Rice (MBA for professionals) vs. UT (McCombs at Houston) vs. Cornell (accelerated MBA)

Which program do you guys think is a better fit or has the best placement and reputation for consulting at a reputable firm(MBB) or strategy at an oil major in Houston? I'm an engineer and i currently work in project management for a f500 technology firm so it would be a career switch.I cant afford to take two years off work for an mba. Maybe a year tops but i could do weekend/evening programs. Both UT mcCombs(Houston) and Rice can be taken in either evening or weekend formats for their two year programs and offer you the same access to OCR and employers that their regular two year MBA's. I am definitely going to be in Houston for a while. I feel the Cornell name bears a lot of weight but people might look down on the one year program. I feel like the Rice name is good in Texas and the placement in Houston is great but if I ever traveled outside Texas, the reputation wouldn't be as good as Cornell or McCombs. McCombs at Houston is a great program and the reputation is good, definitely not as good as Cornell but the reputation is definitely better than Rice. I do have a concern with how placement will stack up against Rice since their main campus is not in Houston.. The programs are almost the same cost. How would you rank these programs in my situation?

Comments (13)

Nov 1, 2012

For career switching full time is basically the only route, especially for a "prestigious" careers such as consulting. I know that's not the answer you want, but that's the answer you'll get from anyone else who responds, I'd imagine.

Nov 1, 2012

Out of those choices, Cornell, but why not go for a 2 year MBA at Darden/Fuqua/McCombs? I assume your stats are fine, how old are you if you are looking at Rice for Professional?

Nov 1, 2012

I cant afford to take two years off work, starting a family and all... So i have to get creative.. Technically, the McCombs program and Rice are full time programs just structured differently. Just turned 30 today... I have an electrical/computer engineering degree from a college in new jersey (rowan univ) 3.4GPA, a masters in engineering management from SMU (3.87GPA).. Both Rice and McCombs said they've had a good percentage of successful career switchers in these programs and that they have the same exact resources that people in the full time program have....

Basically, i worked while my wife was in medical school and residency.. Now that she is rounding up residency, we both decided i could take a full year off work to explore an mba or i could do a two year weekend program.. I even looked at foreign schools like INSEAD and LBS but i know placement in the US will be horrible without prior background in the field.. I dont necessarily have to be at MBB.. I dont mind IBM strategy or Deloitte or one of the other firms out there if i can get in post-mba

Nov 2, 2012

anyone?

Nov 2, 2012

You're very clear in your thinking here. And I am not big in consulting. What I can do is give you a general ranking, based on what is seen in Chicago. Rice, in my opinion, is one of the most underrated engineering schools in the country. But the MBA has no street cred, really. It might be a great program, but it is definitely not a brand name. McCombs is much better in those terms and a great program, at least it carries weight in Chicago. Cornell is first on the list of brand names, the one-year program might be a ding, but given you went to off-target schools it might be good to have an Ivy League name in there. I would consider Cornell first, UT second.

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Nov 2, 2012
  • kariraisu
  •  Nov 2, 2012

Career switcher in a MBA for Professionals program = someone who regrets not going full-time.

The first comment was dead-on.

If you insist on doing a part-time program.... set your career goals on a boutique firm in the same town that specializes in oil&gas (PFC Energy maybe?). And if that's where you want to work, why not talk to firms like that ahead of time and see if you could break in with your current background?

If you insist on going for MBB consulting... talk to someone at these firms first to feel out your chances coming from the various schools. If you can't get a coffee talk or whatever, you could also go to an MBA-Diversity conference as a pre-MBA and meet recruiters. Better you get the brush off from them now, than when you're already into a program.

If you insist that you want a career change but can't take two years off of work, don't get an MBA. Work for two years, switch jobs, get a promotion, etc. There's plenty of ways for career advancement other than an MBA. Part-time programs only make sense if you are staying in your current industry so that your work experience builds toward something.

Honestly? Do a full-time two-year, and for consulting go to the most prestigious school you can get into. Your reasons for not doing a full-time program are weak. Med school is a heck of a lot longer than 2 years. She can support you for that time. Besides you don't know what scholarships you can get. Professional programs don't give scholarships since those are the money makers for the schools while the full-time is what boosts prestige.

Apr 13, 2013
Obi2012:

Which program do you guys think is a better fit or has the best placement and reputation for consulting at a reputable firm(mbb) or strategy at an oil major in Houston? I'm an engineer and i currently work in project management for a f500 technology firm so it would be a career switch.I cant afford to take two years off work for an mba. Maybe a year tops but i could do weekend/evening programs. Both UT mcCombs(Houston) and Rice can be taken in either evening or weekend formats for their two year programs and offer you the same access to OCR and employers that their regular two year MBA's. I am definitely going to be in Houston for a while. I feel the Cornell name bears a lot of weight but people might look down on the one year program. I feel like the Rice name is good in Texas and the placement in Houston is great but if I ever traveled outside Texas, the reputation wouldn't be as good as Cornell or McCombs. McCombs at Houston is a great program and the reputation is good, definitely not as good as Cornell but the reputation is definitely better than Rice. I do have a concern with how placement will stack up against Rice since their main campus is not in Houston.. The programs are almost the same cost. How would you rank these programs in my situation?

Apr 13, 2013

hey Obi2012, so what did you finally decide? Have you applied to any of the schools? I'm pretty much have the same exact dilema! I'm curious to know what path you took. Thanks!

Apr 13, 2013

Decided to apply to Rice, cornell and a couple of big name Emba programs against next year but Rice is my top choice

Oct 14, 2014

Curious where you ended up and how it worked out. Same situation for me.

Apr 5, 2015

sorry i haven't been on the forum in ages.. got into Rice and Duke cross-continent.. picked Rice and deferred for one year.. Life got in the way a bit.. first kid..

Aug 28, 2019
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