Author Topic: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?  (Read 11942 times)

fratdude

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Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« on: December 29, 2014, 10:14:17 AM »
Ive been living the mustachian life for about 3 years since college and am about 50% of the way to financial independence. I'm living up in the north working for a large company (of the mindless meeting, creativity destroying variety) that I don't like. I love the idea of not having to work for the man but went to a large state university on scholarship and have never gotten to be exposed to the top minds in the world and am passionate about finance. Id like to be entrepreneurial one day doing something in the investment world which is what I do now but in an institutional setting. Wharton is extremely expensive, 200k all in but it could provide a profound educational experience. If I stay at the company I don't like I could be completely independent in 2 to 3 more years but if I went the grad school route I'm looking at having to work into my early 40s. What would you do in my position would you stay or go?

pbkmaine

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2014, 10:28:52 AM »
Wharton isn't really known for entrepreneurs. It's more Wall Street types. If you want entrepreneurial types I would go for Stanford or the new program at Cornell Tech.

Northerly

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2014, 10:52:16 AM »
I would stay and FIRE. In fact, in an analagous situation, I am. I'm 34 and 6-7 years from FI. I used to spend a lot of time considering grad school and the great things that could follow (i.e., my dream job, professional recognition, being at the top of my field). Then, this fall, I was offered my dream job anyway, without grad school, or publications, or anything. And I found that I turned it down. I felt a little crazy, but changing cities, uprooting my family, moving away from our rental property, etc. is all so disruptive to the ecosystem that I've got going that it just didn't make sense. Hitting the reset button when you are in sniffing distance of FIRE should be cause for great concern.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2014, 10:56:38 AM by Northerly »

Tetsuya Hondo

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2014, 10:54:37 AM »
One does not simply "go to Wharton."



One must be accepted first.

DoubleDown

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2014, 11:06:02 AM »
^^^^ LOL on "One does not simply" meme.

OP, I don't really understand your goals. If your goal is to be an entrepreneur, I don't see how Wharton (or any business school) is the path forward. Perhaps you could explain a little more how going to Wharton gets you to your goals.

Personally, I'd pick going to expensive business school right now as last choice, in favor of any of these other options (not in any particular order):

1. Stick out a few more years at current employer and become FI, then do whatever you want

2. Find another employer with better work conditions and comparable pay and become FI in a few short years

3. Have your current (or another) employer pay for you to go to business school part time, if you really want to go to business school and get an MBA

4. Go to business school on a full paid scholarship

5. Go to school after becoming FI if you're interested in more education (this could be done at a much lower cost, or free online, or by auditing courses, etc.) without attaining the actual MBA

6. Become an entrepreneur right now or in the future without an MBA

TreeTired

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2014, 12:06:13 PM »
So, have you been accepted?    You would start September 2015, or perhaps in the summer?

RapmasterD

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2014, 12:58:40 PM »
Have you looked at the AVERAGE starting salary of Wharton grads?

Have you studied the range of capabilities of their placement office, the types of companies who recruit from Wharton, and the Wharton alumni network?

I have worked at many hot tech companies, ALL of whom recruit from Wharton.

But hey, I'm just a state school guy, albeit one who did pretty f'ing well.

In your shoes however, if accepted, I would take the first Amtrak to Philly.

fratdude

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2014, 09:46:07 PM »
Full disclosure have not been accepted, applying so maybe the question gets answered for me. The main thought is going to these schools gives a lifetime of connections which can be invaluable when starting a business in anything capital intensive. Parents might be willing to pay for half. Perhaps this is foolish but I'm also wondering what kind of positive impact could occur on finding a smart future life partner that going to a place like Penn where there are lots of intellectual women around could have. I suppose im confused about the direction of my life but know that I'd enjoy getting to learn with the best and thought about a PhD but dont like the pure theoretical approach. Stanford is better for sure in startup world but I think wharton is newly committed to inmovation from what some of my friends who are students there have told me. And wanting to do something at the intersection of entrepreneurship and finance made wharton feel like a natural choice. If u look at some of the top founders of investment companies like Apollo many came out of wharton and Harvard. I think the ROI for anything out of the top 10 is questionable but that a top 5 school could really enhance my human capital. I feel really guilty though about the thought of all that debt and really appreciate the feedback, even from Boromir

Chrissy

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2014, 12:26:20 AM »
Why would you feel guilty about the debt?  You have no one to answer to but yourself.  Retiring in your early 40s is still retiring REALLY early!

