Why I’m Going To Wharton–And Not Booth or Sloan

by MBA Over 30 on

MBAOver30I’ve chosen to invest my next two years into building a company and earning an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management at The Wharton School of Business at UPenn.

First World Problems

From the moment that I first got “the call” from Director of Admissions Ankur Kumar welcoming me to Wharton’s class of 2015, I began to lean strongly in Wharton’s direction for a number of reasons. I had received a similar call from Chicago Booth the day prior, and would get the nod from MIT Sloan about 5 weeks later.

Still, I really wanted to take my time to vet the pros and cons of each institution and make sure that I was making the right decision. I registered for both Wharton and Booth’s admit weekends right away. Since MIT’s decision date lagged the others by more than I month, I decided that I would plan for their R2 admit weekend instead of their R1 festivities.

I was only given a couple of weeks to prepare to attend R1 admit weekend for Sloan and I didn’t want to have to be on a strict budget on any given weekend, so I pushed that one out. I also figured that in doing so I would only take up that space at admit weekend if I knew that I’d be attending Sloan.

Choosing Just One

If you would have asked me to choose between these same institutions a year ago, my knee jerk response would have been:

1. MIT

2. Wharton

3. Booth

However, the past 3-5 months of research, welcome weekends, conversations with multiple students & alums, talks with professors, reading books, studying curriculum, meeting fellow admits, sitting in classes and throwing back shots with current students made things eventually shift to:

1. Wharton

2. MIT

3. Booth

Wharton vs. Booth vs. Sloan

While Booth was always a bit of an outlier in this decision, it was oh, so attractive and came with many things to like. I had a really hard time declining that offer on the 2/19 deadline. From Eddie Pulliam and the wonderfully welcoming admissions staff to Kurt Ahlm  to my close friend Cheetarah1980 and all of the fun, fantastic people that I met in Chicago, that community has just really been good to me. I also mourned passing up the opportunity to study under the likes of Craig Wortmann and Waverly Deutsche.

Ultimately, I felt that Booth had everything that I needed to achieve my goals, but that the breadth and depth of human capital, mentorship and network within the entrepreneurship space was both stronger and more relevant to my goals at Wharton and Sloan. So, I submitted my decline on Booth’s deadline and asked Wharton for an extension to continue to mull over Wharton vs. Sloan.

Wharton vs. MIT Sloan

The choice between the other two schools was a bit more hairy for me. Still, I felt that I had the info that I needed to decide. Though I had not visited Sloan, I knew more than enough about the institution to where I felt comfortable in my ability to make the right choice based on the knowledge that I had.

Next to Stanford, MIT is the most famed school for entrepreneurship; yet, my research brought me to conclude that Wharton would be just as good for what I wanted to do, and with less competition for the exact same resources.

I saw a greater diversity in the aspirations of the Wharton entrepreneurial community in terms of industry and market. At Sloan, most of the folks there are looking to do something quite similar to what I want to do; which means that we will probably end up bumping heads for the same resources, mentors and even business partners.

Could I make it work at MIT? Oh, hell yeah; but I decided that I’d rather do so in an environment where it would be easier for me to be more collaborative rather than competitive with the other entrepreneurs–an environment that had all that I needed without hordes of people clamoring to compete with me for it.

Then there was the love. I’ve developed a deep affinity to the Wharton community that I probably couldn’t shake if I tried. From Ankur to Kembrel to Pete Fader to my classmates to the Founders club et al, Wharton is just ”where I wanna be”. Period.

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  • Shaniqua James

    I think you’d have been happier at Stanford.

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    My parents and grandparents are on the east coast and are getting older; I think I’ll be staying on that side permanently.

  • Nels

    Hi MBA over 30. Great choice! However, I read your previous post highlighting the entrepreneurial resources Chicago Booth had to offer and that you were interested to apply there because of the entrepreneurial-ism. Is Wharton really that better than Booth and the great MIT as far as entrepreneurship is concerned? i remember seeing MIT as #2 for entrepreneurship. Just curious to hear from you :) Best Wishes :)

  • SMTC

    The paragraph about “crazy, ghetto, housing project nonsense” is uncalled for and perpetuates racist stereotypes. Disappointed to see on this forum.

