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Darden vs Tepper vs McCombs

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Darden vs Tepper vs McCombs  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2018, 06:42
Hi Everyone,
Yes, another one of these posts. I am really struggling with my decision here and there are less than 2 weeks before the first school's (Tepper) deposit is due!

About me:
29, male, from and live in Perth, Australia
6 years WE in a Government role here
Hoping to move into Tech/Product Management in the short term (somewhere like Amazon or Microsoft would be nice) and hopefully found my own firm in the medium term once I have cut my teeth a bit in a tech firm.

I am in the fortunate position that I have been accepted to some very good schools (no $ unfortunately). I've been accepted to Tepper, McCombs and Darden, and WL'd at Ross and Johnson (and declined at Foster).
Prior to receiving any notifications my preferences were McCombs + Ross, then Tepper + Darden, then Johnson + Foster. However, now that I have been accepted at a few places I now need to dig down and decide.
I haven't travelled to any campus events, but visited Austin a few years ago on a trip to the USA, and thought it was great.

One other consideration is that I will have my girlfriend in tow (who is a US citizen) who will need to find a job. The job market in her field looks fairly robust in all three places, although living in a city will provide more opportunities over somewhere smaller like Charlottesville.

Here is a bit of my thinking:

Darden:
Top ranked/most 'prestigious' on the list
Charlottesville seems nice, and I haven't lived in a small/college town before
Big alumni network
Big state school - football games, school spirit, all that business
Highest starting salaries of the three
Not as strong in tech - this is probably it's biggest weakness, if I wanted to go for IB or consulting it would be a no brainer
Case method - it sounds very interesting and I think it would be very useful, but I have no experience with it so I can't say if it is a benefit

Tepper:
Very strong in tech - places around 40% of students in tech firms
Job placement - placed students in all five of the big tech firms - Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple
Pittsburgh seems ok to live in - bustling with a good bar scene + very cheap cost of living

McCombs:
Big alumni network
Big state school - football games, school spirit, all that business
Austin seems like a great place to live/spend 2 years
Does seem a little regional - more than half of students stay in Texas (not saying I don't want to end up there, I just see this as a weakness)
It had the lowest tuition of the three, almost $15k less than Darden
Seems to place a lot of students into Austin based tech firms
One minor weakness is that Austin might be a little too similar to Perth (climate mainly)

I honestly don't know how to split the three. I think I'd achieve my goals at any of them, and have a great time at any of them.

Any thoughts/comments would be great!
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Re: Darden vs Tepper vs McCombs  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2018, 09:50
Hi there,

I don't have a lot of advice to give you, but I am in a very similar situation myself deciding between Darden and McCombs. I share a lot of the same thoughts as you on strengths and weaknesses and I too am split on my decision.

Part of me feels like I shouldn't pass up the name and opportunity of Darden. But I too have to consider my girlfriend and her future as well. :idontknow:

Are you planning on visiting one of the programs for admit weekend?
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Re: Darden vs Tepper vs McCombs  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2018, 10:26
TravisfromAUS wrote:
Hi Everyone,
Yes, another one of these posts. I am really struggling with my decision here and there are less than 2 weeks before the first school's (Tepper) deposit is due!

About me:
29, male, from and live in Perth, Australia
6 years WE in a Government role here
Hoping to move into Tech/Product Management in the short term (somewhere like Amazon or Microsoft would be nice) and hopefully found my own firm in the medium term once I have cut my teeth a bit in a tech firm.

I am in the fortunate position that I have been accepted to some very good schools (no $ unfortunately). I've been accepted to Tepper, McCombs and Darden, and WL'd at Ross and Johnson (and declined at Foster).
Prior to receiving any notifications my preferences were McCombs + Ross, then Tepper + Darden, then Johnson + Foster. However, now that I have been accepted at a few places I now need to dig down and decide.
I haven't travelled to any campus events, but visited Austin a few years ago on a trip to the USA, and thought it was great.

One other consideration is that I will have my girlfriend in tow (who is a US citizen) who will need to find a job. The job market in her field looks fairly robust in all three places, although living in a city will provide more opportunities over somewhere smaller like Charlottesville.

Here is a bit of my thinking:

Darden:
Top ranked/most 'prestigious' on the list
Charlottesville seems nice, and I haven't lived in a small/college town before
Big alumni network
Big state school - football games, school spirit, all that business
Highest starting salaries of the three
Not as strong in tech - this is probably it's biggest weakness, if I wanted to go for IB or consulting it would be a no brainer
Case method - it sounds very interesting and I think it would be very useful, but I have no experience with it so I can't say if it is a benefit

Tepper:
Very strong in tech - places around 40% of students in tech firms
Job placement - placed students in all five of the big tech firms - Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple
Pittsburgh seems ok to live in - bustling with a good bar scene + very cheap cost of living

McCombs:
Big alumni network
Big state school - football games, school spirit, all that business
Austin seems like a great place to live/spend 2 years
Does seem a little regional - more than half of students stay in Texas (not saying I don't want to end up there, I just see this as a weakness)
It had the lowest tuition of the three, almost $15k less than Darden
Seems to place a lot of students into Austin based tech firms
One minor weakness is that Austin might be a little too similar to Perth (climate mainly)

I honestly don't know how to split the three. I think I'd achieve my goals at any of them, and have a great time at any of them.

Any thoughts/comments would be great!


IMHO, I think Tepper is the best fit for your career aspirant and your girlfriend job. Tepper is known in that field. The stats supports your choice as well.

