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Top 10 vs Top 20 vs. Top 50 - We Interviewed Alums & Students

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Top 10 vs Top 20 vs. Top 50 - We Interviewed Alums & Students  [#permalink]

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What is the Difference between Top 10, Top 20, and Top 50?



With so many people getting R1 admits, scholarships, and making life-changing decisions, I felt we needed to get some case studies and realities that would paint you accurate pictures what it really means to attend a Top 10 or a Top 20 or a Top 50 MBA program. What if you got an offer from a Top 20 vs. a Top 50 with a full scholarship - which offer to take? I am hoping this post will answer that specific question.

I reached out a number of alums and a few 2nd year students with 7 simple questions. Here is their candid answers. While most did not care, I promised not to reveal their identities to give them privacy and peace. They may of course change that on their own but I won't publish their names. Here we go:


Part 1: Kellogg vs. Anderson vs. Pepperdine (Below)

Part 2: Fuqua vs. Ross vs. UNC





Kellogg (Top 10) by Current Student Anderson (Top 20) by Alum Pepperdine (Top 60) by Alum
What school did you choose and Why? Kellogg was the only admit, got interviewed at Wharton and CBS. So was an easy decision. All these applications were in R1 of the cycle and I was happy to go to Kellogg as it is a top 5 school. I have known Kellogg folks since the class of 2005 and thus had a good understanding of the culture at Kellogg. Evanston is a great location, providing you the closeness/close-knit community feel while also providing ample networking opportunities in the Midwest and even NYC!I applied to several business schools (4 in 1st round and 3 in 2nd round) and was admitted to UCLA Anderson and UNC Kenan-Flagler and waitlisted at Ross. Since there was no scholarship offered it was an easy decision for me. And I was really excited about spending two years of my life in LA (yeah, 300 sunny days a year). In addition to that Anderson is known for great and collaborative culture and tech focus, which was very appealing to me as well.Pepperdine Full Time MBA with a Full Scholarship. It was an easy decision since this was the only school I have applied, to test out waters in R3 and they offered a full ride. I could not pass it up. As an International applicant, I needed all the money and assistance I could get. Also spending 2 years in Malibu vs. Michigan looked like a win.
How Were the Classes?Kellogg has completely revamped its offerings after 2012 and has come up with majors/pathways , thus adding a great meaning to the MBA degree. The first quarter can get hectic with Consulting/IB recruiting networking starting end Sept-early October all the way till early December till application drop deadlines. First quarter courses are all ‘mandatory’ ones; try to waive out of a few courses or else it will get really hectic with recruiting. Once the mandatory courses were out of the way, you can take all sorts of courses matching your intended majors/pathways. One thing to note is that there is a bidding system for getting courses that are always in high demand, such as a couple of finance courses/marketing strategy/negotiations etc. Finally, all classes will make you go through atleast 2-3 cases per week for 10 weeks or so; thus helping you develop a great ability to sift through a large paper/research thesis and take out the most important aspects. CIM and DAK are great introductions to Kellogg’s pedagogy and culture in general and highly recommend attending these events.Anderson is among the few business schools which has quarters instead of semesters. So during the program we had 6 quarters 10 weeks each instead of 4 semesters. To graduate one has to receive at least 90 credits. You can have more.
First year: we had mostly core classes. From the 2nd quarter, we had an option to enroll in elective classes. There is a bidding system and each quarter and one receives about 1,000 points for bidding each quarter.

Second year: we had elective classes and one can either specialize in a particular field (such as finance, technology management, marketing, real estate, etc) by taking a required a set of classes and fulfilling additional requirements OR just pursue a general MBA. AMR and BCO (pls google it) is a required (core) 10 units project, during which students in teams of five either conduct a management consulting project or start-up a new venture (few ventures in my class received VC funding).

I focused on the technology industry and took the following classes: product management, cloud computing and big data, Global mobile industry, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency, etc, graduating as Easton Technology Management Scholar. Others followed specialization in Real Estate, Finance, etc. One can tune his/her workload by taking less classes during the on campus recruiting.

What really makes Anderson stand out it that it revamps classes every quarter/year based on students’ feedback and current trends.

