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McCombs ($$) vs Anderson ($)

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McCombs ($$) vs Anderson ($)

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McCombs ($$) vs Anderson ($)  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Feb 2019, 10:11
Hello friends,

I am trying to decide which BSchool to attend and would like your opinion, as it's been a rather difficult decision to make.

My post MBA goal is to end up in tech, ideally in Product Management/Strategy or Program Management roles. At the same time, I am open to consulting (and preferably tech consulting).

I have made my deposit at McCombs, but to be honest, I am still evaluating. Both Anderson and McCombs offer good opportunities in tech, but I believe Anderson is a tier higher. Also, from my research (please correct me if I'm wrong), UCLA has a bigger brand name and Anderson has a bigger network in my native country India, to which I plan to return in the medium term. Also, Anderson places more than 10% of the class into PM roles, which I'm not sure is the case with McCombs.

At the same time, the difference in total cost of education (after factoring in living expenses, which will be higher in LA) is coming out to be about $55k between both the schools.
My question is, whether a better brand name and bigger network in my native country are worth paying up upwards of $50k more, when the difference in most US rankings is not so significant? Also, which of the two schools will offer better recruiting opportunities in consulting, which happens to be another area I am open to?

Please advise!
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McCombs ($$) vs Anderson ($)  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Feb 2019, 12:09
1
Neither school is a feeder for MBB consulting, so I'd consider that a wash. If you want to do Tech PM, I would have gone with Anderson.

I'm curious - you seem to acknowledge that Anderson is better for PM and has a stronger presence in India. So why did you put down money at McCombs?

And for what it's worth, I wouldn't look at whether a certain amount of money can justify a difference in two schools' rankings ranked so closely together. Those rankings are fluid anyway.
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Re: McCombs ($$) vs Anderson ($)  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Feb 2019, 12:29
dominationstation wrote:
Neither school is a feeder for MBB consulting, so I'd consider that a wash. If you want to do Tech PM, I would have gone with Anderson.

I'm curious - you seem to acknowledge that Anderson is better for PM and has a stronger presence in India. So why did you put down money at McCombs?

And for what it's worth, I wouldn't look at whether a certain amount of money can justify a difference in two schools' rankings ranked so closely together. Those rankings are fluid anyway.


Hi Jason,

Thank you for your response.

The Austin deadline was approaching, and at one point, I felt that perhaps the cost differential between both the schools was not worth it. Hence, I paid the deposit.

What I wanted to know was, whether I can expect to have broadly similar opportunities in tech, from both the schools? If so, perhaps I will stick with McCombs. How big a factor is the brand and the alumni network, in your opinion?
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User avatar
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Affiliations: MBA Journeys
Joined: 05 Jan 2019
Posts: 14
Location: United States (CA)
Schools: Haas '17 (M)
GMAT 1: 710 Q49 V38
GMAT 2: 710 Q49 V38
GMAT 3: 740 Q49 V41
Re: McCombs ($$) vs Anderson ($)  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Feb 2019, 13:24
delta009 wrote:
dominationstation wrote:
Neither school is a feeder for MBB consulting, so I'd consider that a wash. If you want to do Tech PM, I would have gone with Anderson.

I'm curious - you seem to acknowledge that Anderson is better for PM and has a stronger presence in India. So why did you put down money at McCombs?

And for what it's worth, I wouldn't look at whether a certain amount of money can justify a difference in two schools' rankings ranked so closely together. Those rankings are fluid anyway.


Hi Jason,

Thank you for your response.

The Austin deadline was approaching, and at one point, I felt that perhaps the cost differential between both the schools was not worth it. Hence, I paid the deposit.

What I wanted to know was, whether I can expect to have broadly similar opportunities in tech, from both the schools? If so, perhaps I will stick with McCombs. How big a factor is the brand and the alumni network, in your opinion?


In my opinion, brand and "rankings" are talked about too much. This is probably because the folks who control the MBA narrative on the internet are financially incentivized to not shake up the "mental rankings" status quo in people's minds and to play up the "exclusivity" narrative.

