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UCLA Anderson vs. Vanderbilt Owen vs. Columbia EMBA vs. Reapply

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Which MBA?

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UCLA Anderson vs. Vanderbilt Owen vs. Columbia EMBA vs. Reapply  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 05 Apr 2016, 09:19
Note: Edited and updated to reflect current situation.

I have a degree in economics and english from a top-5 non-Cali public school with a 3.5 GPA. I have a 750 (46Q/48V/7IR/8AWA) GMAT and will have 6 years WE helping run my family business (helped grow it from $52 million to $106 million revenue during that time at matriculation.

I want to live in the west, specifically in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, or California. I want to get a strong management/innovation/entrepreneurship/leadership education and am open to several career paths, including working for a start-up, working for a retailer with a culture/product I believe in (Patagonia, REI, North Face, Starbucks, etc.), or management consulting. Running the $100m family business in the south is my backup if I find after an internship that the other more traditional MBA paths aren't for me.

Going into this, I thought I had a very good shot at a top 10 school. However, I only got an interview to one, Dartmouth (initiated by Dartmouth), and was rejected at all of them. I applied to all of them at the Round 2 deadline, which was obviously a mistake. I also regret applying to Harvard, Wharton, and Columbia instead of Ross, Fuqua, and Darden, which were probably better matches.

My application list updated with results:

1. Berkeley Haas - will receive the official deny on March 24
2. Harvard - denied without interview
3. Wharton - denied without interview
4. Yale - denied without interview
5. Columbia - denied without interview but pointed me toward their EMBA Americas program (once a month for a week in NYC)
6. Tuck - denied after Tuck initiated interview
7. UCLA - in with 60% scholarship
8. UW Foster - still waiting
9. Vanderbilt Owen - in with 90% scholarship

UCLA and Vanderbilt are both awesome options, but I'm pretty disappointed I didn't get into any of my top choices (Haas, Yale, and Tuck were my top 3, and I thought I had a decent shot).

Originally posted by whitman on 14 Oct 2014, 13:16.
Last edited by whitman on 05 Apr 2016, 09:19, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. Vanderbilt Owen vs. Columbia EMBA vs. Reapply  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Oct 2014, 15:06
If you are 100% sure you want to live in the West, go to any of the Cali schools on your list if you get in. (GBS, Haas, Anderson.) Just go.

IMO Foster should be 4th on your list.

IMO the 1-year programs abroad (while great) are not the best options if you're a career switcher and/or want to experiment. As a career switcher myself, I am glad I have two years and an internship to help me find my way.

IMO all of the other schools you listed are great and I think any of them will give you a decent shot at networking your way into the markets you mentioned--but the schools you listed are very different. I would weigh the *cost/culture* at each one carefully when choosing.

Ithaca is =/= to NYC which is =/= to Austin/Nashville.

I really love the small size and collegiality at Vanderbilt. The cost of attendance is spectacular as well. I would not want to be paying NYC rent prices to be just one in a pool of 400+ at NYU...that might be a perfect fit for someone else though.

tl;dr -- There is wisdom in finding out what school/program is a good *fit* for you...don't just whore yourself out to the rankings.

Edit (to answer your question directly): Region/Culture/Fit > Rank...assuming you're comparing top 30 programs.
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. Vanderbilt Owen vs. Columbia EMBA vs. Reapply  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2014, 07:55
Thanks for the thoughts, teleste. I am from Nashville and work here currently, having helped run my family's small/medium (~$70mil) company for 4 of the 5 years since college. I love Nashville but am probably looking to jump geographically and in terms of industry. Glad to hear you like Vanderbilt. It is a great school, and the folks I know at Owen are good people. After considering geography and culture, I am leaning toward this list: 1) Haas 2) Yale SOM 3) UCLA 4) Texas McCombs 5) UW Foster 6) Dartmouth Tuck. However, I'm surprised that it looks like you only got into Vandy with a 720/3.7 combo, so Foster so my list might be overly optimistic.

