well, it’s been over a month since i last posted with all my business school admission results and i’ve finally decided where i’ll be matriculating this fall. it’s been a tough decision, and even now, sometimes i question if i made the right choice. i was fortunate to not only get some generous scholarships, but also to get into all the schools that i really liked. it’s been a good problem to have, but still a problem nonetheless. i’ve solicited advice from many people…even posting polls in the gmat club; the results were pretty consistent in what people were recommending. and even to me, the choice should’ve been obvious…so why was it so hard for me?
i’d like to do marketing/brand management, or even strategic planning, at a luxury goods/retail company. given this, stern is like a no brainer since i was given a full ride. but it’s not that easy because as i’ve been doing research into the industry, i’ve been getting a lot of comments about how hard it is: breaking in, having challenging mba-level work, and the pay. unfortunately, i’m primarily interested in the “sexy” jobs (fashion, entertainment) that get a lot of interest so they don’t need to compensate that well. in this industry, i’ll very likely be working in nyc which is ridiculously expensive to live in. even though a full-ride would give me the freedom to pursue a job i really want, vs. something just to pay off the debt, i would like to be able to live somewhat comfortably in such an expensive city. so i’ve been thinking it may be better to go the cpg or management consulting route first before switching over at a higher level later. i know that’s likely what I’d have to do if I went to ross or booth…and while i think i could pursue those at stern, ross and booth are just so much stronger in those areas. and i’m also afraid that i’ll regret stern if I change my mind to a different career path (like cpg, consulting) while in school.
i’m not sure how easy it is to switch over although i know it can be done…and i know cpg, but especially, consulting are the most competitive for mba’s.
stern: full ride, only program with a luxury marketing specialization so i’m excited about a lot of the classes, particularly doing business in italy, and it’s in nyc (so i can do internships during the year too, not just during the summer).
booth: my original dream bschool. when I first started looking into the mba, this was the school i wanted to go to and i really enjoyed my visit there. the building is beautiful, the people are nice, the administration is extremely well-run, and chicago is my favorite american city…have kind of always wanted to live there. some might question the fit for me before because it’s such a quantitative program but i think that’ll be good for me since i want to be really well-rounded.
ross: was extremely impressed during super saturday. the building is probably one of the newest and most beautiful, and the people are just fantastic–can’t be beat. i initially wanted an urban campus because i wanted to be in a city, but after visitng, i can see how nice a college town can be. the administration also seems really good…i liked how transparent the process was and how friendly the adcom was. i think map is also amazing and wish it was part of every school’s curriculum. ross went from being my “safety” school to quite possibly one of my favorites. and i also have a significant scholarship.
ucla also ended up giving me some money after i completed my fafsa…but it’s such a tiny amount (compared to my other scholarships and the cost of an mba) that it didn’t make a difference and isn’t even worth updating the chart in my other post.
and this may sound silly but i’m really tempted by the pre-mba student-led trips at ross and booth (m-trek, random walks). i’m really sad stern doesn’t have anything similar…i know i can just travel on my own, or organize a trip myself…but i don’t feel like it’s really the same. feels like a really great way to bond with the 2nd years and your future classmates.
and i know a lot of people will be quick to say that prestige/ranking’s more important and that i can make up my loss at a higher ranked school since i should have a higher salary when i graduate. but let me preface this by saying, if i do go into luxury goods/retail…it’s one of the lowest paid industries for mbas. and i currently don’t make much money and have pretty much nothing saved for business school and am financing everything through loans after i sell off my car.
since stern and ross’ admit weekends were at the same time (i think a lot of the top schools have their admit weekends the same 2 weekends, which sucks), i chose to go to stern’s’…and i also decided to attend booth’s. it was a really tiring 2 weeks as i flew across the country twice and they keep you really busy during the time you’re there. even though i really like ross, i had pretty much decided it was between stern and booth.
admit weekends at both were really great…and i doubt anyone would have a bad experience at any that they go to because the school’s trying to impress you, unless maybe your future classmates are all douches. generally speaking, booth’s was more informative…i thought the budgeting for your mba panel and housing tours were really helpful for the incoming class. one of my biggest concerns was whether i’d be able to get the kind of nontraditional job i wanted at booth. after talking to current students, alumni, and career services, i was finally convinced last weekend that i could. i think booth’s career services center is among the best in the world. and as much as i liked booth, i didn’t think i could give up another great opportunity at stern when such a large amount of money was being thrown my way…i definitely would take stern over no money at booth. i decided that i wouldn’t go to booth for anything less than half tuition.
on the day of stern’s deposit deadline, i heard from booth…they were offering me money! but it was less than half…so i was really conflicted; as if i wasn’t confused enough, right? after almost missing my stern deposit deadline, i’ve finally decided where i’m going…
in this fall, this is very tough, in this fall i’m going to take my talents to new york city and join the STERN CLASS OF 2014!!!