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    Hey Nels. I’ve actually done a bit of research over this. When you look at entrepreneurship based on which schools’ students have raised the most capital, 5 schools are over the $1B mark. They are (in order): 1) Stanford 2) HBS 3) Berkeley 4) MIT 5) Wharton (tie) 5) NYU (tie). Booth isn’t on that list….I”m not sure what their 5 year number is, but their 3 year number is around $250M. If you doubled that, and assumed that figure to be the 6 (not five) year number, that would still only be $500M. I that overall MIT as an institution is more entrepreneurial. It is just a part of their culture; and they have actually been doing it longer than Stanford (though Stanford has blown everyone away over the past 20 years due to their Sili Valley locale). At the same time MIT is a very techy school–which isn’t bad, but I felt that if I had gone there I would be bumping heads with classmates for mentors and resources. There are far fewer people at Wharton who share my exact interests, yet the school has vast resources and mentors at the same time. Some months ago, John Byrne did a study on the most entrepreneurial schools based on the # of company founders on LinkedIn, adjusted for school size. MIT was 3rd on that list behind Stanford and HBS, then Berkeley, Tuck, Wharton. Booth was not on that list. I believe Darden and Cornell rounded it out at 9 and 10. I can’t remember 7 and 8. Then I wanted to join an alumni network with deep footing in PE and VC, which is an HBS, Wharton, Columbia and Booth game. For me it wasn’t just about entrepreneurship itself….all the top 15+ schools support that quite well…and thhe startup that I personally most admire right now is Blacklocus out of Carnegie Mellon; but I really looked at all of the things that SUPPORT entrepreneurship, including brand and specific mentors for what I want to do without having to fight classmates for attention and help. When I laid everything out on the table, MIT was still killing it, but Wharton was the best choice for me. The next person will feel Booth is the next choice for them and the next Sloan after that.

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    Ever seen honey boo-boo? The Kim K sex tape? Anybody can be a hot ghetto mess, regardless of color; and if you hadn’t considered those in the bunch, then perhaps you are the one who needs to break free of the bondage of stereotypes. I could rattle off people of many ethnicities and cultures who easily fit that mold.

  • Nels

    So, let me get this correctly. I get the order as Wharton, Booth and Sloan in the entrepreneurship arena. Is that right? If so, after a good read of your post, I also feel that you have made the right choice. Good Luck! Hope to be part of the Wharton network sooner or later :)

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    It depends on your goals. For me, it was Wharton, MIT, Booth. For others it will be the reverse or that inside out. It is an individual choice and you really can’t go wrong either way.

  • SMTC

    Hey, stay true to who you are. Now that you’ve secured yourself a seat in an elitist institution, of course you feel it is okay for you to talk down on people whose behavior can be described/explained by the impoverished conditions in which they may or may not live. Just because “ANYONE can be a hot ghetto mess” doesn’t mean you need to disrespect them in a public forum.

    Keep in mind that as the number of socially-minded and committed MBA students are on the rise, you will find many of your classmates who are compassionate towards those with live in ghettos, housing projects and even jail.

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    “Impoverished conditions”? You might want to try looking up Kim K’s net worth. It was around $40M last I checked; hardly impoverished. The behavior that I poked fun at is a function of a lack of class, not poverty. My great-grandmother was born on a plantation and died poor; yet, she was regal and never would be caught dead acting like, say, Nene Leakes…or Brittany Spears for that matter, who walks around gas stations barefoot. Again, nothing to do with money. You can’t buy class. Perhaps you lack the ability to wrap your brain around the nuance that I speak of; not my problem.

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    One thing that I forgot to say about MIT Nels is that its really the engineers who are building the companies that come out of there. The business students are seen somewhat as leeches who are lurking around to piggy back off of them. Another applicant recently reminded me of that. It was data point that I used in my research but I had forgotten all about that.

  • Nels

    Thanks for your reply MBA over 30. Although I am still in college, you are indeed an inspiration for me as well as the many people who are 30 and are interested in an MBA. Good Luck!

