The Choice

So in the end it came down to the choice, three very distinct opportunities, three worthy contenders and one decision. Before I go into a detailed breakdown of each I want to say that there were some schools that I did not consider as part of the ‘final three’ simply because I knew it would not be a fit. Additionally, there were a handful of schools I was wait listed at that still to this day perplex me to no end. I will say, I’m very content with the final call I made.

Kellogg School of Management:


  • Top 5 MBA Program
  • Impressive Recruiting Performance
  • Solid Entrepreneurship Program
  • Scholarship Money Offered
  • Free Lodging in Chicago (have a home there)
  • Alumni Network is World Renowned and Expansive
  • The Smart Choice
  • Fun-Loving Student Body


  • Facilities are not that impressive
  • Located in the Midwest (lived here my whole life)
  • Class Size
  • Near a city I’ve actually lived in

Final Verdict: My perceptions of Kellogg improved ten-fold after Day-at-Kellogg in February. The entire school had all hands on deck for the weekend, and they sure know how to party. Additionally, Kellogg makes the most sense for someone with my profile – still the smart choice, but now also a choice my heart would be happy with.

The Johnson School at Cornell:


  • Roy H. Park Fellowship Finalist (probably the most lucrative scholarship of any MBA program period)
  • Fiercely loyal student body
  • Ivy League Education with International Recognition
  • Strong commitment to diversity
  • Private Equity and Venture Capital Network is deeper than Kellogg or Tuck
  • Class Size
  • Eastern US
  • Campus is beautiful
  • Consortium School (those of you who do not know the Consortium visit


  • Not a Top 10 MBA program
  • Ithaca’s location is a bit cumbersome
  • Transitional leadership (new dean) is always difficult in the first year

Final Verdict: The Johnson School has a reputation for having the most connected student body of most Top MBA Programs. Their focus on leadership is outstanding and the Roy Park Fellowship, which is, for lack of a better analogy, “the richest prize in the MBA world” is an absolute no-brainer. The access you get with the Park Fellowship is unparalleled. Did I forget to mention they have their own Venture Capital Fund?

Tuck School of Business:


  • The most loyal alumni in the world
  • Facilities are superb
  • General Management education
  • Oldest School of Business in the world
  • Myopic focus on the 2-year MBA
  • East coast
  • Consortium school
  • 97% Job Placement


  • Illogical compared to Kellogg & Johnson
  • In the sticks (seriously, cell reception non-existent)
  • No personal space
  • Alumni base is tiny compared to Kellogg, Wharton
  • Expensive (no money on the table – as of the time I made my choice)

Final Verdict: On paper Tuck is not the leader of this group but shines because of its intangibles. It’s like putting a Porsche 911 up against a Maserati. The Maserati looks sexy and performs like a thoroughbred – it will get you noticed a lot quicker. The Porsche (Tuck), while you can tell it’s special, hasn’t really changed since it was first released 50 years ago. It certainly doesn’t have the cache of some of the other schools but Tuck can handle its own and in some cases even outperform the favorite.

Stay tuned for my upcoming post entitled, “The Decision”.

4 Responses to “The Choice”
  1. Anonymous says:

    I voted for Johnson, but perhaps I’m a bit biased 😉

    • Anonymous says:

      UGH! I want to know!
      I voted tuck, because, for me hanover is this strange little place that just sings to me. Hope it does for you too

  2. Anonymous says:

    UGH! I was hoping this post was “the decision” and not just “the choice”.
    You already know that I vote Tuck. But that’s because, for me, Hanover is this strange little place that makes my heart sing… and I hope to see you t here in the fall!

  3. Mo. says:

    I also got into Cornell…it’s class size is very attractive and the network of alumni is deeper than we think. It just doesn’t seem like it because they are not as loud as Columbia grads. I vote for Johnson.

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