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Harvard vs. Booth ($$$)

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Harvard vs. Booth ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2017, 01:56
Hi everyone, looking for some perspectives on a decision I have to make. (Admittedly both are amazing options, so I'm not complaining)

I've been accepted to Harvard and Booth. Booth has given me a ~75% scholarship, which would mean I would graduate with no debt. Harvard only does need based fellowships, which given my situation would mean I would graduate with a debt load, likely around $100k.

I'm currently thinking of two options for me after graduation, either MBB or getting into VC in the industry I worked in previously.

Would I be crazy to not go to HBS, even given the $$$? If I go down the MBB route, is the recruiting really any different between the two? I know brand name is more of a factor for VC, so HBS would open more doors.

Any thoughts are appreciated.

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Harvard vs. Booth ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 19 Dec 2017, 12:48
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Take that money and go to Booth.

In two years, you'll have the same MBB role (or VC role) you would have if you went to HBS--you just won't have years' worth of student loan payments to fork over as well.

If for whatever reason you aren't able to land the role you want, it won't be because you're at Chicago as opposed to Harvard, it'll be because something went awry in the recruiting process. In other words, just having an "H" on your resume isn't going to land you a job that a "B" would prevent you from getting.

There's just no way that HBS is worth $100k more than Booth.

Originally posted by teleste on 19 Dec 2017, 11:09.
Last edited by teleste on 19 Dec 2017, 12:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Harvard vs. Booth ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2017, 12:00
JessocMBA wrote:
Hi everyone, looking for some perspectives on a decision I have to make. (Admittedly both are amazing options, so I'm not complaining)

I've been accepted to Harvard and Booth. Booth has given me a ~75% scholarship, which would mean I would graduate with no debt. Harvard only does need based fellowships, which given my situation would mean I would graduate with a debt load, likely around $100k.

I'm currently thinking of two options for me after graduation, either MBB or getting into VC in the industry I worked in previously.

Would I be crazy to not go to HBS, even given the $$$? If I go down the MBB route, is the recruiting really any different between the two? I know brand name is more of a factor for VC, so HBS would open more doors.

Any thoughts are appreciated.

Posted from my mobile device


Well, how do you feel about the 100% case method at HBS? Personally, I would take the money. But it depends on what you value.
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Re: Harvard vs. Booth ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2017, 13:15
VC is very much network-based and you would have to shmooze and network quite a bit including getting an internship (critical piece).

I don't think VC's call the campus to get a fresh HBS grad hired but maybe I am wrong. I know many HBS folks graduate without a job offer accepted - not as much a sign of weakness but perhaps pickiness and options they have on the table.

Booth has the Polski center and a strong Entrepreneurship track. MBB is probably equally good where you would have equal shots.
It is a hard call but you are putting 100K on a chance the HBS will convert you to VC and some other aspects of a higher-ranked MBA program.

P.S. If having your name at the top of the totem pole is your thing, there is only one choice. I know quite a few folks who would not entertain another offer if they got one from HBS. Heck, I even know people who are passing 100K scholarship at Foster only to go Ross without a penny of assistance.
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Harvard vs. Booth ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2017, 15:32
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Aside from @bb's sticky in this subforum, which details a well-thought-out strategy, think of it this way — 6 months ago, would you pay $100k if you could magically buy a seat at HBS? If yes, then take your seat.
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Re: Harvard vs. Booth ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2017, 15:42
airo wrote:
Aside from @bb's sticky in this subforum, which details a well-thought-out strategy, think of it this way — 6 months ago, would you pay $100k if you could magically buy a seat at HBS? If yes, then take your seat.


