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Question about Top 15 Schools for MBA

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Question about Top 15 Schools for MBA  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jul 2013, 20:57
Hi,

I was wondering if someone could help me with this question. If I have no interest in consulting because the constant travel sounds awful and most likely would not be doing private equity after my MBA, would getting a top 15 MBA be worth the cost or would a scholarship at a lower ranked school be the better option in the long run?

Thanks!
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New post 30 Jul 2013, 07:08
Anyone with any input or opinions on this would be greatly appreciated!
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Re: Question about Top 15 Schools for MBA  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2013, 08:51
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testace wrote:
Hi,

I was wondering if someone could help me with this question. If I have no interest in consulting because the constant travel sounds awful and most likely would not be doing private equity after my MBA, would getting a top 15 MBA be worth the cost or would a scholarship at a lower ranked school be the better option in the long run?

Thanks!



Long-run: it doesn't matter where you went to b-school (and frankly doesn't matter if you even have an MBA). Think about it: if you're in your 40s and doing business with people in their 40s and 50s, do you think anyone cares where you went to school 20 years ago, at least from a career/business standpoint? When it comes to value, most of it is short-term (first 5 years coming out of b-school).

With the top 16 schools, it is a combination of recruiting and the overall experience. From a recruiting standpoint, if you're not interested in consulting or IB/PE (industries that recruit mostly from top 16 programs), then it may not be worth it. But again it depends on the industry you're looking at. Going to a top 16 will give you more options, as there are some pockets of firms out there who will focus mostly on top 16 (certain positions within F500, tech firms, etc.) but you're right that outside of consulting or IB/PE, recruiters for the most part are open to folks from a wider range of schools. As for the overall experience, you'll find that while you can find high caliber folks at any b-school, within the top 16 you'll find less variance in the caliber of students, and when you you go back full-time, a big part of the learning experience comes from your interactions and relationships you build with your classmates -- obviously whether that's worth it to you or not is subjective.
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Re: Question about Top 15 Schools for MBA  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2013, 10:47
AlexMBAApply wrote:
testace wrote:
Hi,

I was wondering if someone could help me with this question. If I have no interest in consulting because the constant travel sounds awful and most likely would not be doing private equity after my MBA, would getting a top 15 MBA be worth the cost or would a scholarship at a lower ranked school be the better option in the long run?

Thanks!



Long-run: it doesn't matter where you went to b-school (and frankly doesn't matter if you even have an MBA). Think about it: if you're in your 40s and doing business with people in their 40s and 50s, do you think anyone cares where you went to school 20 years ago, at least from a career/business standpoint? When it comes to value, most of it is short-term (first 5 years coming out of b-school).

With the top 16 schools, it is a combination of recruiting and the overall experience. From a recruiting standpoint, if you're not interested in consulting or IB/PE (industries that recruit mostly from top 16 programs), then it may not be worth it. But again it depends on the industry you're looking at. Going to a top 16 will give you more options, as there are some pockets of firms out there who will focus mostly on top 16 (certain positions within F500, tech firms, etc.) but you're right that outside of consulting or IB/PE, recruiters for the most part are open to folks from a wider range of schools. As for the overall experience, you'll find that while you can find high caliber folks at any b-school, within the top 16 you'll find less variance in the caliber of students, and when you you go back full-time, a big part of the learning experience comes from your interactions and relationships you build with your classmates -- obviously whether that's worth it to you or not is subjective.



Thank you Alex! What you said is very helpful. I am interested in Investment/Asset Management or Commercial Real Estate Investing. Do you think these two fields would be as focused on recruiting from the top 15 MBA programs as Consulting/IB/PE are? I heard that Commercial Real Estate investing may be easier to break into, but Investment Management could be just as hard to get into as IB or PE and may also heavily require a top MBA degree?

