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Social impact consulting: Kellogg w/ $$ vs Yale?

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Give me a tendency, but support it with arguments ;)

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New post 22 Dec 2014, 12:52
Hi there, I’d like to turn to the collective wisdom here for some additional arguments in my decision making.

Quick facts on me:
- Current position: Pricing consultant in Germany for 4 years at leading global boutique
- I have no experience so far in the social sphere
- ST goal: Transition into Social Impact Consulting (think FSG/Dalberg/Bridgespan)
- LT goal: Something in the intersection between business, politics and society aka nonmarket (it actually sounded nicer in my application ;) )
- Strong focus on international/global as opposed to US opportunities

The decision boils down to Kellogg vs Yale, with Duke trailing behind as they offered no scholarship and are somewhat behind the other two in reputation and rankings.

Yale:
+ Undisputable #1 in social/non-profit
+ Ivy brand name: I know a lot of people discount Yale’s name pull in these forums, but if we are not talking about Harvard, then nobody outside of selected business circles in Europe knows about the likes of Kellogg, Tuck, etc., whereas everyone everywhere knows Yale
+ Trying to build a strong global network with the GNAM and new international partnerships
o Up and coming in rankings and reputation (for years, I know… but maybe slowly it changes properly)
- Business/consulting part seems to be a bit looked down upon in the US, as well as maybe also within the greater Yale (alumni) community

Kellogg:
+ Well-focused and ranked on social/non-profit (think SEEK)
+ Top-7 program - that speaks for itself
+ $50k cheaper due to better scholarship offer
+ More student-run initiatives and generally a more “communicative” environment (reinforced again by the social media activity in all the Admit forums)
- Brand name virtually unknown in Europe as also mentioned by my German interviewer (Kellogg alumn 2008) as well as outside of the MBB consulting types

In my mind it all boils down to two questions: 1) Do I want to stay solely in business (unlikely); 2) Is the Ivy brand worth $25k per year (Europe outside business might be a yes)?
As I only have the chance for one admit weekend, I chose the Yale one to find out more on fit.

I’ll be offline during holidays, so feel free to run wild and I will weigh in in the new year. The ranking is just up for the fun of it but shouldn’t influence me, whereas I am looking for some quality arguments ;)
Thanks in advance for your answers, and a happy holiday season to all of you!
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Re: Social impact consulting: Kellogg w/ $$ vs Yale?  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2014, 18:36
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did you..
..talk to people at FSG, Dalberg, Bridgespan and get their perceptions? check how many students are recruited each year from Kellogg and Yale SOM? and how many of them do not have social impact experience (like you)?
..talk to people in your LT dream job (i.e. upper management at gov non-profit or ngo's) to get their perceptions on Yale SOM and Kellogg?
..talk to current students or alumni at either school to get a sense of the student body and the school experience? (usually a LOT MORE informative than the school's marketing material posted online)
..consider what would happen if you didn't get into one of those 3 firms (where your odds are probably pretty low)? would you rather graduate from Kellogg or Yale SOM?

My guess is that most people who go into non-profit or non-profit consulting after business school already have a solid background in social impact and those who don't have an easier time breaking in when they come from higher ranked school. In other words, Yale SOM might send a lot of kids into non-profit world but your odds are probably better at Kellogg. And your odds are most other jobs would be better coming off of Kellogg. Plus you have a better package.. so in my mind it's not even a close call.

And as far as Ivy League prestige goes.. I'd venture that most business people will be more impressed with K than Y.
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Social impact consulting: Kellogg w/ $$ vs Yale?  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Dec 2014, 10:35
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Kellogg is a tier better than Yale, is the top school for consulting, and has given you more money...Choice should be easy.

You're completely discounting the global reach of Kellogg. People making hiring decisions in Europe know of Kellogg, and know it's better than Yale.
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Re: Social impact consulting: Kellogg w/ $$ vs Yale?  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2015, 03:03
Hi and thanks for your responses!

Got back from vacation and am now ramping up on a lot of discussions.
EuroEng, it’s an interesting point on non-profit backgrounds from Yale SOMers, though I do see that as a possible advantage regarding the network it can be offering. You then state rightly, that “most business people will be more impressed with K than Y”. The question here is how much I will/want to have to do with these so called “business people” :p Quite a simple equation to generalize to then: The more I want to move outside of business circles in the future, the more attractive Y becomes.

mgg234, based on your reply: Are we talking about hiring decisions fresh out of school, or are we also talking about long term implications? I would assume that if you got into eg. MBB from Y or K, that does not matter anymore if you move on _from_ MBB? Or am I mistaken here?

Btw, funny to see 17 people voting with two answers – I would be curious about all your perceptions as well, either as a post or PM!

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Re: Social impact consulting: Kellogg w/ $$ vs Yale?  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2015, 04:03
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Based on your responses, I think that you prefer Yale. It seems like you are defending that program more. I recommend choosing the program that makes you feel most excited. Yes, Kellogg is a tier above SOM, but the difference is not great enough to have a major impact on your decision.

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Re: Social impact consulting: Kellogg w/ $$ vs Yale?  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jan 2015, 09:38
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I've lived in EU and NA and get your reputational concerns. Its the same way the average person outside of the UK thinks Oxford > LBS, Yale brings clout even if it has a shorter history (b-school wise) than Kellogg. There are a handful of people I know who if I said "I'm quitting and going to Kellogg" they'd ask me why I want to work for a cereal company - no I'm not kidding, but these aren't the people reading CVs at top firms.

Truth be told, you'll 100% be fine at either, this isn't a situation where you're clearly right/wrong. If you end up staying in the US or purely look at top-tier firms, the hiring folks will be interested you with either name on your CV. Internationally, they will be seen more so as equal rather than K > Y as in the US, and in less 'mba savvy' spots, Y > K. It's a lot of info to ponder and somewhat all balances out so...what doesn't balance out: Kellogg is offering more $, how are your finances? Chi-town>New Haven for most, what's your take on the geography? Are you interested in the companies that come to campus for one more so than the other (I know you mentioned not wanting to stay in biz potentially, but time changes everything)? Yale is a smaller class, is that good or bad for you? Have you reached out to people at each - how was that experience?
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Re: Social impact consulting: Kellogg w/ $$ vs Yale?  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2015, 14:59
revul, thanks for your reply! I really like your take on the difference in perceptions between the two, they kind of reflect with my gut feeling as well – and I know the cereal comments all too well…

Apart from that, the questions are all relevant and things that I am going through right now, talking with tons of people, discovering my preference for small vs big location, class, etc. In the end I guess it boils down to personal preferences and coincidences based on circumstances - good thing to be reminded that there is no wrong choice in this one. The one thing I figured out is that both have extremely vibrant and responsive communities 8-)

Some more weeks to go before clarity settles in…
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Re: Social impact consulting: Kellogg w/ $$ vs Yale?   [#permalink] 23 Jan 2015, 14:59
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