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How important is geography? Michigan Ross v Duke Fuqua

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Geography vs. Brand

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How important is geography? Michigan Ross v Duke Fuqua  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 16 Apr 2015, 17:30
I'm having a heck of a time deciding between Michigan's Ross and Duke's Fuqua. Please read my reasoning before voting!. It's boiling down to Michigan being close to Chicago + placing with a 'northen tilt' (preferred) vs. Duke being a stronger brand name (my opinion as an int'l) but placing with a southern tilt. I've visited both and like both, feeling more comfortable in Ann Arbor than Durham, but liking a lot of people I met at Duke. Weather is a non issue at each - I live in Toronto, Michigan is 'warmer' than home :) .

I know both can get me into consulting, or my fall-back (finance, my current industry), so I'm really stuck on the geography vs. brand factor. I feel Duke would make it easier for me to find work back in Canada if the US visa situation doesn't work out for me, and sense Duke > Michigan in Europe (I have a work permit having grown up in London, so returning is a possibility). I looked on LinkedIn for people in M/B/B, IBD, AM/IM and noticed Michigan's biggest US hubs were:

-Chicago & Detroit
-NYC & West Coast
-Some DC, Columbus, Philly

Duke's are more:

- ATL, Dallas, DC
- NYC
- Some west coast

Both have a similar alumni presence in London.

If I'm 100% fine working in any of the Michigan hubs (iffy on Detroit :roll: ), and only fine working in DC, NYC or west coast out of Duke, is it foolish to turn down Michigan's geographical proximity to my prefered offices for Duke's brand power?

Opinions would be greatly appreciated - cheers!

R.

Originally posted by revul on 15 Apr 2015, 07:18.
Last edited by revul on 16 Apr 2015, 17:30, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How important is geography? Michigan Ross v Duke Fuqua  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Apr 2015, 07:28
These schools are on par for consulting. It does come down to geography. You want to go to the school that not only places at the consulting firms you are targeting but also in the specific offices you are targeting. That can also speak to the depth of the alumni in those cities, which is ultimately what you are paying for.

Repeating that both of those schools can get you where you want to go, if you like AA better than Durham (who doesn't?) then this choice becomes even clearer.

Is $ a factor?
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Re: How important is geography? Michigan Ross v Duke Fuqua  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Apr 2015, 07:35
swagon1000 wrote:
These schools are on par for consulting. It does come down to geography. You want to go to the school that not only places at the consulting firms you are targeting but also in the specific offices you are targeting. That can also speak to the depth of the alumni in those cities, which is ultimately what you are paying for.

Repeating that both of those schools can get you where you want to go, if you like AA better than Durham (who doesn't?) then this choice becomes even clearer.

Is $ a factor?


Thanks for sharing. I'm looking at M/B/B + D + Booz + Parthenon which I believe hire at both...iffy on Parthenon taking many from either, but it's a small shop. $ is unfortunately equal at both at $0, but I've noted cost of rent being much higher, on average, for Fuquan's and also that Durham 'mandates' a car, but I don't want to factor ~5-10k a year differences into this decision as that's rather small in the general scheme of things.
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Re: How important is geography? Michigan Ross v Duke Fuqua  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Apr 2015, 07:42
I don't know why you think the Fuqua brand is bigger than Ross, I'd never really heard that before. These schools are in the same tier (top 10-15 U.S. schools), and both seem to do equally well placing people into consulting. If you plan on seeking employment in areas near Ross, it makes a lot more sense to go there.
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Re: How important is geography? Michigan Ross v Duke Fuqua  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Apr 2015, 10:25
mbaapplicant2013 wrote:
I don't know why you think the Fuqua brand is bigger than Ross, I'd never really heard that before. These schools are in the same tier (top 10-15 U.S. schools), and both seem to do equally well placing people into consulting. If you plan on seeking employment in areas near Ross, it makes a lot more sense to go there.


I'd agree with you on Fuqua vs. Ross, it's just I can't shake looking at it from Michigan vs. Duke, where I feel Duke is a trump card. I'm guessing recruiters don't make the same mistake.
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Re: How important is geography? Michigan Ross v Duke Fuqua  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Apr 2015, 18:51
Why not Darden?
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Re: How important is geography? Michigan Ross v Duke Fuqua  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2015, 07:33
wmay wrote:
Why not Darden?


I have mixed feelings about the heavy case method focus, and feel the school is slightly more regional than Ross or Fuqua. DC/Philly is the main tilt out of Darden and I'd prefer to stick more Northern.
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Re: How important is geography? Michigan Ross v Duke Fuqua  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2015, 09:33
2
Current 2nd yr student at Michigan Ross, and is heading to Consulting after graduation. Just to give my 2cents here, while I'm biased though.

1, Reputation:
- Don't think Fuqua is a stronger brand vs Ross. Overall speaking, they are so close. I would even argue that Michigan Ross is marginally a better recognized brand in business world in general, given University of Michigan Business School was established in 1920s, about 50yrs earlier than Fuqua.

