The MBA forums I find are kind of weak so I thought people here would be able to provide more insight, especially since people here are more logical and practical. With a 640 GMAT, even if I retake it and can boost that too 660-670 I know it will be a long shot for me to get into a top MBA program like Northwestern, Michigan, or Chicago. That being said, I was curious what people have heard or maybe experienced on Indiana, Notre Dame, or maybe even Wisconsin’s MBA programs. I am considering these as I would prefer to stay in the Midwest, and recognize Chicago would be the most logical finance town for me to end up in. My background includes commercial/debt capital markets banking experience, currently working in a equity sponsor group providing senior debt on LBO’s. I’m down in Ohio now but Ohio State gives me a bad taste in my mouth every time I hear the name. Maybe since I grew up in Detroit. Post MBA goals would include similar to what I am doing now be it some form of capital markets banking, maybe investment banking, or working for an asset management firm that buys into senior/sub/mezz debt on LBO’s or even fixed income type deals. Again, I know most of these jobs in the Midwest will be in Chicago. I know Chicago is a big destination for Big Ten schools + Notre Dame, but I am not sure how extensive the networks are there outside of the fact that U Chicago and Northwestern dominate. Thanks.
I live and work in Chicago and my clients take a broad stroke across all CFA “related businesses”. (mutual funds, hedge funds, valuation shops, some consulting firms, private wealth mgmt) I’ve probably talked to over 900 people “in the business” over the last 10 years or so I’ve been at my current job. I’d guess that over half have their MBA. That being said – Chicago Booth is probably the #1 school on the buy side. Northwestern is a far far second place. Could be a variety of reasons that Chicago Booth is #1, but probably their reputation for finance is stellar. I’m not discounting the fact that Chicago Booth has a part time program and if you’re on the buy side and have a decent GMAT, you’ll apply and attend Booth. I’ve come across Norte Dame alums, Indiana, one or two Michigan, even a few older clients that went to Wisconsin (I haven’t come across anybody that went there in the last 10 years). Even a few DePaul alums. Outside of that, I can’t think of any MBA programs that my clients attended off the top of my head – no Ohio State, no Purdue. If you’re not going to a top 10 school, location of the school is going to be key because if you attend say … Wisconsin, you’re kind of limiting yourself to the state of Wisconsin and maybe 200 miles from that school for opportunities. Unless you are an absolute rock star, you’re not going to land a job at a prop desk at Goldman from Wisconsin right out of school. I’m not saying it won’t happen, but I don’t see it happening.
Oh, I did meet one person that went to Northern Illinois for their MBA. Helps that their uncle ran the shop (which is now publically traded) which they now work at. Besides that, I’ve NEVER come across a Northern Illinois MBA. NEVER.
Interesting, thanks for that insight. I didn’t realize Chicago was that high and above Northwestern. If I can boost my GMAT enough to get into a place like Chicago part-time, I will definitely make the attempt, as my group has some people in Chicago so I could probably transfer offices. Not as fun as going somewhere full-time, but a no-brainer. I think their part-time GMAT average is still pretty high in the 680-690 range.
I should say that I work across all industries, but do a LOT of work on the buy side. My guess is that most people here are looking to get into the buy side. I’ve yet to come across one person here looking for a career path in say … fund raising/sales. (Which is a career path I’ve seen many CFAs take… but another story for another day)
Write awesome essays to compensate for the low GMAT score. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Consider this will significantly impact the rest of your career and your life, I would make it count.
I know that ND grads do fairly well in Chicago and the close knit network should help you out.
If you want to continue your career doing buyouts and lending, I feel like the only schools you’d want to seriously consider would be Kellogg and Booth, and Michigan to a lesser extent. Indiana and Notre Dame are occasionally represented, but I’m just not sure how much value-add an MBA from any other schools will help you in your career. If I were you, I would just do my best to get a rockstar GMAT score and have some good leadership experiences to talk about on your applications. Given your aspirations to remain in finance, Booth would probably be your best fit but you’d have an equally greater chance coming out of Kellogg. Now, if you were to tell me that you had aspirations to run your own company, then I’d say Kellogg would be better.
CFAdetroit Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Interesting, thanks for that insight. I didn’t > realize Chicago was that high and above > Northwestern. If I can boost my GMAT enough to > get into a place like Chicago part-time, I will > definitely make the attempt, as my group has some > people in Chicago so I could probably transfer > offices. Not as fun as going somewhere full-time, > but a no-brainer. I think their part-time GMAT > average is still pretty high in the 680-690 range. A friend of mine got accepted to Chicago Booth part-time MBA program with GMAT score of 640. I think recommendations and essays are more important than GMAT. Interviews are very easy - just be yourself, try to get to know the person interviewing you and ask questions to see whether you are going to like going to Chicago Booth. gmatclub.com might be helpful for you as it has a section on getting into top schools.
