Vandy JD/MBA vs. Michigan JD vs. Yale MBA

I posted some of this already in a Q&A thread, but I felt it merited standing as its own topic. Here goes:

I'm starting law school in the fall, and would like to enter into management consulting after graduation for several years, preferably MBB. The focus on pure strategy instead of also on operations is not only more appealing, but I think it will be more valuable when I exit to expand our companies. Worked full-time through undergraduate. ACT was 34 with public undergraduate triple major in finance, biological sciences, and psychology. GMAT was 770 with grad school at Columbia, MS in industrial engineering and operations research and concentration in logistics and supply chain optimization. Eagle Scout. Mensa. Active Mason and Shriner. Plenty of community leadership if it even matters.

I'm now VP and CFO of a chemical company. Involved in management of multiple companies that my family owns across various industries. Several personal real estate development projects. Love to use great leadership experience for 5+ years to spend some time at MBB after law/business school.

Also, I had a professor that's been an expert consultant at McKinsey for the past decade who will be providing a recommendation for that application. I assume that stuff makes a big difference in securing an interview spot?

I'm living in the South and planning on returning here. The possible problem is that the number of target schools here are significantly less, and the sheer number of offices is just less. Does anyone know if there is a regional component to recruiting regarding business school preference? As things stand for me, I'm trying to decide between going to a higher ranked school in the northeast or a lower one in the south. A higher ranked one might recruit stronger (depending on whether there is a regional component), but one in the South would develop valuable stronger ties where I want to end up living.

Options are as follows:

Vanderbilt JD/MBA - full tuition MBA scholarship with the possibility for strong networking at high levels. Dean is on board with helping me work with the Governor's Office and the Committee for Economic and Community Development during the academic year (side note--Tennessee' ECD Commissioner is a 7-year BCG alum who now owns a private equity company). Strong placement with Deloitte S&O, but that's not quite the same as pure strategy consulting. Placed at McKinsey and BCG this past year. Among the Big 3, only Bain does OCI any more (for some reason McKinsey stopped coming in 2007).

Michigan JD - can't say enough good things about the school. Uncomfortable with how strong the alumni network is (or isn't) in the South. Full MBB OCI.

Yale MBA - great program. Strong recruiting. It's Yale, but I need the JD (working in a regulated industry and looking for acquisitions solidified this need. Pleeease, no flaming on this point.). Also, like Michigan, I'm uncomfortable with how strong the alumni network is here in the South. Full MBB OCI.

Remember, I will end up in the South. It's long term benefits vs. short term ones.

Questions? Thoughts?

Thanks!

Comments (34)

May 7, 2013 - 1:05am
Teddy Roosevelt, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Damn, you make me feel like a real underachiever. lol

Please don't quote Patrick Bateman.

May 7, 2013 - 1:18am
Dnl2111, what's your opinion? Comment below:
DBCooper:

Damn, you make me feel like a real underachiever. lol

Ha! Thanks? Seems like there's not shortage of people on here with "terrible" dilemmas. It's been an exciting few years. You know the best part? Getting married. It was five years this Friday, and she's still there every morning when I wake up! The older I get, the faster time flies by...and the older I feel. LOL.

Love the avatar man!

May 7, 2013 - 2:20am
Dnl2111, what's your opinion? Comment below:
billnyethescienceguy:

It sounds to me like you've already made up your mind and just want everyone to confirm that Vandy is the right choice for you.

I was afraid it would come out like that. It's true that I am leaning toward Vandy, but I meant more to simply emphasize I'm not wanting to make a life in NYC or another large NE metropolis. I wrote more about it because the fact is I just know more about it.

Let's split the difference and call it one part wondering what an arguably more objective person thinks will provide the best blend of short- and long-term benefits and one part wanting to make sure going to Vandy isn't a misstep. Does that sound better?

May 7, 2013 - 2:47am
billnyethescienceguy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Vandy is not a misstep. You'll clearly thrive there. All of your choices are good, so if you can't find a great reason to go against your gut, then go with it.

May 7, 2013 - 2:55am
Dnl2111, what's your opinion? Comment below:
billnyethescienceguy:

Vandy is not a misstep. You'll clearly thrive there. All of your choices are good, so if you can't find a great reason to go against your gut, then go with it.

Appreciate the input Mr. Bill. Truly.

In the short-term future, think it would damn near rule out MBB? I can't figure out if it's that southern MBB offices still prefer other schools or if it's self-selection since Deloitte offers the easiest path (2 offices in the metro area).

Best Response
May 7, 2013 - 1:54pm
kingfalcon, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Dnl2111:
billnyethescienceguy:

Vandy is not a misstep. You'll clearly thrive there. All of your choices are good, so if you can't find a great reason to go against your gut, then go with it.