  • SMTC

    Let’s recap what you wrote: you used the terms “ghetto” and “housing project” to describe unaccepted social behaviors and choices- baby mama drama, wifing up women without actually marrying them, cockfighting and dogfighting, and fatal acts of violence. What images do the words “ghetto” and “housing project” conjure up? White neighborhoods? Wealthy suburbia?

    The funny thing is that you’re making a point about professional athletes and celebrities, but yet you’re not using language like “million-dollar behavior” or “mansion lifestyle.” You say you’re talking about class, not poverty. In your worldview, they’re not related? One’s social economic position has nothing to do with money?

    You’ll apologize for inadvertently looking like you “pulled a Lebron” but you won’t apologize for a racist, classist, insensitive and offensive comment?

    Just like you have an opinion, I have mine too. I made a comment about the content you published. I didn’t attack you or your ability “to wrap your brain around” something, so I would appreciate the same respect. You know nothing about about me, but I’ll tell you this- Like yourself, I am also headed to a top MBA program.

  • SMTC

    Steve Jobs had baby mama drama. Was he ghetto? Which housing project did he pick up that behavior from?

  • Bschool2013

    Like. As I’ve gotten older (33), I appreciate the value of not having to buy a plane ticket to fly across the country spend time with family.

  • Mike Adams

    He didn’t get accepted to Stanford, but I do think it woule match his goals more than any other school.

  • HBS_Waiting

    Although it may not be a racist comment, it definitely shows MBAover30’s true colors (no pun intended). It is pretty pathetic that he has to resort to this kind of verbage when describing a difficult situation and it clearly puts him on the same level as the people he was “dissin” -yes I meant to say it that way. It is sad for those of us who followed his blog and used it as a sort of motivation. I guess all role models fail at some point.

  • moneymoney

    From the looks of this article, HBS and the GSB are damn lucky they offered up the ding and didn’t get stuck with a lifetime of regrets……herpes is for life people.

  • Henrick

    I have followed MBAover30’s journey on PQ. Initially, I thought he was a really humble, articulate and l authentic guy. Then, his posts started becoming more tedious and in fact, at times even cringe worthy. But finally, he has redeemed himself and made a good decision. He has really thought this out well and articulated his positions well. I doubt many applicants can present what they intend to do during and after the MBA with such clarity.

    That said, I’d like to wager $100 that MBAover30 will not start a business of any kind post MBA. I bet he takes a corporate position (and the $$) with McKinsey or Bain or GS or a tech firm like Apple / Google. All this starting a business stuff is good for writing the application. I base my opinion on personal experience. I met so many people during orientation that wanted to start a business. A few weeks later they were running around trying to find an internship with BCG or Deloitte or JPMorgan. The guys that attended the boot camp for entrepreneurs ended up signing up for extra case practice sessions with victor cheng and david ohrvall. Very very very few people went on to start anything meaningful (and yes, I went to one of the schools mentioned in the story above). It’s two years out of b-school for me, and I keep tabs with my alumni group. I hardly see any real movement in the entrepreneurial space; b-school just does not lend itself to this. B-school after-all, is a hedge, a safety net. I loved my experience in b-school. But I was also realistic about what b-school can and cannot do.

    I think it’s quite likely MBA over 30 will start a business sometime in his lifetime. But I think it will be when he is over40, after working for a few years at a plum post-MBA job that comes thanks to Wharton. Of course, I could be wrong. But I have seen this song and dance before.

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    You are confusing being a member of a certain class based on having money with having class; “having class” and having money are not the same. Hence my examples of Brittany S. and Kim K, which you have willfully ignored. You are obviously obsessed with this issue. Start a blog and be heard.

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    Dunno, but K Fed certainly is.

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    Here here!

  • Jcarringon

    Folks…MBAover30 is a black himself. I don’t understand these allegations that he is a racist. Please – this is a serious issue and could cost him his acceptance at a place like Wharton. People have lost admits for lesser transgressions. I suggest people refrain from throwing out the “r” word carelessly or labeling people a racist. Let’s just call it a poor attempt at humor. But let’s not make any allegations here.

    Cheers,
    J

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    Good luck to you Nels. If you want something, prepare and go after it, I believe that good things will happen, one way or another.

