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Marshall vs Foster

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Joined: 18 May 2014
Posts: 1
Marshall vs Foster  [#permalink]

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New post 18 May 2014, 01:35
I received admits from both these schools for a 2 year MBA course but can't seem to decide where to go. As a major, I will probably pick between finance and consulting and accordingly pursue a career in corporate finance/consulting

Here are the stats (I have highlighted the favorable one in the head to head):


Composite Ranking (Poets & Quants): Marshall (28) vs Foster (24)

Class Size: Marshall (216) vs Foster (139)

Fees (Two years, tuition + additional program fees): Marshall ($117,700) vs Foster ($84,258)

Avg salary (inc bonus): Marshall ($116,011) vs Foster ($118,759)

Percent empl. at graduation: Marshall (55.2%) vs Foster (82.4%)

% empl. after 3 months: Marshall (80.2%) vs Foster (95.8%)

Cost of living: Marshall (LA) vs Foster (Seattle)

Qualitative: Please correct me if I am wrong in any of these

Brand name, recall: Marshall vs Foster

Depth of alumni network: Marshall vs Foster

Functional diversity of employers: Marshall vs Foster (mainly technology)

Geographic diversity of employers: Marshall vs Foster

Faculty: Marshall vs Foster

Courses: Marshall vs Foster ...more or less equal

I think you might see the conundrum. Foster is more likely to land me a higher-paying job, while USC's brand and alum network might be helpful to move to a different city later on. USC competes with Stanford, Berkeley and UCLA while Foster is probably the best in the Northwest.

Also, since I am an international applicant, does MBA brand name matter more for me in terms of getting jobs?

Any advice and/or insight is greatly appreciated. Separately, does anyone know why Foster has shot up the rankings in recent years?
Joined: 20 May 2013
Posts: 599
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Finance
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V44
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Re: Marshall vs Foster  [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2014, 05:37
I think Foster is the way to go. The USC Brand is extremely strong in SoCal...but only in SoCal, it won't help you more than Foster if you want to change regions. Foster has it beat in cost, salary, employment %, and location that you want...I think it's an easy choice for you. USC really only makes sense for people who want to live in SoCal and/or work in entertainment.
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Joined: 30 Jan 2014
Posts: 112
Concentration: Operations
GPA: 3.45
Re: Marshall vs Foster  [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2014, 09:24
I've taken a substantial amount of time digging into Marshall's program and have wholeheartedly fallen for it and am excited to matriculate there. I had been considering Foster but decided not to apply after visiting. I'd say much of what you've written is spot on. The only part I'd maybe disagree on are faculty which I'd give to USC (and would also use their peer assessment score to support this).

USC has had a rough patch with some transitions in their career services office but after visiting and talking to faculty I'm convinced this is behind them. The hardest stat for me to confront was the employment statistic - which I learned was mainly because of grads turning down offers to find employment in a region of their choice (which usually is So Cal). So while grads had offers, they wouldn't be considered "employed." Also entertainment and tech don't hire in a statistically friendly time frame (by graduation) so you'll always see UCLA and USC lagging in stats because of this.

I think Foster is a great program but I'm not familiar with its strengths in finance. Personally the school felt smaller than I would have liked in regards to its reach. In some ways even Marshall felt small compared to my other admits but it still dwarfs Foster. USC's alumni is phenomenal and I say this as someone who reached out to each of the networks at schools I was considering. I live on the East Coast so the So Cal only comment isn't one I totally stand by. It's true that the Trojan Network is almost a mafia in So Cal but it is a HUGE university with very well connected alumni regardless of the SC program you attended or the region you live in.

I'm obviously a huge USC cheerleader since I'm matriculating but also want to assert that USC is a program that is a hidden gem when you actually take the time to look into it. This means looking beyond the posts on places like this and the numbers in magazines. I'm sure this can be said about a lot of programs. Thus, if possible, try and visit both schools!

With the schools I had to choose from, I (along with many on here) would never have expected me to choose Marshall. After taking the time to visit admit weekends and reach out to alum's, I couldn't deny what my experience at Marshall would be.

It may not be for everyone but I found it necessary to look beyond sites like this to really find the differences.
Joined: 21 Mar 2016
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Re: Marshall vs Foster  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Mar 2016, 08:57
If you are International student go for USC. It is a brand name worldwide.
Foster is not well known. I do not even know Foster and I live in the San Francisco Bay are, work in High Tech and have an MBA.
USC is an awesome place and you will meet many people.
Foster will need a lot of expalnaing and education for someone to understand that it is a good school too.
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Re: Marshall vs Foster   [#permalink] 21 Mar 2016, 08:57
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