I'm in a fortunate position to be choosing from two really great schools.
As of right now, the plan is to career-switch from SF-based tech consulting into investment management or equity research. From what I understand, the on-campus recruiting process for IM is limited at both Yale and UCLA and will require a lot of self-directed networking. Looking at the employment reports for both schools it doesn't appear that there's a ton of IM interest (which seems true at most every T20 school outside of Booth/CBS/Wharton), but I feel comfortable charting my own path.
As the long-term goal is to live in California, I'm struggling with whether the geographic advantages of UCLA's location would contribute more to my career than Yale's marginally better brand and ranking. I wouldn't mind sticking around in NYC or Boston for 2-3 years to get some experience, and Yale would undoubtedly have stronger connections to the east coast IM scene. From what I understand, the IM/ER opportunities on the west coast pale in comparison to the open seats available on the east coast, which could be valuable for someone like me who is trying to make the career-switch without relevant experience.
What would you do if you were in my position? Is there anything that I'm not considering?
Stats: White Male, 26, 720 GMAT, 3.5 GPA, CFA Charterholder
I didn't receive a scholarship offer from either school.
* Connections to the east coast IM/ER scene, which would allow me to get some experience in NYC/Boston before heading back west.
* My undergrad is a C-tier state school so it would be nice to claw back a bit of prestige with my graduate institution, even if it's attributable to the parent university and not necessarily the b-school
* I've lived in SF for a while now and wouldn't mind a change of scenery for a couple of years
* College town forces you to establish relationships with classmates
* East-coast location isn't where I'd be targeting long-term (although at least a quarter of the class takes jobs on the west coast every year)
* Not a school known for having a strong finance program?
* Younger school with a smaller alumni base
* Cold weather
* Much stronger geographic connection to LA and SF offices. Would make recruiting into those positions much easier
* Living in LA would open up the possibility of doing an in-semester internship
* I feel like the LA culture is just a little more laid back, which suits me
* Great weather
* Slightly lower ranked compared to Yale (but UCLA has a higher finance ranking?)
* From what I've heard, the quarter system is not conducive to any kind of deep study
* Class is spread out over the city. People still keep their pre-MBA lives/social circles