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LBS vs IESE, brand vs fit?

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Which school is better for me?

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New post 04 Apr 2019, 07:43
Hi all. I got admitted to both LBS and IESE and am facing a tough choice.

I think there is no significant differences in curriculum or achievability of my future goal.
So my question is basically about brand and culture.

1. IESE
I feel strong fit with the culture. People are very warm, supportive and socially-minded.
I also like the tight network, possibly created by a small class size and going through rigorous curriculum together.

The only concern is Spanish. I do not speak it and it is not my priority to spend time studying it.
But some students advised me to learn at least some because life can be very inconvenient if you don’t speak Spanish in Barcelona.

2. LBS
Nothing is wrong about culture. I feel comfortable talking to people from LBS as well.
But the network is larger and students engage in very different activities in LBS so I just feel that the community is not so tight and I prefer IESE way.

But LBS has a stronger brand and also is more competitive in admission. I know many people who went through IESE but failed LBS.
Also, my BA digree and current employer do not have international brands so one of my purpose of MBA is to improve my resume look.
Thus I feel that LBS offer is too good a chance to pass out.

Could everyone advise which school to choose based on above?
By the way, my goal is to switch to consulting and I would like to work in Singapore.
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New post 04 Apr 2019, 10:09
PENTON wrote:
Hi all. I got admitted to both LBS and IESE and am facing a tough choice.

I think there is no significant differences in curriculum or achievability of my future goal.
So my question is basically about brand and culture.

1. IESE
I feel strong fit with the culture. People are very warm, supportive and socially-minded.
I also like the tight network, possibly created by a small class size and going through rigorous curriculum together.

The only concern is Spanish. I do not speak it and it is not my priority to spend time studying it.
But some students advised me to learn at least some because life can be very inconvenient if you don’t speak Spanish in Barcelona.

2. LBS
Nothing is wrong about culture. I feel comfortable talking to people from LBS as well.
But the network is larger and students engage in very different activities in LBS so I just feel that the community is not so tight and I prefer IESE way.

But LBS has a stronger brand and also is more competitive in admission. I know many people who went through IESE but failed LBS.
Also, my BA digree and current employer do not have international brands so one of my purpose of MBA is to improve my resume look.
Thus I feel that LBS offer is too good a chance to pass out.

Could everyone advise which school to choose based on above?
By the way, my goal is to switch to consulting and I would like to work in Singapore.


Cograts on admit in 2 of the top best schools. It is very difficult to choose one between these schools, however I suggest go with LBS.
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New post 04 Apr 2019, 14:29
PENTON wrote:
Hi all. I got admitted to both LBS and IESE and am facing a tough choice.

I think there is no significant differences in curriculum or achievability of my future goal.
So my question is basically about brand and culture.

1. IESE
I feel strong fit with the culture. People are very warm, supportive and socially-minded.
I also like the tight network, possibly created by a small class size and going through rigorous curriculum together.

The only concern is Spanish. I do not speak it and it is not my priority to spend time studying it.
But some students advised me to learn at least some because life can be very inconvenient if you don’t speak Spanish in Barcelona.

2. LBS
Nothing is wrong about culture. I feel comfortable talking to people from LBS as well.
But the network is larger and students engage in very different activities in LBS so I just feel that the community is not so tight and I prefer IESE way.

But LBS has a stronger brand and also is more competitive in admission. I know many people who went through IESE but failed LBS.
Also, my BA digree and current employer do not have international brands so one of my purpose of MBA is to improve my resume look.
Thus I feel that LBS offer is too good a chance to pass out.

Could everyone advise which school to choose based on above?
By the way, my goal is to switch to consulting and I would like to work in Singapore.



Hello PENTON


First of all congratulations are in order, for getting admission at two top European schools :clap:

In short LBS is indeed too good to pass out :cool:


Yes you are right, life can be inconvenient on day to day basis if you dont speak Catalan ;) Spanish aside.