  • Phil

    Lots of people seem to be very bitter about a black gay guy getting into a top b-school. The more things change in America, the more the things stay the same. How unfortunate. Is there hope for this country? Is bigotry and racial prejudice so ingrained that educated people in a forum such as this are unable to conceal their outright prejudice. Shame! Real shame!

  • Matt H.

    I too have followed his posts for some time, but I do not feel he has corrected at all with this. He did seem very humble at first, but it soon became clear that he was more of an elitist than I first realized. That is why I am not at all surprised he chose Wharton. I am sure he would have chosen the highest ranked school that he got into no matter the choices. This post shows his ignorance and arrogance and hopefully we all learn what not to do from it. I also hope those corporate recruiters he attempts to woo someday do stumble onto this posting and find out who he really is.

  • moneymoney

    Let’s call it being an idiot and hope that he does lose his seat for being said idiot. And I think he wants to be called a colored instead of a black.

  • RV

    Sorry but I don’t think you’re right. The blogger made an unfortunate reference and also included the word “negro” in describing himself.

  • Trey

    Seems like you’re ashamed of being black. You mention Zuckerberg and Khan and Gates and Larry Page. But not a single back person in that list? Colin Powell, Tyler Perry, Magic Johnson, George Foreman? You don’t consider those people legit? Just another typical elitist brother who wishes he were white.

  • RV

    lol@george foreman!

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    Hardly. I mentioned them because they are tech company founders; and I’m a proud grad of an HBCU…along with all the other elitists I guess. Get a clue. #blacknerdsunite.

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    its.called.humor.

  • SMTC

    I am obsessed with this issue. I work in what you would call the “ghetto.” My constituents live in housing projects in the poorest zip codes in Los Angeles County. But I don’t need a blog to be heard. My anti-poverty speaks for itself loud and clear in the industry that I’m in. Why don’t you take the 110 Freeway, exit anywhere between Vernon and Manchester and find me making a difference in people’s lives instead of using them to talk trash about celebrities.

    You basically tried to overcompensate for the fact that you were oblivious to one of the biggest sports stories of Lebron’s tenure in Miami. Even if you only watched the games, there’s no way the commentators wouldn’t have alluded to The Decision. Just admit you don’t watch NBA basketball. Your paragraph tried to do the most but ended up embarrassing you.

  • SMTC

    I didn’t call him a racist, what he said perpetuates racism. Just because you’re black yourself doesn’t mean that you can’t say or do things to hurt your own people.

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    Again, you don’t know WTH you’re talking about, and on so many levels. I actually live in walking distance from Vernon in Los Angeles. Don’t watch NBA basketball? Might sound funny to my mentee, who I’ve taken to several Lakers games…and Clippers games. While you’re “serving your constituents”, wave while passing the VOA Shelter for women and children, where I’ve tutored for forever; or if you’re ever in Inglewood, look in the direction of the Midnight Mission, where I’ve also tutored and done mentorship for a while. I never attacked poor people in my post. I mocked people of any class who act classless–regardless of ethnicity. Calling rich, yet gold-teethed rappers and athletes “ghetto” is not a novelty in black American vernacular; but maybe you didn’t know that. My students? None of them have gold teeth. Their moms? All hardworking. In my eyes, none of them are “ghetto” or “project”, regardless of where they live or what they don’t have. Ray Caruth? What he did was ghetto; and crazy. He’s not poor. Lebron? That was ghetto. Brittany Spears? Ghetto. My student at Midnight Mission? Straight A’s and just got accepted to the gifted program. NOT ghetto. “Ghetto” is not about what you have or even where you live. it’s how you act and the respect that you have for yourself; but I guess for you its synonymous with being poor and black. What pity.

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    Oh, and I don’t watch the heat #lakers.

  • SMTC

    On one hand, I want to advise you to stop using a class-based term if you insist you’re not talking about class. But on the other hand, I want you to keep talking and showing people who you really are. I’m not the only one who picked up on your unfortunate word choice.

  • SMTC

    No wonder you don’t know what’s going on in the NBA. You’ve been watching a team that won one second round playoff game in two seasons.

  • SMTC

    If you make a joke, and no one laughs, is it funny?

