Booth vs McCombs for O&G finance/consulting

luckystriker's picture
Rank: Chimp | 14

Long time lurker, first time poster. I was accepted to Booth (no $), Tuck ($) and McCombs ($$$) and I am still trying to make a decision on the school I should attend next year. My post-MBA goal is to work in Houston, either in O&G IB (indifferent between BB and boutiques) or in management consulting (MBB, Booz, Deloitte).

I am currently working in HY DCM for a 2nd tier bank in terms of reputation but 1st tier bank in terms of DCM league table (large European bank doing relatively well compared to peers).

I used to be strongly leaning towards McCombs because of the much lower price tag ($80k less debt is a lot of money) and the Texas location. Though I am afraid the Booth brand trumps McCombs' regional advantage for recruiting. Adding Booth on my resume could be nice, especially in the long term if I want to go back to my home country (in South America) or start a business. I also heard mixed things about being an international student at McCombs, especially for recruiting.

Comments (35)

Mar 5, 2013

I'd suggest reading through this thread on GMATClub: http://gmatclub.com/forum/booth-vs-yale-som-vs-mcc... . The person on there had a very similar dilemma and some great perspectives were shared.

Mar 5, 2013

So Tuck and Booth are better than McCombs overall, but if your goal is to work in Houston (or anywhere in Texas) McCombs will have the same amount of name recognition, and a stronger alumni network. As far as location of the schools, I grew up in Texas and went to UChicago undergrad and now work in Chi, and you really can't go wrong choosing between Austin and Chicago.

If you are that set on working in Houston in O&G andMcCombs is that much cheaper, then I think that is the smart decision.

I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

Mar 5, 2013

This is an interesting topic, I'll be following.

Mar 5, 2013

I am applying this summer for Fall 2014. I plan on possibly pursing energy post-mba and have researched this myself. What i have found is several M7s (including Booth and Wharton) have a fairly well represented alum base in energy. IMO, I think Booth would be the better choice given its rankings and prestige. If you knew 100% you wanted to stay in Texas and 100% you wanted to stay in energy, I would say it would be a push, but you never know where life may lead geographically and career wise. Either way, both good schools. Best of luck.

Mar 5, 2013

Hard hard decission.

If you plan Oil & Gas, I don't think it makes such a difference (considering the difference in tuition). For MBB all the way Booth/Tuck. In terms of returning to Latin America, I assume by the time you will have quite a lot of post-graduation experience, so even if Booth has an advantage, it will be somehow dilluted.

Ask yourself what do $80,000 + interest mean to you. Because everyone avoids it... but $80k in debt is very different if your parents are doctors in Sao Paulo (and make that in a few months) or average middle class in Buenos Aires and that is their income for 3 years. $80k means very different things to different people. Just don't rush into this "a Top MBA is worth at any price". It is not.

Also, what do you plan to do after graduation other than work? If you want to have kids or buy a house... having a $1,000 debt service for years is going to be a major burden.... in Houston I am sure you can buy or rent nice houses with lower monthly payments.

Mar 5, 2013
FreezingEmail:

Hard hard decission.

If you plan Oil & Gas, I don't think it makes such a difference (considering the difference in tuition). For MBB all the way Booth/Tuck. In terms of returning to Latin America, I assume by the time you will have quite a lot of post-graduation experience, so even if Booth has an advantage, it will be somehow dilluted.

Ask yourself what do $80,000 + interest mean to you. Because everyone avoids it... but $80k in debt is very different if your parents are doctors in Sao Paulo (and make that in a few months) or average middle class in Buenos Aires and that is their income for 3 years. $80k means very different things to different people. Just don't rush into this "a Top MBA is worth at any price". It is not.

Also, what do you plan to do after graduation other than work? If you want to have kids or buy a house... having a $1,000 debt service for years is going to be a major burden.... in Houston I am sure you can buy or rent nice houses with lower monthly payments.

