Wednesday, May 2, 2007

My list

My initial list of schools included UC Berkeley, Harvard and Columbia which I eventually dropped for one reason or another. UC Berkeley offers international consulting trips and other related opportunities but you are required to apply for the opportunities. I took a hard look at the application fee for Harvard, the likelihood I would be accepted and the likelihood I would attend if accepted and decided it wasn't worth the time or effort. As to Columbia I was less than impressed when the school sent a male alum to the Forte Foundation event in Boston ill-prepared and well, male!

In developing my final application list and making my decision the important factors were program offerings, specifically international business and/ or non-profit focuses, location, total cost and post-MBA employment opportunities.

This is a highly ranked program, but still comes in second in the UK. Although limiting from my perspective as a one year program, the MBA has two practical consulting projects/ internships integrated into the curriculum. The international consulting project combined with the international composition of the student body attracted me most to this program.
+ : international focuses, student body, global name recognition of larger university, location in the UK
- : 1 year, b school not known in U.S., older class, exchange rate would make it a ridiculously expensive year
End of story: the non-fit factor eventually moved me to accept Georgetown over Cambridge. This program was not a good match for me and I applied partially for personal reasons.

I was really excited about the possibility of studying in a dual language MBA program. The IESE program is a two year U.S. style MBA program top ranked globally but with a smaller class size compared with similar U.S. schools.
+ : international experience, foothold into European job market, Barcelona, case study method, very American friendly program.
- : name recognition in US not very strong though increasing, exchange rate makes it a "very expensive language class" to quote one of my bosses.

I applied to UCLA to give myself a west coast option and to throw in a wild card to see how my profile would be accepted at a slightly larger program with a less specialized program. I was attracted to the international focus and exchange opportunities afforded to students. The international focus looked east to Asia, which is of course an important outlook in today's economy [insert boring fact about China's growth here.]
+ : west coast school, international focus
- : state school, comparatively limited resources

The facilities, ivy prestige combined with a small class size and non-profit focus drew me to this program. When I interviewed I spent a long day around the b school facility with students and touring the rest of campus and the town. I was impressed by the size and scope of the facilities
+ : Ivy. Non-profit focus. Semi-proximity to NYC. Low cost of living.
- : New Haven. It sucks.

I was interested in this program mostly due to its proximity to DC. It was more of a back up school but with enough general positives to induce me to apply.
+ : proximity to DC, great facilities
- : state school, not a regional hegemony for my interests (but a top draw for tech firms in DC)

Notre Dame
I was courted by Notre Dame and applied fee free.
+ : Ethics (in Catholic form), small program
- : South Bend is in the middle of nowhere, the b school is a bit too small and cannot compete for recruiters with nearby Kellogg and UChicago

I am interested in microfinance so the international focus with a fairly strong finance program seemed like a good fit.
+ : international focus, including Global Integrative, location in DC
- : lower ranked than many other cities top programs

I am in love with London. LBS was the only consistently top ten program I applied to due to it's smaller class size, international student body and excellent reputation with recruiters.
+ : London, great program reputation, international student body, top ranked
- : money, the dollar/pound exchange rate is absurd and not in my favor


t-test said...

As a Brit looking to do an MBA in the US, I insist that the current cable rate ($:£) is entirely rational and brilliant.

HairTwirler said...

Yes, let me modify my last statement "absurdly not in my favor" :)

mba_salsera said...

Nice list. I'm glad you chose Georgetown though! I'm excited to meet you there! Have you done any planning yet? Where are you currently located? Are you moving? There is so much I have to get done between now and August! This weekend was focused on celebrating. Now, it's time to focus on planning! Thanks for the congrats!

Clear Admit said...

Hello HairTwirler,

You have a compelling variety of schools here; your comments on the international aspect of most of the programs are particularly interesting! Would you be willing to post these observations to the Clear Admit Wiki for the benefit of other applicants? You can do so by clicking here, or simply e-mailing the text to (we’ll be sure to link back to your blog when we post your information).

Thanks and best of luck at Georgetown!