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Yale SOM vs. Berkeley Haas

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Yale vs. Berkeley

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Yale SOM vs. Berkeley Haas  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 21 Dec 2017, 03:07
Hi everyone - so I am super elated to be admitted to both Yale SOM and Berkeley Haas (Class of 2020). They are both amazing schools and I have had the opportunity to briefly visit both so know I would fit into the class so well.

The issue is that they are both so similar, and I would absolutely LOVE to attend both so there is no stand outs. In fact, what makes this decision so difficult is that what I love about one school, I also love about the other. No scholarships at Yale, and assume no scholarship with Haas either (with Haas, you need to separately apply).

For this post, I am going to provide you guys my context/relevant background, and my thoughts on each school. Any advice/opinions/suggestions would be welcome. Thank you all for your thoughts in advance. I remember reading a lot of these type of posts while deciding which school to apply to, and hope mine can be used as a resource in future for others :)

Context:
•LGBT asian male from Oceania. Currently working in tax consulting.
•Goal is to pivot out of tax consulting to something new. To be honest, I don’t 100% know what I want to do post-MBA and one of my key priorities/goals before I start my MBA is to spend a lot of time and self-reflect on what I want to do post-MBA. Note this probably won’t have locked down my options before I need to decide though.
•Interested to investigate management consulting and tech. Also very interested in doing business in China and may move there at some point in my life.
•My husband is currently doing his MBA at Stanford (Class of 2019), and doesn’t know what he will do after (uuuuhhhh so annoying…) i.e. he is not sure whether he will be staying in California/USA, moving internationally or even what industry/function he will be working for. He is very smart though so I am sure it will all work out. He supports whichever decision I make, and is unhelpfully not taking a position on this matter - I have asked him to reconsider though! Also we have done long distance before and it is manageable.
•Long-term, I will be starting a non-profit organisation focused on driving LGBT inclusion at a grassroots level by empowering local change-agents in developing countries. This is 100% going to happen but is also a super-long term goal, we are talking 10-15yrs from now.

Yale SOM

Pros
•Yale is a dream school of mine, was literally the school I wanted to get into as a wee undergrad back in the day.
•Brand recognition esp. internationally, basically a household name. The ‘magic’ of the Yale name. Most of my family are suggesting I go to Yale, so that is testament to the brand. They don’t really know anything about MBAs, they just know Yale.
•Big fan of the integrated curriculum, the different perspectives it offers sounds really interesting.
•‘Up and coming’ ‘top 10’ school. Yale SOM has momentum in terms of rankings, recruitment outcomes, salaries etc. Who knows what the future holds for Yale.
•I have connected more with Yale current students and alumni due to my existing network (i.e. friends of friends). Seems like none of my network have any connections with Haas. So have a better ‘feel’ for Yale - everyone has been so helpful when I have reached out.
•Appears to be stronger in Consulting (but only because Haas sends so many people to Tech)
•Private Ivy League university (larger endowment and the ‘ivy league’ experience, whatever what means!)

Cons
•Younger school (approx 40 years) and Smaller alumni network (approx 8,000 vs. 39,000)
•Long distance relationship with the hubby (coast to coast).
•No grade non-disclosure policy (REALLY not a fan of this one - is a big negative as I want to be able to choose to de-prioritise grades).
•Not as well ranked as Haas but I feel like Yale is up-and-coming and has great momentum so will be equal to Haas/Tuck in 5-10 years so really ranking is a bit of a red herring here.

Haas

Pros
•Better ranked (slightly, by a few places - see my comment about Yale above)
•Closer to my husband (yay more cuddles!)
•Synergies with Stanford MBA - e.g. for one year the ability to ‘unlock’ the Stanford network as I will be able to attend events as a Stanford MBA spouse, and also for two years, my husband’s ability to ‘unlock’ the Berkeley network as my spouse. Think California b-school gay power couple LOL. (This is an important factor I think - one of the biggest benefits about an MBA is the networks you'll be able to build and get access to).
•If I am going down tech, entrepreneurship, it's the place to be. Hello Silicon Valley.
•Grade Non-disclosure policy
•Established ‘top 10’ school and Bigger alumni network of 39,000 vs 8,000.
•I feel like Haas a bit more of a ‘friendlier’ vibe & is very selective of their class so it’s a privilege to get in.

