It´s January 1st. I have had almost two weeks now to digest my admission news. It´s is an amazing feeling, after so much effort and planning to finally know that I will indeed become an MBA candidate at one of the top business schools in the US after all.
During these couple weeks I have received my admit packages,which included very generous gifts from every school, and the confirmation of a very generous scholarship from Tuck. It has been exciting to open those packages with an MIT, Dartmouth or Duke logo and also my name on them, I won´t lie.
But now vacation is over in terms of MBA decisions, and I have to decide to which school I actually want to go. To do it is hard because I don´t really want to turn down any offer, as every school has impressed me in some way, and all offer great personal and proffesional opportunities. That also makes it a decision where I cannot actually go wrong.
To be honest, I have to say that I have already ruled out Duke. Why? Because you have to start eliminating choices somewhere, and while Healthcare there is HUGE, and it is a place where I see a great fit (and I would be very happy to attend to), the other two appeal to me more, have strongest brands (although I recognize the power of the Fuqua brand) and I rather live in New England. Therefore, it is either Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth or MIT Sloan School of Management.
Here the process turns harder.
Okay. Regarding my carrer goals, pharma or consulting, I don´t see great differences between the two. MIt is in Boston, where many healthcare companies are headquartered, but both send roughly the same % of students into the industry; and while some of the smaller firms might not travel to Hanover, the big ones do. For consulting, I see both as powerhouses and core schools for the most important firms. So, in order to make this decision, I need to look elsewhere.
Tuck has always been my first choice. I love the kind of community they have created up there, and in Hanover I see an opportunity to have a different experience, that of a true American campus, for two years. The alumni network is smaller but the strongest in terms of alumni involvement (something highlighted by the fact that during the past 10 days I´ve been contacted by many alumni I did not even know to congratulate me). Besides, we are talking about Dartmouth College, an Ivy League member.
It is true, though, that MIT Sloan has a bigger network, and very engaging too, and that the brand is more powerful, if not in the US, at least internationally. Will that be a great difference? I believe that the typical MBA recruiter will know both schools really well, but of course we want to consider every fact.
And then, the last quesion of all: do I want to live in a big city like Boston or in a small town like Hanover? As I said before, the latter provides a more unique experience and a tigher community. But coming from Madrid, and being a “city guy”, Boston is a very attractive destination, let alone one of the most vibrant cities in the US. Here I can say I don´t prefer one over the other, considering we are talking about 2 years and not 20. However, as I said, Tuck offers a more authentic American campus experience maybe.
As you see, I am having some trouble to decide, since these two are great Universities, and it will come down to what kind of experience I rather have.
The best thing is that I can´t go wrong.
Happy New Year!