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lamaros
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on: February 21, 2019, 06:45:39 PM

Hey friends. I'm looking at going on a university exchange later this year (generally August-December window) and trying to get a broader picture about what the schools / areas might be like.

If anyone has general advice about the following schools, either the institutions themselves or the opportunities the locations might offer, then please let me know. Things like, are these good places to live / get about and see interesting things on weekends, etc

These are all part of an MBA exchange so will be with the business/management schools.

(I was more inclined to go somewhere in Europe, but have heard some good things about some US schools so I'm not as sure anymore)

Kellogg @ Northwestern University
Fuqua @ Duke University
Darden @ University of Virginia
John Graduate @ Cornell University
McCombs @ University of Texas
Kelley @ Indiana University
Kenan Flagler @ University of North Carolina

Also Desautels @ McGill University in Canada
« Last Edit: February 21, 2019, 09:54:04 PM by lamaros »

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Reply #1 on: February 21, 2019, 06:51:51 PM

Well, I know which one Schild will tell you to go to.   awesome, for real


I have some friends who went to Cornell, I'll try to get some feedback from them.

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Trippy
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Reply #2 on: February 21, 2019, 07:06:28 PM

Ithaca, where Cornell is, is pretty isolated. The city itself is a very nice small college town and in a very beautiful area but if you want to explore a bigger city you would have to drive quite a distance (at least 1 hour, and it's 4 hours to NYC). Also Ithaca is really fucking cold in the winter. Kellogg would be the most prestigious of the business schools on your list if that matters to you.
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Reply #3 on: February 21, 2019, 07:29:02 PM

Cornell is fucking great and the Finger Lakes are amazing. You have gorges with waterfalls, the Lakes, it's one of the best wine regions on the planet. It's also a blueberry in the red Upstate, very progressive with lots of culture and arts, cafes and shit. I love Ithaca and wish I could live there (it's a couple hours from here). Geneva has an amazing classical music organization, and Glimmerglass opera is close. Syracuse is kind of a dive, but gets plenty of shows of all genres from musicals/classical to rock/country, and it has some really nice restaurants, music clubs and the like.

You are also fairly close to Buffalo and by proxy Toronto, and NYC is maybe four hours drive.

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Reply #4 on: February 21, 2019, 08:16:35 PM

Evanston is a decent town and it is a short El ride to downtown Chicago. December is likely to be a yo-yo of mild days and unbelievably cold days since winter in Illinois are schizophrenic over the last decade or so.

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Reply #5 on: February 21, 2019, 08:38:56 PM

Duke, Cornell, UVA and UT will give you the widest future networks.

You're white, right? Sorry, it's 2019, this is relevant.

Edit: didn't even see northwestern at the top there, add that to the list above. Seriously, this should be about the preppy turds you can meet, not the education.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2019, 08:43:02 PM by schild »
lamaros
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Reply #6 on: February 21, 2019, 09:31:29 PM

Duke, Cornell, UVA and UT will give you the widest future networks.

You're white, right? Sorry, it's 2019, this is relevant.

Edit: didn't even see northwestern at the top there, add that to the list above. Seriously, this should be about the preppy turds you can meet, not the education.

I'm white. Preppy turd networks are not my thing very high on the list (Otherwise I choose LSE or an Asian school where all the Harvard/Standford/Insead nerds go on exchange?) More looking to learn something in a place that isn't shit to live or disconnected from fun places, with people who know how to have fun.

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Reply #7 on: February 21, 2019, 09:47:12 PM

Stay the fuck away from Bloomington Indiana then. Place is nowhere near anything and the town is not very big.

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lamaros
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Reply #8 on: February 21, 2019, 09:52:53 PM

I've generally knocked it down to a NW, Duke, and Cornell shortlist. (UT exchange is 121 days, which is just too fucking long).

But open to changing that view with more feedback, hence the thread.

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Reply #9 on: February 21, 2019, 09:54:41 PM

Duke, Cornell, UVA and UT will give you the widest future networks.

You're white, right? Sorry, it's 2019, this is relevant.

Edit: didn't even see northwestern at the top there, add that to the list above. Seriously, this should be about the preppy turds you can meet, not the education.

I'm white. Preppy turd networks are not my thing very high on the list (Otherwise I choose LSE or an Asian school where all the Harvard/Standford/Insead nerds go on exchange?) More looking to learn something in a place that isn't shit to live or disconnected from fun places, with people who know how to have fun.


