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Tuck vs. Carlson ($$$)

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Tuck vs. Carlson ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2016, 07:59
Hi all,
I'm fortunate to have gotten into Minnesota Carlson (on a full ride) and Dartmouth Tuck (with no scholarship). I know this comparison is quite unique, because I couldn't find anyone else who's ever chosen between these two schools on the forums, but there are a few reasons I'm still debating, most notably because I plan to live in Minnesota after graduation. Further information on myself:

I plan to pivot into investing / financial services (e.g. ideally a hedge fund in the long-term but more realistically investment banking in the short-term) after MBA. Because I'm planning on moving into what can be a lucrative career field, I'm more comfortable taking out the necessary $150k I'm looking at if I were to attend Tuck than I otherwise would be. That being said, it's still a lot of money and the fact that Carlson's network is stronger than Tuck's within Minnesota gives me pause.

Pros for Carlson:
- There's a good chance I'll move to Minnesota (my home state) after MBA.
- The Carlson network is stronger than Tuck's within Minnesota (but not as strong outside of Minnesota).
- Full ride means I'll entirely avoid the roughly $150k in student loan debt I'd need to take out for Tuck.
- The Minnesota-based investment banks recruit at Carlson (e.g. Piper Jaffray, Lazard's Minneapolis office, etc)
- There's no scientific evidence that going to a top ten school materially helps an individual in the long-run as opposed to going to a mid-tier school (although the couple of studies I read were focused on undergraduate and one for economics PhDs that was popularized in Malcolm Gladwell's book "David and Goliath").

Pros for Tuck:
- Very strong alumni network that is national/global (although seemingly concentrated in the Northeast / NYC, etc). This would seemingly give me the option value of having a network elsewhere if I ended up not moving to Minnesota after graduation or chose to move elsewhere in, say, 10 years. Also I should take into account that the Tuck network would be valuable even if I'm interacting with people who don't live in Minnesota (e.g. I could potentially get phone calls with Wall St. people who otherwise wouldn't take the call from some guy in Minnesota)
- Notable professors / alumni, etc.
- Top Ten school = prestige (which I don't care much about personally but acknowledge is valuable in job recruiting/networking, etc)
- Assumedly, most of my classmates will be very "on top of their stuff". (This was a big realization for me in undergrad- I was appreciative of having chosen a top school simply because my classmates pushed me to do even better. Although for all I know I would've done just as well at a mid-tier undergrad school).
- All the big banks recruit at Tuck (and I assume I could request to be placed in their Minneapolis or Chicago offices).

Obviously this is a personal decision but I'd be curious to hear anyone else's thoughts on the matter. For the most part it boils down to me weighing the benefits of Tuck against the $150k of student loans while knowing that I'll likely be earning roughly $225k all-in compensation in my first full year out of MBA (according to my research on Glassdoor and investment banking forums).

Thanks in advance for any thoughts or other things I should be thinking about!
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Re: Tuck vs. Carlson ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2016, 09:32
You have done your research and it seems you feel you cannot get a meaningful advantage with Tuck, so it is a pretty clear choice to take Carlson Scholarship.

P.S. If you think you will make 200K+, what are you going to do with in Minnesota? Something you have not considered is that 3-5 years after graduation, once you get your footing, you will likely be compelled to start sharing some of your good luck to return the favor to the school (I don't mean it in a bad way - most of it will be a feeling of guilt, wanting to return the favor or clear a "debt", or wanting to contribute to the society - altruistic rather than the school guilting you in). Anyway, while a donation commitment is not the same as a loan, the cost in the long run will be similar.
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Re: Tuck vs. Carlson ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2016, 10:44
MNGK2011 wrote:
Hi all,
I'm fortunate to have gotten into Minnesota Carlson (on a full ride) and Dartmouth Tuck (with no scholarship). I know this comparison is quite unique, because I couldn't find anyone else who's ever chosen between these two schools on the forums, but there are a few reasons I'm still debating, most notably because I plan to live in Minnesota after graduation. Further information on myself:

I plan to pivot into investing / financial services (e.g. ideally a hedge fund in the long-term but more realistically investment banking in the short-term) after MBA. Because I'm planning on moving into what can be a lucrative career field, I'm more comfortable taking out the necessary $150k I'm looking at if I were to attend Tuck than I otherwise would be. That being said, it's still a lot of money and the fact that Carlson's network is stronger than Tuck's within Minnesota gives me pause.