Cons
•Internationally, not as good brand recognition and this is an important one. With how hard it is to get a visa to stay in USA - there is a real possibility I will end up in Europe or Asia or Oceania where Yale may have better brand recognition. See context above regarding how my husband doesn’t know what he is doing.
•Not a ‘household name’ - many of my friends / family are saying “off course you’ll choose Yale” because it's the only one they have heard of.
•Much smaller endowment (probably because its a public institution), not sure of where Haas will be heading in the future with Dean Lyon leaving.

Neutral factors:
•Tight knit / amazing community - both Haas and Yale have amazing communities which I would totally fit in at and dreamed to be a part of just a few weeks ago.
•Class size. Both on the smaller side (which I like), although Haas slightly smaller. I think there are advantages and disadvantages to a smaller class so neutral in my mind.
•Both Haas and Yale have great non-profit programs, maybe Yale is slightly better but not by enough
•Both will cost about the same (assume no scholarship at Haas).
•Location (other than weather in Bay area slightly better). I like New Haven a lot actually and would be excited to see snow, so have no issues living there. Berkeley is lovely too obviously.
•Ability to take classes outside of business schools (Both schools allow it, although Yale is unlimited).
•Salary outcomes - median for both schools in the $120k mark. Different concentrations though (e.g. Haas for Tech and Yale for Mgmt Consulting)

Originally posted by fullns on 19 Dec 2017, 17:19.
Last edited by fullns on 21 Dec 2017, 03:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yale SOM vs. Berkeley Haas  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2017, 17:48
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Hi fullns!
First up, huge congratulations on the double success. This is an enviable dilemma to have. I also think you've compared the schools really well, and largely know yourself and what you want to do.

I'll make this short. I think you should go to Yale. There's something about dreams and all. I feel you'll really enjoy the Yale experience.

- Yale has had great momentum recently and I think it will only improve further
- Yale puts a huge emphasis on the global network (it is one of their strategic objectives for the school), and I think this will help you with your future plans
- Yale also has greater brand recognition internationally.. which will also benefit you

Staying away from your husband for a year is a downside, but I'd say it will be worth it in the long run.
Good luck on your decision!
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Re: Yale SOM vs. Berkeley Haas  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2017, 20:28
stoiczoan wrote:
Hi fullns!
First up, huge congratulations on the double success. This is an enviable dilemma to have. I also think you've compared the schools really well, and largely know yourself and what you want to do.

I'll make this short. I think you should go to Yale. There's something about dreams and all. I feel you'll really enjoy the Yale experience.

- Yale has had great momentum recently and I think it will only improve further
- Yale puts a huge emphasis on the global network (it is one of their strategic objectives for the school), and I think this will help you with your future plans
- Yale also has greater brand recognition internationally.. which will also benefit you

Staying away from your husband for a year is a downside, but I'd say it will be worth it in the long run.
Good luck on your decision!


Thank you for your comments! Agree with all your points, and I have planned (another) visit to Yale for welcome weekend where I'll have a chance to visit Haas as well.

I think for me, Yale is the school I've always wanted to go to, whereas Haas appears to be the 'right' choice in many all respects. In particular, I think one of the major benefits of an MBA is the networks / friends you make, and I would wager there will be significant synergies (which is quite a unique opportunity) in being close to Stanford - and benefits for my husband as well.

I would welcome other people's thoughts as well on this. It's a hard one and I guess there is ultimately two right answers in this scenario!
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Yale SOM vs. Berkeley Haas  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Dec 2017, 19:01
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Yale does not disclose grades, so you can take that off your cons list.

If you'd like to do business in China, I'd have to vouch for Yale here. It's a very strong brand in China & there's plenty of Chinese firms interested in hiring from Yale SOM.

The LGBT community here is very strong - not sure what it's like at Haas - but you'll definitely get a ton of support & find like minded friends here for your long term goal.

