Y’all know that EssaySnark is not keen on using rankings to choose your schools.
We went into some detail on undergrad rankings recently and we wanted to call out one additional fact which seems to escape many Brave Supplicants just starting out the process.
Just because a school is “Ivy League” – or not – does not automatically tell you that its bschool is considered “the best.”
We gave the example of how some state schools actually have very excellent bschools on campus, notably Michigan Ross and Berkeley-Haas (and isn’t it so nice how they rhyme?). We’ll also add UCLA Anderson and UVA Darden to that list.
Conversely, we have to point out that Cornell is an amazing university – yet The Johnson School is just not considered top o’ the heap where MBA programs are concerned.
Don’t get us wrong, it’s a very good school!!! We know lots and lots of top-notch BSers who end up there and absolutely love it. Yet it’s not in the same category of competitiveness as, say, Tuck or Columbia. Cornell has name recognition so if you tell a stranger on the street that you got your MBA from Cornell, they’re likely to be suitably impressed. If that’s your goal in life, then go to Cornell! You’ll have a slam-dunk. It’s not “easy” to get in there but it’s most definitely not as competitive as most other schools we discuss on the blahg. You’ll have the best of all possible worlds: Higher chance of getting in, even with those glitches and blemishes all over your profile, and you’ll impress your family and friends back home with your Ivy League education.
(Yes we’re being snarky here, we’ll turn the volume down a bit now.)
We have to point out another fact:
Dartmouth has amazing street cred. This is a school people have heard of (Animal House helped that a generation or two ago).
The Tuck School?
Not so much.
When you tell your family you were admitted to Tuck, be prepared for them not to be thoroughly excited for you. They should be excited; Tuck is mighty hard to get into. It’s not easy to score an offer from Tuck. They don’t admit just anybody.
But your family and friends have likely never heard of them.
Does that mean you shouldn’t want to go there?
Honestly we’d think you’re an idiot if you say yes.
(Not that Tuck is the right fit for everyone – but in terms of the quality of education and the doors it would open for you – you’d be hard pressed to come up with schools that are better.)
This is shaping up to be quite the conundrum, isn’t it?
As you can now hopefully appreciate, this is why “name recognition” for a school really should not be the most important criteria you use.
Yes you want to be able to leverage the strength of the school to get a job.
But c’mon. If you’re saying that you can’t tap the strength of a school like MICHIGAN ROSS to get a job ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD then we’re saying you simply are not yet that educated on what the school is about or what an MBA from this place can do for you.
UPDATE: Since some of you are still looking around for some options: Here’s some well-known brand name universities that may be open to accepting someone into their MBA program — even with a heavy dose of challenges in the profile.