Thanks again.
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. Vanderbilt Owen vs. Columbia EMBA vs. Reapply  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2014, 08:18
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Whitman,
I am in a similar situation. I am currently in the Seattle area and want to work in the same cities/similar companies you are looking at. One thing to take in to consideration is a lot of those companies have very few MBA positions and don't really recruit on campus. You will have to do a lot of your own legwork. Being in school on the West coast and flying to network and do informational interviews will be much easier. One thing I suggest is to search those companies on Linkedin and find people who are doing jobs that you are interested in and see what schools they went to. I know the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recruits at Fuqua and Yale SOM. MIT Sloan has a sustainability certificate now and I am sure a few other schools are adding that. I think if you go to a top 10 school the brand name will be enough, but if you looking more at the top 15 to top 25, regional starts to become a bigger factor. This is all just based on my own research in a similar situation.
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. Vanderbilt Owen vs. Columbia EMBA vs. Reapply  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Nov 2014, 08:04
kaplanmj wrote:
Whitman,
I am in a similar situation. I am currently in the Seattle area and want to work in the same cities/similar companies you are looking at. One thing to take in to consideration is a lot of those companies have very few MBA positions and don't really recruit on campus. You will have to do a lot of your own legwork. Being in school on the West coast and flying to network and do informational interviews will be much easier. One thing I suggest is to search those companies on Linkedin and find people who are doing jobs that you are interested in and see what schools they went to. I know the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recruits at Fuqua and Yale SOM. MIT Sloan has a sustainability certificate now and I am sure a few other schools are adding that. I think if you go to a top 10 school the brand name will be enough, but if you looking more at the top 15 to top 25, regional starts to become a bigger factor. This is all just based on my own research in a similar situation.


I agree with all of the above - especially about Sloan. The focus on sustainability is a very big deal for me. I have had conversations with HR reps at a few of these types of companies - very few of them have MBA's on staff. That being said, they all agree that as they grow, they will need to start hiring MBAs and they know there is an explosion of us (those wanting to make money and do some good) looking to work for a great purpose-driven business.

That being said, I would add Ross (University of Michigan) into the mix. For "net impact", social/environmental sustainability, CRUNCHY culture, there is really no one that comes close to Ross (maybe Haas and Yale).
https://netimpact.org/sites/default/fil ... l-2014.pdf
Have you seen the above net impact MBA rankings / guide?
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. Vanderbilt Owen vs. Columbia EMBA vs. Reapply  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Nov 2014, 00:08
michaelbrett wrote:
kaplanmj wrote:
Whitman,
I am in a similar situation. I am currently in the Seattle area and want to work in the same cities/similar companies you are looking at. One thing to take in to consideration is a lot of those companies have very few MBA positions and don't really recruit on campus. You will have to do a lot of your own legwork. Being in school on the West coast and flying to network and do informational interviews will be much easier. One thing I suggest is to search those companies on Linkedin and find people who are doing jobs that you are interested in and see what schools they went to. I know the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recruits at Fuqua and Yale SOM. MIT Sloan has a sustainability certificate now and I am sure a few other schools are adding that. I think if you go to a top 10 school the brand name will be enough, but if you looking more at the top 15 to top 25, regional starts to become a bigger factor. This is all just based on my own research in a similar situation.


I agree with all of the above - especially about Sloan. The focus on sustainability is a very big deal for me. I have had conversations with HR reps at a few of these types of companies - very few of them have MBA's on staff. That being said, they all agree that as they grow, they will need to start hiring MBAs and they know there is an explosion of us (those wanting to make money and do some good) looking to work for a great purpose-driven business.

That being said, I would add Ross (University of Michigan) into the mix. For "net impact", social/environmental sustainability, CRUNCHY culture, there is really no one that comes close to Ross (maybe Haas and Yale).
https://netimpact.org/sites/default/fil ... l-2014.pdf
Have you seen the above net impact MBA rankings / guide?


I vote for Ross too. In addition to the above, Ross has a big and strong network in Seattle.

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. Vanderbilt Owen vs. Columbia EMBA vs. Reapply  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jan 2016, 17:40
Now that I've taken the GMAT and applied to schools, I thought I'd bump this in case anyone has similar interests. I got a 750 on the GMAT and got a little carried away with applications. Ultimately, I to applied to too many schools: UW Foster, Vanderbilt Owen, Dartmouth Tuck, Berkeley Haas, Yale SOM, UCLA Anderson, Columbia, and Wharton. We'll see where I get in, and I'll keep people posted.
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. Vanderbilt Owen vs. Columbia EMBA vs. Reapply  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Mar 2016, 12:35
I updated my original post to reflect the current situation. I also added a new poll. Basically, given my goals and credentials, I'm trying to decide if I should accept UCLA's 60% scholarship (my cost would be $45,000 total), Vanderbilt's 90% scholarship (my cost would be $5,000 total), apply to UVA Darden, UChicago, or Kellogg in Round 3, shoot for the Columbia EMBA Americas program that Columbia pointed me toward when they rejected me from full time, or reapply next year and shoot for a top 10. Any advice? Thanks!

