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H/W/S selection criteria

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New post 24 Jan 2008, 09:50
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solaris1 wrote:
there's quite a bit of truth in that, in fact most applicants admitted to the top b-schools are the kind of people who would have been successful in their careers even without an MBA - so yes, there is a fair amount of selection bias to begin with.

sonalbahl wrote:
their alumni are successful because they graduated from these schools, or because they were anyway cherry-picked and were among the best ?


i wonder about this because it begs the question: if you are really that successful, why bother to do an MBA in the first place? it seems to me that they take people who have demonstrated a good (but not amazing) amount of success and show a large amount of potential going forward. attending a top school helps unlock this potential.
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New post 24 Jan 2008, 10:11
what i was trying to say was if you've demonstrated leadership at work, leadership in your community as well as excelled in activities outside the classroom, you already have what it takes to have a successful career. and what do you know, these are the same folks that get into b-school!

while there are several schools of thought that question the actual educational utility of an MBA, most people (myself included) are looking to accomplish very different aims by going through 1 or 2 years of business school - get into banking or consulting, switch careers, enhance international mobility, get stamped as being 'CEO' material etc. - an MBA facilitates a lot of this, but i'm a little skeptical about it unlocking some inherent potential within you or something like that.

most successful business leaders haven't needed an MBA to be successful in what they do.
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New post 24 Jan 2008, 10:40
hi guy, good discussion

I think that people who apply to H/W/S are just stupid :) I would never apply to such top school because I can get where I want to be post-MBA from any other top 10 school :) so why go through the trouble of applying to H/W/S and having to pay sticker price there when you can apply to top 10 schools, get money and end up at the same place when you graduate. And yes, chances of getting your 'dream job' out of another top 10 school are lower than H/W/S, but if you are a H/W/S potential you would get the job even if you go to a top 10 school :), if you have that 'sparkle' in your eyes and charisma you will get the job!. Therefore I think it is stupid to apply to H/W/S just to have that brand on your resume.

I have always got jobs that I was interviewed for. I got my current job from over 300 people that applied for 1 position. The only jobs I did not get were the ones I was not interviewed for. People always tell me that I have that 'sparkle' in my eye when I interview, it is a mixture of motivation, determination, optimism and knowing what I want. And I know I will get my dream job out of a top 10 school, I don't need to go through the hussle of applying and getting tortured at H/S/W
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New post 24 Jan 2008, 10:47
solaris1 wrote:
what i was trying to say was if you've demonstrated leadership at work, leadership in your community as well as excelled in activities outside the classroom, you already have what it takes to have a successful career. and what do you know, these are the same folks that get into b-school!

while there are several schools of thought that question the actual educational utility of an MBA, most people (myself included) are looking to accomplish very different aims by going through 1 or 2 years of business school - get into banking or consulting, switch careers, enhance international mobility, get stamped as being 'CEO' material etc. - an MBA facilitates a lot of this, but i'm a little skeptical about it unlocking some inherent potential within you or something like that.

most successful business leaders haven't needed an MBA to be successful in what they do.


good call -- i think we are saying the same thing.

potential may have been a bad word choice -- b-school probably doesn't unlock any potential that wasn't already inherent in an individual, but it does focus them, open doors, get them on the "right" path and shore up some gaps in their knowledge base. agree completely.
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New post 24 Jan 2008, 12:08
This post pulled out one of the best discussions I have ever passed through online relating to MBA degrees.
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New post 24 Jan 2008, 12:57
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Darden,

I agree with you to some extent. If you believe that you are a H/S/W material, then going to any other top school won't harm your chances (Not significantly, at least) in changing careers or speeding up progression. So ONLY applying to H/S/W makes very little sense to common applicants (And they usually don't). However, I wouldn't say that anybody who applies to H/S/W is stupid. I keep finding posts judging and dissing others' school selections. Why do we have to do this? I think that Darden's comment was in a light mood .. so my post is not targeted at Darden.

There are people who apply
(a) only to H
(b) only to H/S/W
(c) only to top 10 schools
(d) only to top 15 schools
.. and so on ..

What's funny is that a person in group (c) will call a person in group (b) a ranking-whore or just plain stupid, conveniently ignoring the fact that a person in group (d) is calling the group (c) person a ranking-whore or just plain stupid.