Go ahead and apply.  If you don't get in, then the choice is made for you.  If you do get in, then you have some options!

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2014, 03:08:26 AM »
I considered doing something like this a few years ago. I was almost seduced by the prestige - I really wanted to call myself an Ivy League graduate and then have the ability to give my children a better shot at a school like that in the future.

If all you want is the prestige, Harvard has an online extension school (I'm sure others do, too) that grants the same degree as going 100% in person. You have to show up for two semesters (they can be summer) and there are only certain degrees offered. HOWEVER, you don't have to be accepted - you just have to get Bs or higher in the first 3 core classes. I might do this soon, I just have to figure out how to get 2 summers off so I can finish a degree there.

Suit

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2014, 06:32:19 AM »
If what you're looking for is good connections, consider doing an executive MBA (at least that's what the one my dad did is called). It's basically a program for people who are already making it in life and want the additional degree. That way you'll meet people who are currently valuable to your career rather than people who may be beneficial a few years/decades out. Also, have you thought about just being more aggressive in networking and joining and participating in business groups?

DoubleDown

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2014, 09:15:57 AM »
Well, it sounds like your goals are more than just monetary, so maybe going to Wharton will help you find what you're seeking. It costs little to apply, so you might as well give it a shot and see if you can get accepted land any financial assistance (I would encourage applying for every kind of scholarship you can find).

Personally, I'd think long and hard about spending $200k on a graduate degree and setting back FI years and years. There would have to be a helluva lot of ROI to take on that kind of "investment." Without a clear career path in mind that requires an Ivy MBA, I don't see the value in going. There are lots of other (free) ways to meet career/business connections and smart women to marry.

lhamo

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2014, 09:40:58 AM »
Although it is about Harvard Business School, not Wharton, you might want to read the book "Ahead of the Curve" -- written by a journalist who left his job in Paris to go to HBS.  Here is a link to a review:

http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2008-08-06/what-i-learned-at-harvard-business-school

Personally I don't think that business school is necessary for most people of a mustachian bent, and might actually be detrimental.  Certainly in financial terms -- huge upfront cost for something for which the ROI can be questionable.  The DIY route is much cheaper, more creative, and probably more interesting.

monarda

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2014, 09:49:19 AM »
What Suit said ^^.  Exactly.

The business world is a lot about networking.

RE: making the decision to go to grad school, or a particular grad school. Do you admire anyone in particular teaching finance at Wharton, or at any other school? Go to one of these schools and talk to a couple of profs. Read books written by these same profs.   I worry a little bit about the passiveness of your post. Being 'exposed' to the top creative minds in finance won't guarantee your success.  People genuinely interested in any area will love being around smart people in that area. Can you go to a business conference/groups (as Suit suggests) related to finance, to see if you get really stoked about further learning beyond what's discussed in these meetings (like you think you will be?). Then you'll know what to do.   I tell my students considering grad school to do the 'bookstore test' (or the library test).  Go into a bookstore or library 5 times. Do you find yourself going straight to the business books section and sitting on the couch reading chapters for 'fun'?

TreeTired

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2014, 10:00:52 AM »
Definitely apply.   That is an easy decision to make,  but you are already running late.  Apparently they have 3 "rounds" of applications,  Round 1 deadline was Oct 1,  Round 2 is Jan 5,  and Round 3 is March 26.