Pros for Carlson:
- There's a good chance I'll move to Minnesota (my home state) after MBA.
- The Carlson network is stronger than Tuck's within Minnesota (but not as strong outside of Minnesota).
- Full ride means I'll entirely avoid the roughly $150k in student loan debt I'd need to take out for Tuck.
- The Minnesota-based investment banks recruit at Carlson (e.g. Piper Jaffray, Lazard's Minneapolis office, etc)
- There's no scientific evidence that going to a top ten school materially helps an individual in the long-run as opposed to going to a mid-tier school (although the couple of studies I read were focused on undergraduate and one for economics PhDs that was popularized in Malcolm Gladwell's book "David and Goliath").

Pros for Tuck:
- Very strong alumni network that is national/global (although seemingly concentrated in the Northeast / NYC, etc). This would seemingly give me the option value of having a network elsewhere if I ended up not moving to Minnesota after graduation or chose to move elsewhere in, say, 10 years. Also I should take into account that the Tuck network would be valuable even if I'm interacting with people who don't live in Minnesota (e.g. I could potentially get phone calls with Wall St. people who otherwise wouldn't take the call from some guy in Minnesota)
- Notable professors / alumni, etc.
- Top Ten school = prestige (which I don't care much about personally but acknowledge is valuable in job recruiting/networking, etc)
- Assumedly, most of my classmates will be very "on top of their stuff". (This was a big realization for me in undergrad- I was appreciative of having chosen a top school simply because my classmates pushed me to do even better. Although for all I know I would've done just as well at a mid-tier undergrad school).
- All the big banks recruit at Tuck (and I assume I could request to be placed in their Minneapolis or Chicago offices).

Obviously this is a personal decision but I'd be curious to hear anyone else's thoughts on the matter. For the most part it boils down to me weighing the benefits of Tuck against the $150k of student loans while knowing that I'll likely be earning roughly $225k all-in compensation in my first full year out of MBA (according to my research on Glassdoor and investment banking forums).

Thanks in advance for any thoughts or other things I should be thinking about!


Full disclosure, I am a current Tuckie, but with that said, given your goals, Tuck is a fairly easy choice here. Please note, I would be saying this whether it was Tuck, Kellogg, Sloan, or Booth.

First, regarding banking recruiting, I think you'll be surprised at how difficult it will be to secure interviews and convert to offers for the few full-time IBD slots in Minnesota. They have the opportunity to recruit from Kellogg, Booth, Ross, or other top ten to top fifteen programs, Carlson is a harder sell. Also consider the roles that they are hiring for (FO vs MO or BO), in many cases firms draw a firm line between where they recruit for FO versus MO/BO.

Second, "There's no scientific evidence that going to a top ten school materially helps an individual in the long-run as opposed to going to a mid-tier school (although the couple of studies I read were focused on undergraduate and one for economics PhDs that was popularized in Malcolm Gladwell's book "David and Goliath")." Apologies for being blunt, but this does not apply at all to MBAs. Simply look at the Poets and Quants articles on the expected lifetime earnings of top MBAs versus second or third tier programs. This gulf in earnings is not shrinking, but is in fact growing.

Third, while the network is smaller for Tuck in the Twin Cities, it is the most responsive of any MBA program and the Twin Cities is full of Tuck alumni (primarily at MBB, Cargill, 3M, LoL, Mills, as well as a lot of the the hedge funds and PE). If your goal is to make it to a hedge fund or break into PE, simply put Carlson is most likely not going to get you there. Additionally, Tuck sent close to 20 people to Minneapolis last summer, so you may want to reach out and get some impressions from them.