Also, I wanted to clarify when you mentioned that most of the value from the top MBA programs comes in the short term, but isn't that important as well? Harvard MBA's according to their employment statistics shows a significantly higher starting salary the first year out in the Investing fields, on the tune of $185,000 of guaranteed compensation.
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Re: Question about Top 15 Schools for MBA  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2013, 07:25
testace wrote:
Hi,

I was wondering if someone could help me with this question. If I have no interest in consulting because the constant travel sounds awful and most likely would not be doing private equity after my MBA, would getting a top 15 MBA be worth the cost or would a scholarship at a lower ranked school be the better option in the long run?

Thanks!


you mentioned what you don't want but didnt mention what you do want. your background would be helpful as well.
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New post 31 Jul 2013, 07:44
old1442 wrote:
testace wrote:
Hi,

I was wondering if someone could help me with this question. If I have no interest in consulting because the constant travel sounds awful and most likely would not be doing private equity after my MBA, would getting a top 15 MBA be worth the cost or would a scholarship at a lower ranked school be the better option in the long run?

Thanks!


you mentioned what you don't want but didnt mention what you do want. your background would be helpful as well.


I am interested in Buy Side Asset/Investment Management or Commercial Real Investing (and maybe some interest working in media/entertainment industry out in LA). I'm most concerned about Asset/Investment Management practically requiring a top 10-15 MBA just to break in or have them even look at you.

Are you going to Columbia Business School right now? What is your opinion? Thanks!
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Re: Question about Top 15 Schools for MBA  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2013, 10:37
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testace wrote:
Thank you Alex! What you said is very helpful. I am interested in Investment/Asset Management or Commercial Real Estate Investing. Do you think these two fields would be as focused on recruiting from the top 15 MBA programs as Consulting/IB/PE are? I heard that Commercial Real Estate investing may be easier to break into, but Investment Management could be just as hard to get into as IB or PE and may also heavily require a top MBA degree?

Also, I wanted to clarify when you mentioned that most of the value from the top MBA programs comes in the short term, but isn't that important as well? Harvard MBA's according to their employment statistics shows a significantly higher starting salary the first year out in the Investing fields, on the tune of $185,000 of guaranteed compensation.


Absolutely - short-term is VERY important. But that's my point, whether a particular MBA program is worth it to you should be based on short-term considerations (what you want to do for the first 5 years post-MBA), not long-term. As for the compensation, the differences come down to the mix of jobs/industries. So for example, the average or median differences between say HBS and a top 30 school comes down to the actual jobs that HBS grads take versus those who go to the top 30 (they take jobs in industries or job functions that pay more, rather than being paid more for working in the same job function). For example, if you join McKinsey, you will get the same overall comp regardless of whether you graduated from HBS or UNC (the only potential differences are cost-of-living adjustments where some offices i.e. London UK vs. Minneapolis).

The salary differences are driven mostly by the composition of industries and job functions (i.e. more folks at top schools go into banking or consulting, which tend to pay more than industry), as well as geographic locations as well: those at the top schools tend to strongly prefer living/working in major business centers (NY, London, SF, etc) where the higher salaries reflect the higher costs of living. Conversely, those at more regional schools like Emory tend to stay local post-MBA, where the salaries reflect a lower cost of living. In other words, that $185,000 living in NYC gives you a middle class lifestyle if you're single (but you can't afford to buy). But that same $185,000 per year in Houston can allow you to raise a family and buy a house (and live very well compared to in NYC).

As for investment management - get a CFA. You don't need it while in b-school, but if you're in IM it's basically expected that you get one. Also, they tend to value prior experience more than pedigree beyond a certain threshold (i.e. with your finance background you have a better shot at an IM job coming out of USC than some non-profit person coming out of Stanford).

As for commercial real estate, it's about building your network in the region which you want to operate. It's a very local business, and yes it's one of the industries where pedigree matters less than say IB, PE or mgmt consulting. As you may sense, the biggest asset you can bring is knowing rich/wealthy folks (or what is called "access to capital") and you don't meet those folks in b-school (because MBA alums may end up living comfortable lives, but few will end up being truly wealthy; most end up working *for* rich people, not being rich if that makes any sense - high income doesn't really help you to build the kind of asset base to make you wealthy).
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Re: Question about Top 15 Schools for MBA   [#permalink] 31 Jul 2013, 10:37
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