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Things you wished you knew about your school before applying?

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New post 30 Nov 2015, 08:18
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A moderator suggested to have a discussion on this topic. We will be happy to learn from current students what are the things you didn't like about your school and program and wished you knew about before applying?
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New post 30 Nov 2015, 23:59
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Hey Narenn, I actually started that thread on reddit, after seeing a certain post on GMATClub (it was deleted by poster, but I got it in my e-mail). Considering that I have already received an answer, I think I will post both here to kick-start this discussion:
Deleted rant from GMATClub:
"Why You Shouldn't Go to Fuqua

BLUF: 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Go to Fuqua.

1. Durham is horrible.

There is nothing to do. If you are a single male, you're only hope for a dating life is to go to Chapel Hill. For some reason there is this perception that because the school is in the south there are lots of hot chicks and nice weather. Nothing could be further from the truth (unless you go to UNC, this is only partially true.)

2. Employment numbers are bogus
Fuqua will boast that they employed 10+ people at JPM, GS, and MS, but this is all in lame private wealth management jobs. Try asking career services how many people they placed in IB at these firms. They usually get about 1 in each of these firms, 2-3 in the mid-tier banks, and then fill the rest of the class in the lower tier banks.

3. The cafeteria sucks.

It serves horrible food, its only open until 2 pm each day, and its not open on the weekend. If you try to come work on the weekend, you are trapped in a crappy building without food or coffee.

4. Its not that selective.

Its just not that hard to get into. Which means in class you'll have to listen to a bunch of very unintelligent people voice their opinions constantly.

5. Dating life is horrendous.

If you are a single guy, just go to NYU. Trust me. You will be so much better off. The best consulting firms/bulge-bracket banks don't view the schools any differently, so you might as well have fun, have lots of options, and experience living in a big city.

6. Everyone there thinks there are at the "#1 Business School in the Country" and its just blatantly not true.

Enough said.

7. The building sucks and is poorly maintained.

Most of the thermostats in the team rooms don't work, so most of your time is spent in a tiny, sweaty room working on projects for classes that you don't care about because they don't teach you anything meaningful or useful (looking at you Strategy and Marketing...)

8. Parking is a nightmare.

You drive five minutes to the parking lot and then walk for 15 minutes to the crappy building mentioned above.

9. There are a bunch of pointless core classes.

While you do learn useful skills in some classes, the amount of pointless work you are given in some of the required classes limits your ability to focus on what you actually want to learn.

10. Social life is horrendous.

These are your options for a social life at Fuqua:

1. Play beer pong at Station 9 until 4 am and never associate with anyone from the opposite sex.
2. Have a wife/girlfriend, or husband/boyfriend that lives with you.

If you don't see yourself fitting into the above categories, Fuqua is not for you. "

And a reply from a student:
TLRD: this person seems like someone who should have never gone to Fuqua in the first place, but he/she has a couple good points:
Huh. There might be a little bit of truth to some of what this person is saying - but my main impression is that this person is salty that they didn't get their dream banking job in NYC. If that's all he/she wanted, NYU is probably the place to be. At Fuqua, they talk about how your experience should be "transformational" rather than "transactional." As such, you should be viewing it as "how can I grow as a leader and find something I'm passionate about" as opposed to "I need an MBA to get my dream job at Goldman, MBB, Google, etc" I'll address the points below:
1.) It's no NYC (I was there before school) but I LOVE Durham. It is being completely revitalized, and has an awesome foodie/brewery scene, plus Chapel Hill and Raleigh are very close. Not to mention it is in the South and one of the most affordable places to get an MBA
2.) It's true, some of the people who go into the "top" banks are doing wealth management, but I assume that's true at NYU as well. Again, if all you want is to network in NYC with bankers, you should probably go to NYU/Columbia.
3.) Bullshit - not sure when they graduated, but the food is amazing/cheap.
4.) Perhaps some truth to that...we definitely let in some candidates with lower test scores and GPA's but these people usually are under represented minorities or have awesome military experience...Again, this goes to Fuqua trying to admit applicants based on fit as opposed to raw stats.
5) Bullshit - I hook up all the time. Literally have hooked up with 4/5 of the girls I met on online, and Fuqua has a ton of hot girls. There are literally tons of eligible bachelors/ladies between UNC/Duke/Raleigh who would LOVE to date a Fuqua MBA...sounds like this guy/gal is just a jabroni who has no game.
6.) Some people said that in orientation, but no one seriously thinks that. They think that the ranking reflects how employers view us...which is good, but no one thinks we're number 1. Most here think we're top 10, and to be fair I have a lot of classmates (myself included) who turned down M7 or higher schools do to culture, location, or scholarship decisions.
7.) Don't agree, but I don't have a great frame of reference. I know it's way nicer than Columbia...it may be worse than some other schools, but I have never had a complaint about the facilities. Strategy is my favorite class....everyone will have classes in the "core" that are boring...I hate accounting, but I had to take it. Once you get passed your first few classes you get to take what you like anyway.
8.) you have to walk like 10 minutes from your car lot to class - I like walking because Fall/campus is beautiful. They're also building a lot that will be finished soon.
9.) A somewhat fair point. The core classes are a lot of work, and a lot of it is in teams or your C-LEAD (a group of 6-7 of your classmates) - this is done on purpose though to train you for how working in teams of diverse people will happen in your career....
10.) Disagree. I spoke with a friend at Columbia yesterday and I was talking about all the theme parties / social events (not to mention football/basketball games) we have...her feedback: people at columbia take themselves too seriously. I tried my best to respond...there's like 20% truth to what they said, but my main impression was that this person was an asshat only interested in banking and probably never should have been let in. Feel free to post my response on the forum as well.
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Re: Things you wished you knew about your school before applying? [#permalink]

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New post 02 Dec 2015, 09:34
kvazar wrote:
Hey Narenn, I actually started that thread on reddit, after seeing a certain post on GMATClub (it was deleted by poster, but I got it in my e-mail). Considering that I have already received an answer, I think I will post both here to kick-start this discussion:....................................................................................................