When I applied to MBA programs -  granted it was almost 40 years ago -  I thought I had a pretty good government job but even though I didn't want a career in government I still wasn't sure I would leave my job for a very good but not top b-school.   I got accepted to Wharton and it was an easy (and very good) decision to attend.  But back then tuition was $5k for the first year and they raised it to $5.5k the 2nd year.   Today the two year cost is a bit more daunting.   While it is certainly possible to get into a fast-track investment banking or private equity career that makes you $multi-millions in 5 years and early retirement if you so desire,  you could also wind up in a more workerbee area making a "mere" $250k and struggling to pay off your student loans for years.

Guesl982374

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2014, 10:02:13 AM »
I wouldn't (and didn't) go to a top MBA full time program. Its a personal choice but I can offer my experience:

-My GMAT score was 700+ and undergrad GPA was high 3.9's (not bragging, just putting in perspective that it might have been possible to get accepted)
-I decided to do a part time program (tier II school) that I finished in two years. Yes, I finished a full fledged, MBA program going nights in two years.
-I had the Fortune 50 company pay 100% for my MBA (cost me only book money)
-I've had career success doubling my salary
-I was able to make the jump from a technical field to a commercial field because of the MBA
-While it was tough at times but my goal was to finish the MBA as soon as possible without the large price tag and without the loss of earning power
-While by no means a strict rule, I've noticed that people who have gotten name-brand MBAs tend to have a much higher sense of entitlement
-Who's to say that your interest in finance won't change in the mid term? I find that I have had many interests from a career standpoint over the past 5-10 years. While I obviously haven't acted on all of them, I realize that interests can change. What if you spend the $200K+ for the name brand only to realize you want to work in a different industry in 3-4 years?

IMO, name brand MBAs are overrated. Work ethic coupled with talent will succeed regardless of the "name brand". Once you get your MBA and are in your first job post-MBA, most companies/people don't care. The ones will care about the name brand MBA are the same people who will critize a Mustachian's vehicle choice (older/efficient car, bike, etc), (lack of) clothing label choice, etc.

Part of being a Mustachian / ERE / having FIRE goals is doing things more efficiently, how is overpaying for a degree while simultaneously losing ones income for multiple years a smart, efficient financial move?

Possible better options:
1) Get your employer to pay for the degree
2) Hit FI in 3 years and if you are still highly interested in finance, take a low paying job at a school to get free / substantly reduced tuition and avoid incurring the $200K cost. Network like a madman and 2-3 years later still be FI will a name brand degree, working in high finance.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2018, 11:19:14 AM by Liberty Stache »

pbkmaine

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Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2014, 12:22:33 PM »
I have an Ivy League MBA and my husband's is from an online school. He got his because the company paid for it 100% and it qualified him for a new job within the company. This was excellent. It let him spread his wings while continuing to accumulate his generous pension. It fulfilled its purpose in every way. What mine has done is a bit different. It has opened doors, gotten me interviews, and enabled me to network at a very high level. There are some companies - management consulting firms and investment banks come to mind - who recruit almost exclusively from top tier business schools. Think McKinsey. My degree means I never have to prove that I am smart or that I can do the work. But it really intimidates some people. I had a boss once who was absolutely fixated on the fact that his degree was from a school he considered inferior.  Very tedious to listen to this day in and day out.

fratdude

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2014, 03:07:57 PM »
I'll admit its more than financial. In regards to the book test, I don't read fiction because I'm always reading investing books for fun. I've read at least a dozen hanging out in book stores this year and the main profs I'd like to learn from would be Siegel at Wharton, fama at Chicago or French at Dartmouth. I'm thinking about applying to Harvard and Chicago but ibcare mostly about what I learn . I feel like a significant part of the value of an mba is taken away when u go to a part time or exec program in that the networking is with folks who view their careers as too good to walk away from or who have family obligations they will be focusing on (or are making smart financial decisions depending on viewpoint). I feel like I could quit now and try the entrepreneur route but I don't want to just have a pretty successful business id want to try something on a big scale and my thought is that most ppl that accomplish this in the financial world are helped by a "top" degree. The finding smart women thing is a little tongue in cheek but I've got above average stats for the avg admit so figured give it a shot. Also would be looking at ERE at 35 vs 27 which is still pretty early. Would love hearing more from you all very helpful in processing everything