Just if you are interested to know about case method in Darden:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suyxP_JkSKM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtJuYTeGOTU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dmm0WgLuyHg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfJ-Mk2g1NY
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Re: Darden vs Tepper vs McCombs  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2018, 15:21
Fluffhead83 at least I know I'm not the only one in this situation!
I won't be attending any of the admit weekends as I'm finishing my job up at the end of April so I can't take the time out (also 18,000kms away). I wish I was able to do a campus visit as a lot of people seem to say that when they visit the campus they get a better idea of where they should go.
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Re: Darden vs Tepper vs McCombs  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2018, 19:49
I'm also struggling with Darden and McCombs($). I have to make the decision by 15th April. Now I prefer to McCombs for the following reasons:

(1) Cost. Taking tuition difference and scholarship into consideration, choosing McCombs will save me 50K USD in two years. This means that I will bear no debt and be able to live relatively more enjoyable live for the coming two years. ( Ps. I'm also 29 and dun wanna take high risk investment)
(2) Ranking. Although Darden is ranked higher, it is not that high. I mean Darden is still not one of the M7.
(3) Alumni Network. Darden definitely has a larger global alumni presence. But again, I don't think the network different can be valued at 50K USD.
In all, I think it depends on how much we rely on the B-school to realize our career goals. As I don't think MBA is a magic pill, so I won't pay such a premium for it.

I'm from China. Looking forward to any comments :)
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Re: Darden vs Tepper vs McCombs  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2018, 14:51
Darden is the best school here, no need to overthink it
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Re: Darden vs Tepper vs McCombs  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Apr 2018, 07:50
I may have missed it, but have you tried negotiating with any of the schools? I would probably pick McCombs or Tepper with $$ over Darden if S/T goals are tech-related. I would personally vouch for McCombs because of all the three schools, Austin is the place to live with and it is an extremely reputed school for tech and engineering, so if your goals are even remotely related to niche or big tech, McCombs would suit that purpose quite nicely.
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Re: Darden vs Tepper vs McCombs  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Apr 2018, 18:23
souvik101990 wrote:
I may have missed it, but have you tried negotiating with any of the schools? I would probably pick McCombs or Tepper with $$ over Darden if S/T goals are tech-related. I would personally vouch for McCombs because of all the three schools, Austin is the place to live with and it is an extremely reputed school for tech and engineering, so if your goals are even remotely related to niche or big tech, McCombs would suit that purpose quite nicely.


Hi souvik101990,
I have not tried negotiating with them. I am not really sure what I would do about it, would it just be a polite email to the Financial Aid Office? Cost of living is pretty similar in all three areas, so tuition is the biggest driver in total costs, and UT's $10-15k/year discount to the other two is very enticing (all other things being equal).

And I am under the impression that CMU is also quite renowned for Tech/Engineering (esp Computer Science), but Pittsburgh is not as much of a hotspot as Austin?
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Darden vs Tepper vs McCombs  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Apr 2018, 06:57
TravisfromAUS - came across this thread and could relate to it as I face a very similar predicament. Are you in a position to tell us which school you selected ?
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Re: Darden vs Tepper vs McCombs  [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2018, 00:52
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Hi guys,
Thought I'd tie this off now. I've decided to go to Tepper. I asked all three universities if they would reconsider me for a scholarship and Tepper came back with $20k/year with nothing from the other two.

I was leaning towards Darden before I asked, but the financial difference is too great for the (potentially/marginally) better/different experience.

Thanks for all your input. I'm looking forward two years in Pittsburgh!

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Re: Darden vs Tepper vs McCombs  [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2018, 01:20
TravisfromAUS wrote:
Hi guys,
Thought I'd tie this off now. I've decided to go to Tepper. I asked all three universities if they would reconsider me for a scholarship and Tepper came back with $20k/year with nothing from the other two.

I was leaning towards Darden before I asked, but the financial difference is too great for the (potentially/marginally) better/different experience.

Thanks for all your input. I'm looking forward two years in Pittsburgh!

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Great decision!
Thank for you giving this thread a much deserved closure moment.

All the best for your MBA.

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Re: Darden vs Tepper vs McCombs  [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2018, 05:28
TravisfromAUS wrote:
Hi guys,
Thought I'd tie this off now. I've decided to go to Tepper. I asked all three universities if they would reconsider me for a scholarship and Tepper came back with $20k/year with nothing from the other two.

I was leaning towards Darden before I asked, but the financial difference is too great for the (potentially/marginally) better/different experience.

Thanks for all your input. I'm looking forward two years in Pittsburgh!

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Congrats on your decision; Carnegie Mellon is a great school for tech. I think you would have had the best experience at Darden (Darden is respected across the entire business community and UVA is such a fun place to spend two years), but Tepper + $ is a rational choice.
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Darden vs Tepper vs McCombs  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jun 2018, 20:03
I think you made a really good choice, especially with the clarity that you have in your career goals. Tepper is a great feeder into tech with 43% of 2017 grads accepting offers there (representing 33% of the total class size). Personally, I wouldn't let a relatively minor difference in rankings weigh too heavily in anyone's decision.

Plus, your future self will thank you for avoiding $40K worth of debt, which may not seem like a big deal now, but will be super important post-MBA when the student loan payment start to come due :-)

I also used the MBA to transition into tech product management (first Google then Facebook), so feel free to PM me if I can help.

TravisfromAUS wrote:
Hi guys,
Thought I'd tie this off now. I've decided to go to Tepper. I asked all three universities if they would reconsider me for a scholarship and Tepper came back with $20k/year with nothing from the other two.

I was leaning towards Darden before I asked, but the financial difference is too great for the (potentially/marginally) better/different experience.

Thanks for all your input. I'm looking forward two years in Pittsburgh!

Posted from my mobile device
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Darden vs Tepper vs McCombs &nbs [#permalink] 26 Jun 2018, 20:03
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