Good point, I don't know what I would have chosen 5 years ago or 10....
I would add the point i just made for Ross vs. Madison which seems like would be a far stretch. You do have opportunity and other costs, so the diff is not $0 vs. $100,000. The diff is $200K vs. $300K for Booth vs. HBS. I still don't know if it is worth to you but maybe this helps....
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Re: Harvard vs. Booth ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2017, 15:57
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MBB plans - No real reason to choose Harvard over Booth. Both will give you the same opportunities and you'll get an MBB offer depending on your interview performance. Verdict: Booth with $$ is clear winner

VC plans - Getting into VC is pretty tough, even at truly top business schools (HSW). Its very competitive with great candidates, and personal networks can play a huge role in getting final offers. Although Harvard may increase your chances of going into VC, i'd say that actual VC likelihood will go from "very tough" at Booth to "tough" at Harvard. In my opinion, not sure the slight increase in chances is worth the extra $$, but still... Verdict: Harvard, by a little bit

Personal self-esteem levels - This can be a major deciding factor.. how do you feel about yourself currently? Are you hungry for social "prestige"? Harvard is the biggest global brand in education, and the name does carry a lot of weight. It has the maximum potential of making someone notice you, no matter where you are in the world. Booth (and U of C) has a great brand too, but not at the same level as Harvard. This will be up to you to decide - do you want that prestige, at the cost of $100K?

On the flipside, always knowing that YOU declined a Harvard offer has a certain "coolness" about it as well. You'll be in the select group of individuals who have declined a Harvard admit. :)

Nonetheless, a great dilemma to have. Congratulations, and good luck with the decision!!
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Re: Harvard vs. Booth ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2017, 16:51
stoiczoan wrote:
MBB plans - No real reason to choose Harvard over Booth. Both will give you the same opportunities and you'll get an MBB offer depending on your interview performance. Verdict: Booth with $$ is clear winner

VC plans - Getting into VC is pretty tough, even at truly top business schools (HSW). Its very competitive with great candidates, and personal networks can play a huge role in getting final offers. Although Harvard may increase your chances of going into VC, i'd say that actual VC likelihood will go from "very tough" at Booth to "tough" at Harvard. In my opinion, not sure the slight increase in chances is worth the extra $$, but still... Verdict: Harvard, by a little bit

Personal self-esteem levels - This can be a major deciding factor.. how do you feel about yourself currently? Are you hungry for social "prestige"? Harvard is the biggest global brand in education, and the name does carry a lot of weight. It has the maximum potential of making someone notice you, no matter where you are in the world. Booth (and U of C) has a great brand too, but not at the same level as Harvard. This will be up to you to decide - do you want that prestige, at the cost of $100K?

On the flipside, always knowing that YOU declined a Harvard offer has a certain "coolness" about it as well. You'll be in the select group of individuals who have declined a Harvard admit. :)

Nonetheless, a great dilemma to have. Congratulations, and good luck with the decision!!


True that, someone rejecting a Harvard admit is way cooler in mind than somebody going to HBS lol.
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Re: Harvard vs. Booth ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Dec 2017, 09:10
you would not be crazy to turn down HBS to take the money at booth. several of my classmates (at least those that i was aware of) turned down HBS given the scholarships they received at booth. you will have no disadvantage at all for MBB recruiting at booth (i think booth sent the most people to mckinsey of any business school last year). Given you worked in VC before, you will have no problem getting back into VC from booth if you decide to go down that path. All of my classmates who came in with PE/VC backgrounds and wanted to go back into the same industry were successful.
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Re: Harvard vs. Booth ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Dec 2017, 10:18
I would think about this in terms of both the short-term in the long-term. Yes I think MBB would be open to you with either choice, however how long will you be in consulting? Unless you want no life and no family probably won't be forever. And so then what? So I would kind of think about where you would be going from consulting. That often is PE or VC.

If youre going for VC I would really think about whether you need an international brand name or not. The fact is that Chicago doesn't carry the same weight abroad as HBS. Which is unfortunate but true.

Also consider what kind of experience you want and what you want out of that education. Chicago has no core curriculum basically; HBS is focused on general management.

Lastly, contact some recent HBS and Booth graduates and ask them. Hop on LinkedIn.

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