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Kelley ($$$$) vs Owen ($$$$) vs Rice ($$$$)

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Kelley ($$$$) vs Owen ($$$$) vs Rice ($$$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Dec 2019, 08:47
Hey, everyone. I had a pretty successful season, and I'm hoping for some advice on the best option between Kelley, Owen, and Rice. Below are my thoughts about each program - please let me know if there's something that I'm misrepresenting on something I should be weighting more heavily.

Notes:
• Higher Tier Schools: I'm relatively debt-averse, so I aimed for schools where I knew I'd receive significant financial assistance vs. the potential long-term value of a T10/15 school.
• Cost: All programs gave me significant scholarships, so cost isn't a differentiator.
• Career Goals: consulting - focus on Big 4 (doesn't seem like MBB is very likely from this tier).
• Regional preference: none
• Ranking: 1 = best; 3 = worst

Location

1. Jones (Rice):
  • a. Houston/Texas is a major market.
  • b. A little worried that most opportunities seem to be related to oil & gas.
2. Owen (Vandy):
  • a. While Nashville itself isn't huge, it does offer some employment options in healthcare.
  • b. The school seems to have a pretty good presence in Atlanta, Dallas, and NYC (finance).
3. Kelley (IU):
  • a. Bloomington, IN is pretty remote. The largest nearby city is Indianapolis.
  • b. Despite this, seems to place fairly well in Chicago.

Alumni Network

1. Kelley (IU): Kelley has the most established program and the largest MBA network.
  • a. While there's definitely a large presence in the Midwest, there seem to be alumni across the US.
  • b. Kelley is the only school with an undergrad biz school (and it expands the network significantly). Not sure if this is a valuable feature.
  • c. Kelley also has a large online MBA program (Kelley Direct). Again, not sure if this is valuable.
2. Owen (Vandy):
  • a. The MBA network is a fair bit larger than Rice.
  • b. Also geographically dispersed.
3. Jones (Rice):
  • a. Relatively new program with a small network.
  • b. Network seems to largely concentrated in Houston.

Culture

1. Kelley (IU):
  • a. No one is from Bloomington, so everyone seems very open to forming a new social network.
  • b. Collaboration seems to be woven into the program (many team-based projects).
2. Owen (Vandy):
  • a. Owen is also highly collaborative, but being in a larger city seems to distract from classmates somewhat (although, I could be wrong).
3. Jones (Rice):
  • a. Many students seem to be from Houston, so they already have a social network established in the city.
Employment

Primary Goal: Consulting
In terms of consulting, all programs seem to place fairly well into Big 4 consulting firms.

  • 1. Rice: seems to be developing relationships with McKinsey and BCG (although still a longshot)
  • 2. Owen/Kelley: seem relatively equal.

Secondary Options:
  • 1. Kelley has a solid pipeline into CPG/marketing.
  • 1. Owen has a solid pipeline into healthcare + some finance.
  • 2. Rice has a solid pipeline into O&G + Houston IB. From what I've understand, O&G looks for those with previous O&G experience or a STEM undergrad, so I believe Rice's advantage in that industry wouldn't benefit me.

Regional Competition

1. Jones (Rice):
  • a. only really competes with McCombs (UT) for Texas. Seems like the least regional competition.
2. Owen (Vandy):
  • a. Competition from Fuqua (Duke), Goizueta (Emory), Kenan-Flagler (UNC), and Darden (Virginia).
3. Kelley (IU):
  • a. Toughest competition - Booth, Kellogg, Ross.
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Re: Kelley ($$$$) vs Owen ($$$$) vs Rice ($$$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Dec 2019, 14:08
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I voted Rice because I'm partial to Texas and the students I've talked to say they were able to get in front of MBB and Big 4 firms.

During my visit there I saw a Deloitte case competition and talked with a few students who had Big 4 internships so I think you'd be able to achieve your goals with enough work put in.
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Re: Kelley ($$$$) vs Owen ($$$$) vs Rice ($$$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2019, 09:45
Thank you for the feedback!
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Re: Kelley ($$$$) vs Owen ($$$$) vs Rice ($$$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2019, 09:57
Kelley and Owen would be the strongest play in consulting. They send about 20% of their grads and have a connection/relationships with a number of consulting firms. They also have the larger student body, which means strength in numbers, in a few ways (usually the bigger is better despite pros and cons on both sides). i would not be too intimidated being in the middle of nowhere with Kelley, though it does suck when it comes to airports, travel, and such.

Jones sends 13-14% to consulting and most of it likely goes to Energy.