Parents are average middle class in my home country, i.e. I am not one of those Brazilian kids with filthy rich parents paying for business school tuition + cost of living including weekends to snowboard in Aspen and all :) In this sense money is a factor in my decision but if Booth positions me much better to get a good job then I will be willing to fork the extra $80k out.

I know it's messed up and I should go to b-school for the academics but I am also thinking: I could live in Austin for 2 years, enjoy the sun, girls, bars and sports and get a great IB job in Houston. I would repay my loan in less than 2 years and I could even spend much more money than if I go to Booth on travels and having fun. But then rationally I know that Booth is most likely the best choice.

Mar 5, 2013
luckystriker:
FreezingEmail:

Hard hard decission.

If you plan Oil & Gas, I don't think it makes such a difference (considering the difference in tuition). For MBB all the way Booth/Tuck. In terms of returning to Latin America, I assume by the time you will have quite a lot of post-graduation experience, so even if Booth has an advantage, it will be somehow dilluted.

Ask yourself what do $80,000 + interest mean to you. Because everyone avoids it... but $80k in debt is very different if your parents are doctors in Sao Paulo (and make that in a few months) or average middle class in Buenos Aires and that is their income for 3 years. $80k means very different things to different people. Just don't rush into this "a Top MBA is worth at any price". It is not.

Also, what do you plan to do after graduation other than work? If you want to have kids or buy a house... having a $1,000 debt service for years is going to be a major burden.... in Houston I am sure you can buy or rent nice houses with lower monthly payments.

Parents are average middle class in my home country, i.e. I am not one of those Brazilian kids with filthy rich parents paying for business school tuition + cost of living including weekends to snowboard in Aspen and all :) In this sense money is a factor in my decision but if Booth positions me much better to get a good job then I will be willing to fork the extra $80k out.

I know it's messed up and I should go to b-school for the academics but I am also thinking: I could live in Austin for 2 years, enjoy the sun, girls, bars and sports and get a great IB job in Houston. I would repay my loan in less than 2 years and I could even spend much more money than if I go to Booth on travels and having fun. But then rationally I know that Booth is most likely the best choice.

Austin women for two years... DONE AND DONE for me

Mar 5, 2013
luckystriker:
FreezingEmail:

Hard hard decission.

If you plan Oil & Gas, I don't think it makes such a difference (considering the difference in tuition). For MBB all the way Booth/Tuck. In terms of returning to Latin America, I assume by the time you will have quite a lot of post-graduation experience, so even if Booth has an advantage, it will be somehow dilluted.

Ask yourself what do $80,000 + interest mean to you. Because everyone avoids it... but $80k in debt is very different if your parents are doctors in Sao Paulo (and make that in a few months) or average middle class in Buenos Aires and that is their income for 3 years. $80k means very different things to different people. Just don't rush into this "a Top MBA is worth at any price". It is not.

Also, what do you plan to do after graduation other than work? If you want to have kids or buy a house... having a $1,000 debt service for years is going to be a major burden.... in Houston I am sure you can buy or rent nice houses with lower monthly payments.

Parents are average middle class in my home country, i.e. I am not one of those Brazilian kids with filthy rich parents paying for business school tuition + cost of living including weekends to snowboard in Aspen and all :) In this sense money is a factor in my decision but if Booth positions me much better to get a good job then I will be willing to fork the extra $80k out.

I know it's messed up and I should go to b-school for the academics but I am also thinking: I could live in Austin for 2 years, enjoy the sun, girls, bars and sports and get a great IB job in Houston. I would repay my loan in less than 2 years and I could even spend much more money than if I go to Booth on travels and having fun. But then rationally I know that Booth is most likely the best choice.

What makes you think Austin is so exciting for somebody of Latin American roots? We are talking about Texas, not South Florida. Most women in Texas are pretty lame/ignorant. Are you ready to be referred to as "Mexican"? I would argue Houston is a lot better than Austin for an international, and that says it all. You will also have an unfair battle in terms of recruiting. Most I-banks in Houston are allergic to internationals.