Appreciate the input Mr. Bill. Truly.

In the short-term future, think it would damn near rule out MBB? I can't figure out if it's that southern MBB offices still prefer other schools or if it's self-selection since Deloitte offers the easiest path (2 offices in the metro area).

I know about Atlanta of course, but where else is Deloitte S&O in the South?
May 7, 2013 - 2:09am
Hodor, what's your opinion? Comment below:

OP, are you sure about the MBB having OCI for Michigan JD? Was accepted this spring but didn't see anything indicating that while doing due diligence.

May 7, 2013 - 2:15am
Dnl2111, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Mantis Toboggan:

OP, are you sure about the MBB having OCI for Michigan JD? Was accepted this spring but didn't see anything indicating that while doing due diligence.

It's what the head of their Career Services told me. She sent an email with details about an upcoming McKinsey, some lunch with an associate, but I can't find the email on my stupid iPhone. I talked with a JD/MBA there at the Admitted Students weekend who said the same thing. If I'm wrong, then I'm blaming it on them! Joking...a little anyway.

May 7, 2013 - 2:26am
Hodor, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Dnl2111:
Mantis Toboggan:

OP, are you sure about the MBB having OCI for Michigan JD? Was accepted this spring but didn't see anything indicating that while doing due diligence.

It's what the head of their Career Services told me. She sent an email with details about an upcoming McKinsey, some lunch with an associate, but I can't find the email on my stupid iPhone. I talked with a JD/MBA there at the Admitted Students weekend who said the same thing. If I'm wrong, then I'm blaming it on them! Joking...a little anyway.

I'm wondering if the JD/MBA and career services rep meant crashing the Ross OCI. At the NYU asw people talked about going the MBB route, but when I looked into it some more it turns out only Mckinsey has JD OCI, and for BB you gonna invade Stern. From what I've heard HLS and SLS are the only ones with full MBB recruiting.

May 8, 2013 - 10:18am
devildog2067, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Mantis Toboggan:

OP, are you sure about the MBB having OCI for Michigan JD? Was accepted this spring but didn't see anything indicating that while doing due diligence.

I am at an MBB firm, and I can confirm that I personally have gone to Ann Arbor to do OCI for our advanced degree program. It was physically in Ross, but it was all PhD/JD/MD people that we talked/presented to.

There is no OCI specifically for JDs in the sense that we don't come to the law school and I think that's true across the firms.

May 8, 2013 - 11:16am
Hodor, what's your opinion? Comment below:
devildog2067:
Mantis Toboggan:

OP, are you sure about the MBB having OCI for Michigan JD? Was accepted this spring but didn't see anything indicating that while doing due diligence.

I am at an MBB firm, and I can confirm that I personally have gone to Ann Arbor to do OCI for our advanced degree program. It was physically in Ross, but it was all PhD/JD/MD people that we talked/presented to.

There is no OCI specifically for JDs in the sense that we don't come to the law school and I think that's true across the firms.

Well, perhaps your firm doesn't go directly to law schools, but others do. I have talked with 2Ls and 3Ls to confirm that some MBB travel to the law school specifically to recruit and interview JDs (for example: www.mckinsey DOT com/careers/apply/university_recruiting/schools/apd/nyu_law_school, sorry can't post link proper bc/ of spam monitor).

With regards to the advanced degree program you refer to, I was in a grad program where several friends participated in such an OCI. It was very well known that this wasn't a firm priority, only 1-2 get picked from the entire pool every year, and you are competing against folks in every advanced degree program on campus. One year the only person mckinsey hired through this was a surgeon in his final years of residency.

My point being that it is possible to land MBB through this way, but your odds are substantially better going through a place where the firms are specifically looking for you. Since OP's endgame is consulting, think he ought to be weary (esp since law school career offices are often worse than used car salesmen).

May 7, 2013 - 2:21am
hbear, what's your opinion? Comment below:

damn..pretty amazing....stuff quick question: why not UT Austin? McComb is respected as well as its JD program is in T14

hello.
May 7, 2013 - 2:30am
Dnl2111, what's your opinion? Comment below:
hbear:

damn..pretty amazing....stuff
quick question: why not UT Austin?
McComb is respected as well as its JD program is in T14

Definitely nothing wrong with the Longhorns. I didn't consider UT Austin because they're both ranked 15 this year, but with Vanderbilt I wouldn't have to get on a plane for holidays.

May 7, 2013 - 12:13pm
freroht, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Your resume seems pretty good. If you go to Vandy 770 GMAT plus your work experience will land you an interview at McKinsey and BCG (not sure for Bain since they are pickier about school choices).