And the really great thing about Anderson is that one can enroll (after the bidding process ends) in as many classes as he/she wants and it does not cost him/her anything in addition (it’s an “all you can eat party”). Students can also take classes in school of engineering and other graduate and undergraduate programs at UCLA.
First trimester/quarter was core classes that were designed to catch up people without business background. This meant those with good finance, marketing, and econ knowledge could test out of them and move on to more advanced classes. The idea was good but it split you off from your group of friends. Most classes were in smaller groups of about 20-30 people, which was productive and helpful to have a small class environment. Quarters move fast and each class lasts only 6 or so weeks, so tests start pretty quickly.

The best courses were definitely during the second year - not sure if the professor caliber was greater or I was just more into it but professors was probably the highlight of the second year. There were a few wet blankets of course (OB/HR) but they served their purpose. There were not a lot of electives to pick from and the choices mostly focused on getting the specific professors who you knew were better or more interesting.
What can you say about Classmates?Student body is definitely diverse, ranging from multi-ethnic to multi-industry/function. Kellogg has a great combination of folks who are typical nerds but you will also find people who would be down for a drink or two every day. A wide spectrum of student body is what you will find at Kellogg. Everyone is 100% invested in your success even if they are recruiting for the same positions/roles.

That being said, you will always find candidates that are too ‘weird’ but Kellogg adcoms do an excellent job of only letting people in that adhere to Kellogg values; willingness to help others, being ‘human beings’ and not robots and people who value good / genuine relationships.
See stats, about 75% are from the US and 25% internationals.
Andersons values: Share success, drive change and think fearlessly are shared by everyone on campus from the day one.
Classmates are very friendly and supportive and Anderson has a great collaborative and very supportive culture. But don’t get me wrong, the learning and recruiting environment is fiercely competitive at school.
With about 360 students you really get to know almost everyone in person, which is really awesome!
The student body was pretty diverse. We did have a few people who puzzled us – we were not sure why they came to the program and paid the tuition since they did not appear like a scholarship types. You had the full spectrum of people. Smart, dumb, lacking people skills, caring, nice, and party animals.

There was definitely a certain separation between the native speakers (US, Canada) and those who lacked some of the culture and language skills. It was somewhat natural as we all gravitated towards either a native or international nucleus. It was not always the case but it was very clear that having good speaking skills was important. If you have any weakness in this area, make sure you address it before MBA as it will hurt you while at school and also at recruiting. Recruiters need to understand you and connect with you. Unlike bschools they want fit, not diversity.

Overall, I would say, while my classmates may not have been super impressive or accomplished, they all were caring, kind, and enjoyable people. Each had something to add to the class and most could carry their weight. I know many bschool reviews on GMAT Club, even for HBS seem to bash classmates – I would have done the same during school but looking back a few years after graduation, I feel differently now as I feel it was the human side and their support during frustrating recruiting period that mattered more than their pedigrees.
How was the Challenge Level?MBA can be challenging right from the first day and it surely is in the first quarter but once you are sorted with your internship, you can definitely chart your own path, thus enabling you to feel in control of your MBA thereon. Kellogg definitely subscribe to the “work hard, play hard” school of thought as you do get to unwind from all the coursework/groupwork/recruiting by going to ski trips and other group activities organized by ~80 clubs throughout.Looking backward, I would say my first quarter was the hardest. Classes, recruiting, networking, company events, career track, parties, various events – there is much more than one can embrace. I was attending almost every single interesting event and activity. Yes, it is FOMO. My calendar was overbooked and I have realized that I should prioritize my goals and interests in order to get things done in time and at a proper level.

