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Cranfield or Manchester Full Time MBA --- need your help

Figure out where you wish to apply
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Please share your thoughts.

This is a real tough decision for me.

I am a traditional person, who rely on heart when brain fails, but this time, heart is also failing.

I am fortunate enough to be selected at both MBS and Cranfield and I am unable to decide between the two. By the way, I have already eliminated few other similar schools, those were easy for me to eliminate.

MBS and Cranfield are very close to my heart from day 1 of my MBA journey.

I know, at the end of the day, it is pure personal decision. But I would like to hear your personal opinion. I believe nothing is absolutely wrong or nothing is absolutely right. However, what might be right to you might be right to me as well ... and I may have overlooked that aspect. Same goes for negative aspects. I am just trying to take a well balanced and deliberated decision.

First a bit about my situation.

I am well experienced (or say OLD, male, aged 30++) in general management and work in one interesting domain. I am not sure whether I can join back my industry or I have to look for a wider industry. Preferably I would look for Supply Chain, Retail, Automobile, Transportation, Aviation related companies. I may even expand to Core sectors or service sectors. I prefer a big team/projects/operation rather than working in silos or to be a whiz kid!! ... I feel at home in "jack of all", varieties, uncertainties and dynamism. For sure, finance, consultancy or technology sector will be the last option for me.

Location wise, I am open but definitely would love to be in the UK.

I am Non-EU

I am fluent in English but need to localise for UK. Worked in MNC environment for long and communication is not an issue BUT I highly value localisation.

Objective of MBA?

I am confident that I will be heading something in next 3-4 years. But before I head something, I would love to be equipped myself properly so that I satisfy myself that I am doing a good job and I am doing it right. So I am risking my successful career for LEARNING and accordingly I have narrowed down to MBS and Cranfield. On the other side, knowing my age and various financial commitments, Placement is equally important to me. However, placement is not the MOST important aspect for me.

Here is a quick summary of my own findings so far

MBS and Cranfield probably have the most comprehensive programme with a great focus on application of the theory. Both the programmes are equally good with few differences like:

a. 18 months Vs 12 months

b. 3 Internships Vs no formal internship

c. MBS is extensive Vs Cranfield is intensive (someone claims )

d. MBS is part of a wider university Vs Cranfield is a post grad only university

e. Partnership, overseas schools and exchange programme options at MBS - not sure at the moment whether useful to me

f. Work experience of the class at Cranfield seems to a bit higher than MBS

g. Class mix seems to be more diverse in MBS, compared to Cranfield. Although both are much better than many other schools, however, both the schools has a huge Indian IT people and other Asian class. I would like to hear your views on this aspect.

h. Again on class mix, I heard Cranfield receives many military personnel in the class. My personal experience with armed force is impressive. They apply all the management principles all the times ... but without formally knowing it!!. Yes, they sometime appears to be a bit rigid and egoistic. The reason I found is quite interesting, they lacks communication power to clearly convey their concern and apprehension. I learned too many things from armed force but I heard some opposite views by few students.

i. City location Vs Self contained village location but then again, close to London and both have their own pros and cons

j. Strong focus on General Management, Operation and SCM at Cranfield; MBS is just breathing over the neck though!!

k. In UK, both are equally known but outside world, Manchester is better known. Does not matter for football but people at all levels can immediately recognise Manchester.

l. Both are old and matured programme with huge alumni network.

m. Both focuses a lot on personal development. Cranfield may be a slight notch better.

n. Both have almost similar class size, MBS is a tad larger.

o. Reputation, student satisfaction are almost same.

p. Cranfield has their executive programme and very well known in sr management circle. But I presume it will be in local market.

Some of the things that does not bother me too much are


a. Ranking

b. Accreditation (both are triple accredited, in that matter, they are ahead of LBS, OX and CAM)

c. ROI, fees, scholarships, cost of living

d. Elective options - my focus is operation/SCM but in general MBS has few more electives than Cranfield

e. 1 year master degrees are not recognised in some countries (someone claimed in one post)

f. Family support (my family will be able to survive!! but support is nice to have like clinic nearby)

g. Nightlife, shopping options, lively city, vibrant city, sunny city, heritage city, historic city!!

h. Local transport options

i. Opportunity to learn a new language (come on, you might be kidding!!)

j. Climate

k. Food options

l. Whether have specific finance module or not

m. I heard few people complaining that MBS professors takes a back seat and let the student discuss. To me this is a very positive approach than playing a record with 10 years old slides.

I must say, the experience I got with both the schools so far is extraordinary. Both the schools have a strong personal touch and Ms Spiro (MBS) is like a motherly figure and David (Cranfield) is like big brother. You immediately connect with them and you instantly feel that you are at the very right hand. You are treated as 'Mike' not someone from 13-14 batch!!

I believe I will have equally great learning experience at both the places.

What I am not sure is, Placement Outlook. Which school will have better scope to land in a decent job in General Management.

I am not looking at 'hard data'. I am looking at the ground feel. How upbeat are the current class about their placement outlook?

I am also looking at views on Placement Department's Support


Talking to current students/alumni as well as visiting the school is a great suggestion ...... roger!!

Please share your views and opinion.

Thank you very much and my apologies for this extraordinary long thesis.

********************************
NB: Please, no motherhood statements. All knows that individual plays the key role in landing in a job, no spoon feeding, blah blah. Also please avoid "nothing is guaranteed" or should not assume something kind of approach!!

Right platform makes a hell lot of difference. I did my graduation from one school where even the donkeys get to choose from many jobs. And I saw my brightest friends from other schools to literally fight for BPO/Amway kind of jobs. Number of available opportunities matters a LOT. Also matters a lot, how the placement team supports you during those trying period.