shellyrr

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2014, 03:08:56 PM »
If education and making connections are important to you there are many ways to achieve this goal.  A friend of mine was from China and she networked via the chamber of commerce.  This is not something I even remotely considered until I met her.  I had my first big break so to speak by someone who I went to school with in my first m b a class.  My school was not prestigious, however there were only three good choices in the twin cities.  I picked the option my company could reimburse me for to the maximum and catered to working adults.  I don't regret this decision and feels good 10 years later to say this.  Maybe look into companies that will reimburse you for school like mine did.  They usually require you to work another 2 years after you finish or you have to pay it back.

catccc

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2014, 03:12:31 PM »
I vote for grow your stash.  But I am anti more school if you are already earning "decent" money, whatever that means to you.  I know too many friends/colleagues that went for more school and at the end of the day I can't say they've really gotten that much benefit out of it.  At least not to the tune of the balance of their student loans.  Living lean with my bachelors (and CPA), I am doing better financially than they seem to be, honestly.

mozar

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2014, 04:35:27 PM »
Most of the women in a prestigious full time MBA program will be married, fyi.
I agree that full time is better than part time for networking. But you can also start your business on your own and meet people in other ways. But it sounds like prestige is more important to you than FIRE and you must come from a wealthy family, so I can't really give advice because I can't relate.

iwasjustwondering

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2014, 07:08:38 PM »
I'll admit its more than financial. In regards to the book test, I don't read fiction because I'm always reading investing books for fun. I've read at least a dozen hanging out in book stores this year and the main profs I'd like to learn from would be Siegel at Wharton, fama at Chicago or French at Dartmouth. I'm thinking about applying to Harvard and Chicago but ibcare mostly about what I learn . I feel like a significant part of the value of an mba is taken away when u go to a part time or exec program in that the networking is with folks who view their careers as too good to walk away from or who have family obligations they will be focusing on (or are making smart financial decisions depending on viewpoint). I feel like I could quit now and try the entrepreneur route but I don't want to just have a pretty successful business id want to try something on a big scale and my thought is that most ppl that accomplish this in the financial world are helped by a "top" degree. The finding smart women thing is a little tongue in cheek but I've got above average stats for the avg admit so figured give it a shot. Also would be looking at ERE at 35 vs 27 which is still pretty early. Would love hearing more from you all very helpful in processing everything

Go for it!  Why would you even want to retire early if finance is your passion?  If you really love finance, and want to play in that world and manage big money, a degree from Wharton would be huge.  It also sounds like you would enjoy the actual classes.  What's not to love?  Go, do, enjoy!

Someone above mentioned Harvard Extension school -- going there does NOT get you a degree from Harvard, nor does it confer anywhere near the prestige of Harvard.  It's like adult education through Harvard.  I have taken extension classes on the campus myself.  They were good classes, but sadly I was not "a Harvard student." 

NICE!

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2014, 03:44:54 AM »
Someone above mentioned Harvard Extension school -- going there does NOT get you a degree from Harvard, nor does it confer anywhere near the prestige of Harvard.  It's like adult education through Harvard.  I have taken extension classes on the campus myself.  They were good classes, but sadly I was not "a Harvard student."

Are you sure about this? Everything I've seen says you receive a standard Harvard Degree. Of course you won't "feel" like a Harvard student/graduate, but all I really care about is what the degree & transcripts say.

MustacheNY

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2014, 08:41:37 AM »
As an Ivy League MBA myself, I can tell you the analysis that I performed that made it a no brainer for me.  I was almost FI, as a young single man, but looking ahead realized that I wanted to have a family and that my savings were not enough to be FI with a family.  Looking at the salaries as an Ivy League MBA, I knew I could just about double my existing salary.  My living expenses during grad school were taken care of, because I was already somewhat FI, so my debt was only for actual tuition and books.  When I returned to work, I primarily lived off of my FI income and applied my entire income towards student loans killing them off in a little over 2 years. 

