The Programs

A big takeaway is that there are more than 780 AACSB accredited MBA programs in over 90 countries in the world! Depending on your goals and geographical desires you have many options, but much like every other potential MBA I started out this process aiming high! Harvard or BUST! Stanford or BUST! Wharton!

 

My ultimate career goal of private sector finance is a fairly traditional route for MBAs so I did not have to extensively research niche programs with a focus on Real Estate or Entrepreneurship. Any MBA program would provide me with the basic skills for careers in finance. In fact, depending what you read, any top 50 MBA program will generally teach you the same things. At the end of the day, the degree is a 'credential,' you pay six figures for a brand which provides you access to a network of new classmates, recruitment opportunities and a brand name for your resume that is supposed to open doors as you march on in your career.
 

  • My school selection process was threefold:
     

    • 1- Using the well regarded U.S. News and Report, list out the top 30 business schools

      • This was further enhanced by the Consortium member schools

    • 2- Cross off places I had 0% interest in living in- sorry New York City

    • 3- Reach out to the LGBTQ clubs at each school
       

  • As a result of steps 2 and 3, I quickly crossed Harvard and Stanford off of my list. The two best business schools in the world did not seem to be a cultural fit for me.

    • No shade to the friends and acquaintances I know from both programs, but I just never felt the vibe.
       

  • Shoutout to Wharton for the responsive LGBTQ students! At the end of the day however, Wharton’s application fee is $250 and I couldn't justify the expense if I did not feel my application was strong enough to gain admission and the cost of applying for an MBA is an expensive proposition beyond application fees.
     

  • Once I learned about The Consortium I was obsessed! There were 20 amazing member schools and for $300 I could apply to up to 6 of them PLUS I may end up attending a high ranked program for $0 if I am awarded the fellowship! There are many highly ranked programs including Tuck and Yale, but no M7 programs so I would have to choose wisely. 
     

  • I decided to maximize my application fees and applied to 6 Consortium member schools, 1 M7 reach school and a T60 safety school that had been blowing up my inbox offering me an application fee waiver so I figured why not.

    • Pro Tip: when you take the GMAT don't tick the box which allows programs to contact you...you will be flooded with emails from programs across the world and 'unsubscribe' does not seem to work...
       

  • All said and done, I applied to (in order of preference):

    • Kellogg (Northwestern University)

    • Michigan

    • Carnegie Mellon

    • Olin (Washington University St. Louis) 

    • School X (Matriculated in Fall 2018)

    • USC

    • Wisconsin

    • Miami

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