Booth vs. Kellogg for MBA


I'm currently in the fortunate position to have been accepted to Booth with a significant scholarship and also Kellogg with some money as well. I'm looking to transition into Private Equity either in the Midwest or in the Southern US. Currently have a background in Restructuring/Transaction Advisory (think Alvarez & Marsal, FTI, Alix Partners) Which school would be the better fit given my background and goals? 

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Comments (11)

  • Business School in PE - LBOs
Apr 11, 2021 - 11:08pm

Both place into Chicago MM PE as well as MM PE in other cities in the midwest/South. Kellogg does well in Dallas (I've seen people at Insight, Gauge, Kainos) and I've seen people at some firms in Austin / Denver as well (Peak Rock, Platte River to name a couple).

That said, I would go with Booth given more scholarship $$. Either way, it will be very difficult to make the switch without pre-MBA PE experience. What's your backup plan?

Apr 11, 2021 - 11:28pm

Thanks for your note. Totally understand that PE with no pre-MBA experience is extremely difficult so my current backup plan is corporate development but would also consider corporate finance roles as well if the comp was solid and I liked the culture and company. To your point about Kellogg seeming to place people in Dallas, do you have any knowledge about other southern cities like Atlanta or Charlotte?

I'm considering IB as well, but am starting to get up there in age and work life balance is becoming more important as I'm wanting to spend more time with my family, partner, etc. 

  • Business School in PE - LBOs
Apr 12, 2021 - 12:10am

Pamlico in Charlotte has a few people from Kellogg and one from Booth too. I remember looking into PE in Charlotte a while back and it seemed like a lot of the firms recruit from Wharton/HBS with a few Fuqua people here and there. I'm not super familiar with Atlanta's PE scene, other than Roark Capital. 

It's possible to make the switch with your background - I would say targeting Chicago while being open to other cities will maximize your chances. Booth/Kellogg both have PE/VC lab, so you can intern with firms in Chicago during the school year. 

If you choose the IB route, Booth is one of the best, but it's not that hard to get IB from Kellogg or any top school for that matter. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Apr 29, 2021 - 11:22pm

Lol, there are very few post-MBA corp dev roles and they still usually require experience in either banking, PE or consulting. Would not consider that a back up plan.

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  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Apr 30, 2021 - 10:41am

Really, it's kind of a toss up. The opportunities for what you want are about the same, the schools are both great and on par, and it sounds like Booth is giving you a little extra money, which is nice. This is one of the times when it really does come down to culture and the location that you feel better about for two years; Evanston and downtown Chicago where most Booth students live are fairly different experiences.

Apr 30, 2021 - 11:00am

Definitely would be comparing the costs and cultural differences. If the scholarship variation isn't the deciding factor, do some research on the different environments. Education and recruiting are going to be the same. Northwestern is more laid back, consulting, marketing, writing poetry in nature while doing yoga. UChicago is hard-core knitty-gritty down to the numbers, studying a dictionary in the castle library surrounded by nerds who jerk off to scientific journals. 

exaggerated for comedic effect

  • Summer Associate in IB-M&A
Apr 30, 2021 - 12:37pm

Current student at one of these schools. I really think you should focus on the experience at this point. Do you want to live in the Loop and have a city experience with bars/clubs, or go back to a collegiate atmosphere in Evanston where you can day drink beers at a house party? Also, I will say that the stereotypes are exactly that, over-generalizations (for example, you will find outgoing party people at both schools). However, I have noticed a difference with the students on average and it matches up with the stereotypes pretty well. 

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