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Owen ($$) v Kenan-Flagler ($$) v Foster ($) for tech

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Which program should I choose?

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Owen ($$) v Kenan-Flagler ($$) v Foster ($) for tech  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 28 Mar 2020, 12:31
I was recently accepted by both KF and Owen, both with full tuition covered. I'm VERY happy to be in this situation, but now I have a really tough decision to make!

I am a female switching into tech from healthcare admin, hopefully in a product management role. I'm interested in healthcare tech specifically but healthcare is not necessarily a must-have for me.

I was hoping to spend some time over this and next month visiting each campus of the programs I get into, but with all the wonderful COVID-19 madness that won't be possible. I've visited Nashville for a bachelorette and had a blast, but I don't think my experience was an accurate representation of the city as a whole (the entire city isn't like Broadway??). I am originally from the southeast (N Florida), attended undergrad at a southern college, and have spent a fair amount of time in South & North Carolina, but I've never been to Raleigh or Chapel Hill. I'm attending the virtual Experience Weekend for KF, but Vandy's isn't until after my first deposit for KF is due. From what I have experienced by talking to current students and during my interviews, they both seem to have a great student culture with a lot of opportunities offered.

I think the biggest deciding factors for me are networking opportunities and job placement success since I am moving into a new industry with very few connections.

My partner who works in tech is moving with me (he works remotely so he's keeping his same job). We're both pretty outdoorsy, and he's interested in connecting with a tech scene in a new region.

I'm still waiting to hear back from Foster (UW-Seattle) which was initially my top choice because I currently live in the PNW (smaller town) and love it here, and Foster's program would definitely set me up for success in the tech scene if I stay near Seattle. If they were to offer me $$ as well I think I'd be dumb not to go there. However, I do think it would be nice to be a bit closer to family and good friends I have on the east coast for a while.

Help me make my decision! TIA!

EDIT 3/26: I should probably also add that with the full tuition at KF I also got a Forte Fellowship--I'm not yet familiar with what all that entails, but I assume it would make a difference?

UPDATE 3/28: I heard back from Foster and received a Forte Fellowship that covers ~25% tuition. ROI is very important to me as I've worked very hard to stay out of debt this far in my life.

Foster seems like a no-brainer since I want to work in tech, but would be VERY tough for me to turn down a scholarship that covers full tuition at another competitive program, especially since both other programs on the east coast have placed graduates with employers on the west coast as well. Is there any wiggle room with merit scholarship offers if I reach out to AdCom?

Originally posted by happywhenoutside on 25 Mar 2020, 17:39.
Last edited by happywhenoutside on 28 Mar 2020, 12:31, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Owen ($$) v Kenan-Flagler ($$) v Foster ($) for tech  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2020, 17:48
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Congratulations on your admits!


Are you ready for the lock down? That’s going to be hard with your username :-)

Both programs have healthcare as their strength. Do you have a bit of a benefit with Rohan in the sense that you can stay in Nashville and find variety of jobs within the schools sphere of influence....

KF has a better overall recruiting scene, slightly larger student body, and a huge sports/alum fan base for the UNC.

If you goal is to potentially return to the Pacific Northwest, I would choose Kenan Flagler. It’s a more national brand it has better on campus recruiting.

woody93 - you disagree with me? :-)

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Re: Owen ($$) v Kenan-Flagler ($$) v Foster ($) for tech  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Mar 2020, 05:35
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Hi bb. No disagreement on my head. happywhenoutside Congrats on some great admits! I'm a first year MBA at UNC and have a similiar background to you coming from healthcare management who also got accepted into Owen. My decision process was as follow, Owen is a solid program but it just did not have the reach I was looking for. It felt really regional where UNC felt a bit better in terms of brand reach. I did not find the alums all around the country like I did with UNC. Take a look at the employment report and you'll see KF place in different. regions. Both schools are solid in healthcare with KF being a bit better all around. I think tech is the differentiation. At UNC most go into tech (surprised me too). We send a good amount to Microsoft, Cisco, Dell, Amazon, Google, IBM and others. With cost not being an issue for you, I would go with KF here due to the better brand name, better breadth of recruitment, strength in Tech AND Healthcare and better recruitment.

Also as an aside, its a bummer you can't visit chapel hill. 2 hours the mountains, 3 hours to the beach. Chapel Hill and adjacent hillsborugh have ton of hiking trails, parks, gardens, biking, and outdoor bars,restaurants. Also you have a medium sized city in Raleigh in your backyard as well. Hope to see you in Chapel Hill! Stay safe and healthy.
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Re: Owen ($$) v Kenan-Flagler ($$) v Foster ($) for tech  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2020, 12:26
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Thank you both for your insight!

I heard back from Foster, and they offered me a Forte Fellowship covering ~25% of my in-state tuition.

ROI is very important to me as I've worked very hard to stay out of debt this far in my life.

I think Foster is a no-brainer since I want to go into tech, but it would be VERY tough for me to turn down a scholarship that covers full tuition at another competitive program, especially since both other programs on the east coast have placed graduates with tech companies on the west coast as well. Is there any wiggle room with merit scholarship offers if I reach out to AdCom?
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Re: Owen ($$) v Kenan-Flagler ($$) v Foster ($) for tech  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2020, 13:33
Congratulations!!!
Thanks for posting back about your Foster result.
I thin it is worth bringing up your scholarship from KF and Owen to them. Here is my main scholarships topic: https://gmatclub.com/forum/negotiating- ... 12949.html

As to the ROI, I think KF with a scholarship would be better than Foster with 25% off... esp. taking into consideration your comfort level with debt and immediate economic outlook. While Foster is close to tech and you are on the ground, it does not command access to premium positions. You can network remotely, which if the Corona is here to stay in the fall, you will be remote even in Seattle....


happywhenoutside wrote:
Thank you both for your insight!