LBS would absolutely work better for Singapore, you should be aware of that by now.

LBS is the best business school in Europe and best outside of US (sorry Insead), with strongest brand.

Period.

No need for me to present you with rankings, weighted average salaries etc. comparing both schools.



Go to LBS, take vacation at Barcelona later :cool: (there is hidden message in this sentence ;) :idea:)
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New post 10 Apr 2019, 12:00
What did you choose in the end?

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New post 14 Apr 2019, 04:28
Hi all
Thank you for your advice!
I have not made the final decision yet though.

Can I ask from financal prespective as well?
Obviously LBS is more costly, especially for me because I won scholarship from IESE but not from LBS.
Is LBS still worth the cost?

To answer the question, I want you to know that my priority is to find the job that I like, not the job that pays me more.
I am so far intersted in HR consulting or HR positions in indurtries, which may not pay me as much as strategy consucting or financial industries.

Thank you in advance for your opinion

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New post 14 Apr 2019, 05:51
Honestly, if you feel a closer fit to the IESE culture, you should go for it. Heck, your biggest impediment in Spanish and it becomes a good opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and come out with a degree AND a language!
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New post 14 Apr 2019, 10:50
This is really going to be up to you and your priorities. You say you don't think there's a difference between curriculum and your future ability to achieve your goals. Do you truly believe this? What makes you believe this?

If you have conviction o this point then go to IESE. It's cheaper and it seems like you WANT to go there. You say you want brand, but that seems like more of an after thought as something you think you should do. I made a similar decision between better fit at Fuqua over brand value at Yale, but in my case cost was the same at both and I think I the long term value of having that branding for the rest of my life is going to be more valuable than a slightly worse fit for two years (let's be real all business schools offer an incredible experience). I also made my choice based on the larger network.

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New post 14 Apr 2019, 16:43
NTSpike wrote:
This is really going to be up to you and your priorities. You say you don't think there's a difference between curriculum and your future ability to achieve your goals. Do you truly believe this? What makes you believe this?

If you have conviction o this point then go to IESE. It's cheaper and it seems like you WANT to go there. You say you want brand, but that seems like more of an after thought as something you think you should do. I made a similar decision between better fit at Fuqua over brand value at Yale, but in my case cost was the same at both and I think I the long term value of having that branding for the rest of my life is going to be more valuable than a slightly worse fit for two years (let's be real all business schools offer an incredible experience). I also made my choice based on the larger network.

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NTSpike
Thank you, your opinion is really helpful.
I am wondering whether long value of LBS is worth sacrificing the short term attractiveness of IESE.
May I ask you how Yale brand impacted you in the long term, compared to what you may have experienced if you had been to Fuqua?
(by the way, how many years has it been since your graduation?)
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New post 14 Apr 2019, 16:58
PENTON wrote:
NTSpike wrote:
This is really going to be up to you and your priorities. You say you don't think there's a difference between curriculum and your future ability to achieve your goals. Do you truly believe this? What makes you believe this?

If you have conviction o this point then go to IESE. It's cheaper and it seems like you WANT to go there. You say you want brand, but that seems like more of an after thought as something you think you should do. I made a similar decision between better fit at Fuqua over brand value at Yale, but in my case cost was the same at both and I think I the long term value of having that branding for the rest of my life is going to be more valuable than a slightly worse fit for two years (let's be real all business schools offer an incredible experience). I also made my choice based on the larger network.

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NTSpike
Thank you, your opinion is really helpful.
I am wondering whether long value of LBS is worth sacrificing the short term attractiveness of IESE.
May I ask you how Yale brand impacted you in the long term, compared to what you may have experienced if you had been to Fuqua?
(by the way, how many years has it been since your graduation?)


