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HBS vs Sloan vs Booth vs Kellogg MMM (No $ anywhere)

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Which school?

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  • 7% [3]
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Joined: 17 Feb 2018
Posts: 5
Location: Canada
GMAT 1: 740 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.7
WE: Brand Management (Consumer Products)
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HBS vs Sloan vs Booth vs Kellogg MMM (No $ anywhere)  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Dec 2019, 08:34
Hi everyone, I feel extremely lucky to have been accepted to 4 great business schools' MBA programs. I'm having a tough time thinking about how to frame my decision and which school to choose, and if there's something important I'm not factoring into my decision. Long-time lurker, first time poster, so thanks in advance for your commentary/guidance!

Location: Canada
Pre-MBA Experience: Brand Management and Sales in F50 Consumer Goods/Healthcare Company.
ST Post-MBA Goal(s): MBB, PM at big tech, or work for high-growth/well-capitalized consumer startup (think Allbirds, Rent the Runway, etc). Note I plan to come back to Canada, so having an alumni network here is important.
LT Post-MBA Goal: Entrepreneurship
MBA Goals: Looking to build a strong foundation in predictive analytics and financial modelling, but I also question how much this will matter 3-5 years post-MBA once in a leadership role. I do not come from a technical background (business undergrad); while I did quite a bit of analysis at my job, I never did any in-depth financial or statistical modelling needed for consulting/finance/PM. I've had a lot of experience leading teams so soft skills seems like less of a focus; have a strong general management foundation.

Right now I am leaning towards HBS, with Sloan at a close second, but curious if anyone has a different perspective on how to approach this.

- "Golden Passport"; classic business education with best brand in the world, best of the best with tons of opportunity and exposure
- Entrepreneurship is surprisingly strong here
- Strong Canadian (and global) alumni network, critical for LT goal of starting a company
- I love debate & discussion, so I think I will thrive in case method environment
- The general management school; as someone with a GM foundation, and with leadership aspirations, seems it would deliver
- Skeptical of case method's ability to teach me analytics/financial modelling skill gaps, and worried employers (esp Tech PM & startups) won't believe i have it
- Culture seems a bit stuffier/in a bubble/less collaborative than others; not sure how well I'd fit in here (but this could be perception vs. reality)
- Since I have a business undergrad, academic freedom is important to me; worried RC year will be repetitive
Note: I'm not really eligible for financial aid so cost is equal to others.

MIT Sloan
- Culture seems like somewhere I'd fit in; creative, out of the box thinker types, focused on big ideas/changing the world, and less about pure profit maximization
- Strong focus on teaching technical skills in addition to leadership skills (MIT brand/education helps "prove" this to employers)
- Heavy entrepreneurship focus throughout school (even if less so on consumer)
- Has target industries I'm interested in (PM/Consulting/Startups)
- Large degree of academic freedom + action learning seems really applicable
- Alumni network not as strong in Canada (but still has a great, highly recognized brand)
- Not sure how a qualitative marketing background would fit in in sea of STEM-types (can I really add value?)
- Is a technical education too in the weeds for someone who wants to lead people in the near future? I.e. will I actually use this in 3-5 years

Considering these less, but still wanted to throw out my reasoning:

- Student culture seems very inclusive and a "fun" place to be
- MMM can teach more "modern" skills relevant to tech/startups of design, user research, etc. which would help for PM, consulting, and entrepreneurship
- I like the heavy teamwork focus there

- Weak brand & alumni in Canada
- Will feel pigeonholed in one area
- +$100K more CAD for dual degree (incl. living expenses)
- Seems more focused on partying & student clubs than education; not sure how much I'd really learn
- Low support for entrepreneurs and seems like weaker entrepreneurial spirit

- Seems like it will be the best for giving me financial modelling / analytics foundation (upgrading my skills)
- Living arrangements of commuting to Chicago seems bad for culture
- Low recognition and weak alumni in Canada
- Seems very finance focused; even with strong recruiting stats in other industries, feels like they'll be a less common path
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Joined: 04 Dec 2002
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HBS vs Sloan vs Booth vs Kellogg MMM (No $ anywhere)  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Dec 2019, 23:34
Congratulations! Amazing job getting the admits! I feel you have fulfilled your username to the max!

HBS is the ultimate long-term brand. Wherever you go/whatever you do, it is a well-known program with a reputation that precedes it. I found the culture to be very collaborate and supportive based on the information from 2 years ago and HBS students who were active on GMAT Club. The only part I am not sure is case method - that's something to get more comfortable with but in general, I don't think any employer will have a concern about any of your skills. Nobody is really hiring you for the classes you took in the MBA.

While all other programs would be a fantastic option, I feel passing by HBS will be hard to justify except with the STEM MBA program designation. Is that a concern for you?

Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 2545
Concentration: Finance, Strategy
Schools: Kellogg '18 (M)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V44
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WE: Engineering (Aerospace and Defense)
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Re: HBS vs Sloan vs Booth vs Kellogg MMM (No $ anywhere)  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Dec 2019, 06:48
bb valid points but I differ from your POV :)

mbaorbust22222 (you couldn’t have chosen more ‘2’s in your alias) I’m a fellow Canadian from Kellogg and let me start by telling you that even I voted for HBS. All your cons for HBS will become non-cons by the end of my post.

1. Kellogg has a very strong case method and I ended up taking close to 9 finance courses out of 26.5 credits I took at Kellogg. Case method absolutely kills it when teaching finance fundamentals and advanced curriculum (I had an engineering background pre-Kellogg). As a management consultant now (and having worked at Amazon right after kellogg), I can vouch for the fact the employers love case method as it shows that you can assimilate and absorb large pieces of information and synthesize well thought out analyses. This is a very important skill to demonstrate in your casing interview for MBB and elsewhere. So rest assured case method is probably the best indicator of your abilities to do well in consulting. I know there will be people who won’t like this statement but I’ve interviewed atleast 20 folks over the last year and students going to case based method schools did a lot better. HBS pioneered the case method and you can’t go wrong here.

2. To your RC year, don’t treat it as sth you will gain or lose but treat it as a way to network with your peers more now that you know the curriculum to a certain extent. You won’t be burdened by having to put in extra effort in getting good grades (if that’s what you are going for!). Side note: Grades don’t matter for consulting recruiting so don’t fall in that trap! Courses dont matter to the employers unless you absolutely screw up basic finance or marketing or operations based questions in your cases. BTW, having a business undergrad will have some overlap but not a whole lot with the curriculum. So there will def be newer things that either you didn’t study or studied in a different context.

3. Culture: HBS is a school that brings together a vast variety of candidates and you can’t generalize the entire ~800 class of students. Yes there will always be type As but therein lies the main point. Post MBA life will be all about you managing either type A clients or type A colleagues. Having already been to HBS, you’d already have an upper hand here :). I’m sure you’ll also find great people who will go out of their way to help you. HBS alumni base is probably the strongest one out there, not including the broader Harvard alumni base!!

3. HBS is the best brand out there and STEM won’t matter here. If you are a Canadian citizen, MBB would be very happy to apply for a TN visa for you (I’m currently on TN visa and work in USA). It’s a non immigrant intent visa, good for 3y and can be renewed any number of times. Look up TN visa under NAFTA. There’s no logical reason to let go of HBS admit for STEM.

All in all, my vote is for HBS. DM me if you want to discuss more. Good luck!

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Re: HBS vs Sloan vs Booth vs Kellogg MMM (No $ anywhere)   [#permalink] 29 Dec 2019, 06:48

HBS vs Sloan vs Booth vs Kellogg MMM (No $ anywhere)

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