Or maybe we should append to that title: “…if you’re Harvard.”
Yeah, sure, a larger cohort does of course provide some value. You may have interpreted our recent post about class size vs class size as saying that the size of your bschool is immaterial. No, of course not.
A larger program means more incredible people. Everyone getting into a top business school (well, except that one guy) is amazing. It’s the adcom’s job to make sure of that. Admission to a top MBA program is a screening process whereby only the accomplished and impressive (are supposed to) make it through.
You go to a bigger bschool, you are surrounded by greater quantities of them.
As you’re likely well aware, the whole “diversity” thing is a big deal with all the bschools these days – and man, if you visit any of the European programs, you’ll get hit over the head with it especially hard. “Diversity diversity diversity”, that is the buzzword that admissions people repeat early and often.
Diversity is in fact an advantage for the student – and it’s something that most every school actually can offer. In different ways, of course. Diversity at LBS really means diversity. Like, of the cultural/geographic/ethnic kind. They’ve got something like 85% international students there. Compare that to most American business schools which hold steady at like 35% international. You go to an American school, you’re mostly going to school with Americans. There’ll definitely be some ethnic and geographic variation in the mix – you saw that Columbia video for their essay 3 with the guy from Tennessee, right? (Or was it Kentucky? We always mix those two up.)
And diversity at Harvard… Yes. You’re going to go to school with some very unique individuals. Lots who are the standard bschool type, but also the “wowzer” ones too. That’s ‘cuz HBS is a big program, and ‘cuz it’s HBS.
We already drug* the “big alumni network” thing through the mud. We’re certainly not going to subject you to all THAT again.
Our point is simply that going to a larger school does afford the opportunity to meet and mingle with more people. “Well duh, EssaySnark.” Fine, you didn’t need us to tell you there’s value to that. It’s particularly true when you’re at a top-ranked school that attracts, and selects for, the most interesting, varied, and, yes, driven personality types.
You’re still unlikely to form deep bonds with more of them than if you were to go to, say, Tuck or Haas. But you’ll have the opportunity to do so. Which is good.
But in a big school, there will ALWAYS be a huge number of your cohort who are virtual strangers to you – who you’d pass on the street and not even know they were also going to your school.
Unless they’re that total hottie who you keep seeing in the cafe…
That actually points to another argument in favor of the large school: Larger dating pool.
Which is apparently one reason why some people go to bschool in the first place.
(Columbia students should be embarrassed about several of those Follies videos. Sheesh.)
* Yes, we know that it should be “dragged” – but doesn’t “drug” sound so much better in that sentence?