MBA Decision - Advice Requested!

Hi WSO,

I would very much appreciate some advice, this community was very helpful throughout the admissions process. I was admitted to six programs and wanted your input on where to go.

Admitted to: Columbia, Kellogg, Yale, NYU, Darden, and Fuqua

Scholarships: Partial at Duke

Career goals: Investment banking

Thanks in advance!

Comments (25)

Mar 28, 2018

Seems like a pretty clear win for Columbia if you want to do banking. Otherwise I would strongly consider Kellogg or maybe Yale. Overall I always advise going to the best school you get into (in the context of career goals, culture fit, and other important factors), but money should never cause you to drop tiers of schools--the impact to recruiting and long-term career trajectory is too great. (As background on me, I forewent a 50% scholarship to a school in the same tier as mine because it wasn't a culture fit, and while it hurts sometimes looking at my bank account, I still think it was the right decision. I'm a second-year now, FYI)

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Mar 28, 2018

Thanks for the response kobalt. I'm with you on CBS given banking goals, I suppose I'm not sure how material the difference in recruiting between say CBS and Kellogg are for something standardized like banking. Clearly networking will be easier, and I'm thinking that simply put, more firms come to Columbia (may be wrong here). In process of compiling lists of firms that go to each school.

Since I'm almost certainly going to end up in NYC, the thought of Kellogg for two years sounds nice, and the school is beautiful.

Good to know that in year two you still feel good about passing on the money. I'm curious, did you try and negotiate/see if they would match?

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Mar 28, 2018

agreed on CBS given interest in banking. I'd take Kellogg if you can convince them to give you a scholarship

Mar 28, 2018

Thank you Frank. Regarding Kellogg scholarship, do you think its worth it to send them a note and let them know I have a financial incentive elsewhere and see if they will provide any aid?

Did you or any classmates successfully do this with similar schools/facts? Very interested to hear the right way to go about this and if you think its even remotely going to bear fruit.

Also, do you have an opinion regarding true difference in banking recruiting between Kellogg/Columbia/Yale? General wisdom clearly favors CBS, but it seems like students at all of these programs are met with success (from speaking directly to students at each school).

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Mar 28, 2018

i would let them know you have a scholarship at Fuqua and also an offer from columbia and are considering Fuqua due to scholarship. I know people who have successfully done this so its worth a shot.

I didn't recruit for banking but CBS > Kellogg > Yale in terms of banking recruiting, not sure how big of a difference there is between outcomes at the three though.

Mar 28, 2018

Do you care about location at all? I'd pick Kellogg but Columbia might make more sense otherwise.

Mar 28, 2018

For the MBA itself, NYC / Chicago were my top choices, so good either way. Could you tell me why you would pick Kellogg?

Mar 28, 2018

2 reasons: I'd hate to be a broke grad student in NYC, and I wouldn't want to interview for banking out of NYC. I'd be exhausted from all the required touchpoints. At a place like Kellogg NYC recruiters come to you; and I imagine there's much less competition for IB due to self selection into Consulting. I attended a similar school and thought the banking recruits all had it easy compared to my friends at the finance factories.

May 4, 2018
TheGrind:

Do you care about location at all? I'd pick Kellogg but Columbia might make more sense otherwise.

This.

Mar 28, 2018

CBS for sure. More firms on campus + better networking opportunities. Don't forget that your classmates will be a part of your future network, so going to a school where there are a lot of other students entering banking could help you down the road. Not to mention that CBS easily has the most alumni in banking among the schools you listed. I've also heard that while it is easy to get a job in banking from Kellogg, it is much easier to get a job in banking in NYC specifically at CBS. A lot of firms that recruit from Kellogg are for their Chicago offices. I also personally think it's a plus to go to school in the same city where you want to end up after graduation - that way you can get started building your life there right away.

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Mar 29, 2018

CBS.

Just curious, why did you apply to other schools and how much time did it take? Just because the apps prepping and submitting, collecting recommendations is a very time consuming process IMO.

Mar 29, 2018

I applied to all of them in round 2 this cycle. I wanted to cast a wide net to ensure that I would be able to attend school in August.

In hindsight, I underestimated myself a bit as I did not expect to receive so many acceptances. Agreed, it was time consuming. I worked on apps most days for about 2 months.

Mar 29, 2018

Thanks. How long did the recs take?

Best Response
Apr 5, 2018

So if you take a look at the latest Kellogg employment report and class size, they sent ~6% of ~478 into banking. Or about 29 people.
At CBS, they sent ~14% of 780 into IB, or 109.
Fuqua historicaly has sent about 10% of the class into IB, just fyi.

There are a lot of different ways to read this and what we don't know is how many people TRIED and FAILED to get into IB from each school. Like maybe 200 people competed for those 109 slots at CBS. Or maybe Kellogg actually could have filled more IB roles. so my main suggestion for you is to contact the IB clubs at your top choice programs and talk to the club leaders about recruiting and the job market and what's going on.

And go to the Admit weekends at your top programs! Getting a job is one thing, but wanting to be in the environment and hang out with your fellow classmates is pretty important too!
Krista

mbaMission Admissions Consultant

For personal advice, please see up a free consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php
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Apr 6, 2018

Thanks for a dding the numbers giving context. I think this makes the decision pretty simple, assuming students had similar expereinces in recruiting across the scshools.

Apr 6, 2018

Thanks Krista - Completely agree with your points. Throughout the admissions process I was in contact with each school's banking/finance club and tried to drill down on what the internship success rate was, and what the internship to full time conversion rate was. I would say that all schools provided roughly the same figures (80 plus percent).

Definitely agree on the cultural fit, very important to me.

Apr 5, 2018

CBS and Kellogg are the best of those two, so it really depends: do you want to be in NYC or Chicago. If NYC, you're better off at CBS. IF Chicago, Kellogg.

Apr 6, 2018

For banking, this seems like an easy choice. Go with Columbia. Now, you can certainly get banking coming out of Kellogg, especially bulge brackets (I don't think the elite boutiques do formal recruiting at Kellogg, but I could be wrong on this), but given that you're in Chicago, and most of those jobs are in NYC, it will be more difficult from a purely logistical standpoint. And since Kellogg sends fewer people to banking, the banking alumni network will be less robust than that of Columbia.

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Apr 6, 2018

Given your profile, very surprised that you did not get a huge scholarship at Fuqua/Darden.

Apr 6, 2018

Not sure why it hasn't been brought up yet but Stern is unquestionably on par with CBS in terms of IB placement (23% of class in 2017). Both are likewise a cut above the other schools listed in that regard. Consider trying to leverage Stern for scholarship.

Apr 6, 2018

But prestige bro!

I'm kidding. But it might be a factor for some.

When you say you got an MBA from Stern, what does it mean? Did you get a Full Time MBA or one of the many diluted PT programs?

Now of course, WSO users are smart enough to know is what truly matters are the recruiting opps out of Stern. But you could be sympathetic to their concerns on prestige, which Stern greatly dilutes with their other MBA formats.

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Apr 6, 2018
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May 4, 2018