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    They’ve also won 4 championships in the past 12 seasons; and I’ve been a die hard fan since I was a kid; but I wouldn’t expect for you to be able to relate to that seeing as how other simple concepts escape you, like how you took a satire of ill-acting athletes and actors–all of whom are rich–and somehow tried to turn said satire into an argument on race and poverty. Real smart. I’m awestruck by the intelligence of that.

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    And how, pray tell, are my people “hurt” by my calling The Basketball Wives Ghetto? If anything “hurts my people”, its little kids growing up watch that tripe and the nonstop media circus that comes along with it instead of growing up watching Bill Cosby like I did.

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    I hope you’re not going to business school demanding that everyone shares your sense of humor; I also hope that you never raise your hand in class to claim that “no one” did something just because YOU didn’t witness it…from your computer…not in the presence of any of the several thousand people who shared the same experience; SMH. WOW. At any rate, my sense of humor is dark and crass, which I’ve said on many occasions. Some like it; some don’t. I’m not emotionally attached to which group an individual falls into; its each person’s prerogative to live it or not. If you don’t like it, then don’t read my posts.

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    I was using fairly common black vernacular that it is apparent you don’t get, which is fine. I don’t get much of George Lopez’s Hispanic self-effacing humor; but then again why should I?

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    Baby mama drama is ALWAYS ghetto; no matter who you are or what you have; hence, my point. It has nothing to do with ethnicity or even neighborhood; its actions. Still can’t grasp?

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    That’s certainly a valid perspective; though people who go that route typically have not started companies before. They think entrepreneurship sounds “cool” and get lured by stories of VC funding and $15M exits and jump in only to discover that its really hard work with a high rate of failure and takes a lack of risk aversion that they don’t have, so they go get a consulting job–and there is nothing wrong with that. Not my story though. I’ve already started companies in the past and couldn’t stop being an entrepreneur if I tried. I was having a conversation with Jed Carlson, the founder of ReverbNation recently. His take on it? Well, he felt that with the resources that b-schools are currently providing, its the best ecosystem to be in for folks who have not already solidified their team and product yet because you get two years without a job to focus. Davis Smith of baby.com.br? Thought the same thing. Whenever I set my sights on something, I ask for the opinions of people who have actually done it. Those two seemed pretty much in lockstep that b-school was a fine place to be for someone who was deciding on what to build next. That’s good enough for me.

  • SMTC

    I’m not the only one who find you unfunny. You can read up and down the comments to find evidence. If you don’t want people to disagree with you then don’t post anything.

  • SMTC

    Again. You don’t need to insult me to carry on with this discussion. I hope your Wharton classmates who hold different world views don’t get subjected to this kind of treatment. Someone else compared you to herpes yet you’re chasing me all over this thread to make sure you reply to everything I wrote. Keep at it, though. I’ll go toe to toe all day.

  • SMTC

    You should make a list of everything that’s ghetto. So there’s gold teeth, unwed mothers, unmarried girlfriends of athletes… What else???

  • SMTC

    Are you sure it’s just four, lifelong fan? LOL Wikipedia failed you.

  • cheetarah1980

    This comments section is looking like an episode of “When Political Correctness Goes Wrong.” I know plenty of highly educated, community minded, enlightened people who would describe Basketball wives (not all of whom are black), Kim K., et al in the exact same way: A hot ghetto mess. It’s vernacular, not a condemnation on the ills of poverty that manifest themselves in actual ghettos, barrios, reservations, and trailer parks. The cries of, “I’m so offended” seem to have ulterior motives.

    Congrats again MBAOver30 on making a decision. Justifying who you are and what you’ve done is unnecessary. Sometimes people just don’t want to get the joke.

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    When Political Correctness Goes Wrong is right; sheesh.

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    You attempt and attack post on MY blog, I don’t approve it, so you post it here, attacking me, and talk about “treatment”. Right. I’m sure you you’ll go toe to toe all day, as is probably your M.O. in life. Cheeterah1980 pretty much summed it up above. I’m not wasting anymore time wading through your idiotic attempts to break your back being politically correct when it isn’t even called for.