Mar 5, 2013

I think it depends on what you want to do. If you want to work for an actual oil company, I think McCombs is the best choice as there will be a significant amount more alumni working in high positions for these companies. However, if you want to go consulting, I would say Booth/Tuck is the better choice for the same reasons. Finally, if you want to go IB, it probably doesn't matter. All this being said, I think you will most likely be able to get a great job in Houston no matter what the school. Just my thoughts, good luck.

Mar 5, 2013

both send people to Houston for banking. I think Intrl have a hard time at most schools if you all face the same issues with work visa, language skills etc etc

meaning if you have a hard time writing and speaking english but rock star stats to get into a good mba program... does not matter if HBS, UT or U of Phx is on your resume. you will face the same battle in recruiting

Mar 5, 2013
monty09:

both send people to Houston for banking. I think Intrl have a hard time at most schools if you all face the same issues with work visa, language skills etc etc

meaning if you have a hard time writing and speaking english but rock star stats to get into a good mba program... does not matter if HBS, UT or U of Phx is on your resume. you will face the same battle in recruiting

I went to school in the UK and have been working in the US for the past year so I don't think language skills will be an issue. Also I am a quite social person and I am not an 'awkward foreigner'. The work visa though will definitely be an issue and it's a reason I worry about McCombs as they don't see to be extremely supportive of internationals.

Mar 5, 2013
luckystriker:
monty09:

both send people to Houston for banking. I think Intrl have a hard time at most schools if you all face the same issues with work visa, language skills etc etc

meaning if you have a hard time writing and speaking english but rock star stats to get into a good mba program... does not matter if HBS, UT or U of Phx is on your resume. you will face the same battle in recruiting

I went to school in the UK and have been working in the US for the past year so I don't think language skills will be an issue. Also I am a quite social person and I am not an 'awkward foreigner'. The work visa though will definitely be an issue and it's a reason I worry about McCombs as they don't see to be extremely supportive of internationals.

great for you but I have met my fair share of students who had a hard time getting by a first round phone interview

Mar 5, 2013

For O&G IB:

1. UT
2. UC

For MBB:
1. UC
2. Tuck
3. UT

Hard to decide what you want to do (was in a similar position between consulting and IB entering MBA program), but if you want to take the safest choice, Chicago. If you are more certain about O&G IB, go McCombs, especially with the scholarship money.

Mar 5, 2013

Go to Booth. As mentioned previously, Internationals (even with very good professional background and language skills) struggle in recruiting from most schools for investment banking. A school like UT will only make it tougher (less spots = getting beat out by more US students). Not to mention the whole Texas culture thing (refer to Dutty Love's mega thread, it has some truth). At Booth, recruiters and alumni will be more open to the internationals, and if anything, you've not closed your other doors (e.g. NYC). And going to a place like Booth or Tuck won't be any worse for Energy banking. Still better schools, people know it, and I have met Booth alumni working at top energy groups in Houston.

Always go with a higher ranked school, especially when the gap is so wide (e.g. Top 5 vs. #20).

Mar 5, 2013
abacab:

Not to mention the whole Texas culture thing (refer to Dutty Love's mega thread, it has some truth).

What's the Texas culture thing? (I am just curious, never been to TX nor I remotely expect to work there)

Mar 5, 2013

I think he mentioned something like his coworkers emailed saying they couldn't see some girl he recommended go hunting with some CEO, etc. Can you see some European going to a UT-Oklahoma game with the alumni? Not to mention more conservative in general and it seem to have its quirks. Don't take it on face value. I've been to Tx and worked with a few from there, but not born and bred there.

Mar 6, 2013

What about being a "bigger fish in a smaller pond" at McCombs? Is it a risky bet to do for b-school?

Mar 6, 2013
luckystriker:

What about being a "bigger fish in a smaller pond" at McCombs? Is it a risky bet to do for b-school?

To some extent. EOD, there are going to be 10-20% (just a guess) big fish in any b school for whatever reason (e.g. maybe someone's gf is going to med school there or better place with family, or really fell for the scholarship, or fell thru the cracks in applications/applied too late). Also there might not be enough food in the pond.

