Yesterday we teased with the opening of a back-and-forth we had with a last-year Brave Supplicant who was tormenting over a decision on which great MBA program to choose. We invited them to lay out their thinking for us. Here’s what they wrote back:
First of all, please feel free to use these discussions for content on the blog. I’ve personally benefited a lot from this kind of real-life back-and-forth and would love it if my story can be a ray of hope for a BSer on a cloudy day 🙂
Below is a Pros/Cons analysis of both schools from the research I’ve done. Please tell me if you have any thoughts on these points. Essentially, my heart says Stern but my mind keeps coming back saying ‘Hey, have you considered this about Ross?’ 😀
– Specialisations – a) EMT – won’t help me to get a job immediately after MBA as media companies are not open to internationals but will help me strengthen my media knowhow in an exciting time for the industry – therefore makes sense for long term; b) Business Analytics – set of ‘hard’ skills I want to gain during my MBA which might help me show value to organisations and keep my job if things get uncertain in the future job market
– The New York location would be really helpful in meeting industry professionals and possible recruiters – maybe nothing will come out of networking but what if something does? WHAT IF?
– The NYU Stern brand is decently well-known in India (where I would return ideally 5-10 years post MBA), primarily because of its long-established reputation for Wall Street
– Consulting recruitments are on the rise and the school has a good reputation for that among top business schools – it now sends as many people into Consulting as Ross or Fuqua but somehow is still seen as a Finance school
– Might not sound that important, but it has some well-known professors and that’s a definite ‘feel-good’ [list of professors of interest redacted because EssaySnark does not want to tempt any future BSers to just lift the research that this person had done] – I’m fascinated by big cities – Mumbai, London – NY should have enough to keep me interested
– A big portion of the student community is interested in investment banking and I’m a little wary of being with folks that I have no shared career interests with. On the flip side, will that mean lesser competition when it comes to recruiting for Consulting or Tech, the two industries I’m looking at?
– The rankings of the school are rather erratic – doesn’t look like that’s a top priority for the school. I know rankings can be deceptive, but don’t they play a role in how your degree is perceived?
– NYC will be expensive
– I’ve had only positive experiences while interacting with Stern current students and alumni (around 20 of them so far) but the school itself has made no attempt to ‘woo’ me after the admit. Makes me feel as if I’m just another admit in a pool where they are expecting a 50% yield anyway.
– A strong Consulting school and also one of the top schools for Amazon every year.
– Very strong placement statistics – 97% employed with 3 months of graduation for internationals.
– Simply more number of spots in Consulting and Tech available to international students compared to Stern. But I’m not sure how much to believe in the ‘go where your target companies recruits most heavily’ mantra – the competition for Consulting and Amazon would also be higher at Ross, won’t it?
– A school on the rise – Ross’s ranking rose to #7 this year and while I know it might drop to 11 or 12 next year (who knows), it cannot be denied that Dean DeRue and the rest of the administration are doing something right.
– Evidence of a warm and friendly student community – students (even to-be) seem to love the school, and the outreach has been impressive – I’ve had current students reach out to me and ask if I need help, which was great.
– I’m worried my past experience might not give me any advantage at Ross. I’d be competing with ex-MBBs and other big-company folks for generalist roles at top Consulting firms.
– The Ann Arbor location essentially makes me totally dependent on the school’s resources to get me a job. If I do try for off-campus recruiting, I will end up travelling to New York/LA which can end up costing me as much as Stern.
– Weaker brand (?) than Stern in India, especially for my field of interest.
Please tell me what you think, ES! And I know you’d be crazy busy, but I request your urgent attention on this. I only have a few days before the decision. Please please.
And we did! Stay tuned for what we said to them.
At this point in the discussion, what would YOU be choosing if you were this person? What would you be choosing if you were you?