In addition, having the MBA from a top school made me more marketable on the dating circuit, and I was able to marry a brilliant woman who earns even more than me, and rivals me in her mustachianism.

So, now I am in the situation where I have the degree, loans are paid off, I am essentially FI if I want to be, but am working because I enjoy it and my savings are growing exponentially, because even with kids I am socking away a tremendous amount of money, which only makes me even more FI, if there even is such a thing. 

I think life is a balance.  If you are young, and intelligent enough to get into a program like Wharton, and committed to keeping your expenses low after you graduate, the loans will get paid off extremely quick and even one or two years of savings past this point at the higher level will more than make up for the 2 years of school and the 2 years or so of paying off loans.

However, if you are already making close to a 100K now, it might not make as much sense because the incremental benefit of going to grad school will be much lower and it could take year many more years to recoup your expenses and the opportunity cost of not working for those 2 years.

DoubleDown

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2014, 09:09:58 AM »
Yup, from the financial standpoint, that's the important ROI calculation right there ^^^^

Cost = Education costs (tuition, books, loan interest, etc) + Lost salary and investment income while in grad school

ROI = Increase in salary upon graduation * Years working at increased salary (if everything goes as planned)

Once you figure out how many years of salary increase it takes to cover those costs, it can often be daunting (my wife for example was interested in getting another degree until we laid out the costs like this -- it would have taken her 11 years just to break even).

I don't remember if OP said he earned $100k (that number was tossed around), but if that's the case then his costs are at least $400k for two years of school. That's likely going to take many years of (perhaps marginally) increased salary to break even.

Having an employer pay for your graduate degree is a win-win if you can swing it.

catccc

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2014, 09:37:56 AM »
So, is it ERE at 35 or early 40s?  Because as a 35 year old that is looking at ER at 40, I can say the wait seems long. 

Just go if you want to because you want the prestige and what not.

Also, do you really want to ER?  Because it sounds like you just want to be a head honcho of a large operation, and that means working, which means not ER.  Are you just interested in hitting FI just for the sake of patting yourself on the back?  But you'll keep running your greater than "just a successful business?  If that is important to you, than get the MBA.  Maybe.  Depending on your field.  I've worked alongside MBAs in my career... that's right, alongside.  They are in the same types of positions as me and earn more or less the same amount.  MBA is not a ticket to more money.  MBAs are kinda a dime a dozen.  Be specific with what you are going to do with this, if you are going to do it.

JoshuaSpodek

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2014, 09:53:33 AM »
Going to Columbia Business School was one of the best decisions of my life. I have zero regret.

I wasn't interested in banking, finance, or consulting, so I didn't expect to make a lot of money afterward. I stayed an entrepreneur. Now I teach and coach, mostly things I started learning there, and I don't know anyone who loves their life more than I love mine.

Search my blog for business school for a ton of posts on it, including my essays, if you're interested in reading on my experience and how I apply it.

fratdude

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2014, 11:57:02 AM »
I make about 80k all in , would be about 80 next year and 100 year after that. About140k for two years of wharton so I figure cost to be about 325k total including oppty cost. I resonate most with mustache NY's thinking in that I'd like to have a family with FI one day and that will require the right spouse and probably more money as well and could probably do it faster w a top degree. Payback period is probably 5 to 10 years for me. Long term plan is  to move back to the south and either start my own investment operation or join a small firm that's working in a dynamic environment. My thought is that if u r in the south it would be very helpful to check the box and have a top MBA bc there is a large bias against entrusting assets to ppl with just undergrad degrees from public state schools even though I have my CFA as well. This is a large part of my thinking in addition to having never had the oppty to see how good I could be going to one of the top educational institutions since I've always gone to more affordable options. The best route to make it big in the nonfinance side of things is def to just go and do it but I feel like even someone as down to earth as buffett has a degree from Columbia. I'm applying to Harvard as well but am not maxing my chances to get in by applying multiple places BC I started too late and its already awkward asking my supervisor for a rec letter. If I don't get in I'm not staying at my current company my thoughts are I could either take a job on Wall Street on the sell side and get a 40% raise or quit completely and travel the world starting in July which I really want to do. My FI date is 27 if I do what I've been doing, 26 if I take the wall street job, and 35 if I get into Wharton with the long term goal of ending up in the southern US where my family is

historienne

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2014, 12:19:04 PM »
Are you sure about this? Everything I've seen says you receive a standard Harvard Degree. Of course you won't "feel" like a Harvard student/graduate, but all I really care about is what the degree & transcripts say.

