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Kellogg ($$) vs. Booth (no $)

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Kellogg ($$) vs. Booth (no $)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2016, 11:17
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Hi everyone,

I’m fortunate to have been accepted to both Kellogg (half scholarship) and Booth (no $) and am having a difficult time making a final decision, though I am leaning Booth

Background:
  • I’m currently in management consulting, likely returning with sponsorship due to the financial incentive (2-yr commitment). However, going to Kellogg with a scholarship gives me the opportunity to explore other options by reducing the opportunity cost of not going back. I'm tired/bored of consulting but could stick it out for another two years given the $$$ involved if I went to Booth.
  • My main MBA goals are to build expertise in supply chain/operations, and data analytics and to get an operations/analytics internship somewhere like Apple, Tesla, Nike, etc.
  • I was able to save up about $150K over the last few years, so that does help with the cost differential, though I cringe at the thought of throwing all that away and going in to debt at Booth
  • I did try to get Booth to close the scholarship gap, but that doesn’t seem likely


Booth Advantages:
  • Cultural Fit: I attended both admit weekends and my gut feel is that I’d fit in at Booth more. Obviously the schools have a very different culture, but I’m considering both because I think my ideal culture would be a cross between the two schools if you think about them on a spectrum between academic and social. I like the close-knit feel at Kellogg, but the students seem too focused on partying/social activities and not enough on academics (almost like undergrad 2.0). Booth students also seem a lot smarter based on my conversations with students and sitting in on discussion-based classes at each school. That being said, I’d prefer that Booth be a bit more social, close-knit, and have fewer awkward/anti-social people.
  • Academics (in context of goals): Advantage Booth, with the flexible curriculum, world-renowned faculty, and more technical/quantitative focus, though I get that I could make my Kellogg experience quantitative and rigorous. Also related to the above, I think I'd learn much more from Booth students and have a better experience working with them on group work
  • Schedule: I like the scheduling flexibility that Booth allows and don’t like the difficulty of avoiding Friday classes at Kellogg (I want to be able to travel on the weekends). Also, I found it weird that students at Kellogg all share their Outlook schedules with each other and that if you have free space on your calendar someone might just plop a meeting on your calendar... seems overly intense and too much like a work environment


Kellogg Advantages:
  • Cost: Large advantage to Kellogg (obviously). I also don’t like how Booth charges tuition per course, meaning if you want to take 11 classes in a year instead of 10 (more standard at Kellogg) it’s an extra $6,500
  • School Leadership/Administration: Sally Blount’s speech at DAK was quite impressive, and I got good vibes from the rest of the faculty and admissions staff. The administration seems very focused on continually improving the school and has demonstrated success at doing so. On the contrary, I didn’t feel as much love, drive, or excitement from Booth’s leadership and faculty (e.g., Dean Kumar wasn’t even there in person for First Day)
  • Leadership Development: This may partially be due to selection bias of Kellogg just naturally choosing more extroverted students, but I think I’d develop stronger leadership skills at Kellogg. This and “personal growth” was a big selling point of Sally Blount’s speech as well
  • Alumni Network: I get the impression that Kellogg alumni are willing to go way out of their way to help other Kellogg people, whereas Booth alumni are more “average” in their support.
  • Facilities: Harper Center is fine, but Kellogg’s new building looks absolutely amazing


Moot factors:
  • Location: Obviously Evanston is very different from Chicago, but I don’t have a strong preference on one or the other.
  • Student Organizations: I've identified several groups at each school and spoken with members of each and don't feel that there's a huge difference



OVERALL:
Ultimately, my heart is saying Booth but my rational side is telling me I’m crazy for passing up so much money at a peer school. Then I think there’s also some fear of missing out on some of Kellogg’s strengths – such as the close-knit community, the school's leadership, alumni network, and personal leadership development – at the same time being worried about some of Booth’s weaknesses (mainly the social side of its culture).

Is there anything else I should be considering, or am I off base on any of my points?
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Re: Kellogg ($$) vs. Booth (no $)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2016, 12:42
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Your school choice is one of the more uniquely personal decisions you make, so I hesitate to sway you from your gut but I'm not sure it makes sense to pass up on Kellogg for Booth. Maybe HBS or Stanford but with money I don't see the case for Booth here. A lot of your potential issues at Kellogg are things you can opt in or opt out of with Booth those options do not seem as clear. I would go Kellogg here. If you need additional thought consider chatting with your coworkers if you have not already, who I'm sure are alums of both schools, for additional perspective.
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Re: Kellogg ($$) vs. Booth (no $)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2016, 13:39
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Thank you for your post - you have done your homework and even figured out how to use bullets on GMAT Club (a mastery few achieve).

Knowing people who have gone to both schools, it is going to be hard for anyone to prove with numbers why Kellogg may be worth $50K or 25K less let alone $150K. I just cannot fathom what Booth would provide or supply that Kellogg could not. The schools are pretty equal, though yes, Booth did get kicked up in Rankings lately. I know the heart does not always cooperate with mind, so you are going to find your peace with this matter; you should promise not to have any regrets with either (as you will with both - Booth is likely to disappoint your high expectations and bring in doubts about $$ passed and Kellogg is likely to leave you thinking - I bet Booth does not put up with crap like this).

P.S. As flawed as stats can be, here is something: Employment data and Rankings over the last 10 years
Booth Average starting salary is $143K with 95% employed at 3 months
Kellogg Average starting salary is $140K with 94% employed at 3 months
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Re: Kellogg ($$) vs. Booth (no $)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2016, 13:51
Thank you both for your comments. They are helpful, but making the decision more difficult :)

bb, just to clarify, the Kellogg scholarship is $70K, not $150K. Still a lot of course!
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Re: Kellogg ($$) vs. Booth (no $)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2016, 13:55
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nautikal wrote:
Thank you both for your comments. They are helpful, but making the decision more difficult :)

bb, just to clarify, the Kellogg scholarship is $70K, not $150K. Still a lot of course!