First of all I'm matriculating this Fall, so we'll see :)

Unfortunately I can't provide that long term perspective, however people would visibly react in awe and excitement to the Yale name when I asked for their opinion. This probably has little impact among other MBAs who know rankings but as far as connecting to other social circles (also Yale clubs are very active around the world) this seemed valuable to me. Outside of my career, this was a huge social benefit that I know Duke wouldn't have. I don't think LBS would garner similar reactions imo. Have you had any experiences like this to support LBS having a significantly better image? I'm from the US and while I've definitely heard of LBS, I don't really hold it in higher regard compared to IESE even tho it has more name recognition (I personally don't know if career outcomes will be different even tho I know LBS is more prestigious and higher ranked). I don't know how LBS is perceived internationally.

I was actually heavily leaning Duke for fit and size of MBA network over the Yale name until I factored in the Consortium which expands Yale's network to include several other top B schools. Then it was a no brainier for me long term.

Both IESE and LBS boast alumni networks of 44,000+ and if there are alumni from both in the companies, regions, and industries you're targeting then it's a tie. Try reaching out to alumni at both and talk to students about how helpful alumni are.

How much is the cost difference? If it's significant then I'd lean IESE even more, especially if you think the career outcomes will be the same.

Lastly, I absolutely love Barcelona whereas I feel lukewarm about London (cold, rainy, uptight, felt like European Seattle). I think you'd have an amazing time at IESE and pick up a new language as well.
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New post 14 Apr 2019, 22:14
NTSpike wrote:
PENTON wrote:
NTSpike wrote:
This is really going to be up to you and your priorities. You say you don't think there's a difference between curriculum and your future ability to achieve your goals. Do you truly believe this? What makes you believe this?

If you have conviction o this point then go to IESE. It's cheaper and it seems like you WANT to go there. You say you want brand, but that seems like more of an after thought as something you think you should do. I made a similar decision between better fit at Fuqua over brand value at Yale, but in my case cost was the same at both and I think I the long term value of having that branding for the rest of my life is going to be more valuable than a slightly worse fit for two years (let's be real all business schools offer an incredible experience). I also made my choice based on the larger network.

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NTSpike
Thank you, your opinion is really helpful.
I am wondering whether long value of LBS is worth sacrificing the short term attractiveness of IESE.
May I ask you how Yale brand impacted you in the long term, compared to what you may have experienced if you had been to Fuqua?
(by the way, how many years has it been since your graduation?)


First of all I'm matriculating this Fall, so we'll see :)

Unfortunately I can't provide that long term perspective, however people would visibly react in awe and excitement to the Yale name when I asked for their opinion. This probably has little impact among other MBAs who know rankings but as far as connecting to other social circles (also Yale clubs are very active around the world) this seemed valuable to me. Outside of my career, this was a huge social benefit that I know Duke wouldn't have. I don't think LBS would garner similar reactions imo. Have you had any experiences like this to support LBS having a significantly better image? I'm from the US and while I've definitely heard of LBS, I don't really hold it in higher regard compared to IESE even tho it has more name recognition (I personally don't know if career outcomes will be different even tho I know LBS is more prestigious and higher ranked). I don't know how LBS is perceived internationally.

I was actually heavily leaning Duke for fit and size of MBA network over the Yale name until I factored in the Consortium which expands Yale's network to include several other top B schools. Then it was a no brainier for me long term.

Both IESE and LBS boast alumni networks of 44,000+ and if there are alumni from both in the companies, regions, and industries you're targeting then it's a tie. Try reaching out to alumni at both and talk to students about how helpful alumni are.

How much is the cost difference? If it's significant then I'd lean IESE even more, especially if you think the career outcomes will be the same.

Lastly, I absolutely love Barcelona whereas I feel lukewarm about London (cold, rainy, uptight, felt like European Seattle). I think you'd have an amazing time at IESE and pick up a new language as well.


Thanks again for your replay.

Yes I do sense the excitement when I tell people LBS name.
Even among MBAs, LBS is recognised as one of top schools and often compared to top US schools (It was FT ranking 1st until several years ago).
IESE is considered top in Europe but not the very top in the world.