People choose B-schools based on what they want to gain from the schools and how much they are willing to pay for the gain (Financially, Mentally, Professionally and Personally). For some people, their current situations may lead them to "I'll do an MBA only if I go to Harvard" .. and for some people, those may lead to "I'll do an MBA at any cost". The first person should obviously apply to Harvard only .. and the other person should apply to a set of reach-realistic-backup schools. People keep saying that we should apply to schools that "fit" us. But who decides which schools fit us? We do, right? So, if someone decides that H/S/W fit his/her requirements or that ONLY H/S/W fit his/her requirements, then who are we to judge it?

The bottom line is that we all get influenced by schools' reputations. How many of us deeply researched all AACSB accredited MBA programs to find the programs that best fit us? Honestly? And who says that reputation is not one of the elements of finding the right "fit" anyway? Wouldn't you find the most successful, diverse and competitive fellow students in a top ranked school? Wouldn't you find the most successful and respected faculty and the best facilities in top schools? Wouldn't you want the best possible network? Which schools will have stronger networks -- top ranked schools or others?

Last year I read about a guy who was applying to HBS every year. He said that he would either go to HBS or nowhere at all. I was not sure if this guy was a sheep or he was the one who was not a sheep. We don't know .. because we are not him. Take my example. I will be getting a green card in 1-1 1/2 yrs. An F1 visa is difficult for me because I've already shown an immigration intent. I am willing to risk my green card (To some extent) only for a few "reach" schools. I am not willing to risk my green card for schools that I won't be absolutely insanely excited about. So I applied to just a few schools. I would have loved to apply to Stanford too if I had one more month available. Does that make me stupid?

ps. Anybody who quotes "Does that make me stupid?" and answers "Yes" can be assured that I'll BAN him/her right away! :twisted:
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New post 24 Jan 2008, 13:24
sudden wrote:
sonalbahl wrote:
their alumni are successful because they graduated from these schools, or because they were anyway cherry-picked and were among the best ?

i wonder about this because it begs the question: if you are really that successful, why bother to do an MBA in the first place? it seems to me that they take people who have demonstrated a good (but not amazing) amount of success and show a large amount of potential going forward. attending a top school helps unlock this potential.

These people have differing reasons for doing an MBA, although they are already quite successful. You asking this question that why bother doing an MBA if you're already succesful, is like making the statement - why go through such-and such training, why yearn for a promotion, why travel - the answer is simple : to improve the existing level of satisfaction with one's life (!) Everyone wants to be better than they are - financially, professionally, socially, etc., right ? Doing an MBA opens up MORE options, EVEN for already successful people.
That's my take on it - you don't have to agree with it ! But that's me.
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New post 24 Jan 2008, 13:56
well said mneo. Agree 100% with your assesment and comments. Just to add to mneo's example- I have a good friend of mine who is on an amazing career track. Has been promoted 3 times in about 4 years time and is likely to get promoted again in a couple of months to a director. He is 28 and is applying to only H and K because he feels he is already in a great spot. So I would echo mneo's staments that it is not right to call people applying to HSW as stupid.


Darden- you said "so why go through the trouble of applying to H/W/S and having to pay sticker price there when you can apply to top 10 schools, get money and end up at the same place when you graduate. "

For some of applicants, this is an opportunity of a life time and I dont think $'s from schools would sway them one way or the other. I dont want to get into a huge argument but there are some career paths that could be extremely difficult out of a top 10 school but 'might' be a little easier through HSW.

Again- each to his/her own :)


mNeo wrote:
Darden,

I agree with you to some extent. If you believe that you are a H/S/W material, then going to any other top school won't harm your chances (Not significantly, at least) in changing careers or speeding up progression. So ONLY applying to H/S/W makes very little sense to common applicants (And they usually don't). However, I wouldn't say that anybody who applies to H/S/W is stupid. I keep finding posts judging and dissing others' school selections. Why do we have to do this? I think that Darden's comment was in a light mood .. so my post is not targeted at Darden.

There are people who apply
(a) only to H
(b) only to H/S/W
(c) only to top 10 schools
(d) only to top 15 schools
.. and so on ..

What's funny is that a person in group (c) will call a person in group (b) a ranking-whore or just plain stupid, conveniently ignoring the fact that a person in group (d) is calling the group (c) person a ranking-whore or just plain stupid.