I've generally knocked it down to a NW, Duke, and Cornell shortlist. (UT exchange is 121 days, which is just too fucking long).

But open to changing that view with more feedback, hence the thread.

oh

if this is about living

austin

the rest of the list is shit comparatively

edit: what are your european options?
« Last Edit: February 21, 2019, 09:57:36 PM by schild »
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Reply #10 on: February 21, 2019, 10:16:52 PM

Yeah, if you want somewhere with an actual living cultural scene, or just parties, Austin is going to beat anything on that list by a long ways. Everywhere else is just faux-bohemian college town, at best.

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Reply #11 on: February 21, 2019, 10:21:43 PM

NW is if want access to Urban city life, Cornell if you want the college town in a scenic location vibe.

Durham just looks like one giant suburb from when I went through it.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2019, 11:01:28 PM by Teleku »

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lamaros
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Reply #12 on: February 21, 2019, 11:20:10 PM

edit: what are your european options?

Euro options are a few,

Skipping the ones which don't have that good a rep, and France because fuck Paris, and others because who wants to be in Scandinavia in winter...

London Business School
IESE Business School (Barcelona)
ESADE (Barcelona)
IE Business School (Madrid)
SDA Boconni (Milan)
University of St. Gallen
WHU (Dusseldorf)
Smurfit Graduate Business School (Dublin)

Durham just looks like one giant suburb from when I went through it.

Previous exchange student feedback seems to be "everyone loves to partydrink" level of social activity. Maybe because there's nothing else to do.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2019, 11:25:00 PM by lamaros »

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Reply #13 on: February 21, 2019, 11:34:19 PM

Austin.

I went to UT for undergrad and I miss living there pretty much every day.  It's a great city and a great university.  The traffic kind of sucks when you first arrive, but once you learn the roads you can get around just fine.  Plus, swaths of the city are walkable.

I'm a filthy Dallasite now, so I should also mention that Austin is within driving distance of three other major cities (San Antonio, Dallas, Houston) if you're interested in seeing something different over a weekend and there are countless places to visit not far outside of town as well.  But you probably won't need to unless you're really into seeing a particular museum or site in those cities (Dallas Museum of Art, Space Center Houston, etc.).

Seriously, Austin is great.

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Reply #14 on: February 22, 2019, 07:23:17 AM

edit: what are your european options?

Euro options are a few,

Skipping the ones which don't have that good a rep, and France because fuck Paris, and others because who wants to be in Scandinavia in winter...

London Business School
IESE Business School (Barcelona)
ESADE (Barcelona)
IE Business School (Madrid)
SDA Boconni (Milan)
University of St. Gallen
WHU (Dusseldorf)
Smurfit Graduate Business School (Dublin)

Durham just looks like one giant suburb from when I went through it.

Previous exchange student feedback seems to be "everyone loves to partydrink" level of social activity. Maybe because there's nothing else to do.

I don't know your lifestyle but given you listed USA before those, yea, I'd do the US list. There are some great cities on your EU list (I'd remove London), but none of the schools are blowing my hair back.

Edit: Durham fucking blows. Cornell's location is inferior to Austin is literally every single way. "Scenic college vibe," is code for "we had to create something out of nothing and this place still blows."  Another great example of this in the Northeast is RISD. Providence is a total shithole but there is a scenic college vibe surrounding the school.

This is a post graduate degree though, fuck a scenic college vibe.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2019, 07:26:33 AM by schild »
Khaldun
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Reply #15 on: February 22, 2019, 07:44:32 AM

Of the Euro options, LSE is the power institution, but I think on a shorter exchange it's probably hard to hook into the networks of future ministers from developing countries, future World Bank vice-presidents, slick economists who will be giving TED talks in five years, and so on.

Schild is kind of right that for what you're doing, locale is really not that important anyway. If you get a payoff from pursuing the degree at your home institution, you're going to be able to go to any of these places whenever you feel like in the future. Location is not too important for a six-month period.

Kellogg is really your best bet in terms of prestige, possible future contacts, quality of the institution, quality of the faculty and possible value of local knowledge in the Chicago area, etc.

Fuqua at Duke and Darden at UVA are about equal probably, and McCombs too.  Cornell is also pretty decent. Darden faculty probably have some contacts in Washington DC, which might have special value.