Consulting recruiting is also very strong at Yale, as you said. If you're sure about consulting over tech, Yale would be preferred.

It's hard for me to sound objective here considering I'm a Yale SOM student, but if you and your husband are ready to do a long distance relationship for a couple of years, I'd lean towards Yale here.
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Yale SOM vs. Berkeley Haas  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2017, 05:06
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Wilch wrote:
Yale does not disclose grades, so you can take that off your cons list.

If you'd like to do business in China, I'd have to vouch for Yale here. It's a very strong brand in China & there's plenty of Chinese firms interested in hiring from Yale SOM.

The LGBT community here is very strong - not sure what it's like at Haas - but you'll definitely get a ton of support & find like minded friends here for your long term goal.

Consulting recruiting is also very strong at Yale, as you said. If you're sure about consulting over tech, Yale would be preferred.

It's hard for me to sound objective here considering I'm a Yale SOM student, but if you and your husband are ready to do a long distance relationship for a couple of years, I'd lean towards Yale here.


Can you/anyone else confirm the source for Yale having grade non-disclosure?

This website says that the top two grades are reported/disclosed. So that is grade disclosure as recruiters / companies CAN ask for it.

http://bulletin.printer.yale.edu/htmlfi ... ogram.html

Also this news article from a while ago backs this up.

https://yaledailynews.com/blog/2015/03/ ... responses/

When I refer to grade non-disclosure, I mean when recruiters/companies are not able to request grades AT ALL. Whereas Yale discloses the top two grades on the transcript.

This is compared to Haas, which on its website says companies/recruiters are not able to ask for grades and if they do, students will report nothing.



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Yale SOM vs. Berkeley Haas  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2017, 07:29
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Interesting. I'll ask around about that. I was told there's a non-disclosure policy, but I never looked up any handbooks on this. I will say I've never heard of employers digging around for your grades anyway - I personally never encountered it either. I'll follow up after the holidays because everyone is gone at this point :) If I forget, prod me.

EDIT: This is an older interview with Bruce (https://som.yale.edu/news/news/ten-ques ... e-students), but I'm not sure if they made changes since then. Not as far as I know. I'll keep asking around.
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Re: Yale SOM vs. Berkeley Haas  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2017, 08:31
Ok thanks! Good to see Ive done my research! :) I'm going to Welcome Weekend anyways so will confirm there with faculty as well.

Even if (some) employers don't ask for grades at this stage, there will be employers that ask maybe later in our careers (e.g. For a copy of your transcript). For Yale, i would be obliged to provide a copy as a transcript exists and there's no non-disclosure policy. For Haas, I would point them to the website that says no grades will be disclosed. That's a con on my list for Yale.

Also it's a bit weird to think current students are telling each other there's grade non-disclosure when it's not the case?! I hope you did ok with your exams - it would be unfair to have not studied as hard because you thought one thing and then find out grades the other .


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Yale SOM vs. Berkeley Haas  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2017, 15:40
fullns wrote:
Ok thanks! Good to see Ive done my research! :) I'm going to Welcome Weekend anyways so will confirm there with faculty as well.

Even if (some) employers don't ask for grades at this stage, there will be employers that ask maybe later in our careers (e.g. For a copy of your transcript). For Yale, i would be obliged to provide a copy as a transcript exists and there's no non-disclosure policy. For Haas, I would point them to the website that says no grades will be disclosed. That's a con on my list for Yale.

Also it's a bit weird to think current students are telling each other there's grade non-disclosure when it's not the case?! I hope you did ok with your exams - it would be unfair to have not studied as hard because you thought one thing and then find out grades the other .


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I highly doubt anyone will ask for a transcript, ever. It is just not comparable since even graduates from the same school and same year take diff classes and even the same classes are usually taught by 2-4 different professors. Not apples to apples. In my experience employers never cared enough as long as you graduated. I hope nobody is going to judge my performance at 35 for what I did in BSchool at 26. Unless you are running for office, become super famous or enlist as a sperm bank contributor, grades are unlikely to pop up.