You may think that at Anderson everybody is relaxed and surfing daily, but it is deceptive. Everyone works and learns super hard as the level of competition is high.
The first trimester, the challenge level was hard to measure since everything was so new. Settling in at a new place, making friends, etc. Classes were challenging but on the boring side. These were all basic pre-requisites. Second trimester was much better and the second year was most enjoyable as people have found their circles, classes, etc. Recruiting (or lack of help) was a big stress/challenge however during the second year.
How would you rate Career Services?CMC at Kellogg can do a better job in VC and other niche sub-sections of certain industries but they are definitely doing a great job of utilizing their current resources and trying to build new relationships. Case in point is the Kellogg’s new ‘Winter Immersion Quarter’ in SF that was piloted in Jan 2017. This is an example of a great way Kellogg CMC is helping you build connections in VC industry on the West Coast by helping students find a 3 month long, on-site internships to develop those connections.
In terms of recruiting coaching and prep, you get assigned a designated 1-2 career coaches that are yours for 2 years and will help you from cover letter to last minute interview pitch reviews. You can also use these coaches to vent out your recruiting frustration or anything else, literally ANYTHING ELSE!
Alongwith the above, CMC at Kellogg organizes many many events starting with speaker series to annual ‘treks’ to SF/NYC/Chicago for close to 10 industries/functions. You will have great resources at your disposal be it for traditional or non-traditional recruiting. One thing is that you must be proactive to utilize all the resources at hand. Don’t expect your career coaches will keep on “reminding” of ‘whats next’.
Recruiting at Kellogg starts from mid-sept with IBanking and early October for others (Consulting/Marketing/General Management/Corporate Finance etc). So you must be extremely focused on what you want (industry/function).
If you don’t get an offer till January-Feb, you must get involved with CMC to land you an ‘off campus’ job through connections/networking. If you are dedicated towards getting an internship, you will end up getting an offer by April.
Ranked #1 for many years by Economist, UCLA Anderson’s Parker Career Management Center – (CMC) has the highest marks for student satisfaction among top MBA programs.
Before you even get on campus, you will have weekly deliverables submitted to CMC such as company research, cover letter to your dream company, resume, a reach out e-mail to alum, etc.

Each student is assigned to one career coach, based on his/her career interest and can visit advisor once or twice a week, depending on overall influx of students. Students can also schedule appointment with other advisors, but there is a limit of appointments one may have during a week.

Althoug my advisor was great, I found a perfect match with a new advisor, who joined Parker CMC recently and he is awesome. So my advice don’t shy away from new advisors!

While on campus during you first year you will have a CMC class every week, where you in small groups will have to review resumes, cover letters, have mock interviews, etc.
We also have a student led ACT coaching (2nd-year students organize small groups by industry/function interest and coach 1st-year students in interview preps, networking, company research, etc).

I don’t remember the statistics, but Parker CMC invites each year many companies to recruit on campus (top IBanks and consulting firms, top tech companies, such as Google, Amazon, Visa, Microsoft, etc). Professional clubs also organize round tables and networking events with local VC and PE funds.
Overall, Parker CMC is just awesome and provides students all the instruments necessary for a successful recruiting, but at the end of the day nobody will spoon feed you and you need to work really hard to make your resume and cover letters shine, network extensively and get the job.
The carreer services tried hard (or so it looked) but they were generally useless. They required setting up an appointment weeks in advance and did a career goals review, resume review, etc. I don’t know anyone who they found a job for but they did share some regular internship or job leads that came through the alum base or whatever channels they had (we heard more from them in the second year than the first one). They did offer/refer me to an interesting internship but it was too late in the year and I was already committed to a different offer. So I guess they did something afterall.

There were a number of professional development events put together by the program and some great speaker events. I remember only 2 employers coming to hire on campus and even those only took a few folks - neither was in my target industry, so I did not follow up really. No career fairs or anything like that.

The undergrad campus however, had a number of events with great employers and companies on campus. We sneaked into one of those but got nowhere – the teams recruiting on campus were looking for “trainee/no experience” college grads, and had nothing to offer us.

Overall, it is fair to say that the school did not help with finding my first job. Instead, it was referral from one of my classmates, which helped me land a job.

Something different that Pepperdine did was set up a mentorship program - you had to apply and qualify for it (only about half people did, the ones with better GMAT scores and better career potential). The program was great in theory and paired up students with distinguished alums (execs, company owners, etc). However, in practice having a 50-year old senior exec and a hungry 26-year old student does not always work out and the two do not really connect. I was lucky to qualify for a mentor. My mentor was a very nice and a very senior guy (CEO/Owner of a company). During the first meeting he said that over the entire life of the mentorship program, not a single mentee showed up for the second meeting. I found that odd and made sure that I would but generally I found our meetings awkward and unproductive.
What did Recruiting look like?Recruiting at Kellogg starts from mid-sept with IBanking and early October for others (Consulting/Marketing/General Management/Corporate Finance etc). So you must be extremely focused on what you want (industry/function).
If you don’t get an offer till January-Feb, you must get involved with CMC to land you an ‘off campus’ job through connections/networking. If you are dedicated towards getting an internship, you will end up getting an offer by April.
If you are an international student forget everything you know about the recruiting in your home country. It may not work in the US. If you think attending a top MBA will guarantee you a job or an internship it is plainly wrong.
Among the 12% MBAs unemployed 3-month after graduation the majority are international students. There are many reasons why they did not get a job. Among students either they did not prepare well for interviews, did not network extensively or lacked focus, or did not adopt. One more reason could be the visa situation, many companies, being uncertain about the visa situation, just don’t want to risk hiring an international student.
So, I would suggest international students to network extensively, be focused, prepare for the interviews and seek for advice from 2nd year students.
There were no concept of recruiting at Pepperdine when I was there. While Career Services talked about it, there was nothing that the school was doing. As the result, few students had an internship offer by March. Most have found something by June as an Internship was required and officially you could not graduate without doing one. Most used their personal networks to find it. A few alums/companies did open up an internship offer but I feel that was mostly due to CMC nagging them or something that has been year over year.