In the end, your school's brand is only important insofar as people will assign to you an "assumed level of competence before I have a chance to gather more data on this person to really assess them". But once you are at the stage where the hiring manager is actually evaluating you in an interview or on the job, then your school's brand doesn't matter one bit.

So what does that mean for your ultimate question above? It means that you should not pay attention to the school's brand unless you believe that School A will open up interview doors that School B will not. I don't believe that's the case here. You will get PM interview invites from both McCombs and Anderson. Then once you interview, it's up to you to nail it. The school's brand will not serve up on a platter a PM role to anyone on its own.

I think you are correct to then consider the alumni in your field of interest, especially if you're switching industries and roles (double switcher). I got my first PM and tech exposure during my MBA internship, and it was an alum who took a chance on me that summer. Once I had that summer PM experience, full-time PM recruiting was an entirely different ball game. I got interviews left and right. So one could say that were it not for the Haas alumni network, I may not have been successful in switching into tech PM, even with the strong Haas brand.

I hope this helps. In the end, you should ignore brand in this instance, since it's not like one school opens up doors that the other doesn't, and you should look at alumni presence in your industry and role. That's why I say Anderson - a quick LinkedIn search will show that there are way more Anderson tech PM's.
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Jason
Creator of MBA Journeys
Haas MBA '17

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Posts: 14
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Re: McCombs ($$) vs Anderson ($)  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Feb 2019, 22:38
dominationstation wrote:
delta009 wrote:
dominationstation wrote:
Neither school is a feeder for MBB consulting, so I'd consider that a wash. If you want to do Tech PM, I would have gone with Anderson.

I'm curious - you seem to acknowledge that Anderson is better for PM and has a stronger presence in India. So why did you put down money at McCombs?

And for what it's worth, I wouldn't look at whether a certain amount of money can justify a difference in two schools' rankings ranked so closely together. Those rankings are fluid anyway.


Hi Jason,

Thank you for your response.

The Austin deadline was approaching, and at one point, I felt that perhaps the cost differential between both the schools was not worth it. Hence, I paid the deposit.

What I wanted to know was, whether I can expect to have broadly similar opportunities in tech, from both the schools? If so, perhaps I will stick with McCombs. How big a factor is the brand and the alumni network, in your opinion?


In my opinion, brand and "rankings" are talked about too much. This is probably because the folks who control the MBA narrative on the internet are financially incentivized to not shake up the "mental rankings" status quo in people's minds and to play up the "exclusivity" narrative.

In the end, your school's brand is only important insofar as people will assign to you an "assumed level of competence before I have a chance to gather more data on this person to really assess them". But once you are at the stage where the hiring manager is actually evaluating you in an interview or on the job, then your school's brand doesn't matter one bit.

So what does that mean for your ultimate question above? It means that you should not pay attention to the school's brand unless you believe that School A will open up interview doors that School B will not. I don't believe that's the case here. You will get PM interview invites from both McCombs and Anderson. Then once you interview, it's up to you to nail it. The school's brand will not serve up on a platter a PM role to anyone on its own.

I think you are correct to then consider the alumni in your field of interest, especially if you're switching industries and roles (double switcher). I got my first PM and tech exposure during my MBA internship, and it was an alum who took a chance on me that summer. Once I had that summer PM experience, full-time PM recruiting was an entirely different ball game. I got interviews left and right. So one could say that were it not for the Haas alumni network, I may not have been successful in switching into tech PM, even with the strong Haas brand.

I hope this helps. In the end, you should ignore brand in this instance, since it's not like one school opens up doors that the other doesn't, and you should look at alumni presence in your industry and role. That's why I say Anderson - a quick LinkedIn search will show that there are way more Anderson tech PM's.


Hi Jason,

Thanks a lot for sharing your detailed perspective.
This definitely helps!
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Re: McCombs ($$) vs Anderson ($)   [#permalink] 10 Feb 2019, 22:38
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