Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Shortlisting Schools - Day 8

Inflation is on a high in India and there is a blockade in Manipur. So there are many people out there like me resolving issues but the difference is sadly I am resolving an issue pertaining only to me - How to shortlist schools?
Well, I have heard back from my friends in Kellogg and Booth. Kellogg guy has asked me not to typecast any school as finance or marketing school especially the one which is amongst top 10 because all top 10 schools can make you reach where you want to - any industry, any company. So while I shortlisted Wharton, Columbia and Booth on first go because of their great reputation in finance, I am again back to square one.
After learning from him about Kellogg, I am not able to take Kellogg out of my list. He says its a great collaborative school with deep impetus on extra-curricular and leadership activities. You can do general management or deep dive into any specific area you want. So Kellogg can turn out to be a finance school for me. Yes, Kellogg has placed more people in consulting then in finance unlike schools like Harvard, Booth, Columbia and Wharton but that doesn't mean that students in Kellogg who wanted to get into finance couldn't get into it. So going for a school because of how its type casted is no longer a criteria for me. The criteria now has changed to:

a) How much active finance clubs are in the school? For example - whether the clubs bring different people from finance to talk to students or whether the clubs hold some seminars, competitions in finance. Like I got to know from the Wharton event that since last two-three years in Wharton business case competition has been won by Health Care junta. So somebody who is looking for getting into health care can take a cue from this. I may have to figure out cue like this for myself.
b) One thing is kindda getting obvious to me that a school which places more people in finance will have strong alum base in finance which means that if you want to get into a specific role in which an alum is already placed you have an easier shot at it. Probability (wow! I am in the flavor for Saturday class) of this is higher in a school which places more people in finance. So yes, placement stats is got to be my criteria! But I have to weigh that against my other criteria of teaching methods and collaborative vs competitive environment in the school. This is why Kellogg is not yet out of my list because its bringing other things to me (like more extra-curricular) than probably Wharton (where student dive into books more)

Tired of writing. Got to get ready for office also....Will post about reply from my Booth's friend sometime later. The list of criteria to shortlist school is still on. And I am now starting with other generic questions that I have to answer through my essays - Why MBA? and long-term and short-term goals. Interesting days ahead!

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