For Jobs everyone was on their own - there was no illusion about that and it was dead serious esp. for international students.
Alumni Kellogg has one of the most cohesive and involved alumni bases I have seen across the top bschools. The new building was made solely by donations of the alumni and the same alumni are involved in the recruiting process by acting as off-campus interviewers. There were instances when I cold called/emailed to Kellogg alums in completely new industries and I was surprised to see replies (sometimes within a few hours) from almost all of 30 people, willing to help me understand the nuances of the new industry and even provide potentially beneficial introductions. Kellogg has a tremendous presence in Marketing/Consulting/General Management/Investment Banking and is now developing stronger relationships within certain niches such as Healthcare, Real Estate, Venture Capital through its connections in these industries. Alumni are also an integral part of major conferences at Kellogg such as the Emerging Markets Conference, PE/VC Conference, Healthcare Conference, Annual Marketing Competition etc
Image
Overall Anderson alumni are down to earth, very nice, supportive and helpful. But I can’t say all of them are super responsive; for some of my e-mails and reach outs I just did not get any reply.

Anderson alumni base is very strong in SoCal, west coast and within the technology and entertainment industries. There are far less alumni outside of the West coast and in IBanking and consulting industries. I am not saying you will not be able to get an IB role in New York or Chicago, some of my classmates and alumni successfully have got jobs there, but it would be harder than getting a job in LA or Bay Area in entertainment or tech.

So please take this into account and check if your career aspirations align with strongest part of Anderson’s alumni network.
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When I attended, the FT program was about 75-100 people per class. It is even smaller now based on the online stats. However the PT was huge and spread across the SoCal and the quality of applicants was not stellar, which eroded the alumni base. There was not much of a spirit among alumni is what i found. I do stay in touch with people i graduated with but I never network using a Pepperdine connection and never have been able to leverage the network really. I have leveraged the undergrad name (which is ranked much higher).

Granted that I got a full scholarship, I don't feel I am in a position to complain - I got a lot of things for free that others had to pay for. Hope this feedback helps you with your decision.
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Part 2: Fuqua vs. Ross vs. UNC Posted on Jan 10, 2018


If you are a current student or Alum and would like to submit your experience, please PM me or post here answers to these 7 questions:

1. What school did you choose and Why?
2. How were the Classes?
3. What can you say about Classmates?
4. How was the Challenge Level?
5. How would you rate Career Services?
6. What did Recruiting look like?
7. Alumni?


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Originally posted by bb on 03 Jan 2018, 23:22.
Last edited by bb on 10 Jan 2018, 19:35, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Top 10 vs Top 20 vs. Top 50 - We Interviewed Alums & Students  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jan 2018, 12:53
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Wonderful post. A must read for everyone. Personally, I learnt a lot about the student body and the differences in the way these colleges operate. And also, important Learning point is that even though top colleges (Kellog and Anderson) are offering much better career services, At the end it is up to us to make use of these.

bb : Thanks for creating this post. Some of my friends used to argue with me that there isn't much difference in the quality, student life,reputation or services offered by Top 30 colleges. I will show them this post and kick their ass.
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New post 07 Jan 2018, 04:22
I think one of the things that this analysis needs to account for is the differences of experiences for international vs domestic students. If I were a domestic student, I would probably go out on a limb and choose a top 20-30 school and hustle my way to recruitment. As an international student, however, my hustle will still be at the mercy of big companies which qualify for H1B sponsorship. So considering that variable, top 15 schools make more sense just because of the sheer number of MNCs they attract every year. Thoughts?
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New post 07 Jan 2018, 08:31
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souvik101990 wrote:
I think one of the things that this analysis need to account for is the differences of experiences for international vs domestic students. If I were a domestic students, I would probably go out on a limb and choose a top 20-30 school and hustle my way to recruitment. As an international student, however, my hustle will still be at the mercy of big companies which qualify for H1B sponsorship. So considering that variable, top 15 schools make more sense just because of the sheer number of MNCs they attract every year. Thoughts?