That said, I think your background is impressive enough to get interviews out of any Business Schools.

May 7, 2013 - 1:01pm
abacab, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'd suggest Michigan. You don't need that strong of a local network to make your way back to South if the firm recruits on campus. Atlanta, Dallas, etc. are less competitive offices anyway.

And Michigan will give you a larger network thru undergrads, MBAs, etc. if that can be used. I actually don't know why you didn't apply for JD/MBA there. You should have a chat with The programs even if its kind of late.

Above doesn't take Vandy scholarship in consideration. Don't put Mensa, Mason and Shriner in resume. There is no part in the application process for any firm where you can upload recommendation letters. Most you can ask for is them to connect you with someone involved in recruiting now.

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May 7, 2013 - 1:05pm
Ipso facto, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I believe Countryunderdog (?) is in a JD/MBA program and is from the south (?). He'd probably have some insight here.

May 8, 2013 - 8:49am
CountryUnderdog, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Ipso facto:

I believe Countryunderdog (?) is in a JD/MBA program and is from the south (?). He'd probably have some insight here.

Yes I am. Will post a reply soon -- tagging so I can find this later -- sorry for delay. Exams.

"They are all former investment bankers that were laid off in the economic collapse that Nancy Pelosi caused. They have no marketable skills, but by God they work hard."
May 10, 2013 - 6:14pm
Dnl2111, what's your opinion? Comment below:
CountryUnderdog:
Ipso facto:

I believe Countryunderdog (?) is in a JD/MBA program and is from the south (?). He'd probably have some insight here.

Yes I am. Will post a reply soon -- tagging so I can find this later -- sorry for delay. Exams.

Awesome! Thanks for thinking of that guy for me, Ipsi Facto.

May 7, 2013 - 1:13pm
CornTrader, what's your opinion? Comment below:

OP--Congrats on your accomplishments. Impressive stuff.

I know you didn't want to open this up for debate but I have to ask: Why law school? Given your experience, test scores, and academic background you appear to be a shoe-in for M7 business schools. I respect that you have a very concrete plan and vision for your career and I am not looking to cast doubt on anything you have planned. I'm just curious as to why you see law school as a "need" particularly given the current environment for law graduates.

Also, does Duke have a dual MBA/JD? Seems to fit your academic and geographic needs.

May 7, 2013 - 1:50pm
Dnl2111, what's your opinion? Comment below:
CornTrader:

OP--Congrats on your accomplishments. Impressive stuff.

I know you didn't want to open this up for debate but I have to ask: Why law school? Given your experience, test scores, and academic background you appear to be a shoe-in for M7 business schools. I respect that you have a very concrete plan and vision for your career and I am not looking to cast doubt on anything you have planned. I'm just curious as to why you see law school as a "need" particularly given the current environment for law graduates.

Also, does Duke have a dual MBA/JD? Seems to fit your academic and geographic needs.

Doesn't sound like casting doubt at all Corn! I figured the question about law school would come up. Two reasons (or three, sort of). One, our chemical company has reached the point where acquisitions is a more effective way to grow, and it would be a great asset to be able understand and have an intelligent conversation about this and other transactional topics. Two, (mind you this is specific to my situation, so don't everybody get offended!) most of the hard skills I've seen taught in MBA programs were covered in grad school at Columbia (I even had several great business school professors), so the extra $100,000 for an MBA seemed slightly redundant. I'm aware going to law school for business is right out of the gate isn't the traditional route. From law schools I've spoken with, around 1/3 of their graduates end up away from the law after maybe a decade. So I'm aware of the current legal environment, but I don't want to practice law anyway. Also, I think the structured analytical skill set you leave law school with provides a different view of business than business school does. If I could do both and not pay for it, I'm fine with a little redundancy and viewing things from both school's perspectives.

Duke does have a dual MBA/JD, but the law school sent a big fat rejection letter just a few weeks ago.

Abacab - The network isn't to find a job and make my way back to the South. I'll be going back to a family business. I'm wanting a network for possible business partners in the South. Plus, regardless of whether or not Atlanta and Dallas are competitive (you mean performing lower?), I am wanting to live in the South. I like it here. It's warm. They race horses. I can own a gun. LOL. I didn't apply for JD/MBA there because of the 57 credits required for an MBA, you could do a JD and still pick from 12 credits, not including courses cross-listed with the business school and law school. Also, what did you mean by "Above doesn't take Vandy scholarship in consideration?" No extracurricular stuff showing "well roundedness?" Thanks.

Ipso facto - I've messaged Countryunderdog. Thanks for the suggestion. I'm hoping he'll join in on this conversation.

