Myth: Columbia Business School is a commuter school.
Reality: We’re not a commuter school. I repeat: WE ARE NOT A COMMUTER SCHOOL. A lot of students are worried about all the distractions that New York City has to offer – which is a very fair concern. However, beginning with orientation, students are engulfed in their cluster, learning teams, and other social activities that they rarely have time for ‘outside life’. Once club activities and leadership engagements begin on campus, students easily spend 8-12 hours (or more) on campus every day. The CBS community has been my life for the past 18 months and I don’t regret it. Additionally, most students live on the Upper West Side or in Harlem, a 15-20 minute walk or train ride away from campus, so a classmate to study with or hang out with is never more than a few blocks away.
Myth: MIT Sloan doesn’t have many social impact opportunities for MBAs.
Reality: Now that I am about to graduate, I would wholeheartedly disagree. Sloan has active student organizations across impact-related fields. I have been privileged to be on the leadership teams of Net Impact and Education Club, and we have put on numerous events that provide students with exposure and career-oriented knowledge. Sloan has one of the largest impact investing student organizations across MBA programs. Sloan also has a huge array of opportunities in social enterprise, where students have the opportunity to work with world-renowned entrepreneurs and professors. Additionally, through my work with Hack for Inclusion, I have been able to connect with students across Sloan and greater MIT who are incredibly passionate about making a change in our world.
Myth: Given its small size and location, Washington University is a “regional” school or a school for people who want to end up in St. Louis.
Reality: While our relationships and reputation in the St. Louis community have absolutely opened doors to opportunities for engagement, networking, speakers, and job opportunities locally, our strategic pillars play a pivotal role in shaping our experience, and “Global Outlook” is one of those pillars.
In addition to 40% of our class being international, there are myriad opportunities for traveling abroad, learning in and about new countries, and participating in consulting projects in those countries. All second-year students participate in a capstone Global Business Environment course, which culminates in an immersive experience at the Brooking’s Institute in Washington, DC. In addition to helping students land jobs across industries and states and countries, we have a robust Olin Alumni network abroad, constantly looking for ways to partner with us and engage current and outgoing students.
Myth: Tuck is in the middle-of-nowhere.
Reality: Sure, Hanover is not a major city, but there’s a lot to love here. Besides, Amazon delivers in two days up here, too. I think the value of being outside the hustle and distraction of a major metropolitan area far outweighs the inconvenience of being more remote. There’s an abundance of activities and adventures outside of the classroom here that allow students to share meaningful and memorable experiences together.
Myth: The University of Rochester is just a finance school.
Reality: Given our rich history of well-recognized finance professors, the school can sometimes be viewed as only a finance school. Despite the fact that this strong finance background is what attracted me to the school, I realized the school has much more to offer once I was on campus. Simon has fully embraced the age of big data and most of our classes and programs reflect this, such as our new STEM MBA program. Professors have fully integrated analytics as a key component into almost all of the curriculum. This has allowed Simon students to differentiate ourselves from other candidates in the job market by bringing additional skills that employers desire.
Myth: Georgetown’s location only attracts applicants with interest in working with the government.
Reality: One only has to look at the employment statistics to realize that the three largest industries that Georgetown students work in post-MBA are financial services, consulting, and technology. Of course, the location creates an advantage for students exploring careers with international non-profits such as the International Finance Corporation and World Bank. Ultimately, the location of the school ends up creating the best of both worlds for students: opportunities available in both the government and non-profit sector, and with Fortune 500 firms.
Myth: With Georgia Tech Scheller’s smaller size, it’s difficult to find alumni connections at companies where students would be interested in working.
Reality: To be honest, this was something that I was nervous about coming into the program two years ago. However, myth and reality are very different. In my experience, no matter which company I was interested in speaking with, there was always a Georgia Tech/Scheller College alumnus available to help me make connections. Also, each of the Scheller grads whom I reached out to was extremely responsive and genuinely happy to help me get in front of hiring managers. Because of the power of the Scheller network, an aviation project manager with no finance, sales, or IT experience (me) was able to land an internship with Goldman Sachs and a full-time role in technology sales at Microsoft. Although I put in a lot of effort to get those jobs, the power of the Scheller network was a key enabler in my job search, and the myth of a limited network just simply is not true. The Georgia Tech Scheller brand is stronger than most know!
Myth: Living in a small college town like Bloomington, Indiana means there is very little to do at Kelley.
Reality: I believe Bloomington rivals major cities in terms of the diverse opportunities available to students. For some, it may include eating their way down Fourth Street with cuisine from around the world. For others, taking advantage of performances at the world-renowned Jacobs School of Music or an IU basketball game could be up their alley. I enjoyed running the B-Line trail with classmates on Saturday mornings and wrapping up at the farmers market.
Bloomington’s size helps us develop a much stronger relationship with our classmates rather than spreading out across a major city. Just the other night, several of my classmates and I played board games and listened to live music for a few hours at Switchyard, the new local brewery in town. I have hosted meals at my apartment, hiked with classmates in the Brown County State Park, had book discussion groups at local restaurants and played basketball against Kelley faculty in Assembly Hall. Bloomington has been an ideal location for me to get my MBA, and I am grateful for my time in this city.
Myth: Berkeley Haas is a ‘culture’ school.
Reality: Everyone talks about the Haas Defining Leadership Principles, but there is so much more to Haas than just the culture. I took tough courses that really prepared me for an intense career transition. Yes, there are plenty of softer classes, but Haasies don’t shirk the tough content!