Mar 6, 2013

Football tailgates will probably be a lot more fun at UT.

Mar 6, 2013
holla_back:

Football tailgates will probably be a lot more fun at UT.

He is Brazilian. Why would he care?

Mar 6, 2013
Ibracadabra:
holla_back:

Football tailgates will probably be a lot more fun at UT.

He is Brazilian. Why would he care?

Because Brazilians love futbol.

Mar 6, 2013
Ibracadabra:
holla_back:

Football tailgates will probably be a lot more fun at UT.

He is Brazilian. Why would he care?

Because it's fun for everyone; it doesn't really matter if you like football or not. Do you really think all of the international students just study on Saturday afternoons because all of the Americans are out having fun and they don't really understand the game? Am I not allowed to go to local soccer games when I'm abroad just because I'm American?

Mar 6, 2013

If you 100% want energy IBD do Texas, but if you want to keep your options open take something else. The Texas culture thing is true to an extent...but I think it's much more prevalent at the undergraduate level than at the associate level. Texas is "fratty" overall, and that translates to Houston banking culture. With that said though, I know a ton of foreign people in banking (myself included) that don't fit that 'mold' and found a place they fit in at.

In terms of international recruiting, from what I know it's not great at McCombs but if you're aiming for BB IBD it doesn't matter all that much. This is something you would want to call the international recruiting office about and discuss.

With all this said, Austin is amazing. The city is great, Texas is great, football is great, and the people here are relaxed and fun. Culture is important, so do take that into account.

Mar 6, 2013

Every Booth person who wanted IBD Houston got it, literally went something like 6 for 6 or something like that - you will not have a hard time if thats what you want to do and Booth opens more doors outside Energy IB if that matters.

All that said, if you are sure you want to do IBD Houston, I give the slight edge to McCombs, but only because the money.

Mar 7, 2013
Boothorbust:

Every Booth person who wanted IBD Houston got it, literally went something like 6 for 6 or something like that - you will not have a hard time if thats what you want to do and Booth opens more doors outside Energy IB if that matters.

All that said, if you are sure you want to do IBD Houston, I give the slight edge to McCombs, but only because the money.

6 for 6 is really impressive. Do you know about management consulting in Houston?

Mar 7, 2013
luckystriker:
Boothorbust:

Every Booth person who wanted IBD Houston got it, literally went something like 6 for 6 or something like that - you will not have a hard time if thats what you want to do and Booth opens more doors outside Energy IB if that matters.

All that said, if you are sure you want to do IBD Houston, I give the slight edge to McCombs, but only because the money.

6 for 6 is really impressive. Do you know about management consulting in Houston?

No idea, though I hear generally consulting was tougher than banking because of higher interest and/or more people recruiting for consulting who were only half committed.

Mar 7, 2013
Boothorbust:

Every Booth person who wanted IBD Houston got it, literally went something like 6 for 6 or something like that - you will not have a hard time if thats what you want to do and Booth opens more doors outside Energy IB if that matters.

All that said, if you are sure you want to do IBD Houston, I give the slight edge to McCombs, but only because the money.

Booth also did very well in s/t in Houston

Mar 11, 2013

In this fall I am going to take my talents to South Side and join Booth.

Mar 11, 2013
luckystriker:

In this fall I am going to take my talents to South Side and join Booth.

Congrats - good luck and happy to answer any questions!

Mar 12, 2013
luckystriker:

In this fall I am going to take my talents to South Side and join Booth.

Just an FYI, as great of a school is and as great of a city Chicago is, Hyde Park BLOWS.

I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

May 7, 2013

.

Mar 24, 2013

This is a clown question, Booth has a clear advantage over UT in every category. UT is great if you are a Texas born and bred cat who cannot leave the state for family reasons, but otherwise I would consider you a fool to pass on the top global finance school for a few bucks in financial aid. If saving money is your goal, you might as well look at the University of Phoenix as well, I hear they are well priced.

Mar 24, 2013
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Apr 18, 2013