  • Andrew

    Guys..he’s just like everyone else in this MBA “journey”. He conjured up some stuff like empany and life experience to get admitted to a top program. Most of us are guilty of such things. The MBA schools also act like they are some “cultural immersion” program of that’s attempting to create all these future leaders. Let’s be real about this..you pay 100k for a piece of paper from a good school and then hopefully, get a good job and land some connections. Life goes on. Why all this conceit and pretension? I doubt very few are going to do the microfinance gig in Uganda or build some sustainable eco thingy in Sri Lanka or something. It’s all nonsense. So..stop piling up on this kid. He got into a great program..what he said or did to get there is immaterial. His race is immaterial. Look at yourselves in the mirror first. How many lies and resume “fudges” and inflation of “experience” have you done yourself to get where you are? How “ethical” have you really been? Most research shows MBA students are more prone to cheat than their counterparts in law or med school. Read up on some of the stuff this guy — i think he is a b-school prof in MIT – named Dan Airely. He writes about all this cheating and fudging. Get a life people. Leave this guy alone…b-schools are just factories that print expensive paper at the end of the day. Get real. All this learning to work with other people is baloney nonsense. If the Phoenician traders in 1000 BC figured out how to communicate with all the different islands and peoples in the Mediterranean using the alphabets…surely you guys can figure out how to communicate with the arabs and the chinese and the indians.

  • KFC

    Middle aged blk elitists like yourself and MBAover30 aren’t helping the cause. Keep putting down your people to curry favor with the establishment masters is so 19th century.

  • SMTC

    I’m not one of your readers, just to be clear. I’m a PQ subscriber and fan and your post showed up on my feed. I don’t know any more about you than what you presented in this post. But I’m sure it’s easier to imagine it must be a vendetta I have than to accept that you said something wrong in your post. Since you’re just a guest blogger here I went to the source and tried to comment. Since you were too cowardly to take responsibility for your comment, I came here.

    Good job bringing in your friends to fight your fight.

    Based on what others here have said about you, you’re ignorant, arrogant, full of it and elitist. So you enjoy your life too.

  • rapplicanth

    I think you all need to lay off. MBA Over 30 has allowed all of us to follow his journey and we don’t need to agree with everything he says. Some people on here have been extremely unprofessional and downright mean. These are not values anyone should carry as they go into business school.

  • http://twitter.com/SassafrasMBA Sassafras

    First, I want to say that while I’ve never met mbaover30, I have total respect for him. I can tell he genuinely wants to make a difference in his community and world and he has the drive and passion to back it up. Whether or not OTHER people invent stories to make themselves more attractive to business schools, he hasn’t. He has a history of behavior to prove that, whereas all the critics have is cynicism. Whether or not he ends up at some bulge bracket or consulting company, I have every confidence that he will continue to work to support low-income kids, whether it be through his dreams of a start-up, volunteering, or mentoring. It’s ridiculous to accuse him of falsifying his dreams years before he is even given the chance to make good on them. It’s guilt by MBA association and that’s foolishness.

    On the subject of racism and classism, let’s come to terms with the fact that comments sections are NOT designed for deep and meaningful conversations. The word “ghetto” is definitely worth avoiding in all situations because it is such a trigger, so mbaover30 is guilty of lobbing this bomb out there. Nonetheless, he didn’t arm the bomb with the level of vitriol that others are accusing him of. The word encases a long history of racism and classism and its humor value varies greatly on the context AND the speaker. I agree with others that this term is fraught with negative stereotypes, but I don’t believe the attack on mbaover30 is justified. If we were having this conversation in person, I doubt people would be so quick to jump down his throat.

    The real issue as I see it is that there is embedded racism in how we expect people of color
    to act. Those with money who act “ghetto” aren’t conforming to a classist idea of how wealthy people are supposed to act. So we call black people who don’t act in this supposed proper way “ghetto”. Meanwhile, black people who DO conform to (generally white) standards of class behaviors are considered elitist and white-washed. It’s a pretty despicable dichotomy if you ask me. The question that I don’t want to get into is whether “ghetto behavior” is objectively good or bad. I’m not going to debate the merits of gold teeth or housing projects because the structures in US society that perpetuate stereotypical behavior and poverty cannot be extricated from the real life experiences that poor people of color have.

