[Transfer Decision] Columbia GS Financial Econ vs UC Berkeley Haas

Hi everyone,

I've been accepted to both schools and wanted to hear yall inputs! 

I know there are so many variables - campus life, weather, cost of living and etc. - that I have to check but the key factors in decision making are networking/career opportunities for consulting/ startup/ product management and education.

Berkeley Haas: 

  • Pros: Love the business program, I can see myself enjoying every single moment in the classroom. Alums says Haas is a small private school within Berkeley, a small tight-knit community.  Many opportunities to learn about tech/product management and strategy.  Have one of the best startup scene. Strong on-campus recruiting and networking opportunities. Started out transfer journey as an international and non-traditional student (never lived in the U.S and studied in English) just for Haas. U.S news UG business school #2 ranking. Completed most of the GE requirement to graduate at cc.
     
  • Cons: Still competitive to break into management consulting at the bay area as an international student and Asian male. Seen really inspiring and hard-working transfer students at Haas but witnessed that they always have a hard time finding so-called good jobs. Interested in double majoring in Data science but have to take a bunch of classes each semester. If this option does not work, have to double major in Econ at least to get STEM.

Columbia:

  • Pros: Ivy League education at the heart of NYC. More open doors to consulting/PE/VC. Private school - more resources and access to faculty. Seen transfers doing RA, internship at BB/ consulting firm. Will be studying financial econ, potentially do a business mgmt concentration (admits 40 students per year, seems competitive) that will allow me to have access to CBS resources and take a couple of business courses. I can see myself struggling a little bit in terms of academics but I think that I will be able to manage it out. 
     
  • Cons: Have to take an additional essay test, if I fail the exam, I have to take few English courses. Core Curriculum is rigorous and consuming - basically have to take courses that I don't have an interest in it and have a hard time writing a bunch of essays. Might face a little bit of stigma as a GS student but I am okay with that, I just appreciate the opportunity to study at Columbia.  Weaker startup scene than Berkeley but there are some great startup resources that I can use still. Basically paying out of my parent's pocket for undergrad and gosh, it is more expensive at Columbia. 

Which school would open more doors?  Haas was my dream and I got in, but Columbia came in. I know wherever I go, I will feel shit, challenged and have to work my ass off to get internships but I want to spend the two years that will bring me the best ROI, strong network, and opportunities. Any advice and opinions would be very appreciated!

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