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USC Marshall vs UT McCombs vs UW Foster for Tech

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USC Marshall vs UT McCombs vs UW Foster for Tech  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2018, 15:29
Hello all and thanks in advance for your inputs.

I have been going back and forth about prioritizing these three schools, all of which have significant access to tech. Would truly appreciate your suggestions and the reasoning behind them.

A bit of background about me: I am a female international applicant with a 740 GMAT and 3.3 GPA from India. I am an engineer-turned-entrepreneur-turned-marketer. After working as a Marketing Executive for an Indian tech startup, I was able to validate my strong passion for marketing and tech. Post-MBA, I am looking to get into product marketing for a consumer-facing tech company (plan A), or into tech consulting (plan B).

I interviewed with all three schools. Marshall offered a sizable scholarship that brings the cost of attendance for each school on par with one another. Although I am yet to receive offers from the other two schools, I am very hopeful given how my interviews went. My deadline to accept Marshall's offer is Apr 1 and decisions from the other two schools are expected to be out by Mar 29, so I thought I would get a headstart and reach out for some educated opinions.

My family lives in San Francisco and I plan to relocate to the Bay Area after the MBA, so I am only looking for recruiting positions with Bay Area companies. Given my preference for the (tech) industry and (Bay Area) location, which school do you think sets me up for success the most? My short-term priority is to get into the job market as soon as possible, and my long-term priorities are to have a successful career progression and be a part of an alma mater with a significant brand reputation in the West Coast.

Some of the areas I would like your input in are 1) Ease of transition to Bay Area post-MBA, 2) The strength of career services offered by each school, and 3) The overall short-term and long-term benefits of the alumni network

Thanks again!
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USC Marshall vs UT McCombs vs UW Foster for Tech  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Mar 2018, 13:14
1
Congrats on getting into Marshall!

I can understand posting this question ahead of time with the deadline as close as it is. Keep in mind that even though you may hear a decision from Foster or McCombs, you may not hear about finaid in time.

My suggestions would be:
  • All schools are regional though McCombs is the strongest of the pack
  • Due to you geo preference, at first I wanted to rate on par with Foster. However, i still believe McCombs gets a lot more employers on campus than Foster. I can't see a program as small as Foster attracting a lot more than a few Amazon and Microsoft folks looking to fill lower tier spots. Also, while you may very well network in SEA, it won't translate into offers in Bay Area. The only thing Foster is going for here is $120 RT flights on Alaska for a quick weekend trip to see family vs. $250 from Austin with a connection. Therefore, my first pick would be McCombs.
  • Since you have family in Bay area and you live in CA right now (based on your profile), i would not classify you as a pure international applicants - you have a support network in the US that you can network, but in the last year, my recommendation to all international applicants has been to minimize their financial exposure and head to the school with the best scholarship. My second choice would be Scholarship-based. If Foster gives you more than $25K/year vs. McCombs, then it is worth looking at Foster, anything lower is debatable. My second choice is Foster with a $50K scholarship

Good Luck!
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USC Marshall vs UT McCombs vs UW Foster for Tech  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 08 Mar 2018, 14:13
Thank you so much for your suggestions bb. I truly appreciate all the incredible support you extend to all of us here on gmatclub.

Some additional background: I do live in the Bay Area right now, and I am fortunate to have a strong support system here from my family and my undergrad alumni network.

Could you please clarify some of my questions based on your suggestions? Please don't hesitate to let me know if you find flaws in my reasoning.

1. Given that all schools are regional, wouldn't it be better to choose a school closest to the Bay Area so that its easier to reach out to companies here for networking, summer internships, and job prospects? The biggest positives for Marshall are its location and alumni network. The curriculum at both McCombs and Foster is very 'tech' focused, and both schools heavily emphasize applied learning, which I find crucial for international students without prior experience in the US.

2. Although McCombs and Marshall get more employers on campus than Foster, I gathered from my informational interviews that the % of tech placements are highest at Foster. Besides, I was told that tech employers who hire at McCombs are regional and less likely to be coming from the Bay Area. This data point seems to be true for Foster as well, but given its proximity, Foster seems to attract more Bay Area companies than McCombs does. Also, Foster appears to have a stronger career management office than the other schools.

3. Given how chaotic the work visa scenario has been lately, I do believe that I should choose the school with the least financial exposure. Thank you for confirming my views from a scholarship-based perspective.

This decision will impact the rest of my life, so I want to weigh my options accurately and make the best choice possible. Thanks again for helping me out with this!

Originally posted by swapnak on 07 Mar 2018, 14:43.
Last edited by swapnak on 08 Mar 2018, 14:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: USC Marshall vs UT McCombs vs UW Foster for Tech  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Mar 2018, 11:33
1
The reason most Foster grads go into Tech is 2-fold:
1. Seattle is a tech hub, so most jobs are tech by definition
2. Most of the grads came from tech background so they are going back to the same industry where their network is and where it is easier to get a job.

It is not because Foster has an amazing tech program or some magic spell cast on all the tech recruiters that bypass Stanford and Booth grads only to hire Foster because of their wonderful classes. Nope.

UW is big in Seattle. You will find grads in most companies and walks of life. However, the Foster brand is not strong but don't assume that UW translates into a Foster network automatically. If you are a Foster grad looking for a job, you will be bumping into 40-year old senior/mid-tier management folks who may be UW grads, but they graduated 20 years ago and may have gotten MBA's from Kellogg or Tuck. I don't know that they will have a lot of patience to hand-hold or do a special case situation for someone going to the BSchool at the university they to for undergrad. I don't think they would....

For many grads it will be about your previous work experience and networking that will be the deciding factors as you compete with your classmates and other MBA applicants. In some cases, even GMAT score, and EC's may help on your resume.

As to curriculum, yes, it will help with a few things - it will help get you smarter, deeper theoretical knowledge of the space, and also sound smarter in the interview. However, it won't help with recruiting directly. It will not be something that will catch a recruiters eye - they prefer hard work experience with demonstrated results and the only way to get it covered for someone changing industries is through internship. That's what will catch recruiter's eye - a shiny brand name rather than all those wonderful courses on block-chain, virtual reality, and big data you took.
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USC Marshall vs UT McCombs vs UW Foster for Tech  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Mar 2018, 14:32
Thank you for taking time to clarify, bb. Much appreciated.

Update:

Didn't get through Foster. I had a bad feeling about it since the interview happened in a very crowded lobby at the Hilton Square Hotel in SF, and I felt that the interviewer was tired and emotionally checking out between my responses.

Looks like it's between USC Marshall and UT McCombs now. What do you think of Marshall's recent jump in U.S. News rankings? Given my preference to work in the Bay Area post-MBA, would Marshall be a better choice than McCombs? Please let me know.
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Re: USC Marshall vs UT McCombs vs UW Foster for Tech  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jun 2018, 19:48
Hi - curious to know which path you went down. Also, saw that you got into Haas's EWMBA - congrats!

swapnak wrote:
Thank you for taking time to clarify, bb. Much appreciated.

Update:

Didn't get through Foster. I had a bad feeling about it since the interview happened in a very crowded lobby at the Hilton Square Hotel in SF, and I felt that the interviewer was tired and emotionally checking out between my responses.

Looks like it's between USC Marshall and UT McCombs now. What do you think of Marshall's recent jump in U.S. News rankings? Given my preference to work in the Bay Area post-MBA, would Marshall be a better choice than McCombs? Please let me know.
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Re: USC Marshall vs UT McCombs vs UW Foster for Tech &nbs [#permalink] 25 Jun 2018, 19:48
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