People choose B-schools based on what they want to gain from the schools and how much they are willing to pay for the gain (Financially, Mentally, Professionally and Personally). For some people, their current situations may lead them to "I'll do an MBA only if I go to Harvard" .. and for some people, those may lead to "I'll do an MBA at any cost". The first person should obviously apply to Harvard only .. and the other person should apply to a set of reach-realistic-backup schools. People keep saying that we should apply to schools that "fit" us. But who decides which schools fit us? We do, right? So, if someone decides that H/S/W fit his/her requirements or that ONLY H/S/W fit his/her requirements, then who are we to judge it?

The bottom line is that we all get influenced by schools' reputations. How many of us deeply researched all AACSB accredited MBA programs to find the programs that best fit us? Honestly? And who says that reputation is not one of the elements of finding the right "fit" anyway? Wouldn't you find the most successful, diverse and competitive fellow students in a top ranked school? Wouldn't you find the most successful and respected faculty and the best facilities in top schools? Wouldn't you want the best possible network? Which schools will have stronger networks -- top ranked schools or others?

Last year I read about a guy who was applying to HBS every year. He said that he would either go to HBS or nowhere at all. I was not sure if this guy was a sheep or he was the one who was not a sheep. We don't know .. because we are not him. Take my example. I will be getting a green card in 1-1 1/2 yrs. An F1 visa is difficult for me because I've already shown an immigration intent. I am willing to risk my green card (To some extent) only for a few "reach" schools. I am not willing to risk my green card for schools that I won't be absolutely insanely excited about. So I applied to just a few schools. I would have loved to apply to Stanford too if I had one more month available. Does that make me stupid?

ps. Anybody who quotes "Does that make me stupid?" and answers "Yes" can be assured that I'll BAN him/her right away! :twisted:
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New post 24 Jan 2008, 14:48
well said mNeo and dosa.

Like them, I also believe applying to H/S/W should be based on sound personal reasons, and not just the rankings. Of course, while not targeting Darden regarding the "stupid" comment, I wouldn't say that all applicants of H/S/W are stupid (obviously since it would include stupid ol'e me :P)

But I agree with Darden that any of the top 10 (or even top 15, 20) schools can give you the career you want to get out of it. You don't *need* H/S/W to do it, but it'll be easier if you're in H/S/W. If I didn't believe top 15 schools can help me with what I want to do, I would not have applied to Haas, UCLA, and Kellogg. Applying to Stanford was a personal choice based on location, their strength in the program I want to get into, the culture and atmosphere, and of course, the prestige. Now that I'm dinged from there, I would be perfectly happy to live on the rest of my life going to Haas, UCLA or Kellogg. Personally, I don't need the brand name at all, but Stanford did offer the top opportunities for what I wanted to do (Haas is a very close second).

Anyway, mNeo said everything else that I would have said, so I'll stop here. :)
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New post 24 Jan 2008, 15:41
sonalbahl wrote:
You asking this question that why bother doing an MBA if you're already succesful, is like making the statement - why go through such-and such training, why yearn for a promotion, why travel - the answer is simple : to improve the existing level of satisfaction with one's life (!) Everyone wants to be better than they are - financially, professionally, socially, etc., right ? Doing an MBA opens up MORE options, EVEN for already successful people.
That's my take on it - you don't have to agree with it ! But that's me.


Not necessarily. Many people don`t need an MBA to have those options. There are many paths to be succesful and to be even more sucessful. The MBA is merely 1 path. It would be interesting to see statistics which comapre succesful entrepreneurs with and without an MBA, and then to find out whether the success was due to the academics or the networking an MBA provided.
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New post 25 Jan 2008, 01:58
Hello all again,

Well my first comment is, why would someone apply to schools for which he/she is not really excited about? I feel sorry for people that apply to schools just because of reputation and just because from 'some' schools it is easier to get your dream job. If you are a 'star' you will prove your case no matter which top 10 school you go to. The only way to excell in life is to do somethig that you love, if you don't love your school and the life you have at your school you will not be at your top game during recruiting process. The level of satisfaction that you have from your life shows on your face, you won't be able to hide it and recruiters (like everyone else) like people that radiate positive energy.

And also, (sorry guys) but I think it is stupid to want to go to an MBA 'at any price'. Come on we are all part of the business world and we know money matters. If you can get the same opportunities out of two schools while one is Harvard and costs you 200K, while the other one is Darden and costs you 20K rational people would chose Darden :). But if you are a 'low self confidence' person who 'needs' a Harvard degree to have a chance at getting your dream job you would chose Harvard any day.