This is a fair point and something that makes 1 year MBA Programs not much sense for internationals who are not sponsored candidates. But the underlying points mentioned above still remain the same. You still have to work yourself towards getting an internship or a job even when you go to a top 10 school. No one is going to serve you any job on a platter!!

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New post 07 Jan 2018, 09:26
ENGRTOMBA2018 wrote:
souvik101990 wrote:
I think one of the things that this analysis need to account for is the differences of experiences for international vs domestic students. If I were a domestic students, I would probably go out on a limb and choose a top 20-30 school and hustle my way to recruitment. As an international student, however, my hustle will still be at the mercy of big companies which qualify for H1B sponsorship. So considering that variable, top 15 schools make more sense just because of the sheer number of MNCs they attract every year. Thoughts?


This is a fair point and something that makes 1 year MBA Programs not much sense for internationals who are not sponsored candidates. But the underlying points mentioned above still remain the same. You still have to work yourself towards getting an internship or a job even when you go to a top 10 school. No one is going to serve you any job on a platter!!

Posted from my mobile device


Fully agreed. Everyone - I mean even the folks I know at HBS - paid their dues in blood, sweat, and tears to get what they want. Certain schools give their students better exposure to recruiters, but it comes down to hustle and interview skills.
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New post 07 Jan 2018, 09:32
Totally agree with ENGRTOMBA2018 - how about this though - keeping the hustle and the interview prep variable constant - would you say that landing a job at a top 15 would be similar to a top 30-40 school? No, right?

That being said though, I know way too many people struggling to get internships/jobs even at top 5 or top 10 schools so it does seem like a really heavy competitive space out there.
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New post 07 Jan 2018, 10:27
Wilch wrote:
ENGRTOMBA2018 wrote:
souvik101990 wrote:
I think one of the things that this analysis need to account for is the differences of experiences for international vs domestic students. If I were a domestic students, I would probably go out on a limb and choose a top 20-30 school and hustle my way to recruitment. As an international student, however, my hustle will still be at the mercy of big companies which qualify for H1B sponsorship. So considering that variable, top 15 schools make more sense just because of the sheer number of MNCs they attract every year. Thoughts?


This is a fair point and something that makes 1 year MBA Programs not much sense for internationals who are not sponsored candidates. But the underlying points mentioned above still remain the same. You still have to work yourself towards getting an internship or a job even when you go to a top 10 school. No one is going to serve you any job on a platter!!

Posted from my mobile device


Fully agreed. Everyone - I mean even the folks I know at HBS - paid their dues in blood, sweat, and tears to get what they want. Certain schools give their students better exposure to recruiters, but it comes down to hustle and interview skills.


This is a very important point that incoming students and prospective students must keep in mind that even if you crack H/S/W you still have to show up and do really well during networking events and interviews. Most of the time, American companies are meritocratic and dont care about anything else. Its an important consideration. As to your point of better exposure, definitely true! Some schools will provide you tremendous exposure to traditional finance (Booth/Wharton) , some will provide you unmatched consulting exposure (Kellogg, Stanford) while H/S will provide you great exposure to top VC/PE/HF/GM roles. So your application strategy should also look at these small but very important nuances.

Hope this discussion helps incoming and prospective students in making their decisions.
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New post 07 Jan 2018, 10:39
souvik101990 wrote:
Totally agree with ENGRTOMBA2018 - how about this though - keeping the hustle and the interview prep variable constant - would you say that landing a job at a top 15 would be similar to a top 30-40 school? No, right?

That being said though, I know way too many people struggling to get internships/jobs even at top 5 or top 10 schools so it does seem like a really heavy competitive space out there.