    As I said in the beginning, the comments section is not a forum for real debate and
    discussion and they rarely enlighten. Dialogue decays quickly on forums like this, so let’s not pretend we’re getting the full story.

  • dubious_1

    I was seriously considering MIT as well till I visited the school. Its not that anything is wrong with the school it was just that the atmosphere did not fit with me personally, and after that I just couldn’t see myself there. I had studied their curriculum and was really excited about the school till I actually went. Lesson: never apply to a school without visiting the school first. There are some things that just don’t come across on paper. And that goes for every school no matter what the ranking, there is no telling which schools will surprise you when you actually visit.

  • Sim

    Mate, you haven’t even met this MBAover30, but you how do you know he has or hasn’t fabricated / exaggerated anything? None of us knows this. We should not accuse him of such. But your claim that he has not “fabricated” anything is not credible; you accept you haven’t even met him. MBAover30 could have at least issued an apology to people who might have been offended and retracted those statements on his post. It’s MBAover30’s reluctance to show some sense of self-reflection and empathetic listening to other points of view, that makes him come across as egoistical, elitist and arrogant. Sorry, but he isn’t better than all those people he lampooned just because he got into a great b-school.

    Even your posts have been criticized for being insensitive towards Asians and other non-us nationals for making fun of their language skills. You’re not very credible on this issue yourself.

    It’s quite clear that P&Q and the guest bloggers who post here are pretty much establishment elitists regardless of color, gender or sexual preference P&Q’s star attraction Sandy “HBSGuru” is one of the most elitist, snobby and condescending individuals on this space. I’m not surprised. P&Q is still a great resource and I have learned much from here. But I do see a lot of hypocrisy and elitism.

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    Agreed. I wish I had visited all of the schools that I applied to before applying. It all worked out, but visiting allows you to whittle your list down quickly and decisively.

  • http://twitter.com/SassafrasMBA Sassafras

    I agree that I can’t know for certain that he has or has not fabricated these things. I guess I subscribe more to an “innocent until proven guilty” mindset. Like I said, I think it’s cynical to doubt everything he says. I’d rather give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe I’m crazy, but that’s how I approach the world.

    I don’t have anything to say about the critiques of me here. I’m tempted to, but to each his own. My only question is this: what gives anyone else here more or less credibility? Most comments are from nameless, faceless people. Why should they be given credibility?

  • WillyWill9

    MBA Over 30 – I’ve read your posts over the past year, and am very thankful for your insight and for sharing your experiences. I found it encouraging to read about your GMAT improvement, and to read about the effort you put into touching and feeling the various programs. Knowing there were people out there such as yourself, helped me be sure to bring my A+ game to all career fairs, interviews, etc.

    For the record, I do not think your statements are racist, but I can see how they’re “edgy” so to speak. You have to wonder what that paragraph added to your overall post, and was it worth it? I wasn’t offended by anything per se, but you start to go off on a tangent and begin to pile it on at “ghetto, housing project…”

    Also, one minor quibble: I myself grew up in the housing projects in NYC, and I know ghetto. Based on your experiences in LA, I’m confident you do too. Lebron’s ‘decision’ event wasn’t ghetto. I know he was criticized, but he actually raised money for the Boys and Girls club. Was the “decision” event self-serving? Was it arrogant? Was it over the top? Yes, but I wouldn’t describe it (or LBJ) ghetto.
    (BTW, he still supports the Boys & Girls Club)
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/truehoop/miamiheat/news/story?id=6175574

