.S. places being awesome places to experience though, especially if you're coming from outside the US, and San Francisco gives you a lot of options to explore the west (California and LA, Pacific NW with Portland and Seattle, Vancouver B.C.).

Since you mentioned wanting a "jack of all trades" school (that instantly makes me think of Wharton and Kellogg so those seem spot on) that kind of makes me think a lot more of Booth than Haas (in my opinion though). Booth has that super flexible curriculum so you can explore quite a bit and then they have so many concentrations once you know what you like, plus they're known for all around excellent academics. It might also make sense given Booth's ranking to do 1st Round and save Haas for later if needed. But sometimes you just have to go with your gut and something might be really drawing you to Haas. PersonalMBACoach said that most people apply to an average of 5 schools (not sure if that's over rounds though), so you might be able to do all 5 Round 1 if you think that's doable. But think you can't go wrong at this point with your original three and Booth and/or Haas first round.

With your mention of big cities, the Tuck suggestion doesn't make a lot of sense anymore haha. One thing I will add is I tend to forget how close Ross and Ann Arbor feels to Detroit. Flying into the Detroit airport and getting to Ann Arbor is pretty easy. I've had friends with partners/spouses do grad programs at Michigan and they've either lived halfway between Ann Arbor and Detroit or one of them commuted (from Detroit to Ann Arbor for my friend or Ann Arbor to Detroit for the spouse or partner). Something you'd have to consider if you want to do that type of set up (your wife with the long commute or you missing out on some campus life experiences), but love Ann Arbor for the American college town feel and a lot of amenities of the big city (similar to Evanston, which you mentioned). But if Ross is growing on you that might be another plus for it certainly versus UVA/Charlottesville and only slightly longer commutes to the city than Kellogg/Evanston to Chicago and Duke to Raleigh. Not sure how Detroit and Raleigh compare on getting engineering jobs though. I do get the "jack of all trade" feel from Ross for being mid-size, but haven't looked too strongly into Fuqua or Darden.

Now we just have to get through the essays and apps and interviews...
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Re: Confused! Advice on Which BSchools to Apply  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2017, 11:03
Hey JUrbina was looking over the Veritas Prep school profiles again last night and they have sections that outline similar programs based on academics, employment, and culture. Would definitely check them out if you haven't already for your question- https://www.veritasprep.com/mba-essential-guide/
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Re: Confused! Advice on Which BSchools to Apply   [#permalink] 03 Jul 2017, 11:03
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