Its easy to keep certain variables constant but given the current scenario around H1B and Trump Administration's take on international workers in US, you must keep the variability of interview and hustle in mind while evaluating options as top 5/10 schools provide unmatched resources say for example the case prep book at Kellogg is getting used at all top 10 schools as the go to guide.

That being said and for the sake of this conversation, yes, even if you keep hustle and interview prep, top 5/10 schools will always be worth the money given the tremendous exposure you will get through your interactions with not only great faculty but top execs at big companies throughout the world. The other big distinction in favor of top 5/10 is the fact that these schools place well outside US as well, which cant be said about other international or top 20/30 schools in US.

To your point about struggle of international students, it has always been extremely competitive, especially for top 5/10 schools as most of the international students are coming in with great GMATs, GPAs and a plan of attack on what to do during MBA. This much focus will only create more competitive space. this much competition is good, IMO, as it weeds out people who are not serious or who do not a set method of attack. It is not an ideal world and in order to achieve something, you must be at your true best!
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New post 10 Jan 2018, 19:30
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Fuqua vs. Ross vs. UNC - Part II
Fuqua by AlumRoss by AlumUNC by 2nd Year Student
What school did you choose and Why?I applied to a few business schools and got an admit to a couple, including Fuqua. It was an easy decision because Fuqua was the higher ranked school, and was clearly a better fit. I was excited by Duke’s great healthcare program and Fuquans, in general. From the very beginning, I got great vibes from the school and was made to feel a part of the family.Ross was a top choice for due to proximity, being from a Michigan family. I have known Michigan folks for my entire life, so that made the choice quite easy. Michigan was my top choice among my admits, but I will say it wasn’t my #1. Ann Arbor is an amazing town, great for all aspects of life (single, committed, married, married kids, single with kids). Being a Big Ten school definitely has a strong impact on the spiritedness of the school and timing of the games, for all seasons and all sports.I was looking at a course that had a small classroom size. I was very impressed with the leadership roles offered at UNC and the collaborative culture, hence I applied UNC in the Early Action round. I was lucky to get a full scholarship at UNC and that was good enough to seal the deal. I was admitted to Tepper also in R1 and applied to Soan as a long shot after getting my UNC admit. But KF with a full scholarship was too sweet a deal to refuse. Hence I became a proud Tar Heel.
How Were the Classes?Classes The first 6 months at Fuqua is ‘core curriculum’, which all ~450 students go through. The next few months offer some flexibility in terms of choosing courses, but you are also expected to complete ‘basic’ courses e.g. Corporate Finance. Having enrolled in the ‘Healthcare Sector Management’ certificate program, I also took a few healthcare classes in my first year.

Second year at Fuqua offers great flexibility, with people charting their unique MBA paths. For instance, although I was focused on healthcare, I took a class on ‘Blockchain Technology’, which seemed really interesting. In addition to the certificate programs, most students also complete a couple of concentrations (e.g. Strategy, Investment finance, Product Management etc.). My final few courses were targeted to complete my ‘Strategy’ concentration.

Finally, there were plenty of ‘Experiential’ learning programs at Fuqua while I was there. I participated in a couple of them – consulting a major US retailer, and working at the Duke Hospitals.
I went into Michigan focused on the operations program, which is a very high commitment program. It’s a mixed program of the honors engineering master’s students along with the MBAs. Your summer internship is contained within the operations program, so this is both good and bad (you don’t have to actively recruiter for internships, just network, but does hinder if you want something that is very outside of the companies that offer operation roles). All MBA programs have the bidding on classes, so this is not unique to anything. High energy and teamwork in most classes, and great dynamics all around.UNC has 2 modules in each semester. The 1st 2 mods have core classes that teach us the basics of business and the electives kick in after Mod 2. There is a program called ASW before the classes start so that people can understand the basics of Finance and Accounting if they want. The initial 2 mods get a bit hectic because of the recruiting. IB and consulting start early from October and it gets a bit busy to manage that along with the core curriculum. The interviews typically start in January so it is advisable to take less course load in Mod 3 and 4 to focus on recruiting.

The electives are assigned through a bidding system and you should be wise in what courses you chose as there are a few popular courses that need a lot of points.

