Hello WSO, I am working through this decision and hoping you guys can offer another perspective.
I was fortunate enough to get round 1 offers from CBS and HBS. My background is engineering undergraduate and 4 years in energy project management. I am looking to transition to an energy fund as my primary goal, and energy investment banking as a backup.
Right now my decision criteria is along these four areas.
- Network / Brand - Common thinking is HBS has the advantage. However, linkedin searches tell me CBS is also very strong in buyside and more concentrated in NYC (where I will likely end up) than HBS which is far more international.
- Course offerings - About equal, both have a couple of courses specifically in my area of interest. HBS has more of a developing-country focus in the courses, in line with their program as a whole.
- Course content for finance fundamentals - I am an engineer and have no finance training. My read is that CBS courses would offer me a stronger foundation in finance whereas HBS is dogmatic about case method which could reduce its effectiveness. I might need to do more independent interview preparation at HBS.
- Location / Networking - I have researched funds that I am interested in, and many are headquartered in NYC. Networking will be paramount for me to achieve my goals. I feel like at HBS I will be commuting to NYC every weekend to network. CBS also offers the chance for a school-year internship which would be extremely helpful as someone switching into finance.
One of my fundamental questions is - will HBS unlock any jobs that would otherwise not be available from CBS (given equal independent preparation for interviews and networking). If the answer is no, then that would point me to CBS due to location.
Thanks for the read and any insight.