I heard back from Foster, and they offered me a Forte Fellowship covering ~25% of my in-state tuition.

ROI is very important to me as I've worked very hard to stay out of debt this far in my life.

I think Foster is a no-brainer since I want to go into tech, but it would be VERY tough for me to turn down a scholarship that covers full tuition at another competitive program, especially since both other programs on the east coast have placed graduates with tech companies on the west coast as well. Is there any wiggle room with merit scholarship offers if I reach out to AdCom?

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Re: Owen ($$) v Kenan-Flagler ($$) v Foster ($) for tech  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2020, 09:46
bb wrote:
As to the ROI, I think KF with a scholarship would be better than Foster with 25% off... esp. taking into consideration your comfort level with debt and immediate economic outlook. While Foster is close to tech and you are on the ground, it does not command access to premium positions. You can network remotely, which if the Corona is here to stay in the fall, you will be remote even in Seattle....


Hey bb,

Can you expand on your comment that Foster does not command access to premium positions? I'm surprised to hear that.

I have pretty much eliminated UNC (due to fit reasons) from my list, and it's really between Owen and Foster in my mind. Owen because I think Vanderbilt has a solid brand, and I've talked to some current students who have had success going into tech--also I think Nashville would be a fun place to live for a couple of years before returning to the west coast. I did bring up that I got scholarships to both other programs, but I'm not very hopeful for more $ from UW. But your comment about premium positions has me reeling some.

A big percentage of Foster grads go into tech consistently each year. Does that just mean they took "non-premium" positions?

I've also read that Foster is #1 for job placement and highly ranked for ROI as well. If $ were not an issue, should I go to Foster?
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Re: Owen ($$) v Kenan-Flagler ($$) v Foster ($) for tech  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2020, 10:04
What I was told (and I believed) that while some schools place well into tech such as amazon and Apple, many of the placements are in procurement or operations roles and not per se the coveted PPM roles. I have heard this from the Top 10 people. Let’s see if I am wrong and we should really ask someone like TryingToMakeIt - how do you feel Foster placement performs into the most competitive positions? How wrong am I? :lol:

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Owen ($$) v Kenan-Flagler ($$) v Foster ($) for tech  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Apr 2020, 13:05
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Hi congrats for all three admits you have. I think you heart goes between Foster and UNC.

If healthcare and tech are both your aims, then definitely Foster is much better choice than UNC. Foster has even MHA (Master of Health Administration) and is closer to big tech companies

So you got 50% fellowship from UNC and 25% from Foster? If this is the case, Foster still commands the better choice

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Re: Owen ($$) v Kenan-Flagler ($$) v Foster ($) for tech  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2020, 11:49
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For some reason I missed the tag here bb, my bad!

I don't know if I agree with us not getting to premium positions (in tech), haha. I could see someone saying that about banking or consulting, sure. Here are some examples of the kinds of roles people had during their internships last year, in tech (i.e. my classmates), if that helps!

MSFT - PMM, Finance
AMZN - PMT, PM, FLDP, RLDP, Cloudpath PM
Google - roles usually depending on applicant's background, anything from PM to Ops
VMWare, Adobe, Autodesk, Snap, SAP, Twilio, NetApp - PM, Finance, Strategy, etc etc


Over the years our reach to better companies and better roles has improved a toooon. I like that about Foster, in the two years I've been here I've seen improvements year on year. Current first years are killing it.

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Re: Owen ($$) v Kenan-Flagler ($$) v Foster ($) for tech  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2020, 11:04
Thank you all for your input!

I'm down to the Owen deposit deadline tomorrow (Foster's isn't until 5/4) and still am flip-flopping. I have been leaning heavily toward Foster in the past week. BUT then I attended (and was really impressed by) the Owen virtual welcome weekend yesterday, and I talked to a few current students who were all very honest with me which I appreciated. I definitely felt the "fit" when visiting Foster's campus/classes over the past year, but since I wasn't able to visit Vandy in person I think this is the closest to feeling my "fit" there as well.

Should I pay the $2500 deposit to hold my spot at Owen and hold out if Foster will up their $? Or do you think the benefits of attending a tech-heavy program like Foster will outweigh any difference in tuition costs? Or should I just take the money and run with Owen? Any additional thoughts are very much welcomed!
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Re: Owen ($$) v Kenan-Flagler ($$) v Foster ($) for tech  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2020, 13:32
My concern is that Owen does not place well in the WA/CA Tech. People are likely going to Austin, Atlanta, and South East. Only 20 graduates out roughly 150 who filled out the employment report have gotten a job in either CA, WA, or Oregon (among ALL industries and job functions). This means that's not a big feeder market for the program so you will have fewer organized events/trips/etc (just a guess). Let me see if I can find some of the active current students and see if they can pitch in.

Hang in there :-)
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Re: Owen ($$) v Kenan-Flagler ($$) v Foster ($) for tech  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2020, 13:49
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Unfortunately I can't speak on behalf of Foster's adcom and say that you have a chance (or not!) of getting more $, but I can say that generally speaking schools are strapped for cash and you may not be able to bank on any additional money coming in :) if possible, try to attend our welcome weekend (this coming Friday - Sunday) and see if anything can help you in making your decision!

Can Owen extend your deposit deadline? I assume the $2500 won't come back should you decide not to attend.

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Re: Owen ($$) v Kenan-Flagler ($$) v Foster ($) for tech   [#permalink] 19 Apr 2020, 13:49

Owen ($$) v Kenan-Flagler ($$) v Foster ($) for tech

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