The course offerings are in “Concentrations and Enrichments”. You can take one concentration and one enrichment and have a choice to concentrate in a particular domain by taking the elective courses in that domain.
What can you say about Classmates?As I expected, my classmates were from diverse backgrounds – from the usual banking/consulting crowd to the non-traditional poets. I can throw more numbers such as ~40% internationals, ~40% women etc., but that is exactly what I expected out of a top MBA program.

Needless to say, students worked towards each other’s success and were very collaborative within classes and outside. The values of ‘Team Fuqua’ are inculcated earlier on, and the majority lives up to it.

Having said that, there was a certain degree of separation between native speakers and internationals during the latter part of the program. I have been told that this is very natural because students gravitate towards their ‘comfort zones’ after an exhausting program. Also, some people are keen on learning new cultures and some are happy with the status quo. This certainly does not mean that there was ‘groupism’, but it just highlights that everyone finds their own tribe when thrown amongst ~500 odd people.

In conclusion, it was a great platform to meet such diverse people and learn from students from different backgrounds. Don’t think such an experience is replicable outside of a graduate program, especially MBA, where there is relentless focus on working in teams.
Michigan tends to attract people who enjoy or are looking for a big sports school experience. The bredth of experiences was there, as was the demographics. The class size at Michigan was on the larger size for MBA (500+), but this has been tapering down over the last few yearsThe class diversity is impressive to say the least. There are students from around 30 countries and from a variety of backgrounds. One thing that UNC prides on is the collaborative culture also called the Carolina way. Everyone from classmates, seniors, Alums, professors and staff is fully invested in your success.

One particular instance that impressed me a lot – we were being the taught about options and there were two students who had worked on the trading floor in Wall Street. Hearing their experience was eye opening and helped bring home the concepts.
How was the Challenge Level?Challenge Level MBA is challenging because it forces you to prioritize and manage time effectively. Once I learned how to prioritize what is important to me, it was smooth sailing. For e.g., recruiting, academics, and ‘stuff I want to do’ weren’t challenging themselves, but balancing all of them was a major pain.

However, I consider myself a bit lucky that things fell in place on the recruiting front, allowing me to focus my efforts elsewhere.

The only advice here is to be deliberate in terms of what you want to do during the program. There will be a thousand different directions you can take, and you will have to chart your unique path.
For some people, MBA is two year vacation from work, for others, it’s a chance to have a fresh start and shine. The no reporting grades to employers and significance of graduating with honors or not being the only attributes, it was easy for people to stand out who wanted academically or those who wanted to enjoy themselves and have a career change (and the select few who could do both). The challenger was there, without a doubtMBA is challenging and this is evident from day 1. The first two mods are pretty challenging given the recruiting and core classes. Typically classes start from 8 and end at 3:30.
How would you rate Career Services?How would you rate Career Services & Recruiting Their major input to the whole process was their relationships with the companies and what they did to get them on campus. Often people underestimated that aspect, but the career services people did that fairly well, year in year out. However, there is definitely scope for improvement there e.g., there was no explanation for why a few companies didn’t visit our campus but visited other MBA programs, there was no ‘bidding’ system etc.



Outside of their role in bringing recruiters to the campus, they helped with creating resumes, resolving scheduling conflicts, navigating offers etc. However, it was a pain to go to them for advice, mainly because often they didn’t have anything substantial to say. It wasn’t for the lack of trying though. They are genuinely nice people, helping students achieve their goal.
It’s just that recruitment is a very individualized journey and doesn’t have a lot of scope for external help.
Herding cats. There is too much FOMO and too many people trying to do everything, so it’s not always easy. That being said, there is the test they offer to help guide you into what your tendencies lend to for a career choice. I know people who were floored by what the results were and ended up going after those things, and were very happy with the results. You only get out of the services what you invest in, so the student has to personally invest a lot to get the benefit (prep, practice, willingness to listen, etc.). All the typical run of the mill help (interview practice, case practice, resume review, etc) were there.CMC can definitely do a better job. There are various companies that come to the main UNC campus but not in the MBA school. They do not leverage the larger UNC alumni and can definitely utilize them to bring more companies. One more issue is that the CMC Directors are rotated between different functions. Case in point – previous consulting director is handling IB right now. Because of this the directors have to build their connections again.

Having said that, KF is trying really hard to bring in more Tech companies on campus. A collection of schools including Duke, UNC, Darden and Ross are trying to bring in more companies on the East Coast.