(Some employers who sponsor employees for bschool may have a min GPA requirement but that's a diff case in my experience than asking for grades to qualify for employment)
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Re: Yale SOM vs. Berkeley Haas  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2017, 17:04
fullns wrote:
Ok thanks! Good to see Ive done my research! :) I'm going to Welcome Weekend anyways so will confirm there with faculty as well.

Even if (some) employers don't ask for grades at this stage, there will be employers that ask maybe later in our careers (e.g. For a copy of your transcript). For Yale, i would be obliged to provide a copy as a transcript exists and there's no non-disclosure policy. For Haas, I would point them to the website that says no grades will be disclosed. That's a con on my list for Yale.

Also it's a bit weird to think current students are telling each other there's grade non-disclosure when it's not the case?! I hope you did ok with your exams - it would be unfair to have not studied as hard because you thought one thing and then find out grades the other .


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You should ask during welcome weekend to be sure. I've asked around and so far, everyone has told me there's no grade disclosure.

Also, like bb said, nobody ever asks for grade, especially after a few years down the road. The only time employers ask for your grades, as far as I know, is if you're sponsored by your pre-MBA employer and they require you to obtain a certain level of grade.

But please do attend the welcome weekend! Free swag, food, and awesome people :)
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Re: Yale SOM vs. Berkeley Haas  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2017, 17:06
Wilch wrote:
fullns wrote:
Ok thanks! Good to see Ive done my research! :) I'm going to Welcome Weekend anyways so will confirm there with faculty as well.

Even if (some) employers don't ask for grades at this stage, there will be employers that ask maybe later in our careers (e.g. For a copy of your transcript). For Yale, i would be obliged to provide a copy as a transcript exists and there's no non-disclosure policy. For Haas, I would point them to the website that says no grades will be disclosed. That's a con on my list for Yale.

Also it's a bit weird to think current students are telling each other there's grade non-disclosure when it's not the case?! I hope you did ok with your exams - it would be unfair to have not studied as hard because you thought one thing and then find out grades the other .


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You should ask during welcome weekend to be sure. I've asked around and so far, everyone has told me there's no grade disclosure.

Also, like bb said, nobody ever asks for grade, especially after a few years down the road. The only time employers ask for your grades, as far as I know, is if you're sponsored by your pre-MBA employer and they require you to obtain a certain level of grade.

But please do attend the welcome weekend! Free swag, food, and awesome people :)


Awesome. Thank you for your considered advice and I forgot to say, the other points you raised are really helpful. I'm looking forward to welcome weekend!


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Re: Yale SOM vs. Berkeley Haas  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Dec 2017, 09:53
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surprised at all the yale love here. haas is the better school, is stronger at what you're interested in (tech), and works better location wise for you.
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Re: Yale SOM vs. Berkeley Haas  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Dec 2017, 18:19
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jessepinkman wrote:
surprised at all the yale love here. haas is the better school, is stronger at what you're interested in (tech), and works better location wise for you.


You'd be surprised at the number of people who turned down offers from other top 10 schools. Obviously Yale is rarely going to beat out Stanford or HBS, if ever (heard of one instance of someone turning down HBS for Yale, the guy must be crazy). Just within my cohort alone, I have friends who turned down offers from Booth, Wharton, Haas, Sloan, Kellogg, and Tuck.

These people typically cite a combination of the following reasons for going selecting Yale:
(1) Community
(2) Proximity to NYC & BOS
(3) Brand outside of the US
(4) Rise in ranking & reputation (especially in consulting)

Not saying Yale is better than any of these schools, but it's not an easy decision for some people - and this is certainly not an easy decision for fullns because he's considering consulting and thinking about working in China. Yale's alumni base & opportunities in China is immense. I was exclusively recruiting in the US and a handful of large Chinese tech firms & buy side firms have reached out to me for internship/full time opportunities.

With that said, don't get me wrong, Haas is an amazing school and you can't go wrong with either choice in the long run.
Re: Yale SOM vs. Berkeley Haas &nbs [#permalink] 23 Dec 2017, 18:19
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