Also, still waiting on UW, but I'd have to get a full ride to consider it I think.
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. Vanderbilt Owen vs. Columbia EMBA vs. Reapply  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Mar 2016, 18:22
Any takers?
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. Vanderbilt Owen vs. Columbia EMBA vs. Reapply  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2016, 02:21
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Is money going to be a huge factor in your decision to attend? If it isn't, then Anderson is your best choice. It's ranked higher than Vanderbilt and it will open doors for you in consulting or entrepreneurship/startups depending on where you want to go.

As for Round 3, if you really do want to apply, I'd leave Darden out (personally I feel like Anderson, Ross, Fuqua, Darden all fall more or less into the same bucket). You could definitely give Booth and Kellogg a shot in Round 3, with Anderson as your "backup" in case you don't get into either (you may have to lose your deposit depending on the timing of this). Since you've probably learnt what worked for you and what didn't in Round 2, perhaps changing your strategy in Round 3 will help your case (your profile looks fairly strong from what I can tell).

But yeah, reapplying next year unless there's a drastic change won't help, because your GMAT is already solid plus you have 6 years of work experience, so unless you're aware of a specific weakness you most definitely can fix, I wouldn't recommend that. If it's just a matter of tweaking your strategy/goals, then applying to Booth and Kellogg in Round 3 might work, although it would still be very competitive.
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. Vanderbilt Owen vs. Columbia EMBA vs. Reapply  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2016, 09:15
Thanks FurrowedBrow. I see you're going to Anderson. Was that your first choice?
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. Vanderbilt Owen vs. Columbia EMBA vs. Reapply  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2016, 10:28
Yes, it was. I applied to two other schools (IESE, Cornell) but my heart was set on being in California, close to the Valley.
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. Vanderbilt Owen vs. Columbia EMBA vs. Reapply  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 23 Mar 2016, 10:34
FurrowedBrow wrote:
Yes, it was. I applied to two other schools (IESE, Cornell) but my heart was set on being in California, close to the Valley.


Congratulations on settling in and making the choice!
Anderson is a great program with a great Alum network... not sure which Valley you refer to - there are a few meanings of that (Silicon Valley or the San Fernando Valley that has a very different though related dominating industry)
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. Vanderbilt Owen vs. Columbia EMBA vs. Reapply  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2016, 10:35
bb, do you have any advice for me as a fellow 3.5/750?
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. Vanderbilt Owen vs. Columbia EMBA vs. Reapply  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2016, 10:46
whitman wrote:
bb, do you have any advice for me as a fellow 3.5/750?


You mean in terms of choosing Anderson, applying in R3, or reapplying next year?
If so, are you over 30? Did you use a consultant? How desperate are you to get in this year vs. next?
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. Vanderbilt Owen vs. Columbia EMBA vs. Reapply  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2016, 10:49
Yep.

I'm 28, did not use a consultant, did all of my applications the day they were due (I know...) on the R2 deadline, and am not desperate to go but pretty keen to make the jump, as I'm worried it will get more and more difficult to break away for a couple of years and to this. Thanks!
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. Vanderbilt Owen vs. Columbia EMBA vs. Reapply  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2016, 11:16
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whitman wrote:
Yep.

I'm 28, did not use a consultant, did all of my applications the day they were due (I know...) on the R2 deadline, and am not desperate to go but pretty keen to make the jump, as I'm worried it will get more and more difficult to break away for a couple of years and to this. Thanks!


Pretty impressive job if you have been able to break into Top 20 with that kind of attitude and performance. Congratulations on getting into Anderson - it is a solid program. You could potentially do better (no guarantee) with a consultant who would whoop you into shape and help see a few things you may have missed, pushing you up into Top 10 potentially, but that depends on your profile, and factors you would not be able to control such as other applicants, competitive landscape, and being a part of a crowded background. I think Anderson is a worthy school but I feel MBA was not your front and center thought but something you were mildly interested in, I can see some regret/desire to do better and not seal your life at this point. It depends if you want to put the effort in. The value is there - it would eliminate the doubt and questioning of your destiny; another benefit could be a scholarship if you manage to impress folks more second time around though I see you have taken a shot with many schools already and I am not sure how it will look when you potentially try again next year, even if it is a much stronger story/message. By the way, 3.5 and 750 don't have a whole lot to do with admissions to the Top 10. Pretty much everyone has that to start, and if they don't, they probably have been a ruler of a country or a movie star or a navy seal.