Thank you - i see it now in the second line. It changes things a bit but not sure that much.
On the flip side, I can tell you that as a potential home buyer in Seattle, $70K is a drop in a bucket when it gets to buying a home (biggest investment of our lives). It is about the starting price of a Tesla (the cheap model) and while it may be somewhat of an impulsive decision to scratch off $70k, but in the grand scheme of things, over the next 40 years of your career, I doubt it will make a huge change, mostly because none of us are disciplined enough to save it and stash away through retirement.
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Kellogg ($$) vs. Booth (no $)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2016, 15:23
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It's completely insane to take Booth over Kellogg, if Kellogg is giving you a half scholarship (I'm biased of course since I LOVE Kellogg...but I'd give similar advice to anyone choosing between any 2 of Kellogg/Booth/Columbia/MIT). Recruiters in general view Booth and Kellogg as exactly the same. Apple and Nike took over a dozen Kellogg students each last year, many more than Booth. There's plenty of academically focused students at Kellogg....There's a reason we get so many MBB offers. People at Kellogg are just able to do well in school AND be fun/social (You'll notice our GMAT is pretty much exactly the same as Booth's). Being socially awkward doesn't make you more academic or intelligent. You shouldn't be adverse to fun also..I've had a great life prior to business school, but the amount of fun I've had in the last two years has vastly exceeded my expectations. The friends I've made here and experiences I've had have been beyond amazing.
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Kellogg ($$) vs. Booth (no $)  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 19 Apr 2016, 19:15
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First of all congrats on having two fantastic options to choose from. I wanted to chime in and say that from my experience, people at Booth are definitely not awkward/anti-social and the culture is very close knit. While we don't live on campus, 65%+ of us live in a five block radius in the loop with the majority of us living in one building (MPP). You don't really get to experience this part of Booth life while at First Day but living in MPP is like living in a dorm and the great majority of people who opt to live in MPP are very outgoing and social. If this is something you desire in your MBA experience, I'd recommend living there and you will have no shortage of people to hang out with. Are all 600 students at Booth like this? Of course not, but every single student at any school isn't going to be super social or outgoing. On the whole, I've found my Booth classmates to be incredibly impressive, diverse, humble, and well rounded.

On the school leadership/administration, I can tell you from my interactions that the administration (especially Deans Kumar and Kole) have a ton of excitement and love for the school and put in a ton of work to continually improve Booth and the experience of the students. While rankings only mean so much, the fact that the school has risen up to #2 on this years US News ranking is a huge testament to the fact that the hard work put in by the administration is being recognized by the stronger applicant pools as well as the broader business community. I've also found that the Booth alumni I've reached out have been incredibly supportive and I have had a 100% hit rate so I wouldn't worry about that being a weakness of the Booth experience at all. On the tuition point, you will end up paying for 20 courses (+LEAD which you don't pay for), but can take up to 23 or 24 for no extra charge (I would reach out to admissions to verify the exact number). The only difference is that you pay more in the semesters you take 4 vs 3 courses but after paying for the 20, you can take up to the maximum at no additional charge.

I would also encourage you (if you haven't already) to look through Booth and Kellogg's career reports to see an accurate report of where students ended up. Apple hired 8 Booth students and 6 Kellogg students based on the most recent career reports so I'm not entirely sure where the previous poster got his information from.

While money is certainly a factor that shouldn't be ignored, I think given that you are sponsored and you're in the fortunate position of having a good amount of savings, it makes sense to go with your gut here and choose based on fit. You can only get your MBA once and I personally don't think choosing a school solely because of a lower cost is the best way to go, especially when your post makes it seem likely that you will return to consulting for 2 years post MBA.

Either way, you can't make a wrong decision here but I wanted to share a bit of my perspective. Best of luck and feel free to pm me with any questions.

Originally posted by jessepinkman on 19 Apr 2016, 19:07.
Last edited by jessepinkman on 19 Apr 2016, 19:15, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kellogg ($$) vs. Booth (no $)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2016, 19:16
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I'm basing my number on the class of 2016, which isn't reported yet. You can go to the internship part of our employment report to get a good estimate (although Apple did a ton of full time hires too).
Not everyone at Booth is anti-social but their is a definitive culture difference. We have battle of the bands in Chicago, and Booth has 1/4 the attendance we have, for example. Same for the basketball game versus the two schools.
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New post 19 Apr 2016, 20:08
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If your gut is telling you Booth, I say go with your gut. See if you can leverage your Kellogg $$ with Booth to see if they'll give you a matching offer (or close to it).

And to echo bb, congrats on your solid post formatting. I should give you kudos just for that.
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Re: Kellogg ($$) vs. Booth (no $)  [#permalink]

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New post 05 May 2016, 13:32
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Hi everyone,

I just wanted to say I really appreciate the time you all spent to think about my situation and respond to it. The different perspectives were definitely helpful with the decision.

And the decision... though it was incredibly difficult (and nerve wracking) to turn down the scholarship at Kellogg, I ultimately felt that Booth was a better fit for me (e.g., I was more excited when I thought about matriculating at Booth versus Kellogg). Again, thank you for the help!
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Re: Kellogg ($$) vs. Booth (no $)  [#permalink]

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New post 10 May 2016, 18:33
Wow. That was a tough decision - thank you for coming back posting the final resolution. Congratulations on your choice and best wishes for the next stage of your MBA journey.

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Re: Kellogg ($$) vs. Booth (no $)   [#permalink] 10 May 2016, 18:33
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