I wouldn't do ANYTHING at 'any price' because if you are willing to do something 'at any price' you are just very closed minded, there is a wounderfull world full of opportunities out there and nothing is worth doing 'at any price'.


Also... regarding my previous post. Ok, I don't think all people that apply to Harvard are stupid. Some people are just blind, or influenced by society so much that hey would rather do a degree that looks good on their resume than a degree at a school that they love even though both schools will give them the same opportunities.

And ofcourse 'no man is an island' and rankings are important, that is why I talk mostly about top 10 schools, but there is little difference opportunity wise between all the top 10-15 schools so therefore I just don't see what is the big deal with H/W/S. I think the 'followers' not the 'leaders' make these schools such a big deal.
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New post 25 Jan 2008, 02:03
Darden2010 wrote:

I wouldn't do ANYTHING at 'any price' because if you are willing to do something 'at any price' you are just very closed minded, there is a wounderfull world full of opportunities out there and nothing is worth doing 'at any price'.




There are some things which people will do at 'any price', maybe you included but not usually b-school or career related. e.g. anything which can rescue your offspring from a life or death situation.
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New post 25 Jan 2008, 03:20
I need to read the rest of this thread here, but am too excited to do so before I post this:

more proof why I did not apply to H and S. (W never even came to my mind):

http://forums.businessweek.com/n/pfx/fo ... g=74020.48
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New post 25 Jan 2008, 03:44
solaris1 wrote:
what i was trying to say was if you've demonstrated leadership at work, leadership in your community as well as excelled in activities outside the classroom, you already have what it takes to have a successful career. and what do you know, these are the same folks that get into b-school!


That's a hypothesis. You are saying that leadership ability equals success in a business environment. I doubt that. I believe in order to succeed as a leader you DO need the skill set to convince people you know what you're talking about (I know, there are leaders out there who have little knowledge of their field but still succeed, I say those are exceptions to the rule).

solaris1 wrote:
while there are several schools of thought that question the actual educational utility of an MBA, most people (myself included) are looking to accomplish very different aims by going through 1 or 2 years of business school - get into banking or consulting, switch careers, enhance international mobility, get stamped as being 'CEO' material etc. - an MBA facilitates a lot of this, but i'm a little skeptical about it unlocking some inherent potential within you or something like that.

most successful business leaders haven't needed an MBA to be successful in what they do.


Maybe I am naiive, but I actually do think that an MBA can unlock unfulfilled potential within me.

Soft skills:
First, because of the environment and teaching style that will foster soft skills I know I can be even better on, such as working in international teams, becoming more patient with other people from different backgrounds, speaking in public, analytical skills (this could be seen as a hard skill)

hard:
I actually have quite high expectations as to what I can learn in an MBA (although I have a business degree): Especially in the areas of finance , strategy and technology I expect the MBA to give me knowledge that I lack and would have trouble acquiring in any other way. I will make sure I will get that knowledge and will judge the value of my MBA by the degree that it will fulfill these expectations.

Of course, apart from these expectations I also want to the added value of having an internationally acclaimed degree and make a career change, but to get there, I want to acquire the above mentioned skills.

As to the H/S/W discussion: I severely doubt that H/S/W can deliver better on these parameters than other top10/15 schools. I actually doubt that a school with competitive feel such as H would be better at all.
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New post 25 Jan 2008, 06:31
Finally!!!
People are starting to get over the H/W/S craze :)
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New post 25 Jan 2008, 06:42
While I respect folks that aim high and only go for HSW, well as long as they have a shot...some people are just insane since its completely unrealistic that they will get into any of these. However, I dont feel bad for anyone who only goes for these and does not get in. Much like the stock market you need to hedge your bets. Even if all our research shows you will be successful with getting into H and S, putting all your eggs into such a risky basket is bordering on silly. While some people may think that the only schools that will improve their profile are H/S but most companies that recruit there go to all the other top 5-10 schools. All of our members who have been admitted to HBS and Stanford have been WL or dinged by schools other than the one they were admitted to...and they also applied to other schools besides just the top 3. Going to GSB, Kellogg, MIT or other top school isnt going to be a waste of time and money for almost anyone (there may be one or two people a year thats not true for).

In some cases it may be better to be the top of the food chain at a school than at the bottom of the barrel at H/S. Not everyone coming out of the big three will have better opportunities than students at other schools. Take a look at the success Pelihu has had this year, Darden is a great school but I dont think many people would pick it over HBS and he has rocked this recruiting season.