Might depend a little on whether you've got a line of specialized interest, too. None of these places are good for tech business, for example.
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Reply #16 on: February 22, 2019, 08:16:03 AM

If exchange ends before November, McGill should be pretty high on the list when it comes to things to do and living standard. Montreal in warm weather is the shit, and you got loads of awesome places to go nearby.

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Reply #17 on: February 22, 2019, 09:44:25 AM

Khaldun, location is important if the education doesn't matter. In fact, I'd say location is the ONLY important thing if he's not in it for the networking. I think you missed the mark on what I was getting at.
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Reply #18 on: February 22, 2019, 02:23:01 PM

I guess I would say that if I'm gonna move for six months just to be somewhere cool or interesting, I'm not sure I'd cross the streams of that desire with "I'm in graduate school". If the cross-training of going to another institution for a while is not important for itself, it seems like kind of a waste of time.
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Reply #19 on: February 22, 2019, 04:37:17 PM

Can confirm that Durham is a snooze fest socially. IESE has a great reputation but beware, its run by the Opus Dei. ESADE is not as good by reputation but still pretty toff. That said, Barcelona beats any and everyone of your US options for quality of life.

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Reply #20 on: February 22, 2019, 07:52:17 PM

I guess I would say that if I'm gonna move for six months just to be somewhere cool or interesting, I'm not sure I'd cross the streams of that desire with "I'm in graduate school". If the cross-training of going to another institution for a while is not important for itself, it seems like kind of a waste of time.

He's getting an MBA. We're way past the threshold of "seeming like a waste of time."

No offense, Lamaros.

Edit: Also, Engels is spot on about barthelona. and you get to say barthelona. barthelona.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2019, 07:56:55 PM by schild »
lamaros
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Reply #21 on: February 24, 2019, 12:29:52 AM

Can confirm that Durham is a snooze fest socially. IESE has a great reputation but beware, its run by the Opus Dei. ESADE is not as good by reputation but still pretty toff. That said, Barcelona beats any and everyone of your US options for quality of life.

Thanks. I was looking at ESADE as my top preference at this point but hadn't had much feedback about IESE.

He's getting an MBA. We're way past the threshold of "seeming like a waste of time."

No offense, Lamaros.

None taken. So far it's been a really good experience for me, and what I wanted it to be.

I guess I would say that if I'm gonna move for six months just to be somewhere cool or interesting, I'm not sure I'd cross the streams of that desire with "I'm in graduate school". If the cross-training of going to another institution for a while is not important for itself, it seems like kind of a waste of time.

It's definitely not just about being cool or interesting, which is another reason Austin is probably out. The business school there doesn't really line up with what I'm looking for from that side.

All other things being generally equal though, I want to enjoy the experience of place as well as learning and making connections. I expect I can find a way to do that in Cornell or Kellogg, even if they're not amazing.

Expect poison from the standing water.
lamaros
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Reply #22 on: February 24, 2019, 12:30:17 AM

Thanks everyone for all the feedback, I really appreciate it.

Expect poison from the standing water.
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Reply #23 on: February 24, 2019, 12:32:14 AM

UT is good but not as prestigious as some of the others on the list.  If that isn't super important then Austin is a blast and if you like drinking, being outdoors and warm weather then I would say go for it.  You don't have any CA Universities on the list so this is the next best thing.  The college is 3 blocks from the capitol and almost in the center of the city so you are for sure in the thick of things.
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Reply #24 on: February 24, 2019, 01:52:21 AM

I know you (like most of us) are probably to old for this question: do you like House Music. I mean REALLY like House? If so, go to Northwestern and ride the El into the city on any night of the week and you can find some bonkers good shows.

Chicago is actually a pretty great city. The weather is even usually fairly pleasant for lots of September and early October.


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Reply #25 on: February 24, 2019, 08:03:10 AM

For location only personally I think Montreal absolutely annihilates all those other places. That place is amazing and nuts. Also the people are very easy to approach compared to most americans.

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Reply #26 on: February 25, 2019, 09:51:30 AM

Kellogg @ Northwestern University
Fuqua @ Duke University
Darden @ University of Virginia
John Graduate @ Cornell University
McCombs @ University of Texas

I can speak to most of these so here's my opinion.