The cost difference can amount to US$50,000, factoring in the living expense and scholarship differences.
If the gap is only $20-30K then I would choose LBS. Fortunately, I can reply on my parents to loan me necessary funds without interests.
But this huge difference really makes me wonder whether it is worth it.

Yes I liked Barcelona too! But I also wonder how stressful the life can be without Spanish/Catalan.
I lived in London before and to me it is a nice city as well, putting aside the extraordinarily high living expenses.
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New post 14 Apr 2019, 23:11
True true. I knew I was staying in the US so never fully considered international schools bit when I did LBS and INSEAD were the programs I considered.

Perhaps look at this the opposite way. Which do you think you'll regret more not doing? As much as I knew I'd love the comraderie at Fuqua, I was worried I would regret skipping on the Yale brand in the future, especially if I could've had the same great fit and just hadn't given the program the same chance. Would you feel the same about LBS? Fit is so hard to determine while not immersed in the program. I've met duds at every MBA I was interested in. You will find your group of people in any MBA cohort. What if you find that the IESE cohort is not as tight as you thought? What if LBS's network is actually really supportive?

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New post 15 Apr 2019, 00:33
NTSpike wrote:
True true. I knew I was staying in the US so never fully considered international schools bit when I did LBS and INSEAD were the programs I considered.

Perhaps look at this the opposite way. Which do you think you'll regret more not doing? As much as I knew I'd love the comraderie at Fuqua, I was worried I would regret skipping on the Yale brand in the future, especially if I could've had the same great fit and just hadn't given the program the same chance. Would you feel the same about LBS? Fit is so hard to determine while not immersed in the program. I've met duds at every MBA I was interested in. You will find your group of people in any MBA cohort. What if you find that the IESE cohort is not as tight as you thought? What if LBS's network is actually really supportive?

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Yes I totally agree with you.

And if I see from "which makes me regret more" point of view, then it becomes more about financial issues.
Because as you say, culture is very subjective and really depends on how you see it and how you cope with it.

So will I regret that I wasted $50K just for a brand? Or will I regret that I missed the best opportunity of my life just for a bit of money?
$50K is a lot but compared to the life long income (especially for MBA graduates) it may not be much.
I think this is the point that I need to consider.

Thank you for your prompt and helpful answer. I really appreciate it.
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New post 15 Apr 2019, 01:09
My friend who was admitted into med school last year gave me some advice that helped. No matter which option you choose, you'll regret it. You'll be happy most of the time, but there will be times when you'll wonder. Knowing that there's no perfect decision, think long term and think objectively about which school will offer you the most value over your lifetime. You'll be an alumni for much longer than the 2 years in the program.

Good luck!

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New post 15 Apr 2019, 07:02
NTSpike wrote:
My friend who was admitted into med school last year gave me some advice that helped. No matter which option you choose, you'll regret it. You'll be happy most of the time, but there will be times when you'll wonder. Knowing that there's no perfect decision, think long term and think objectively about which school will offer you the most value over your lifetime. You'll be an alumni for much longer than the 2 years in the program.

Good luck!

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Thanks! I will update you once I make the final decision!
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New post 16 Apr 2019, 03:37
Hi there,

IESE is obviously an excellent school, but in my opinion LBS is a class above. If you want to work in Singapore, the LBS brand and alumni network will carry you further. Whilst IESE is a great school, I’m not sure what the alumni network in Singapore is like (worth researching/contacting alums on LinkedIn). Additionally, I believe you can do an exchange to IESE or one of the other European schools from LBS (have a look on the website). Think about the return on investment and the core principles in terms of what you’re looking for and then make a decision.

Best of luck!

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New post 16 Apr 2019, 03:39
PS, I was struggling to decide between Yale (an adventure in a new country) and LBS. I ultimately picked LBS and the welcome weekend/speaking with alumni reaffirmed my decision to pick LBS.

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