Yeah, I saw your post on reddit and decided to start a similar discussion on our forum too.
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New post 04 Dec 2015, 01:00
Great thread idea kvazar. I'm a regular lurker on r/mba and follow that thread closely :-D

Hopefully we'll get some valuable points here as well.

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Re: Things you wished you knew about your school before applying? [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2015, 23:28
Anyone can share insights from UCLA/ Emory (Goizueta)? Appreciate all your responses

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Re: Things you wished you knew about your school before applying? [#permalink]

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New post 08 Dec 2015, 07:23
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Perhaps we can expand this a little and have students who just went through the application process and receiving admit calls now, shine in some light on this matter?

I applied to Booth, Kellogg, Tuck, LBS, CBS, Wharton and Yale.

NR 1: CBS was my number one school. I got accepted, and applied to 6 other schools simultaneously. An insanely intense process. Had I acted upon the fact that CBS has a rolling admissions policy and applied early July already, I could have saved myself a lot of effort on other schools.
NR 2: Ask yourself the question early on whether a city business school or 'off-the-beaten-path' business school is right for you. Even though I absolutely loved Tuck, the prospect of commuting 5 hours to NYC for job interviews is daunting.
NR 3: You cannot practice interviews enough. Remember the 2+ months you spent preparing on your GMAT? The interview is equally, if not more, important. Why do only 1 - 2 mock interviews for such a crucial part of your application?
NR 4: Stop wasting time looking up acceptance rates, average GPAs, rankings, et cetera. It is pointless. A 20% acceptance rate does not mean that YOUR chance of getting accepted is 1/5. It may be 9/10, or 1/100, depending on your profile. Instead, improve your application.

To respond to the 10 things about Fuqua (didn't apply, but have been to Duke lots of times).

1. Durham is horrible.

There is nothing to do. If you are a single male, you're only hope for a dating life is to go to Chapel Hill. For some reason there is this perception that because the school is in the south there are lots of hot chicks and nice weather. Nothing could be further from the truth (unless you go to UNC, this is only partially true.)

Durham is indeed not a very vibrant city, but Duke / Fuqua offers tons of fun activities. See #5 for dating.

2. Employment numbers are bogus
Fuqua will boast that they employed 10+ people at JPM, GS, and MS, but this is all in lame private wealth management jobs. Try asking career services how many people they placed in IB at these firms. They usually get about 1 in each of these firms, 2-3 in the mid-tier banks, and then fill the rest of the class in the lower tier banks.

The correct matrix would be the number of people WANTING IB jobs vs GETTING IB jobs. Other employment numbers are meaningless. This goes for every school, not just for Fuqua

3. The cafeteria sucks.

It serves horrible food, its only open until 2 pm each day, and its not open on the weekend. If you try to come work on the weekend, you are trapped in a crappy building without food or coffee.

Fortunately, Duke has Panda Express. The best fast-food chain ever. If you like an upscale restaurant, go to Washington Duke. It has great food.

4. Its not that selective.

Its just not that hard to get into. Which means in class you'll have to listen to a bunch of very unintelligent people voice their opinions constantly.

It's equally competitive as most other T10-15 programs

5. Dating life is horrendous.

If you are a single guy, just go to NYU. Trust me. You will be so much better off. The best consulting firms/bulge-bracket banks don't view the schools any differently, so you might as well have fun, have lots of options, and experience living in a big city.

Both Duke and UNC have lots of hot (sorority) girls, certainly better than NYU

6. Everyone there thinks there are at the "#1 Business School in the Country" and its just blatantly not true.

Enough said.
True

7. The building sucks and is poorly maintained.

Most of the thermostats in the team rooms don't work, so most of your time is spent in a tiny, sweaty room working on projects for classes that you don't care about because they don't teach you anything meaningful or useful (looking at you Strategy and Marketing...)

Duke has one of the most beautiful campuses in the world

8. Parking is a nightmare.

You drive five minutes to the parking lot and then walk for 15 minutes to the crappy building mentioned above.

Parking at Duke has never been a problem to me
9. There are a bunch of pointless core classes.

While you do learn useful skills in some classes, the amount of pointless work you are given in some of the required classes limits your ability to focus on what you actually want to learn.

Cannot comment on that

10. Social life is horrendous.

See above. Tons of social activities

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Re: Things you wished you knew about your school before applying? [#permalink]

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New post 29 Dec 2015, 11:08
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Now that I have heard back from each of the schools I applied to in R1, one thing that I cannot stress enough to students that are working on applications now is that they do everything that they can to visit the campus before applying. You can learn so much from a school visit. Even after hours of research into each school, there were things that surprised me with each visit (pleasant and unpleasant). It's not something that I "wished I knew" about the schools I applied to, but there were things that I learned in those visits that I am so glad that I knew prior to applying. Judging the original post about Fuqua, it seems possible that this individual did not make a campus visit (or did not pay attention during his visit).

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Re: Things you wished you knew about your school before applying?   [#permalink] 29 Dec 2015, 11:08
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