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    I appreciate this perspective WillyWill. I may not have literally grown up in the PJ’s (what we call it down south) but was literally down the block and basically in the same neighborhood and strata, so I definitely know the deal. Where I grew up, it was a normal part of the neighborhood. In my post, I wasn’t directly calling Lebron or what he did ghetto (to this day, I haven’t even bothered to get the full story on exactly what happen with all of its full nuance. My point was that I don’t really follow the antics of celebrities and athletes because I generally think they are ridiculous and media starved. When I began listing some of those antics, I threw “ghetto” in there because it was appropriate for the list that I was coming up with…its a pretty ratchet list of things. At that point, Lebron was no longer the subject, but the fact that I didn’t really know about his deal because I don’t follow celebrity news in general because I don’t thinks its worthy news. That was my real point; however, some people were dead set on twisting that out of context as much as possible and next thing I know I’m being accused of attacking the poor–who were not even mentioned. Now, if you’re from the PJ’s and also on Poets and Quants, then I’m certain you have heard “educated” black people who are from “the hood” (projects or not) them/ourSELVES call someone or something “ghetto” when we think its just out of line. Its common vernacular and nothing that even ruffles a feather in a black environment. On this page, however, I think there have been a good deal of non-blacks who have taken the comment out of context (because they weren’t aware of the contexts in the first place) and have gotten on a soap box in an effort to be the PC police when there was no need to. Regarding me being edgy and going on a tangent…well, that’s just what I do. I do tend to “go in” a bit for the sake of making a point; but its generally either in jest or just as a matter of fact (or opinion). Thanks again for posting a rational critique of that portion of the post.

  • WillyWill9

    I totally get it, and you’re right, I do have latino and black friends that are from the hood (I’m Nuyorican, fwiw) that have “made it” (I had a sociology professor tell me that once). It is common vernacular, which is why I wasn’t offended.

    And what you say is true: growing up I watched the Bill Cosby show, A Different World- while silly, it showed me people of color went to college. I didn’t know anyone who went to college, so I didn’t necessarily see it in my future (although my mother did, I’ll tell you that much.) Kids watch reality TV (but almost all reality tv is trashy.)

    In conversation, I bet these statements wouldn’t have stood out at all as it does on screen. Like it or not, you’ve become a voice/personality on a popular blog, your words will get twisted and scrutinized, so just something worth considering. You haven’t said anything hurtful, nor did you intend to. Like you said, it’s part of your humor/style, so in one sense it’s good to be true to yourself, and in many ways not be afraid to bring it to the mainstream, but online forums are the widest audiences imaginable. In short, keep being you, but just be prepared for similar criticism.

    And we call them the PJ’s too 😉 Although, my girlfriend is from west Georgia (near Alabama) and some of their PJs look nicer than our PJs!

  • http://www.mbaover30.com/ MBA Over 30

    Very true. And yes, NYC projects are on another level altogether. My grandfather lived in some projects in Bed-Stuy that were so shady we visited him once and after that he had to come visit us at the homes of other family members either in other sections or NY or in NJ. I have never seen anything like that in my life. When I would watch “Good Times” reruns and see the episode about the kid who fell down the elevator shaft, I thought that was pure fantasy…UNTIL I went to Brooklyn! LOL.

  • lbarra

    wow, what an unnecessarily negative comment thread! congrats again mbaover30…excited to start a new chapter of life with you at wharton this fall. don’t let the internet trolls drag you down.

  • avivalasvegas

    Speaking of diversity @ Wharton, have you read about the recent India Economic Forum drama? Sponsor after sponsor has blacklisted the school, which would be okay except that the soured relationships are with titans of industry and politics in that country.
    Personally, I’m not sold on the school. Every interaction I’ve had with a Wharton alum has been underwhelming or even unpleasant, especially when compared to folks from MIT and Kellogg, who are far more humble IMO.

  • craig

    John – I’m disappointed that we lost the opportunity to have you at Booth, but I wish you the best of luck. Go kick some ass in whatever you do. – Craig Wortmann

  • Ty

    I’m looking to apply for Fall 2014, and I’m kind of facing this dilema. I’ve got about 8 schools that looks really good on paper, but I want to get that list down to about 4-5.

    The best way to do this would be visiting schools, but I probably only have the time or money to visit a couple. On top of that, there isn’t really much time between when they open up tours in the fall, and the R1 deadlines.

    I figure I’ll just do the best with whatever resources I have, and let the chips fall. Tough to balance everything though. Any tips on the process?

  • Dennis

    I recently was faced with this awesome dilemma and after some significant research, concluded that MIT Sloan is the best fit for me. In summary, MIT’s entrepreneurial and collaborative ecosystem are key differentiators but see the link for some more specific details.

    https://thinkingofdoing.wordpress.com/2015/04/29/why-i-chose-mit-over-wharton/

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