Monday, July 23, 2007

Stanford VS. Harvard (PART I)

Most of my friends and family can attest to the immense difficulty I had in choosing between Harvard and Stanford for Business School. Both are, undeniably, amazing institutions and I am sure either could offer everything that I would ever need in an MBA. Having the decision fresh in my mind and having not begun my graduate school experience yet, I still often look back, wondering if I have made the right decision. How would my life be different if I would be getting ready to move to Cambridge in September rather than Palo Alto? When I was accepted into HBS and I shared the wonderful news with my friends and family, they were elated and proud and so was I. The three words, "Harvard Business School" could very well be the most powerful short phrase any resume' could possibly contain in terms of opening doors and gaining instant credibility. They have no problem proudly stating that their alumni network is THE most powerful alumni network in the world; full of investment bankers, rich politicians, hedge fund managers, and captains of industry. As far as business schools are concerned, HBS is the epitome of prestige- and accepted applicants are fully aware of all these factors. Thus, the rate of accepted HBS students choosing to attend the Cambridge Palace is almost 90%! That's right, 9 out of 10 people who get in, choose HBS over every other program they were accepted into.

I was amazed with all of these things as well and when I visited campus during their admit weekend, it was hard to not sign up right there. The HBS campus is almost indescribable! Everything about it is top class, from the classrooms to the food services to the giant gym facilities. Even the grass was groomed perfectly on every inch of the lawn. I had heard that HBS was incredible, but this was truly astonishing. I met with other admitted students, who were mostly already vastly successful and wanting to build on that. I heard faculty members speak and had the opportunity to personally interact with them as well. Saying that they were THE elite members of the academic world of business would be an understatement. Classes, faculty, people, facilities, and prestige were all at the top of the scale and I found myself continuously being in awe of my surroundings.

A peer once asked me, "If you get into HBS, how could you possibly choose anywhere else?"

Throughout the weekend as I strolled through the HBS grounds and the events of admitted student weekend, I found myself asking the same question.

"How can I possibly choose anywhere else???"

(to be continued...)

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