If i get into Harvard MBA, are there any reasons not to go?

LevFinGS's picture
Rank: Orangutan | 320

Hi Monkeys,

Of course it's a big IF - but I'm trying to weigh pros and cons. What are reasons for NOT going to a top 5 MBA?

Region: 
United States - Northeast

Comments (22)

Nov 21, 2010

The only factors I can think of are monetary cost and opportunity cost, but even those aren't factors that are exclusive to the top 5 programs.

"Millionaires don't use astrology, billionaires do"

Nov 21, 2010

The only reason not to go to Harvard is that you got into another one of the top 5--apart from that, your an idiot.

Nov 21, 2010

If you're already pretty far into your career (e.g., you've got 4+ years exp at a top PE or HF fund and on a promotion/partner track)... Otherwise, you should definitely go.

Nov 21, 2010

if someone offered you $1 million + to not go. or if someone threatened the safety of your friends and family

Nov 21, 2010

If you invent the new PC or if you win the lottery. Even u do win, it would still be interesting to spend 2 years with the smartest minds.

Do what you want not what you can!

Nov 21, 2010
bossman:

If you invent the new PC or if you win the lottery. Even u do win, it would still be interesting to spend 2 years with the smartest minds.

the smartest minds? hardly.

Smart, very ambitious individuals capable at doing a decent GMAT, writing good essays, and having diverse backgrounds. Yes absolutely.

The smartest? no not even close.

Nov 21, 2010

If you got an offer at a PE job i guess.

Nov 21, 2010

Well I don't really know what the "top 5" means, many usually refer to a top 7, but there are plenty of reasons not to go to a "top" MBA...namely if you can secure the employment you desire without one.

I see HBS as a different animal, while it is a huge program (relatively) it is an elite fraternity that, while no means a guarantor of extraordinary success, provides you with an extremely valuable network for life.

The other top schools, no matter your definition, do not offer the same perk to the same degree. Valuable networks all, but not the same.

Nov 21, 2010

When I hear 'Top 5', I think H/S/W, Booth and Kellogg. At least, that's how my firm talks about when they say x% of analysts get into a "Top 5" program.

Staying on topic, however, I wouldn't go if I was over 30, just because I wouldn't want that to be my life at that age. If I was at VP or above, I wouldn't go. Theoretically, if my wife was in school/had a job she couldn't leave far from HBS, I probably wouldn't go, because for what I want to do, I probably don't need the HBS brand.

Another reason why I wouldn't do "top 5" if I got in was if I was self-financing my MBA, wanted to go into non-profit/something else lower paying, and had an offer for a full ride at a good school (Ross, UVA, Duke). I'd consider it because it would allow me to meet my post-MBA goals without the debt burden.

So yes, I can think of many scenarios in which I would forgo a top MBA. The question is, what's your scenario?

Nov 21, 2010

if i were you, i won't searching for a reason not go, but go straightly with no reason.

smile everyday~

Nov 21, 2010

You should think long and hard about whether you want to go BEFORE you apply. Will save you a lot of time.

Nov 21, 2010

HBS Sucks.

Nov 21, 2010

if you just got an offer to join H&F

Nov 22, 2010

What would be your rationale to go? I don't think anyone here can obviously answer that question for you. I have friends there that don't care for it, but that's because it was expected of them to go and get that check on their resume.

If you feel it will help in networking, job opportunities, broadening a skillset, etc. go for it..but if you have issues with opportunity cost, taking you off your career path for the next couple of years, and rehashing material you've already gone through then you have to seriously consider if it's worth it.

If you've got the job you really want and is doing well at it, then do you just want to go for the experience? You've got to give more context. Most people here are pedigree hungry and probably aren't in top PE/Banking/HF jobs so their opinion may be skewed. Best to figure out where you stand.

Nov 22, 2010

Unless you had very pressing family concerns or issues, I can't think of a reason to turn down HBS. Everyone I know who've gone there absolutely loved it and said it was the most amazing 2-year experience. Case studies can be demanding, but students know that grades don't really matter that much, and they're all there to network, party, and have a good time. You get to meet some of the most interesting and accomplished people in the world and form a valuable lifelong network. And Boston is a pretty cool town for students.

Going to HBS is a truly transformative experience. You must go if you get in.

Nov 22, 2010

I guess the question (if I may try to rephrase it) is that if you consider all the good reasons that would keep you away from a decent/good MBA (risk of quiting current job, financial cost, having already a good position, etc.), would these reasons necessarily be waived if you have the opportunity to enter a GREAT MBA (i.e. H/W/S)?

Nov 22, 2010

smartest minds ... in an MBA ... lol
srsly, you should go ...

Nov 22, 2010
kraken:

smartest minds ... in an MBA ... lol
srsly, you should go ...

I know...what i really meant was not the students but the academics (professors whose books you read in undergrad...lol)...although some smart students too.

Do what you want not what you can!

Nov 22, 2010

Thanks guys - so if your goal is to one day be a high level in a HF or PE, and you get a PE/HF job pre-mba, is a Harvard MBA still worth it? (Considering you're 25, can afford, etc etc.)

Nov 22, 2010

I think the Harvard Math/Physics etc. PhD students are way smarter than HBS students overall. Maybe not quite as social or interesting though.

Nov 22, 2010
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Nov 22, 2010