I grew up in Texas, and everybody has a hard-on for Austin right now. If you're into trendy, weird, avant-garde, bearded, hipster scenes with outstanding food and night life? This is your Mecca. Go here. However, in terms of the best business school on your list, it's going to the be the lowest ranked. You pick this one because you love the town, not the prestige of the school (although it's not bad at all, it's just outside the top 15 which the rest of your list all qualifies)

Northwestern is the best business school on your list in the suburb of the biggest town with the biggest business connections in America. Many firms have locations if not headquarters in Chicago. It's probably your best pick from a business standpoint if you wanted to work in America longer term. Also Chicago is a phenomenal food town and sports town. Lots to do because it's a huge city. Also if you leave by early December you avoid most of the absolute shit weather Chicago is known for in the winter. That's the worst from about mid-December to March. It's still cold though in Oct-Dec.

Don't go to Duke, most people outside of Duke think it's full of assholes.

Ithaca, NY has worse weather than Chicago, and it has the downside of not being near actual NYC. It's not a reasonable drive to get there either. Everything takes forever with that traffic and weather. Don't do this.

UVA is boring. The campus is boring, the people are boring, and they have a hard-on for their history. It's weird, isolated, and up it's own ass. Don't do this either. Also the connection you get there only play really in the Southeast and DC, none of which is great for business like Chicago or NYC.

I would do Northwestern or Texas depending on my objectives.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2019, 09:54:20 AM by Paelos »

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Reply #27 on: February 25, 2019, 10:05:41 AM

Quote
bearded, hipster scenes

everyone keeps repeating this

that's portland

we're mostly tatted up tech folks now - a city full of retired 30somethings

I'd like to give UT credit for something weird and not normal among other schools - tons of companies (particularly american ones) make a point of hiring people from UT. Knowing Texas is a big deal to global corporations. Much like knowing California. One of the few states with a notable economy and absolute FUCKLOADS of money. It is, however, the "lowest ranked school." But I'd personally rank it above UVA or Duke because those places just blow the most ass on the list. Though Ithaca is pretty much nothing.

I don't care if you come to Texas or not, I just wanted to clear that up.
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Reply #28 on: February 25, 2019, 10:35:36 AM

Fair enough, the hipster factor has dropped way off in Austin. It's still a town known for being weird and artsy with a passion for music and food. All of which is good if that's what he's looking for.

Companies also take the Texas business schools seriously for hiring, which is why I'd choose between it and Northwestern.

Ultimately knowing what I know now though, I'd choose Northwestern if I was going. Chicago just has over a dozen of Fortune 500s with global ties in their backyard.

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Reply #29 on: February 25, 2019, 06:25:23 PM

North Carolina, in general is boring. I was just in Charlottesville a few months ago and got a brief window tour of UVA - holy hell, boring. I have a friend that asks me to visit down there every now and then, but...fuck, that's a long way to drive down from DC for not a whole lot.

I've never even been to Austin, but I would certainly pick that or Northwestern (Chicago) far and away before anything else on your list in the US.

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Reply #30 on: February 25, 2019, 10:39:42 PM

If you like brutal winters you can come study here at the University of Minnesota.   But there are a lot of neat things you can do in this state, even during the wintertime.
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Reply #31 on: February 26, 2019, 05:12:45 AM

I've narrowed it down to Chicago, Austin, Barcelona, Madrid and Shanghai. Not sure I can justify UT still, but all the love here has got in my head...

Who knows where it will all end up.

Anyone want to talk me out of Shanghai before I commit to that? I have no firsthand experience of China.

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Reply #32 on: February 26, 2019, 10:46:28 AM

Uh, Shanghai is new. What school would you be attending there? It's been almost a decade now since I've been there and a lot has changed over there but if you have some general questions I can try to answer them.

It would certainly be the most exotic location of your remaining choices and is a good opportunity to see first-hand what our future will be like if China doesn't implode. However unless you are interested in doing business in China it'll probably be the least valuable from the business-related experience side of things.

Shanghai itself is severely lacking in touristy historical cultural attractions -- i.e. there's not a lot to see there from a tourist's perspective unless you like gawking at very tall buildings. You would need to travel to Beijing (and surroundings) to see most of the major stuff. It is, however, the most cosmopolitan of the mainland cities so there's no lack of fancy bars, clubs, restaurants and stuff like that.
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Reply #33 on: February 26, 2019, 12:37:19 PM

fuck china
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Reply #34 on: February 26, 2019, 02:40:50 PM

Well, he does live in Australia so China would probably bring him as many useful business connections as a place in the US would since China has pretty much been keeping his continent afloat for the last decade and a half.

'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
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