How are MBA Programs Outside the Top 14 Viewed?

How are MBA programs outside the top 14 but still in the top 25 viewed? Ex. UT-McCombs, UCLA Anderson, Georgetown McDonough etc.

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Comments (14)

Jan 20, 2019

This will depend significantly on the audience - namely desired location and industry. If you can provide more information about those two factors, you'll get better guidance.

Very generally speaking, they're going to be viewed as good but not great programs. They may give you a shot to get into the more prestigious industries and companies, but they'll send a smaller portion of the class than other programs. It's worth noting that there's a fairly wide disparity even within the few schools that you mentioned - Georgetown is generally viewed as in a lower tier than your other two (though again, this varies by geography and industry).

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Jan 21, 2019
IllumiNation:

This will depend significantly on the audience - namely desired location and industry. If you can provide more information about those two factors, you'll get better guidance.

Very generally speaking, they're going to be viewed as good but not great programs. They may give you a shot to get into the more prestigious industries and companies, but they'll send a smaller portion of the class than other programs. It's worth noting that there's a fairly wide disparity even within the few schools that you mentioned - Georgetown is generally viewed as in a lower tier than your other two (though again, this varies by geography and industry).

So a school like Georgetown would be viewed very favorably by say the defense industry, World Bank etc but hold little respect on Wall Street? Ditto for example with UT McCombs?

Jan 21, 2019

That's the right idea. To be sure, I'd check the employment reports for respective schools to get a sense of popular industries and locations. McCombs likely places well in energy/tech and Texas. Georgetown probably places well in DC, though the defense industry and World Bank would be somewhat unusual destinations for MBAs.

I'd caveat all of this by saying that hustle can overcome these factors - if you're willing to put in the time (network) and build a strong story, most programs can get you a shot in most industries.

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Jan 20, 2019

IllumiNation is right on. Where you're headed means a lot. If you want to go into international development or work for an organization like the World Bank, Georgetown could be excellent -- really top tier. Same with UT and the energy industry or UCLA and Entertainment and Media. Geography is also relevant even outside of these industries for these programs.

Where you're coming from counts too. What kind of salary are you currently making (and I don't expect you to post that) and what would you likely make in your desired industry and location attending the school you name? Are you likely to see ROI?

Finally, what schools are likely to accept you?. If M7 isn't likely to accept you, do you want to take the steps necessary to make yourself competitive at those programs? If not they aren't an option and you're really back to "Do I want to attend these programs that are excellent in certain regions and industries."

You might be interested in our free guide, Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One. .

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

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Jan 20, 2019
Linda Abraham:

IllumiNation is right on. Where your headed means a lot. If you want to go into international development or work for an organization like the World Bank, Georgetown could be excellent -- really top tier. Same with UT and the energy industry or UCLA and Entertainment and Media. Geography is also relevant even outside of these industries for these programs.

Where you're coming from counts too. What kind of salary are you currently making (and I don't expect you to post that) and what would you likely make in your desired industry and location attending the school you name? Are you likely to see ROI?

Finally, what schools are likely to accept you?. If M7 isn't likely to accept you, do you want to take the steps necessary to make yourself competitive at those programs? If not they aren't an option and you're really back to "Do I want to attend these programs that are excellent in certain regions and industries."

You might be interested in our free guide, Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One. .

My interests lay at the intersection of international business, political risk, combined with an increasing interest in the energy industry.

I just finished a masters in international relations at a target school and have an undergrad from an institution gaining increasing respect in industry. However, right now I am unemployed and job hunting so that is my number 1 priority, to be honest. I worked in politics/public affairs previously.

It's hard to say right now IMO, as I have been told I have a Resume/background that could be highly competitive for M7 schools. The places in that category that I have spoken to liked my background/academic profile. However, I still need to take the GMAT (and obtain a good score on it) and gain some more work experience to make anything viable.

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Jan 20, 2019

Hi Londinium,

It sounds like you are looking at appropriate schools. Also check out Duke .

I think you're number 1 priority (a job) is appropriate for multiple reasons, including MBA admissions. :-) I don't have a good sense of how long you've been working and certainly don't have the details to evaluate your experience. However, if you would like to discuss your situation, please contact me at the link below and reference this post.

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

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Jan 20, 2019
Linda Abraham:

Hi Londinium,

It sounds like you are looking at appropriate schools. Also check out Duke .

I think you're number 1 priority (a job) is appropriate for multiple reasons, including MBA admissions. :-) I don't have a good sense of how long you've been working and certainly don't have the details to evaluate your experience. However, if you would like to discuss your situation, please contact me at the link below and reference this post.

Thank you for the advice, Linda!

I have sent you an email using the link below.

Most Helpful
Jan 21, 2019

I get concerned when I see job hunters with one masters degree looking to add another, especially when the interest in the MBA seems to come primarily because the job search isn't going ideally (I'm not certain this is your reason, but you seem to imply it a bit).

You are clear on your topical interests, but do you have a clear idea of an actual job/role that you'd want, and on how an MBA will get you there?

Also, we've had a strong job market for several years running now. That makes me wonder if you might be envisioning a job that doesn't exist at your current level. If it doesn't exist for you now, it won't exist for you after an MBA. MBA programs enhance candidates' chances to get jobs that they were qualified for without an MBA. The program takes a door that's slightly open and opens it further; it does not open entire new doors that were previously shut.

