Just today I received a very interesting request in my post Why I Choose Fuqua; I was asked about my personal opinion regarding the four schools I applied last year: Fuqua, Kellogg, Chicago Booth and UCLA Anderson.
Before moving ahead, please keep in mind that this is just my personal opinion, and can be completely different to someone else’s, as it depends for instance in your personality, career interests and your own experiences with a school.
All these schools are awesome, and they are ranked top-10 top-20 in all MBA rakings. So it won’t matter much if you decide to go to one school or another, you will surely have a great experience and in the long run you will benefit from it.
Now, considering the topics that I discussed in my previous post, let me give you my opinion about the schools.
Definitely, when dealing with students and alumni, the best experience has been with Fuquans.
One might think that regarding this aspect, Kellogg was my next top choice. However Booth stood out above the rest. The people that I have met from Booth are awesome, and I really enjoyed spending with them a whole day in Chicago two years ago. This was one of the reasons I applied to Booth last year.
Regarding Kellogg and Anderson, the people I met are also really good, but I didn’t connect with them as I did with the students and alumni from Fuqua and Booth. It’s a matter of feeling.
Once again, I preferred Fuqua in terms of values, activities and the way students work, collaborate and interact between each other.
In this regard, Kellogg did seemed like the second best option. I completely fell in love with Kellogg’s program, from the KWEST (Kellogg Worldwide Experiences and Service Trips) to the strength of teamwork in its program. Booth and Anderson followed together.
For me the best program is Booth’s. The school has one of the best faculty staff, and its geographical location enables students to engage in tons of professional opportunities. It also has a really strong entrepreneurship culture, where I could have had acquired valuable insights.
I believe that Kellogg’s programs is really strong also, as well as Fuqua’s.
For me Anderson was behind in this aspect, although they are making huge progress, and in case I wanted to pursue High-Tech, what a better place to go than to Anderson!.
Let me point out, before addressing this topic, that I will be moving to The States with my wife. She preferred to move to a not so cold region, so Chicago wasn’t the best option for her (even though she loved Kellogg). However, we preferred to move to Evanston rather than to Chicago’s downtown.
Even though the weather in Los Angeles is amazing, and that the beach is really close to the school, I believed that Durham could offered us a better place to live, as the distances are smaller, you have more chances of interacting with your classmates outside the school and the weather there is also great.
I haven’t done as much research about financial aid as I have done for Fuqua, so I can’t really tell you much about the other schools. However, I know that Booth has a really strong program in terms of financial aid, also for international students.
Strong alumni network
Here it all depends on your preferences: if you want to go to high tech, consulting, banking, or marketing; if you want to go and work in Europe or stay in The US…
I believe that all schools have an excellent alumni network. Ideally, I will like to stay and work in The US after my MBA, so even though Fuqua is a very young business school, it has a solid alumni network in “the new world”. Currently it is working in expanding this network in “the old continent”, and I saw this as an opportunity to get even more involved.
But as I mentioned earlier, it all comes down to a matter of feeling, and my experience is being excellent with Fuqua. I would say that I have a similar feeling about Kellogg and Booth, but not as good (although it was also positive) as with Anderson.
At the end, my list of preferred business schools was the following:
Hope this insight was helpful!