College senior, accepted to GSB, Wharton but denied 2+2. Should I accept and not look back or wait to apply to HBS in 2-5 years?

I've read multiple assessments of HBS vs. GSB vs. Wharton across exit opportunities, school culture, brand, etc. Aiming for future in Asia, so increased brand name of HBS does come into play. Never experienced the west coast. Highly interested in VC and finance environment, but limited previous experience. Consulting-bound after college in MBB in US, though not likely for more than 5 years. Original long term plan was to facilitate growth for company in China, but have often been told, "don't close doors [to entrepreneurship, finance, options in US], you're just a college senior."

"Wait to apply" means retaking the GMAT, finishing this semester and next semester strong, and starting all over again on the application during work in 2-5 years. Happy to put in this effort if HBS is truly "the answer."

Any thoughts? Thanks for any and all advice.

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Comments (12)

Dec 14, 2012 - 5:11am

If you're going to Asia, at least in China IMO, nothing trumps Harvard. You will have people struggling to learn how to pronounce Wharton and C-Tan-Fud is always trumped by Harvard. Imagine people in really rural villages with limited mechanization still worshiping Harvard like it's the second coming of Christ.

Dec 14, 2012 - 12:34pm

byucko:
If you're going to Asia, at least in China IMO, nothing trumps Harvard. You will have people struggling to learn how to pronounce Wharton and C-Tan-Fud is always trumped by Harvard. Imagine people in really rural villages with limited mechanization still worshiping Harvard like it's the second coming of Christ.

@byucko - Good to know. Thanks for the (reasonably exaggerated) advice. Though, could you argue that in 5 years this will be different, ie when I leave bschool in 2017?

Dec 14, 2012 - 5:49am

GSB now vs. Harvard potentially in the future is a decision you'll have to make. Wharton is stats focused obviously and you can get in again later on if you're headed to a great job like MBB with a strong, focused business interest as you have. I personally don't see the appeal of 2+2 as that takes out "getting an MBA" as a logical career option if you lose a job, don't get promoted, etc and it's better to have that rabbit in the hat of a second chance later on than it is to go to B school just after 2 years of working.

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Dec 14, 2012 - 8:02am

I would take Wharton or GSB now - without hesitation. By no means are you guaranteed admission to HBS after a few years work experience. In fact, if the next two years in your career don't go as well as you'd hoped, you aren't even guaranteed admission to Wharton or GSB again. The potential cost benefit of delaying doesn't make sense.

Dec 14, 2012 - 8:08am

HG14:
Question though: You stated that you have been admitted to Wharton, but their decision dates for round one isn't until December 20th. What's the deal?

One of your first lessons in believing everything people say on these forums.

This to all my hatin' folks seeing me getting guac right now..
Dec 14, 2012 - 11:05am

Cruncharoo:
HG14:
Question though: You stated that you have been admitted to Wharton, but their decision dates for round one isn't until December 20th. What's the deal?

yeppp

One of your first lessons in believing everything people say on these forums.

And so it goes
Dec 14, 2012 - 12:39pm

Cruncharoo:
HG14:
Question though: You stated that you have been admitted to Wharton, but their decision dates for round one isn't until December 20th. What's the deal?

One of your first lessons in believing everything people say on these forums.

@HG14, you have a good point and thanks for calling me out on it. I received a call from one of my interviewers yesterday on the Wharton adcom, who knew I was applying to 2+2 and GSB. I don't know this fellow personally, but he wanted to reach out early because HBS and GSB released their decisions on the 12th.

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