There are various treks arranged to west coast for tech companies and Atlanta, Charlotte, DC for consulting. The IB treks are arranged for Charlotte and New York.

Having said all this, there are a lot of things that are good and a great area of improvement.
What did Recruiting look like?Recruiting Recruiting process at Fuqua could be segmented into 2 categories – FY recruiting for internships and SY full time recruiting.

FY recruiting starts in mid-Sep/Early-Oct. when students start to attend networking events and form their first contacts/relationships with their target companies. They also get opportunities to meet company representatives that are on campus for 6-8 weeks, go to select company offices, and network with companies in all kind of events (receptions, dinners, diversity events etc.). This, for me, is the most tedious and strenuous process of the recruiting cycle.

Subsequently, resume drops happen in Oct/Nov. Then, every company releases a ‘close list’ for interviews. Students start preparing for interviews (casing/technical ivs, behavioral etc.) as soon as they drop resumes (in early to mid Nov.)
Finally, interviews start in Jan with Banking/Consulting and go up until Mar/April with Technology companies typically last to visit the campus.
Generally, students choose between Banking and Consulting early on as it is almost impossible to do both the processes together. However, you may choose to do either with General Management/Healthcare/Tech recruiting. I maintained a dual focus with Consulting and Healthcare Strategy roles.
Post March/April, few students do off campus recruiting for niche roles/companies as well. CMC typically helps these students to form the first few connections within these firms.

The second year process is much more condensed. If you are happy with your offer from the internship, you are good to golf and drink starting from Sept. However, quite a few people want to re-recruit to land a better job, and have to drop their resumes again for their target companies. Students, typically, are much more focused and selective in this process as compared to throwing spaghetti on the wall approach in the first year.
Anyways, the whole networking thing happens again, and typically the on campus recruitment wraps up by Nov./Early Dec.

I ended up recruiting in the SY as well, and I definitely had to make tradeoffs to maintain a singular focus in the months of Sept/Oct. to land a job in 2 companies that I was targeting. Worked out well in the end!
Recruiting at Kellogg starts from mid-sept with IBanking and early October for others (Consulting/Marketing/General Management/Corporate Finance etc). So you must be extremely focused on what you want (industry/function).
If you don’t get an offer till January-Feb, you must get involved with CMC to land you an ‘off campus’ job through connections/networking. If you are dedicated towards getting an internship, you will end up getting an offer by April.
MBA recruiting is pretty much the same everywhere, you get a short period where no one is coming to campus, and then it’s a giant mess. TONS of FOMO and people spreading themselves thin. It’s probably a good idea to have an idea of what you want and then cast a fairly focused net. Off campus is there, but it’s ad-hoc an on your own terms. This is where using the coffee chats, career assessment and other things that require the student actively reach out for is VERY useful.In 1st year, Consulting and IB recruiting starts from October with all the treks and copany presentations. There are a number of companies that come for campus presentations and office hours, where 1 -2 students interact with the company representatives.
The off campus recruiting efforts should also start around November if you are targeting some company that does not come on campus as most of the roles are opened in that time frame.

The second year recruiting is pretty quick and ends in October, post this, it is all off campus where you have to build connections with Alumni and work your way out.
AlumniFuqua has a quite strongly knit Alum network in all major industries – from finance and consulting to healthcare and technology and they are well spread across the US. Outside of US, Asia/LatAm are well represented but we could certainly do better with our EU/Australia numbers.

There are frequent get togethers and events that allow us to stay in touch. While alums in the same industries can often help in finding new business/job opportunities, alums in the same company are extremely important to career growth and networking. Given Fuqua’s employment spread, this becomes a great asset.

In general, alums are very responsive over email/social media. Fuqua also maintains an alumni portal, which serves as a gateway to interact with individuals that may help you.
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Michigan Alumni is HUGE. If you’re wearing Michigan attire in a place with alumni, you will hear a “go blue” just walking around. I reached out to alums as I was evaluating certain companies or geographies and there were all very receptive and responsive. Since I was in the Operations program, I got to see how strong the alumni network in the Engineering college was, and it was also very strong, cohesive and available.
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UNC takes pride in its collaborative culture and the Alumni also follow it. They are really helpful during the off campus search.

Recently UNC won a competition against Duke for the funds raised by the current students and Alumni. This shows the support that KF has from its Alumni.
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