2, Presence in consulting:
- The data in page below certainly is not the most accurate one. But it gives you a sense of school presence in consulting industry. Michigan has the strongest presence as a non-M7/Elite 8 school. (http://poetsandquants.com/2014/01/17/wh ... sulting/2/)

3, Atmosphere:
- Consulting is a really big thing here: 30-40% of whole class are recruiting for consulting. The more import thing is that people here are genuinely helping each other in recruiting preparation. I believe that I can't land my offer without the help and support from my peers.

4, Consulting recruiting resource on campus:
-The recruiting activities of major firms don't end with corporate presentations. There are rounds of Office hours/Coffee chat/Networking events by MBB/Deloitte/Booz/ATK and etc. And MBB/Deloitte/ATK all have case competition or workshop here on campus.

5, Consulting recruiting support:
- Consulting club has done a great job. They write one of the best case book among top schools in US. And the weekly education session is really helpful in giving people guideline for recruiting preparation.
- FACT group, a group of 4-6 1st yr led by a experienced 2nd yr, takes the preparation to in-depth level.
- Peer coach, 1-on-1 session with experienced 2nd yr, takes the work to tailor-made level.

6, Consulting recruiting result:
- From 2008 to 2014, on average Michigan sent 7% of total class to MBB, and Duke sent 6.1%. So I would argue that Michigan did slightly better in MBB placement. For this year, we don't have official job placement report yet. But as far as I know, 39 ppl have been placed in MBB, which is 8.7% of total class. You can get this figure from Duke to see how is everything going there.


7, Location:
- I believe the biggest chunk of people who were placed in Consulting went to Chicago, so Michigan's presence is really big there.
- Prior to Michigan, I live in Shanghai, which is a typical metropolitan city and is very different to a college town (the weather as well). But after 2yrs I just love Ann Arbor.
- Ann Arbor is much closer to Toronto than Durham is.

Hope this helps. Good luck!
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Re: How important is geography? Michigan Ross v Duke Fuqua  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Apr 2015, 04:56
Will add that duke is probably a bit meow recognized overseas.... But Ross has fantastic intl opps and soooo many consulting programs. I say go with gut on this
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Re: How important is geography? Michigan Ross v Duke Fuqua  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Apr 2015, 14:17
I think you have what it takes to get to where you want to go at both places so I think it comes down to gut or preference on key issues (e.g. geography)
From what I can gather from my friends at Fuqua who recruited for consulting they also place pretty well at many of the same firms as Ross and vice versa. Perhaps an overlooked dimension is the general size of the entire school. The University of Michigan (in it's entirety) graduates more students each year (and has been doing it for much longer) than Duke has, which certainly helps from a sheer size and law of numbers perspective. Bottom line - you can't go wrong either place. Good luck!
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Re: How important is geography? Michigan Ross v Duke Fuqua  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Apr 2015, 04:38
I think, it's pretty obvious choice here.
1) You prefer Ross for post-MBA placement, So Rg>Dg. And I think it is most important than brand name.
2) It seems lots of people and rating say that Ross and Duke brands are almost equal, so Rb=Db.
Now you have to add weight to each of the options (I mean 1 and 2), but regardless the weight (I assume it is 0<w<1 for both schools) you will get R>D.
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Re: How important is geography? Michigan Ross v Duke Fuqua  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Apr 2015, 06:24
My advice is to choose a school that can help you achieve your goals during the first 24-36 months AFTER business school. After that 36 month mark, employers will look a lot more to your most recent position rather than your school. Of course they will look to your school but at 36 months out, Ross and Fuqua are both going to carry the same weight in their minds. Does that make sense? If your plan is to do some consulting, say, in the US post-MBA and then you want to move to London after a few years, you'll still basically have to network your way to London.

Anyway, congrats on your admits and all the best!
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Re: How important is geography? Michigan Ross v Duke Fuqua  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Apr 2015, 17:05
i was choosing btwn ross and darden (same $$ from each so that wasnt a factor) and ultimately chose ross bc of the MAP program. does curriculum matter to you at all or are you just there for a degree? no other school really does MAP quite as well (or as big! past sponsors have been amazon, google, gm). i'm big on learning by doing rather than learning by being in a classroom. if you want to go into consulting, i think MAP is pretty invaluable.
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Re: How important is geography? Michigan Ross v Duke Fuqua  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Apr 2015, 19:18
Thanks all for the input. I've turned down Duke today after speaking to a few friends that echo'd the thoughts here for the most part. It is still really interesting how north of the border, everyone toots the Duke horn...but winning the basketball champs the other week probably is a small part of it.
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Re: How important is geography? Michigan Ross v Duke Fuqua  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Apr 2015, 21:04
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Great to see some new Wolverines here! Go Blue!

Feel free to let me know if you guys have any questions!
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Re: How important is geography? Michigan Ross v Duke Fuqua   [#permalink] 20 Apr 2015, 21:04
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