Despite graduating from an M7 and getting a good job out of the program, I remain quite lukewarm on the MBA. My biggest criticism is that people very frequently get jobs that they would've gotten without the MBA, and the MBA program takes credit for the job which creates a false impression of the power of the degree.

In your particular case, I'm especially concerned about this because you seem to be going after a unique and specialized role that you may not even know exists, and MBA programs are unlikely to help you find. If you want to be a banker or consultant, then these programs might maybe add some value for you. If you want to do something more unique then I strongly recommend you talk to a career services person at any business school and they will show you just how bad MBA programs are at helping people carve out special paths. The programs want to put round pegs into round holes, and their staff is only equipped to do that.

I am personally familiar with both the Texas and DC markets. It's true that if you definitely want to be an energy sector guy in Houston, UT can help you there. Like I said, b-schools love to put round pegs into round holes and that's UT's bread and butter. But if you have more creative ideas about your career path, don't expect the school to help you think through that.

Georgetown could be your cup of tea if you have a specific role in mind where the business training (finance, operations, strategy, marketing) is central to that job. Be very careful with that. Yes there are lots of "international business" employers in DC. But international business is a vague concept and you need to make sure the actual jobs are either MBA required or something close to that (maybe no job is strictly MBA required but you know what I mean . . MBA strongly preferred). Don't let Georgetown talk you into getting an MBA so you can then get a job where your MBA was only the icing on the cake; you'd be better off staying unemployed and networking your way into that role without the two years of debt buildup.

Sorry for length of post but I think it's important for people to understand this. B-school is not a magic blackbox that takes in curious people and spits out employed people. It mostly takes people who were 90% there and polishes them off. Good luck and be careful.

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Jan 23, 2019

I mostly agree with this post. I did not in any way qualify for my post-MBA consulting role before school (I know, because I applied, multiple times, to all of the major firms). Seeing an M7 on my resume is what changed my story from struggle to success for potential employers. I interviewed with every consulting firm on campus for OCR.

That, however, is for a tried and true post-MBA path. For industries that don't value the MBA as much (which I am aware the OP is referring to), I agree with you. OP should be focused first on defining their career intent, and then seeing both what they can do to achieve that goal now, and then whether an MBA helps to bridge a gap (if one exists).

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Jan 24, 2019

This times 1000. There are roles that combine to hit the intersection of your interests- consultants focused on energy/political risk in EM (see for example IPD LATAM). Echoing the comment above by leaving out international business as this is such a vague concept (could be an international equity analyst to a purchasing manager that travels to China once a year...clearly require different background). You'll notice the background of those with roles you desire generally entail significant work experience (blocking and tackling) in investment banking, working at an international oil company, working for the government etc, which in turn generally required some sort of pre qualifications (MBA for the finance or engineering for the oil, political science masters for government). People are generally able to cash in on these experiences for expert type consulting roles later on. I see the issue with many people that come out of policy programs- they want to be a china consultant or political risk or energy consultant, but they dont have the expertise for that role (you may, I don't know). There are roles available for these folks at junior level in finance in the energy industry, political risk consultancies, energy consultancies, the government but net ne agree with the guy above who says you should focus on getting some work experience (not sure what yours is so far)

Jan 24, 2019

To answer you guys remarks, the plan is to get an additional 2-3 years of experience(at an energy house, political risk firm etc) before seeking something like an MBA.

I have about 4 years of post college work experience(internship and paid in the public affairs sector) so far. I'd like to use the next couple of years to not only get more experience but to obtain a strong GMAT score, add other skills etc.

Jan 21, 2019

Another consideration is where you want to end up geographically after you finish your program. If you are want to be in Texas, then UT-McCombs or Rice would be great options. If you want to be in Southern California, you might add USC as well. Keep in mind that one way that MBA students land post-MBA jobs is through in-semester internships.
Your interests in international business and political risk make Georgetown a compelling option.

Consider, also, whether or not the university has a public policy and/or law program at which you might cross enroll to grow your network. If your international interests are in Asia or Latin American, UCLA would be a great option since they have well established networks in these geographies. If your interest is more focused on Europe or the Middle East, Georgetown could be a better option.
Lots to think about!
Absent a resume and details of what you have done and aspire to do in the short and long term, I'm kind of shooting from the hip. Please feel free to request a free consult so one of our counselors can dig in a bit more on your profile.

Wishing you the best on your MBA journey!
Susan

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Jan 23, 2019

The reality is that some of these "second tier" schools are becoming great pipelines for tech companies. Amazon takes more MBAs than anyone else from practically every school. Same with consulting, when I was at Bain, we recruited at a very limited set of schools (H/W/S/MIT/Booth) maybe there were a couple of one offs but not many. That has really changed. McKinsey is essentially on every campus now.

And when you think of Georgetown now you have to think tech with Amazon moving there.

Also, remember your resume doesn't stop with business school. Let's say you go to a great, lower ranked school like Foster but then go to Microsoft which hires a ton from Foster. An MBA with experience at Microsoft is a pretty powerful story.

Harold Simansky
Senior MBA Admissions Counselor
Stratus Admissions Counseling
[email protected]

If you wish to speak to me directly through a free consult click
www.stratusadmissions.com/consult

Jan 23, 2019
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