Harvard has official guidelines for how to list your degree on your resume, which make it clear that you received your degree from the Extension School.
http://www.extension.harvard.edu/degrees-programs/program-guidelines-policies/graduation-requirements

I mean, the police aren't going to come after you for listing it otherwise, and any potential employer may or may not know enough about the Extension School to notice (or they may know enough to know that you probably got a great education there, even if you didn't get admitted to Harvard).  But if you list it otherwise, you are lying on your resume, and gambling that no one will notice or care.


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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2014, 01:41:59 PM »
Harvard has official guidelines for how to list your degree on your resume, which make it clear that you received your degree from the Extension School.
http://www.extension.harvard.edu/degrees-programs/program-guidelines-policies/graduation-requirements

I mean, the police aren't going to come after you for listing it otherwise, and any potential employer may or may not know enough about the Extension School to notice (or they may know enough to know that you probably got a great education there, even if you didn't get admitted to Harvard).  But if you list it otherwise, you are lying on your resume, and gambling that no one will notice or care.

BS they do that. Might change my opinion about sinking a ton of money into them. Harvard is basically creating a class system within your own school, while at the same time putting less confidence in their OWN school. What a crock of crap.

Am I overreacting?

GreatNateVIII

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #30 on: December 31, 2014, 03:03:50 PM »
Seeing Liberty's post has me wondering: Have you taken the GMAT yet? Anything under 700 isn't going to cut it unless you have a 4.0 or a fascinating life story. I know that most b-schools end their MBA 2nd round admissions Dec 31st (today). You're against the clock and already applying at a less than optimal time. If you have the stats, I would see if you could get in. If you don't, try to get where you need to be in a year and see if the job situation/happiness level improves.

Northerly

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #31 on: December 31, 2014, 04:00:20 PM »
Harvard has official guidelines for how to list your degree on your resume, which make it clear that you received your degree from the Extension School.
http://www.extension.harvard.edu/degrees-programs/program-guidelines-policies/graduation-requirements

I mean, the police aren't going to come after you for listing it otherwise, and any potential employer may or may not know enough about the Extension School to notice (or they may know enough to know that you probably got a great education there, even if you didn't get admitted to Harvard).  But if you list it otherwise, you are lying on your resume, and gambling that no one will notice or care.

BS they do that. Might change my opinion about sinking a ton of money into them. Harvard is basically creating a class system within your own school, while at the same time putting less confidence in their OWN school. What a crock of crap.

Am I overreacting?

To a prospective employer, much of the value of a Harvard degree is in the admissions sorting process and associated network, NOT the education per se. So it would be stupid of Harvard to dilute this value by extending it to people who just sign up by giving them an equally prestigious degree.

If you want a real Harvard degree, all you have to do is get accepted and complete the coursework and be socially positioned to pay the tuition (another soft factor employers value, are you positioned well enough socially to be the "right kind of person").

Buffet, Thiele, and a host of others have spoken at length about how the actual education received at elite schools is not any better than at State U.

So why would Harvard hand out its prestige to anyone who cared to sign up and send them a measly few grand?

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #32 on: December 31, 2014, 05:06:27 PM »
Wharton is a good place to go if you want a name brand finance degree.  If you stay in the Northeast, people will think you are awesome because you have an Ivy League degree.  If you plan to move south, people can and will hold an Ivy League degree against you.  I knew a guy with a Harvard grad degree who was told by potential bosses that the degree was why he wasn't chosen (they thought he would think he was too good for the job).  Unless your undergrad is from a state university local to the area you plan on eventually moving to, an Ivy League degree will make for a much more uphill battle. 

