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Stanford vs Harvard vs Duke (Full ride) vs Mccombs (Full Ride)

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Which school would you choose?

  • 43% [33]
  • 35% [27]
  • 18% [14]
  • 2% [2]
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Stanford vs Harvard vs Duke (Full ride) vs Mccombs (Full Ride)  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Dec 2014, 07:21
Goals: In the distant future I'd like to see myself as a CTO for a tech company or a division VP leading strategic direction. In the short term, working as a tech-focused product manager or consultant in the technology and/or green energy sectors are very appealing to me. Will also pursue technology entrepreneurship while in school.

Thoughts:

Stanford - Hands down best place to be for tech and entrepreneurship. Not in love with the bay though, so would maybe relocate after graduation.
Harvard - Can't beat the worldwide brand, also fantastic innovation center. Having an ivy league name on my resume is hard to pass.
Duke - Fantastic all-around, good international focus, weaker than H/S but includes a full ride ($120K).
UT - Excellent school but at this point I think I would choose Duke over it.

At Stanford/Harvard I would be looking at paying completely out of pocket - I would likely not qualify for any need-based fellowships.

What would you choose?
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Re: Stanford vs Harvard vs Duke (Full ride) vs Mccombs (Full Ride)  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Dec 2014, 09:03
any reason why you don't like the bay? It must be a pretty strong dislike because given your goal stanford seems like the easy choice

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New post 26 Dec 2014, 14:11
Good question, I suppose the major turn off is the sheer cost of living of the area. I don't know whether that extra cost is merited. I actually prefer the smaller tech hubs that are up and coming around the country - Boulder, Austin, RDU, etc.

Outside of that I admittedly don't have many qualms! Perhaps it's a mental thing, I really haven't spent much time in the area.

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Re: Stanford vs Harvard vs Duke (Full ride) vs Mccombs (Full Ride)  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Dec 2014, 15:22
The choice here is really between HBS and GSB. I loved Stanford, but one of the reasons why I chose HBS was location. I'm not really a west coast person. However, given your strong interests in tech and entrepreneurship, in this case, I would vote for Stanford. HBS does have a tech club and an endless supply of resources, but I don't think those resources can truly compete with Stanford's, given your interests.

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Re: Stanford vs Harvard vs Duke (Full ride) vs Mccombs (Full Ride)  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Dec 2014, 09:30
DefyingGravity wrote:
HBS does have a tech club and an endless supply of resources, but I don't think those resources can truly compete with Stanford's, given your interests.

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All the calls I've been receiving from alumni, current students, and even administration in places like the Rock Center seem to suggest that they are making serious strides to closing that gap. But of course, they're supposed to say that :-D .

Perhaps I am myopically chasing the allure of the Ivy League name being on my resume, if I'm being honest with myself.

Am I stupid in valuing an intangible such as that?

Do you think the resource difference between the two is of an order of magnitude?
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New post 28 Dec 2014, 18:28
I think most people would say the choice is clear with GSB. But since you are posing the question, I want to throw out a counter point for taking the money rather than chasing the brand. Going to Fuqua or McCombs will not exclude you from pursuing your ST goal. Becoming CTO or Division VP is a combination of luck and work performance, your graduate school will have little weight on that goal.

The benefit of taking the money is that in the case you need to take a risk (financially) with your post-MBA career direction, say working for an early stage start up. Having no financial obligations make the career choice bit easier.
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New post 28 Dec 2014, 18:49
reiman1 wrote:

Perhaps I am myopically chasing the allure of the Ivy League name being on my resume, if I'm being honest with myself.

Am I stupid in valuing an intangible such as that?

Do you think the resource difference between the two is of an order of magnitude?


If your gut says HBS, then go with it. It doesn't matter if the reason seems "stupid." (I don't think that it is stupid, btw). You have two amazing choices, where you can't go wrong. So it's okay to use a tiny reason to justify your decision to yourself.

Regarding the resource difference, the Rock Center and the iLab at HBS will defintely help you. I think the biggest difference is just being surrounded by such a strong techy culture at GSB and the extensive array of companies surrounding you.

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Re: Stanford vs Harvard vs Duke (Full ride) vs Mccombs (Full Ride)  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Dec 2014, 03:14
reiman1 wrote:
DefyingGravity wrote:
HBS does have a tech club and an endless supply of resources, but I don't think those resources can truly compete with Stanford's, given your interests.

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All the calls I've been receiving from alumni, current students, and even administration in places like the Rock Center seem to suggest that they are making serious strides to closing that gap. But of course, they're supposed to say that :-D .

Perhaps I am myopically chasing the allure of the Ivy League name being on my resume, if I'm being honest with myself.

Am I stupid in valuing an intangible such as that?

Do you think the resource difference between the two is of an order of magnitude?


It is very personal but I think at some point you the Ivy League brand name makes little to no difference in life. Certainly graduating from GSB will not be looked down upon just because it was not an Ivy League school! Your goals and interests seem to align better with GSB so that's who I have voted for. But go with fit. If HBS feels like the best fit then go with your heart.
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Re: Stanford vs Harvard vs Duke (Full ride) vs Mccombs (Full Ride)  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Dec 2014, 05:51
Thank you all for your insight, I'll be sure to go with fit when I visit both during their admit weekends.

It's interesting to see that (at the current time) both S/H are equal in the poll - which largely confirms my belief that I should ultimately make this a question of where I feel most comfortable.

To that end I will start beefing up the number of current student blogs from each school that I read up on.
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Re: Stanford vs Harvard vs Duke (Full ride) vs Mccombs (Full Ride)   [#permalink] 29 Dec 2014, 05:51

Stanford vs Harvard vs Duke (Full ride) vs Mccombs (Full Ride)

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