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HBS vs Stanford GSB

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Harvard Business School vs Stanford GSB

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Intern
Intern
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B
Joined: 28 Aug 2017
Posts: 6
GMAT 1: 770 Q49 V47
HBS vs Stanford GSB  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2019, 02:26
I'm in the surreal situation of having to choose between HBS and Stanford GSB, and would love your input.

Background:
* From Europe
* Background in consulting (MBB)
* Work experience: 2 years

Things to consider:
* Post-MBA career: Want to work with social innovation topics (first in MBB, later (5-10 years) maybe through other avenues, like top management in a corporation, my own company, or an NGO)
* Not sure whether I'm interested in pursuing entrepreneurship - could be in 5-10 years after graduation
* Want to move back to Europe after graduation

HBS
Pros:
+ Larger international network
+ Stronger brand outside of US
+ Stronger academic focus (people always come super prepared for class)
+ Is the school I used to dream about attending (like in high school)
+ Have some of the academic pioneers within my specific field of interest (e.g., Michael Porter and Mark Kramer)
Cons:
- More competitive environment
- Very fixed curriculum
- Worried that environment and learning methods will be too much like what I'm already seeing in MBB consulting

GSB
Pros:
+ Really big on social innovation
+ Cross-campus integration
+ Experience might be more "different" than what I've had so far working in MBB consulting
+ People are said to be more chill
+ More flexible curriculum
Cons:
- Might have too strong entrepreneurship focus for me (all problems solved through a startup rather than teaching a range of solutions)
- >50% stay in the Bay Area after graduation
- Weaker brand in Europe

I'm really not sure what to choose yet! What are your thoughts on this?
Current Student
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Joined: 20 Mar 2019
Posts: 28
Schools: Anderson '21 (A)
Re: HBS vs Stanford GSB  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2019, 07:37
1
first of all congrats!!! You really can't go wrong with either. H and S are probably the two most well known schools in the whole world, i wouldn't say that S's brand is weaker in Europe.

If you are into tech, or want to join/start your own company, I would go to Stanford. Otherwise Harvard.

Have you visiting both schools? Maybe attend the welcome weekend and make your decision after.
Manager
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Joined: 15 Jul 2015
Posts: 147
Schools: Yale '18 (M)
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Re: HBS vs Stanford GSB  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2019, 08:27
1
I wouldn't worry too much about the alumni reach. If the alumni pool of Stanford is indeed smaller in Europe, you may find that they are more motivated to help than if the alumni base is broad.

It sounds like you'll be going back to MBB as a sponsored candidate? If so, this is really more of a lifestyle choice. I think there's two key considerations here: (1) academics and (2) location.

(1) As far as I know, HBS is more rigorous than Stanford; you'll be pounded by stacks of HBR cases week after week. Like you said, curriculum is more flexible at Stanford as well.

(2) Do you want to spend 2 years in Boston or the Bay Area? These are two very different spots.

PS. the reason that more than half the Stanford GSB alum stay in the Bay Area after graduation is because the Bay Area is awesome :) Also there's just a ton of funding and talent here for entrepreneurs to exploit.
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Re: HBS vs Stanford GSB   [#permalink] 01 Apr 2019, 08:27
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