You already have the CFA designation so the only extra thing the MBA really offers are contacts.  Wharton is good at that.  Those contacts would likely be more focused in the Northeast. 

Have you visited Wharton?  Did you like the culture/dynamic of the school?

As for meeting a Mustachian spouse at Wharton... it's possible.  MBA programs (especially those in the Northeast) will attract single, intelligent women in the same age range as you.  You'll have a lot in common with them.  The eventual goal to move south may be an issue.  Most of the women with the ability to get admitted and go to Wharton are probably extremely competitive and driven.  They will likely be seeking high paid finance or consulting careers and lifestyles.  It's possible you may find one that is Mustachian with a love of the South but it's also possible that they may not want to move south since the jobs a Wharton degree really excels in tend to be clustered in the Northeast. 

A Wharton degree is pricy.  To you it may be worth the $200K experience.  I don't regret quitting my job and going for my MBA.  It was much less expensive than a Wharton degree but it got me to a job that I love.  Is it worth it?  You'll have to run the cost-benefit calculation for yourself.

marketnonsenses

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #33 on: December 31, 2014, 05:14:13 PM »
To me life is a lot about experiences. If you can go to an Ivy League school do it. Why not, most people will never get that chance. Even if it is not the best financial move. What is more badass than going to one of the best business schools in the world.

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #34 on: December 31, 2014, 05:46:44 PM »
To a prospective employer, much of the value of a Harvard degree is in the admissions sorting process and associated network, NOT the education per se. So it would be stupid of Harvard to dilute this value by extending it to people who just sign up by giving them an equally prestigious degree.

If you want a real Harvard degree, all you have to do is get accepted and complete the coursework and be socially positioned to pay the tuition (another soft factor employers value, are you positioned well enough socially to be the "right kind of person").

Buffet, Thiele, and a host of others have spoken at length about how the actual education received at elite schools is not any better than at State U.

So why would Harvard hand out its prestige to anyone who cared to sign up and send them a measly few grand?

Understand the perspective to a certain degree but I'm still going to say BS overall. You still have to succeed in the core 3 classes before you can move on. They could easily set the bar high enough that they don't let anyone through that would "dilute" their brand. Hell, the bar is already pretty high just by having to do this online, pay them, and find time to show up in Boston for a few classes (difficult for professionals).

I don't have the time to go to Harvard full-time, nor am I willing to put in the effort needed to pound out the requisite GRE/GMAT. I am more than happy to take their classes, work hard in them, and succeed. Like I said, I already have a prestigious undergrad and a less-than-prestigious grad degree my employer funded. Furthermore, I have two certs from prestigious institutions. How would Harvard lower the value of their brand by allowing me to earn an online degree that doesn't come with a different label?

Furtheremore, online is the way of the future, why should a place with innovators and sharp intellects deny the reality that is smacking them in the face? Why would I pay all that money and go through all that trouble to get what amounts to a Harvard degree with an asterix?
« Last Edit: December 31, 2014, 05:48:52 PM by NICE! »

JuSp02

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #35 on: December 31, 2014, 06:24:22 PM »
As for meeting a Mustachian spouse at Wharton... it's possible.  MBA programs (especially those in the Northeast) will attract single, intelligent women in the same age range as you.  You'll have a lot in common with them.  The eventual goal to move south may be an issue.  Most of the women with the ability to get admitted and go to Wharton are probably extremely competitive and driven.  They will likely be seeking high paid finance or consulting careers and lifestyles.  It's possible you may find one that is Mustachian with a love of the South but it's also possible that they may not want to move south since the jobs a Wharton degree really excels in tend to be clustered in the Northeast. 

As someone who went to ivy league-equivalent undergrad and grad schools, students at fancy schools are generally as far away from mustachianism as you could get. Granted, this was less true in my grad school (there was a lot more socioeconomic diversity and work experience makes people more financially responsible), but most of my classmates sported brand-name clothes, went to expensive restaurants, etc. I often heard people talk about going to the latest michelin starred restaurant (think $250 per person per meal).

