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Tough Decision! Tepper ($) vs. Kelley ($$) vs. Hough ($$$)

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Tough Decision! Tepper ($) vs. Kelley ($$) vs. Hough ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Apr 2019, 21:34
Hi all,

I've gotten into a number of pretty good schools in the T25/35 range and am trying to decide between my top three choices: Tepper, Kelley, and Hough, and I have no idea which route to take. I've been contacting current students, alumni, and talking to career centers, but I want to get the input of this community before my decision deadlines (less than a week away now!) come up.

For context, here is some info about my profile:
- 29 / M
- 322 GRE
- College undergrad: 3.8 GPA, prior Master's: 3.9 GPA
- WE: Four years with a non-profit that I co-founded and two years of banking experience in operations
- I would like to transition into tech, preferably in operations/as a PM, at a FAANG or other big tech company like MS
- Not concerned with location after I finish the program. I'd be willing to go practically anywhere.
- Financially, scholarship money would be a great help. I don't have a ton saved up (that non-profit life, though), and the thought of taking out $100k+ is a bit scary.

Tepper Pros:
- Amazing tech scene. Probably the best fit for me given my short-term career goals.
- Great learning environment. I have a friend that went through the program and said it was top notch.
- Focus on math and analytics. My math background is really shoddy, and I think it would help me to round out the rough edges in my education.
- A thriving entrepreneurship scene. I would like to explore starting a business while in bschool, and I think Tepper would be the best program for that.
Tepper Cons:
- The cost is the biggest detriment for me. Other than that, it seems like a great choice.

Kelley Pros:
- A good focus on professional development. I think having the opportunity to gain certificates in things like Six Sigma and product management would be valuable (that may be wrong, though).
- Large alumni network.
- Really welcoming environment.
Kelley Cons:
- Huge focus on brand management and consulting. Neither of these fields interest me, and it seems like a big number of students go in that direction.

Hough Pros:
- Cost. This is definitely a major draw for me.
- Very small class size. I have spoken directly with the career services team, and their commitment to students' success impressed me. I would have easy access to them at any time.
- Places pretty well into tech.
Hough Cons:
- Lack of opportunities. With such a small program, it limits the amount of clubs and extracurriculars that exist on campus.
- No entrepreneurship scene, so trying to start a business would not even be in the equation.
- Less established program. Unsure about the quality of the classes.

I think Hough could definitely get me that first job in tech that I'm looking for, and I've spoken with plenty of students that have done it, but I think the "unknown" is what is currently making me hesitant about my choices, particularly with starting a company. Starting a company while at Tepper would give me access to plenty of resources, but that's no guarantee of success. I could very well fail, and I'd hate to make a decision based solely on something that seems so risky.

I'm hesitant about the quality of education at Hough, too. From what I've read/spoken to students about, I've seen wildly different opinions regarding learning at bschool. Some say that bschool teaches you a lot, while others stick by the thought that the MBA is just for networking. If it's the latter, then it seems like it doesn't matter what school I choose.

I'm also wondering if I'd be hamstringing my network in the future by choosing Hough instead of Kelley or Tepper. Both of those schools have strong alumni networks, and I don't know how important that network is after I've gotten my first job. Of course, Hough/UF still has plenty of grads (it's an enormous public university), but the MBA program itself is really small.

Culturally, I think they'd all be a great fit. I just don't know how to grapple with the "unknowns," and while I keep talking to students/alums, the answer seems to get more difficult because everybody loves the school they went to! I'd love to hear any thoughts about some of my questions above and whether they're practical concerns or easily overcome. Any help would be appreciated! :please

Thank you. :)
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Re: Tough Decision! Tepper ($) vs. Kelley ($$) vs. Hough ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2019, 19:43
Bump! If anyone could chime in, I'd really appreciate it! :please :please :please
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Re: Tough Decision! Tepper ($) vs. Kelley ($$) vs. Hough ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Apr 2019, 11:15
Go to Tepper. The expense will be worth it.
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Tough Decision! Tepper ($) vs. Kelley ($$) vs. Hough ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2019, 09:18
I normally urge people to save money but not in your case... I have no idea how strong Hough (I've actually never heard of it) is, but I know Tepper can definitely get what you want... I think you should go to Tepper. From my research, going to unnamed B-school should happen only if 1. your current employer wants you to have MBA for you to advance and 2. your employer/school foots in the bill. You only fit into one category of the two, not both.
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Tough Decision! Tepper ($) vs. Kelley ($$) vs. Hough ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2019, 09:25
LoveHina7 wrote:

I'm hesitant about the quality of education at Hough, too. From what I've read/spoken to students about, I've seen wildly different opinions regarding learning at bschool. Some say that bschool teaches you a lot, while others stick by the thought that the MBA is just for networking. [color=#ffff00]If it's the latter, then it seems like it doesn't matter what school I choose.
[/color]
I'm also wondering if I'd be hamstringing my network in the future by choosing Hough instead of Kelley or Tepper. Both of those schools have strong alumni networks, and I don't know how important that network is after I've gotten my first job. Of course, Hough/UF still has plenty of grads (it's an enormous public university), but the MBA program itself is really small.


I 100% disagree with your thinking above. That is exactly the reason why your school matters. It's all about networking, and your alumni network is the most critical piece of your school. Because MBA is all about networking, you need to go to the best school you can given similar cost.
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Re: Tough Decision! Tepper ($) vs. Kelley ($$) vs. Hough ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2019, 22:18
Congrats on your admits. Did you decide where you are going?
With Hough, you would be recruiting for a job completely on your own. Kelley and Tepper are much better for Tech, and anything really (though many MBA's want a consulting career and the fact that many folks are headed that way does not really mean the school is forcing them there or they are teaching them consulting classes). MBA is pretty generic, obviously, and you can get a job managing a hedge fund, being a consultant or frankly, driving an uber if you can't land a job. The three individuals could have had the exactly same classes but due to prior work experience and interviewing skills, one may not make the cut. Make sure you have those skills and brands on your resume to win the internships. If not, you need a plan B and how you will be getting ahead of your classmates and other program applicants.

Good Luck!
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Re: Tough Decision! Tepper ($) vs. Kelley ($$) vs. Hough ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2019, 07:23
I think Tepper is definitely worth the cost, especially given your goals. You will have a better network and a much more formalized recruiting path. Good luck!
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Re: Tough Decision! Tepper ($) vs. Kelley ($$) vs. Hough ($$$)   [#permalink] 19 Apr 2019, 07:23
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