May 7, 2013 - 2:14pm
abacab, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I meant recruiting for MBB in Atlanta/Dallas is apparently easier. Nothing wrong with the south, I am actually from down here, still here and prefer to drive everywhere. I figured if MBB is your goal, JD/MBA would give a better shot, and even from networking side for family business, meeting more 'business people' would help. Also keep in consideration that not everyone from Ross will move to south, but they might be in a stronger position than Vandy MBA guys if they do move.

The scholarship reference was to me suggesting picking Michigan over Vandy, but I don't know how much $150K is worth to you to tip it one way or another. If your family has a business doing well, probably doesn't matter. Also, just don't put Mensa or Mason as extracurricular/additional information. It's tacky. Horse racing or UT Football/Vol Navy is more appropriate.

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May 7, 2013 - 4:40pm
Dnl2111, what's your opinion? Comment below:
abacab:

I meant recruiting for MBB in Atlanta/Dallas is apparently easier. Nothing wrong with the south, I am actually from down here, still here and prefer to drive everywhere. I figured if MBB is your goal, JD/MBA would give a better shot, and even from networking side for family business, meeting more 'business people' would help. Also keep in consideration that not everyone from Ross will move to south, but they might be in a stronger position than Vandy MBA guys if they do move.

The scholarship reference was to me suggesting picking Michigan over Vandy, but I don't know how much $150K is worth to you to tip it one way or another. If your family has a business doing well, probably doesn't matter. Also, just don't put Mensa or Mason as extracurricular/additional information. It's tacky. Horse racing or UT Football/Vol Navy is more appropriate.

Oooh! Then I think I sounded kind of rude about the less competitive part. Sorry about that man. Good to hear that recruiting for the Atlanta/Dallas offices is easier. I'm assuming that means coming from Vandy would be easier, especially with the JD/MBA? Any clue if Atlanta/Dallas offices are going to recruit more from the South anyway? Thought it might be due to people not from here wanting to stay in the commercial/industrial centers of the northeast and people who are from here networking better down here.

^I just realized after I said that how separate I view parts of the country!

Also, no idea why being a Mason is tacky. 14 Presidents, 18 Vice Presidents, and 20 some-odd Supreme Court Justices. I'm thinking (no offense) you must have some misconceptions about what freemasonry is and what we do (of course, that might be a common issue worth noting). Our lodge does tons of volunteer work around the community, too much to name individually, plus raises money for the Shriners' hospitals for burned children and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

May 7, 2013 - 3:00pm
abacab, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I just know more Duke/UNC/Emory, etc. kids go to Atlanta or Dallas vs. other offices for MBB within the US. Not sure if it will make it easier for Vandy. You just need to look at specific placements (how many goes each year, how competitive, etc.) from the specific school. Put it this way, even though Vandy is like the best school in SEC, you are still coming behind Duke, UVa, UNC, Emory, Texas, etc. as far as MBA is concerned. I am not sure exactly how big the classes are at those southern offices, but they are not huge (compared to NYC/Boston) and I'll be surprised if they are holding too many spots for Vandy.

Talk with some first year students at Vandy MBA (and probably JD) to get a feel for how recruiting for consulting is and who are the major players, etc.

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May 9, 2013 - 10:13am
Dnl2111, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Got to thinking, and this kept bugging me. It's not the focus of this thread, but masonry isn't some hobby like horse racing or UT football. It's an amazingly charitable organization with some of the best men I've known. To call it tacky is not only offensive, it also shows how completely oblivious you are about what it is and how philanthropic lodges are. Now let me climb down off my soapbox...

Are there other pure strategy firms that would be good to consider in addition to MBB? They obviously wouldn't have quite the same prestige, but I'm thinking in terms of the engagements.

May 9, 2013 - 10:23am
abacab, what's your opinion? Comment below:

My views on masons might be one sided. Have few very close friends who are masons and they just keep it very down low. Tacky might be the wrong word to use it (putting Mensa is), but yeah just don't see it as resume item.

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May 16, 2013 - 11:22am
MiRaj, what's your opinion? Comment below:

At the graduate level, my expereince is that it's pretty impossible to predict how someone will perform in consulting interviews without having met them at least (and probably without having done a case with them). Your resume suggests that you'll get interviews, but beyond that I would be pretty dubious of anyone who says "oh yeah, with that resume you're a shoe-in."

Beyond that I've seen that firms hire about half their overall class as interns; so I think it's probably justifiable to say that it's a bit harder to land an internship than a full-time positions, but it's not significantly easier the sec go 'round.

Hope this helps.

Oct 7, 2014 - 2:31am
FinanceGuy15, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Oct 7, 2014 - 2:58am
notthehospitalER, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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