A New Challenger Has Entered the Ring!


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If you’ve been following my blog, you know that in my previous post, The Method Behind the Madness: How I Selected Schools, I went from a list of 20 schools down to a sweet six. Since then a few readers have challenged my decision on Kellogg and UCLA.

In today’s post I hope to reevaluate these schools and see if any of them are good enough to knock out my top 6. As a reminder here are my sweet six schools that I’m applying to:

FINAL SCHOOL CHOICES

My schools: Two reaches, two stretches, and two within my grasp!

    1. Harvard – Does it need an explanation? Phenomenal school with a culture of excellence, getting in here would definitely be amazing. Plus they really popularized the case method, of which I am a hug fan.
    2. Wharton – I love the fact that they focus on the bread and butter of business – quantitative analysis. They are well known for academic excellence, and I was pleasantly surprised when I visited this school that they also put a large focus on EQ as well. They also have the Wharton West connection
    3. MIT – I really loved the culture and attitude of the school. Their entrepreneurship lab was really phenomenal, and I really enjoyed the vibe.
    4. Tuck – You always remember your first! Tuck is a PHENOMENAL school with a great collaborative culture. There 70% giving rate alumni is a real testament for the quality of school.
    5. Duke – They are doing really fantastic things at Duke and have a great culture. I mean Tim Cook graduated from there, so they must be doing something right…right?
    6. Yale – They have a great brand and network, even though they are a young school. AND they are making all the right moves to move up in the rankings!

Location

Northwestern (Kellogg) (IL) (-)
UCLA (Anderson) (CA) (–)

My goal is to develop a network away from California (where I am originally from). Kellogg can do that; UCLA cannot. However, even though Kellogg is located near Chicago, a fantastic city in its own right, Chicago tends to get WICKEDLY cold in the winter. I’m not a huge fan of that. Kellogg is a negative and UCLA is a double negative this round.

Industry Recruiting

Northwestern (Kellogg) (39%=181) (++)
UCLA (Anderson) (14%=50) (-)

Ultimately, I would like to transition from my current industry (manufacturing) to consulting (particularly focused on the MBB firms AKA McKinsey, BCG, Bain). Kellogg is the consulting school as one of my readers pointed out. Kellogg FULLY delivers on this goal; however UCLA does not. Although I am sure plenty of UCLA graduates make there way to MBB, far more make it from the other schools on my list. Kellogg is a double positive and UCLA is a negative this round.

Program

Northwestern (Kellogg) (++)
UCLA (Anderson) (+)

Kellogg has been known for their outstanding MBA program for a long time. They are always in the top 10, and are known for delivering results. In fact, they are starting to invest heavily in entrepreneurship which shows their dedication to compete with heavyweights Stanford and Wharton. UCLA is a great program as well. Although newer, it has developed a great reputation of delivering results. Kellogg is a double positive and UCLA is a positive this round.

Culture

Northwestern (Kellogg) (++)
UCLA (Anderson) (+)

Culture is HUGE for me. I want a COLLABORATIVE experience that showcases how diversity of thought and backgrounds delivers that best solution. Kellogg and Tuck are known for having two of the strongest school cultures. UCLA also boasts a collaborative culture, although not as well known. Kellogg is a double positive and UCLA is a positive this round.

final Decision

    1. Kellogg – The Consulting King… I am still undecided on whether I should apply to Kellogg. While I love the culture and alignment with my goals, I can’t shake the Chicago location. So as of right now, Kellogg is a draw. I will be reaching out to alumni to understand the Kellogg experience more to evaluate if I should swap MIT for Kellogg.
    2. UCLA – Anderson is a great school; however with my background and my goals, I just don’t think it’s a great school for me. For me, UCLA gets knocked out in this round. That being said, I will always root for the Bruins over the Spartans!

Other Posts you may be interested in:

6 Responses to “A New Challenger Has Entered the Ring!”

  1. hugoness

    Hi,

    I have enjoyed reading your posts on schools selection, they are very thorough. I am kind of finishing my own process of selection.

    Given you goals and the kind of community you want to be a part of, I that you should seriously consider Kellogg. Besides, Boston is not the Bahamas exactly. Not implying you should not apply to Sloan, but that maybe you should consider Kellogg beyond climate.

    Good luck!

    Reply
  2. texaswannabecali

    I completely agree about excluding Kellogg solely because of Chicago weather. That was the only reason it’s not on my list as well. My best friend went to undergrad at Northwestern (and now she’s reluctantly doing her masters at Loyola because they gave her a full scholarship versus partial ones from other programs lol) and while she loved the school, she HATED the weather. We’re from Texas… any degree lower than like 70 and i have a jacket on. While Kellogg is an amazing school and weather seems so minimal when looking at the grand scheme of things, I personally feel like it’s an important factor in the decision making. You will have to live there 2 years, maybe even longer, you don’t want to be miserable… and from what my friend tells me, those 6 month Chicago winters are miserable.

    Reply
  3. Dale

    Yes the winters suck, but think of two things:

    You are only going to be there for two winters
    With global warming, it’s only gonna get better.

    It’s a perfect for for you if you’re looking to do consulting. Plus being from the Midwest I’d love to plug it! The city is great with a beautiful lake.

    Reply
  4. DefyingGravity

    You’re currently planning to apply to 4 out of the 6 schools that I applied to. If you apply to Kellogg, it’ll be 5 out of 6. After reading through your thought process, I think that you value a lot of the same things as I do. I would defintely give Kellogg a second look. I had an amazing experience when I visited. Also, Tuck’s whether sucks too, so don’t let the cold overly influence you.

    Reply

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