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UNC vs UMD vs UIUC

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Which B-School to choose?

  • 71% [5]
  • 14% [1]
  • 14% [1]
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UNC vs UMD vs UIUC  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2019, 13:44
I've recently received acceptances to University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler, University of Maryland Robert H. Smith, and University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne MBA programs.

Wanted to get everyone's opinions based on my background and future career path

Background: I'm an Active Duty Army Officer looking to transition into business with a background in anatomy and science. I am married and have a baby on the way. I do not have any business/tech experiences and looking to transition into a career in 3 fields 1. Private Equity/Venture Capitalism 2. Consulting and 3. Finance/Management

I'm originally from the New England area and would like to establish a career there if possible.

UNC KF
Total Tuition: 125k
Scholarship: 20k/yr
Post-MBA salary: 125-130k
Pros:
- largest nationwide brand
- triangle area has great opportunities for post MBA goals
- North Carolina weather is great
Cons:
- most expensive program

UMD
Total Tuition: 87k
Scholarship: 30k/yr
Post-MBA salary: 110k
Pros:
- Lots of connections into government and tech consulting in the DC area
- strong finance program in DC
- easy to network between military & government opportunities post MBA
Cons:
- restricted to the DC area
- not a lot of brand recognition nationally

UIUC
Total Tuition: 22k
Scholarship: 10/yr
Post-MBA salary: 99k
Pros:
- the cheapest program, total out of pocket cost is 2k
- connections into Chicago to work for Options Exchange or finance or consulting opportunities
- wife's family lives in Chicago suburbs
Cons:
- least recognized program nationally
- chicago weather is horrible in the winter

Overall I am currently leaning towards UNC but the out of pocket cost of approximately 85k is a big push whereas UMD I'm paying 27k and 2k for UIUC. Would the additional cost outweigh the rewards being that I'll have access to a much larger network and able to compete for a good career transition once I leave the military if I choose UNC? or should I save money with a baby on the way and get my MBA from a more regional program like UMD where I can network past and existing relationships within government for a career shift?

Thanks, I appreciate the feedback.
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Re: UNC vs UMD vs UIUC  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2019, 14:12
Congrats on your offer. Here is my take. If you had offers from comparable schools (like UNC, UT Austin, Emory) this would be a tough call. But UNC is multiple tiers ahead of UIUC & UMD. This doesn't come down to a money then, but access to recruitment opportunities you would not get at UMD or UIUC. Although you are paying more now for UNC, the job prospects, and network far outweigh the cost. Again, different story if you are comparing peer schools, but UMD and UIUC are not in the same tier of school as UNC.
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Re: UNC vs UMD vs UIUC  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2019, 16:47
UNC and it’s not really close in my opinion, despite more money at those other schools. Network and company presence is much stronger at Kenan-Flagler compared to the others. Long term proposition much better at Carolina. You’ll get more of a real business school experience too.

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Re: UNC vs UMD vs UIUC  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2019, 19:07
Thanks for the input guys, I guess the overall consensus is to go with the school that is ranked the best with the best national brand and opportunities post MBA regardless of cost and just think of the 85k as a larger downpayment investment
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New post 09 Apr 2019, 19:21
Congrats, as a fellow Army vet. I guess you don't have any GI Bill? Any percentage would've helped. Look for some external scholarships. There are multiple sources of scholarship for military vets. I agree with others that UNC-KF is the best despite the cost difference and recommend to minimize your cost by applying for as man scholarships as possible. Especially since you mentioned highly competitive positions as your post MBA goals. All three career paths you mentioned are very competitive and can pay huge salary post MBA, justifying the cost differences.
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Re: UNC vs UMD vs UIUC  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Apr 2019, 08:25
2
With all due respect, UNC is in a different stratosphere than the other two (this coming from a Dukie no less!).

I would caution you on your goals--PE/VC is without a doubt the hardest nut to crack, even from the top 5 schools. The top 14 or so will send like 2-4% but the vast majority had prior IB or PE experience. UNC didn't even break it out in their employment report so I would assume it to be 0 or <1%.

If PE is your goal, the most logical step would be to go IB first (a decently strong pipeline from UNC). Otherwise your goals 2 and 3 will be much more attainable!

I hope I don't come across as harsh but want to adjust your expectations. Regardless, congrats on the admits and hopefully I'll run into you at the Blue Cup next year!
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Re: UNC vs UMD vs UIUC   [#permalink] 22 Apr 2019, 08:25
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