I am happy to talk offline if you have any more questions or would like any further information.
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Re: Tuck vs. Carlson ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2016, 18:51
This is a bit of a tougher choice then most would say, I think it will be harder than you think to secure an IBD offer in a small regional office than you think but you have money and your desire to stay in minny after school. Tuck is an awesome program with great IBD ties, if money was not involved I would tell you to go to Tuck but with the money and your desire to live in Minny I'm leaning towards Carlson for you, if you did not lean towards living there I would go Tuck
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Re: Tuck vs. Carlson ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2016, 20:13
Thanks everyone for the for the responses so far!

bb, I'm actually leaning towards Tuck at the moment but I worded my original post in an attempt to be unbiased... perhaps I over-compensated in that regard! :) I do see a lot of additional value in going to Tuck but I guess I figured everyone would already factor that in when reading my post (e.g. the academics, the caliber of student, the network, etc). Thanks for the thoughts on donations - I suppose that is true that in the long-run that the costs could be similar.

Flyte, thanks for the response. I certainly will admit ignorance regarding the competitiveness of IB offers in Minnesota. I figured that not a ton of people actively want to go to Minnesota so I figured I'd have a slight advantage over everyone competing for NYC spots. And interesting to hear about FO/MO/BO differences - I hadn't considered that. Regarding the salary differences between top schools and mid-tier schools... I acknowledge that there is a correlation there, but since there's no evidence of causation I'm hesitant to take that into too much consideration. Although I can see why an MBA program is different than an economics PhD program that was studied (network is probably more valuable to the MBA than the PhD, etc). And thanks for the insight that Tuck sent around 20 people to Minnesota last year! I didn't think it'd be quite that high, so that's good to hear. You're right that I should reach out to Admissions and see if I can be put in touch with someone who's made that transition. Lastly, I'll take you up on the offer to connect offline- thanks!

VeritasPrepDozie, thanks for your thoughts. As I just wrote to Flyte, I'll readily admit ignorance of the competitiveness of the process. To be clear, if I had to choose between doing investment banking in, say, Chicago or being forced to take a random corporate job in Minnesota... I would go with IB in Chicago. That is to say, location isn't going to be a deal-breaker for me.

Thanks again all! And if anyone else has thoughts, please chime in!
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Re: Tuck vs. Carlson ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Mar 2016, 01:13
It is tough decision although I support Tuck choice.

What is you alternative plan if you can't make into IB? Which school or location would support you second plan?
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Re: Tuck vs. Carlson ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2016, 07:24
Hey all,
Thanks for the responses! Thought I'd let you all know that I did end up choosing Tuck after attending their Admit Weekend and loving the culture/location/students/classes. Thanks again!
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Re: Tuck vs. Carlson ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2016, 12:29
MNGK2011 wrote:
Hey all,
Thanks for the responses! Thought I'd let you all know that I did end up choosing Tuck after attending their Admit Weekend and loving the culture/location/students/classes. Thanks again!


Congratulations on a great decision and glad to hear you enjoyed ASW! If you haven't already, I am happy to connect you with a couple friends of mine at Tuck who are heading to Minneapolis for internships or for full-time. PM if you're interested. Congratulations again!
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Re: Tuck vs. Carlson ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 11 May 2016, 03:29
MNGK2011 wrote:
Hey all,
Thanks for the responses! Thought I'd let you all know that I did end up choosing Tuck after attending their Admit Weekend and loving the culture/location/students/classes. Thanks again!


Congrats!
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Re: Tuck vs. Carlson ($$$)  [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2016, 23:09
MNGK2011 wrote:
Hey all,
Thanks for the responses! Thought I'd let you all know that I did end up choosing Tuck after attending their Admit Weekend and loving the culture/location/students/classes. Thanks again!


I just read the whole thread (too late!).

Congrats on your decision and see you in August! :-D

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Re: Tuck vs. Carlson ($$$)   [#permalink] 16 May 2016, 23:09
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