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Cornell Johnson or UNC KF? Both with full scholarships

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kforj Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Cornell Johnson or UNC KF? Both with full scholarships

Post Sun Mar 06, 2016 2:15 am
Fortunate enough to be admitted to both Cornell Johnson and UNC Kenan-Flager full-time MBA programs with full scholarships. Admitted to Ross and Darden as well with no money but missed on the very top schools, and have decided that the difference between my admits is not big enough to justify paying $120k more. I can apply for the Dean's Fellows program at UNC (from what I've heard you are usually accepted if you apply); would be a Park Fellow at Cornell.

I have 4 years of marketing experience for F100 companies: 2 years at a big tech company and two years at a commercial bank. Looking to transition to management consulting after the MBA.

I grew up in California but have lived in NYC for the last two years. Post-MBA I am fairly open as far as location, although I do not want to move back to the West Coast. I do like NYC but the cost of living in Charlotte or somewhere similar (Johnson places some consultants in Pittsburgh for example) is appealing too. Consulting pay is the same regardless of location so that can make a big difference.

I have talked extensively with the presidents of the consulting clubs and heads of the career centers at both schools, so have a good handle on the consulting placement. Cornell does place a few more people at MBB each year, although UNC has very strong relationships with McKinsey and Deloitte. I like my fit and interactions with students at UNC a bit more, while Cornell is slightly higher ranked (16 vs 18, although some argue there is a "tier" between the two schools) and has the institution-wide prestige I don't think UNC can match.

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mbaMissionKate Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
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Post Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:08 pm
Congratulations! Tough decision, but it's a great position to be in to decide between two great programs. They are pretty similar on a lot of stats -- class size, average age, etc. I think the factors to consider are....

1) Location: do you prefer the remote college town of Ithaca for instance? Do you like the easy access to NYC? Or do you prefer a warmer climate and access to other universities like you have in Chapel Hill? Personally I live in the Carolinas so I'm a little biased here Smile Also are the business school's facilities dramatically different? You will be spending a lot of time there!

2) Prestige / Brand: both are very close, I think Cornell wins out just slightly, it's ranking is typically higher (though they are very close), it's a bit harder to get into from what I've witnessed, plus I know a lot of applicants are drawn to the globally recognized Ivy League status.

3) Career options / placements: Sounds like you've done your research here and I think both would position you well. Generally I think of Cornell as being stronger for finance and ties to Wall Street, and Kenan-Flagler as stronger for marketing. I think both would position you well for consulting and give you more of an East Coast network.

4) Curriculum / pedagogy: It looks like Kenan-Flager may use a bit more of the case method - is that appealing to you?

5) Alumni base: I imagine they are pretty similar in size, but double check that. Is one more global than the other? Is one concentrated more in a particular industry? This can matter for career prospects long-term.

6) Students / culture: For a lot of us, this is the #1 factor. Often times it just comes down to where you feel the most at home and excited to spend 2 years.

Good luck, and keep us posted here on what you ultimately decide!

kforj wrote:
Fortunate enough to be admitted to both Cornell Johnson and UNC Kenan-Flager full-time MBA programs with full scholarships. Admitted to Ross and Darden as well with no money but missed on the very top schools, and have decided that the difference between my admits is not big enough to justify paying $120k more. I can apply for the Dean's Fellows program at UNC (from what I've heard you are usually accepted if you apply); would be a Park Fellow at Cornell.

I have 4 years of marketing experience for F100 companies: 2 years at a big tech company and two years at a commercial bank. Looking to transition to management consulting after the MBA.

I grew up in California but have lived in NYC for the last two years. Post-MBA I am fairly open as far as location, although I do not want to move back to the West Coast. I do like NYC but the cost of living in Charlotte or somewhere similar (Johnson places some consultants in Pittsburgh for example) is appealing too. Consulting pay is the same regardless of location so that can make a big difference.

I have talked extensively with the presidents of the consulting clubs and heads of the career centers at both schools, so have a good handle on the consulting placement. Cornell does place a few more people at MBB each year, although UNC has very strong relationships with McKinsey and Deloitte. I like my fit and interactions with students at UNC a bit more, while Cornell is slightly higher ranked (16 vs 18, although some argue there is a "tier" between the two schools) and has the institution-wide prestige I don't think UNC can match.

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