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by WouldBeCrazy » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:44 pm
Please share your views

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by WanttoRock » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:57 pm
Hi WouldBeCrazy

I am also a potential applicant to one of these schools.

Would you like to connect and discuss (over email)?

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by WouldBeCrazy » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:16 pm
WanttoRock wrote:Hi WouldBeCrazy

I am also a potential applicant to one of these schools.

Would you like to connect and discuss (over email)?
You can send me PM and I can share whatever I have gathered so far

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by WanttoRock » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:29 am
Sent you a PM.

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by alunl » Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:16 am
Hi,

As a current MBS MBA (Class of 2014) I should be biased but there isn't much to chose between the programmes. Obviously I don't know as much about Cranfield as I do about MBS but I get the impression that MBS is ever so slightly better known. It participates in a few more BS competitions than Cranfield (both participate in VCIC and EBPY but MBS also participates in the European & global Private Equity competitions).

Career-wise, I'm not in a position to compare. I do know that there is a panicked rush in the class of 2013 to find a job but some of that is due to the difficult job market. There is, however, a certain degree of confidence with some students picking up jobs at blue chips such as McKinsey & Google.

Although you have said you don't care too much about certain factors I think your choice should still come down to the following factors:

(i) Do I want to rush through a twelve month programme and head straight back into the job market or do I want the opportunity to take an internship to feel my way into a company / sector?

(ii) Do I (and my family) want to live the small town English life - laid back, quiet and rural - or do I want to live in a busy, vibrant international city (with all the concomitant urban problems)?

Hope this helps.
Thinking of the MBA life? Visit my blog at MBA Manchester for a closer insight.

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by WouldBeCrazy » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:46 pm
Thank you so much AlunL, appreciate that.

Yes, MBS programme is probably the most extensive and very well paced for learning and absorbing. That will definitely help in a big way in longer term.

Agree, MBS is better known outside, specially in Asia.

Rural or city life, both ways is fine with us. I had lived in Hong Kong island and Mumbai, probably the most vibrant city, or city than never sleeps!!

Thank you so much once again.

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by WanttoRock » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:36 am
So did you finally join Cranfield or Manchester?

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by WouldBeCrazy » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:13 pm
WanttoRock wrote:So did you finally join Cranfield or Manchester?
I have selected one but it will not be fair to disclose that. It may be taken negatively for one school and I have my conviction that both the schools are equally good. One school suited me better, thats it.

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by WanttoRock » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:56 pm
sounds good. All the best!

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by goldenegg » Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:46 am
Anyone else who's having this kind of dilemma should go check out the school's profiles on MBA news and networking site BusinessBecause[dot]com Both schools are great. Well placed but there are indeed subtle differences that can be gleamed from reading the articles on the site.

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by gautamkumar » Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:04 am
I dont think much material is availble about MBS on this site

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by GB2020 » Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:43 pm
This is my first post.

I am a silent reader of this forum for last 6 months and had learned a lot. I read this exhaustive thread with great interest and it helped me a lot in my own research.

Recently I have been selected for both Cranfield and Warwick[/color] and I am a bit confused. I am from the manufacturing sector with 9 years of experience in factory environment. After my course, I want to work in UK in similar industry. I am open for SCM, General Management or Consulting types of opening. I did a bit research and following are what I gathered, in fact it confused me further.

Cranfield has 10 core modules Vs Warwick's 8 modules. The key differences are:
CF has 2 Economics modules, one project management and Venture capital module. On the other hand, WBS has Org Behaviour and double strategic modules.

Electives wise, WBS has a wider choice compared to CF. Surprisingly, WBS has a SCM module but CF does not have. Some electives are similar but WBS has some focus on emerging trends such as online marketing, social media, etc.

In conclusion, module wise, there is not any major difference.

Both are old and matured schools with great brand recognition in UK.

I heard that WBS has a better brand value in India.

Both the schools are known for SCM/Operation management and General Management.

WBS is a full fledged university, whereas CF is graduate only university.

Location wise, WBS a bit far from London but WBS campus is closer to habitated place, rather than CF's at the middle of nowhere.

Both schools focus on personal development and career service is proactive. Placement stats a bit better in WBS but ave salary is a bit higher at CF. Although these finer details are subjective and i would say, they are very close in terms of placement.

Current student and alumni engagement seems a bit better in CF.

Fees are almost same and cost of living is also comparable. Although, accommodation at WBS seems a tad higher than CF.

Scholarships are similar in both the schools although WBS flaunts their 2M scholarship kitty.

Student mix is similar, both the schools are full of Indians. Average WE is 6-8 years. CF probably a bit more.

Ave GMAT score is almost similar at 650

So, if you are selected for both then which one will you pick and why?

Please help with your views.

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Hey everyone,

Anyone who can throw some light on the same discussion based on the current scenario?
Cranfield MBA vs Manchester MBA ?

My goal is to stay in UK. Current industry - Chemicals/Manufacturing, Past industry - oil and gas. Current profile - Project Management
Target - Varied goals Chem/Pharma/O&G.... in strategic management/ business development or consulting sector in the same domain.

Hoping for a better insight to make an well-informed decision ?

Thank you.

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Re:

by tayjay1016 » Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:05 pm
WouldBeCrazy wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:13 pm
WanttoRock wrote:So did you finally join Cranfield or Manchester?
I have selected one but it will not be fair to disclose that. It may be taken negatively for one school and I have my conviction that both the schools are equally good. One school suited me better, thats it.
Hey !
Can I get in touch with you ?

Which one did you choose finally ?