One thing that confuses me are people that cant decide between HBS and Stanford, it would be hard for two schools to be anymore different. If someone truly cares about fit they would know which one is right for them...the schools probably know which is right for them and thats why a lot of people get into one or the other but its probably pretty rare to get into both.
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New post 25 Jan 2008, 07:24
Darden2010 wrote:
Hello all again,

Well my first comment is, why would someone apply to schools for which he/she is not really excited about? I feel sorry for people that apply to schools just because of reputation and just because from 'some' schools it is easier to get your dream job. If you are a 'star' you will prove your case no matter which top 10 school you go to. The only way to excell in life is to do somethig that you love, if you don't love your school and the life you have at your school you will not be at your top game during recruiting process. The level of satisfaction that you have from your life shows on your face, you won't be able to hide it and recruiters (like everyone else) like people that radiate positive energy.


Well you have a valid point about people who apply to schools based on reputation alone. BUT- honestly, that percentage is very small. Also- I am not sure I agree with this whole fit thing. I mean, every school is similar in terms of education (yeah I know the case study thingy, but honestly, if it has worked for some 1000's of students over the years, I dont think I would question that). But the networks that you develop over the years is probably something invaluable. And I dont know why you are under the impression that all the students at H and S are not satisfied with life? or dont love their school? And it does not seem like recruiters are seeing the same thing you are as H and S are still at the top of the recruiting lists.

Quote:
And also, (sorry guys) but I think it is stupid to want to go to an MBA 'at any price'. Come on we are all part of the business world and we know money matters. If you can get the same opportunities out of two schools while one is Harvard and costs you 200K, while the other one is Darden and costs you 20K rational people would chose Darden :). But if you are a 'low self confidence' person who 'needs' a Harvard degree to have a chance at getting your dream job you would chose Harvard any day.


1- you are assuming that an admit from Darden is getting some level of financial assistantship. Unfortunately it is extremely difficult in certain demographics to get $'s - for example Indians. Fees wise, almost all the top schools are the same. So, I dont think it is fair to say that Harvard would cost you $200k vs $20k at Darden.

And, I really would not go by the discussions on b-week. I am pretty sure that half the guys who claim to have gotten into HS are just BSing.
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New post 25 Jan 2008, 07:37
dosa_don wrote:
Well you have a valid point about people who apply to schools based on reputation alone. BUT- honestly, that percentage is very small.

And it does not seem like recruiters are seeing the same thing you are as H and S are still at the top of the recruiting lists.


I think the converse is actually true, dosa. Most applicants to H/S/W DO apply based on reputation alone, and especially so in the Indian context because of a host of cultural perceptions.

You find me enough Indians who are applying to H/S/W on the basis of fit or something else abstract apart from reputation (account for possible exceptions, as always) and I'll change my mind...but until then :)

And I don't know how much faith you put in the WSJ ranking methodology, but clearly there are recruiters who aren't happy with H and S grads. So there may be some statistical evidence to back up what Darden is saying, H/S/W isn't an automatic ticket to success. Like riverripper said, it's a perfectly good idea to be the 'big fish' in a small pond.
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New post 25 Jan 2008, 07:42
riverripper wrote:

One thing that confuses me are people that cant decide between HBS and Stanford, it would be hard for two schools to be anymore different. If someone truly cares about fit they would know which one is right for them...the schools probably know which is right for them and thats why a lot of people get into one or the other but its probably pretty rare to get into both.


Right there with you, river. Actually, I have to ask: Why APPLY to all of them in the first place? Seriously? If you really care even a little bit about something more than the brand name, I cannot see anyone applying to more than maybe one of them.
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New post 25 Jan 2008, 07:47
They do give you great job opportunities and I think a lot of people think it will do more for their career long term. This may be true for a lot of folks. I dont think people that apply to them are necessarily chasing the rankings since in many rankings they arent ranked at the top. Rankings chasers are the people who decide to apply to GSB when they know nothing about it but its #1 in BW.
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Kellogg Class of 2010...still active and willing to help. However, I do not do profile reviews, don't offer predictions on chances and am far to busy to review essays, so save the energy of writing me a PM seeking help for these. If I don't respond to a PM that is not one of the previously mentioned trash can destined messages, please don't take it personally I get so many messages I have a hard to responding to most. The more interesting, compelling, or humorous you message the more likely I am to respond.
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Re: H/W/S selection criteria &nbs [#permalink] 25 Jan 2008, 07:47

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