Freestyler

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #36 on: January 02, 2015, 05:06:38 AM »
Having been in a similar (with substantial differences) situation and gone the top tier MBA route I say go for it. I didnīt hesitate for a second beforehand as I had always wanted to do it, had finally thought it was beyond my reach (mainly for financial and also geographical, etc reasons) and managed in the end to access the (very expensive) program of my choice, under each and all of my own terms and had it fully funded.  I did hesitate however sometimes once I was doing it and after it (not much of a turning back possible), as it was hard and may not meet all of your probably abundant and varied expectations.

However, in hindsight I donīt regret it for a second and would definitely do it again in the same circumstances (not so sure in current circumstances and also might or might not do some things differently). Wonderful experience. I could definitely have continued to lead a successful and fulfilling life without it but was quite of a milestone and enriching experience I surely wouldnīt have had otherwise.

I donīt think a top tier MBA is a good idea for everyone and I certainly met people for who it probably wasnīt the best thing to do. I myself didnīt precisely get everything I could have expected. But it was overall totally worth it and was something I definitely wanted to do.

In your case you have a choice of wonderful options and doing a Wharton MBA is one of them. I think that in your situation you are going to greatly benefit from it even if itīs finally not how you may envision it now. Also, if you donīt do it youīll always wonder how it would have been to do it.

Also, regarding finding a mustachian partner there, hey, why not. I agree though it wonīt probably be that easy. You should be able to enjoy (some of) the people and the atmosphere anyway.

Go definitely do it if you are allowed the opportunity. Best of luck.

Mommyof2

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #37 on: January 02, 2015, 07:03:08 AM »
I've been successful in finance without an MBA..   If your going independent, you don't need one.  I've worked at the big ones (BofA and Norgan Stanley) and burned out after 15 years and moved into financial software and I make as much or more.  She if your employer would be willing to pick up the cost - a lot do (at least part), also I would go executive not full time so you can network with seasoned professionals. 

chasesfish

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #38 on: January 02, 2015, 07:11:12 AM »
The question I have for you is what do you want?

I see Wharton as valuable if you want to be a mid to high level corporate solider/officer.  There are outstanding connections to make and you would be around some of the top business minds.  The salaries after you get out are good with the potential to get higher.

However, Wharton is not a financial decision as much as it is a life decision for you.   The median salary post-graduation is $125,000, which may or may not be a lot of money depending on where you have to live.   This may never payoff, you can get to the same entry salary levels as Wharton by connecting with the right company or starting your own business.   However, if you absolutely love the corporate "game", then its probably the place for you.

My perspective is coming from someone in the industry who's gotten to that level without an MBA.  The MBA helps with connections, credibility, and getting in the door, but there's no substitution for hard work and productivity.

I

affordablehousing

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Re: Should I go to Wharton or grow my stache?
« Reply #39 on: January 02, 2015, 07:33:20 AM »
This hits close to home. I went to ivy league for undergrad, and ivy league for MBA, mainly because some friends did it and as people noted it doesn't take a lot of prep - they send you two practice tests when you pay the exorbitant test fee for the GMAT. The degree itself is pretty perfunctory and not very academic. That said, there are people there usually for two reasons, half that already know all the business stuff, and use an MBA for vacation, and there are half wanting to be around that half and see how it's done. I was def closer to the second half. OP you sound like more of the first group. If you're that young, that interested in finance, you're going to be working one way or another much of your life and going to be wealthy no matter what you do. Think about what might be fun. Also, consider that most people get scholarships for MBA's, as some said through their companies but the ivy leagues have tons of money to give away. You may need to ask and whine a bit but I'm sure you can get at least half off if you ask and explain about some extenuating circumstances. People overlook this but the actual cost of attendance is way under what they publish.

Start with what sounds fun, then get in, then negotiate like you would a salary negotiation.