Anyway, the value in applying further is: certainty in your head and potential scholarship money if you keep at it. If you are motivated enough, I would call a consultant today and see if they spend 30 mins or an hour with you and if they are crazy enough to potentially help you with R3 to Booth. It would be a lot of effort but the payback is pretty fast. They have more time at this time of the application season so they may take you on. I would just pick someone who seemed attractive to you and not bother with consultant selection - anyone we have reviewed http://gmatclub.com/reviews/admissions_consultants/ will do a solid job though again, I don't know if anyone will take you so late before the deadline (perhaps call 2 of them - a large shop and a small one and see what they say in case one is too opportunistic). They will add quite a bit of value even if they say you should not apply this year, and chances for next year. if they suggest you should take Anderson perhaps (weakly suggest it), that is an indicator you should go for it and they don't think you have a strong case next year or in R3. If they are bullish on applying next year or in R3, then that means you have a chance :-)

P.S. I have a similar personality and I won't give up until I know I did everything I could to fix/improve/enhance something, but once you are past the deadline, you should rest, enjoy, and embrace. Hope this was somewhat helpful rather than confusing.
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. Vanderbilt Owen vs. Columbia EMBA vs. Reapply  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2016, 12:07
Thanks for the response, bb. Yeah, given that I did the applications on the last day, I am surprised and thrilled I got $60,000 at UCLA and $90,000 at Vanderbilt. After a lot of consideration, I will likely accept one of those two offers. I wanted to make sure people didn't think I'd completely underperformed and should hold out for a top 10 school. My family's company is headquartered in Nashville, so, should I decide to return to the company after business school, Vanderbilt will play a lot better than UCLA, plus I'd make connections in Nashville while getting an MBA for free and living in the house I own. All very appealing. However, I am leaning toward UCLA, as it opens up the west to me, a southerner, who loves the west, mountains, the ocean, and adventures. UCLA also seems to have a strong entrepreneurship contingent and program while still leaving top tier consulting on the table. If I decide to return to the family company, I will still have received a great education and earned an MBA, even though southern folks might not respect a UCLA MBA as they would one from UVA, Duke, UNC, or Vanderbilt. Both of those seem to make more sense than waiting a year to matriculate at 30 just so I might have a better shot at Yale, Tuck, Haas, or Columbia, especially since I only got an interview at one of the top 10 schools I applied to. I don't see doing better than $60k at the Anderson/Darden/Ross/Fuqua level. Any major holes in my logic here? Thanks, bb and others for your responses. Honestly, just typing some of this stuff out as helped a lot.
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. Vanderbilt Owen vs. Columbia EMBA vs. Reapply  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2016, 19:24
bb wrote:
FurrowedBrow wrote:
Yes, it was. I applied to two other schools (IESE, Cornell) but my heart was set on being in California, close to the Valley.


Congratulations on settling in and making the choice!
Anderson is a great program with a great Alum network... not sure which Valley you refer to - there are a few meanings of that (Silicon Valley or the San Fernando Valley that has a very different though related dominating industry)


Thank you very much! Haha, guess I should have been clearer! I meant Silicon Valley, I intend to stay in technology.
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. Vanderbilt Owen vs. Columbia EMBA vs. Reapply  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Mar 2016, 16:00
I guess the crux of my dilemma is: 1) Did I underperform? and 2) I want flexibility but have somehow ended up with very regional options. UCLA might be a peer of UVA and Duke, but they seem to pretty much evenly send its grads all across the country. And around here, most people think Vanderbilt is better than UCLA, without even touching on Duke. UCLA sends 76% of its graduates to California. I might want to return to the south afterward to run the family business. But only .4% of its graduates last year took work in the south. By contrast, UVA placed 20% in the mid-atlantic, 10% in the midwest, 25% in the northeast, 13% in the south, 9% in the southwest, 14% in the west, and 8% internationally. So UVA seems to provide a much more flexible degree that will translate well across the board and across the country, making me think it'd be worth it to target UVA in round 3 over taking UCLA, which would seem to tie me to California.

If I go to Vanderbilt, only 4 people went to Seattle, 5 people to LA, and 7 people to San Francisco, which would be my target cities should I decide I don't want to work for the family business, which is almost certainly the case. Additionally, the jobs seems like a slightly lower scale than I'd want to take. Working in the supply chain at an Amazon distribution center in Murfreesboro, TN, for example. It does send grads more broadly across the nation, but that is probably due to necessity, not being located in major economic hubs, rather than ability, right? UCLA is clearly better than Vanderbilt, right?

Agh.
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Re: UCLA Anderson vs. Vanderbilt Owen vs. Columbia EMBA vs. Reapply   [#permalink] 24 Mar 2016, 16:00

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