P.S. With a free MBA, you are unlikely to lose and make a mistake with any of these choices. Unless you have an allegiance to Jones/Rice, I would strongly consider Kelley and Owen. Kelley has been a solid Top 20 program for years now. Owen has been toying with Top 20 but dropped in rankings last year and I am not quite sure why so I would definitely keep my ear to the ground when talking to students and going to the admit weekend. Are they different weekends for Kelley and Owen?
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Re: Kelley ($$$$) vs Owen ($$$$) vs Rice ($$$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2019, 10:31
Thank you, bb. Your response was extremely helpful.

I hadn't considered the energy-focused nature of Jones' consulting recruitment. However, thinking back to conversations with those who landed the best consulting positions from Jones, it did seem like most of them came from an energy background. Without any energy experience (or even a STEM undergrad), it seems like I'd face recruiting headwinds in the areas that Jones seems to excel at.

The Owen and Kelley admit weekends are on different days, so I would be able to attend both. Unfortunately, both fall after the deposit deadline.

Thank you again, bb, for helping me narrow this down to two.
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Re: Kelley ($$$$) vs Owen ($$$$) vs Rice ($$$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Dec 2019, 18:13
Rice = energy

For now I would go with Kelly.

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Re: Kelley ($$$$) vs Owen ($$$$) vs Rice ($$$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2020, 09:48
1
Quick follow-up: I decided on Owen.

While Rice seems to be an up-and-coming program, three factors ultimately ruled it out for me:

  • Heavy focus on oil & gas. I'm not especially interested in this field and my non-STEM/non-O&G background would likely prevent me from making a pivot into it. Because of this, one of Rice's core strengths wouldn't be relevant.
  • Network. Since the Rice program is relatively new (and has a small class size), the network isn't especially expansive. Additionally, most of the network seems to be focused in Houston.
  • Culture. While all the students were friendly, the fact that Rice is in the middle of a huge city seemed to make the students less tight-knit. Additionally, many students seemed to be from the area, so their social networks were already established.

The decision ultimately came down to Owen vs Kelley. The splitting points that pushed me towards Owen are:

Nashville
  • The Nashville economy is growing at a rapid pace. Just check out the Nashville Chamber of Commerce: https://www.nashvillechamber.com/rankings.
  • Being in a college town like Bloomington, I realized there would be very few people > 22 years old. This would hurt in regards to socializing/networking.
  • Being in a city, Nashville offers more opportunities to do things like serve on a non-profit board or consult with large companies. It's not really possible to form similar business relationships in Bloomington.
  • While Bloomington is cheaper than Nashville, it seems very difficult to sublease your apartment during the summer (in Nashville, this seems relatively easy). Because of this, potential rent differences are largely negated.
  • With the nearest airport being in Indianapolis, travel for students and recruiters seems more tedious. Add in the increased cost for trips to Indianapolis for flights, and the COL difference above becomes even less pronounced.

Vandy Brand
  • Vandy has top 20 undergrad, med, education, and law programs. From talking with others, these seem to create a halo-effect for Owen.
  • Additionally, the success of these programs seems to indicate that Vandy has the resources to continue building Owen's reputation. In fact, Owen has one of the largest endowments per student in the country: https://www.mbacrystalball.com/blog/2017/08/21/richest-business-schools-world-endowments/.
  • Since Vandy is a smaller, private school, the program seemed more flexible in regards to making changes (fewer hoops to jump through).

Culture
  • Kelley's career preparation seemed to run like a well-oiled machine with its Academy structure. However, the program seemed so planned out that students were less inclined to put significant effort into developing clubs. Owen seemed like the opposite, with student clubs acting as a key component of the career prep process. I ultimately preferred Owen's student-driven vs Kelley's school-driven approach.
  • In general, there just seemed to be a greater sense of excitement about the program at Owen. Of all the schools I visited, I think this excitement was only matched at McCombs. Being in a quickly developing city like Austin or Nashville definitely seems to have an impact.

Finally, while Kelley's rank is higher than Owen's, I didn't see any reflection of this in the employment reports. Additionally, much like the strength of Seattle helped to push Foster up in rankings, I believe the strength of Nashville will soon have a similar effect on Owen (especially with companies such as Amazon increasing their presence in the city).

Hope this helps others!
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Re: Kelley ($$$$) vs Owen ($$$$) vs Rice ($$$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2020, 10:57
Sounds like you really took the time to make a well rounded decision. Good luck at Owen, no doubt a great program!

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Re: Kelley ($$$$) vs Owen ($$$$) vs Rice ($$$$)   [#permalink] 28 Feb 2020, 10:57
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