I went to a full-time MBA reception at Booth. One guy got in with a 2.99 GPA. So don’t count yourself out just yet.
I hope that this doesn’t derail the thread. But what is so different about Booth as compared to Northwestern? How about the top MBA schools on the East Coast (Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, and NYU)?
^Short answer: not much. Booth has the reputation of being a “finance school” whereas K has the reputation of being a “marketing school” But in reality, they are both fantastic schools even tough they each has its own unique “feel”. I am applying at Booth this year. But I wouldn’t say Booth is a better B-school than K or vise versa. Harvard has a better rep than both Booth and K and probabaly one of the strongest brand name out there. Wharton’s overall rep is behind HBS and Stanford. Columbia is in the same league as Booth and K. NYU is usually consider second-tier.
NYU is Columbia’s substitute.
Living/working in Chicago, if you don’t go to Booth or Kellogg, you didn’t really go to school because #3 is soooo far behind.
FTR, I went to a far #3 …
If you’re carefully considering Kellogg and Booth, it’s worth spending two days in Chicago and visiting both. Kellogg is a general management program while Booth does focus more on financial and analytical careers. Their cultures are pretty different as well, owing to things like location, grade disclosure, the types of careers people came from before business school, etc. – and you’d have a great appreciation for what this all means after visiting those campuses. However, as with all the top schools, you’ll have good career upside coming out of either one. Personally, I was interested in Kellogg because I wanted an education in general management, I had a sense that I’d be interested in consulting and business development (like 35-40% of Kellogg’s class goes into consulting every year), and I guess I just felt that Kellogg’s culture was more of an aggressive and “work hard, play hard” culture that is more fitting of my personality. I applied to Kellogg but didn’t apply to Booth. My main rationale was that I wanted to leave finance and go to a school that would give me the greatest likelihood of transitioning to a general management or strategy role, because I have long-term aspirations of being senior management of a multinational organization (either for-profit or non-profit). The other school I’m considering at this point is one of Harvard, Stanford and Wharton and I’ll make up my mind in the next few weeks. At the end of the day, both Booth and Kellogg are fine schools and if you’re not sure which is a better fit, I’d really recommend visiting both and possibly even applying to both schools. Booth would have been the next school I applied to if I weren’t constrained by time.
P.S. I said what I said above because we all know there’s a lot of favoritism among good business schools, and a lot of debate about whether your career prospects are better if you go to a top 3 vs top 5 vs top 15 school…I think so much of that is arbitrary in the long run, because ultimately it’s what you make of the experience. I think going to business school probably matters a lot more in your first one or two jobs coming out of school, but what matters most after that is the track record you establish in the workplace… Maybe it’s easier for me to say now that I’m done with the application process, but I mean it sincerely when I think there is so much obsession over who’s #6 vs #8 or whatever, when frankly, in the long run, what matters more is what you make of the opportunity rather than the institution whose name is on your diploma.
numi Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > P.S. I said what I said above because we all know > there’s a lot of favoritism among good business > schools, and a lot of debate about whether your > career prospects are better if you go to a top 3 > vs top 5 vs top 15 school…I think so much of > that is arbitrary in the long run, because > ultimately it’s what you make of the experience. I > think going to business school probably matters a > lot more in your first one or two jobs coming out > of school, but what matters most after that is the > track record you establish in the workplace… > > Maybe it’s easier for me to say now that I’m done > with the application process, but I mean it > sincerely when I think there is so much obsession > over who’s #6 vs #8 or whatever, when frankly, in > the long run, what matters more is what you make > of the opportunity rather than the institution > whose name is on your diploma. I agree there is too much useless attemts to rank schools that are all clearly top-tier schools. It is like you describe above, either Booth or Kellogg, both will have top ranked i-banks, consulting firms, asset managers, etc recruiting there. Where the debate comes into play is as I mentioned are places like Indiana and Notre Dame suitable backup plans. Visiting them and seeing what the ‘fit’ is for you, is always good to do. I work with two guys that went to Booth and they felt much more welcome at Booth then Kellogg and decided to go there. Just preference.
Indiana’s Investment Banking and Capital Markets Workshop has a very strong record.
The Wisconsin program is not bad – but *I* haven’t met any recent alums from there. Not to say they don’t exist - they just don’t end up at my clients in Chicago