My impression of the most competitive programs seems a little “sour grapes”, but I’m getting a little into what I like about Santa Clara. The basic point of getting an MBA, for me: learn as much as possible, at as high a level as possible, with the smartest possible classmates. Then, the smart classmates collaborate with their classmate friends to make piles of money while abolishing suffering throughout the world. Group projects at a top-notch school = my owning property in San Francisco and reversing the trade imbalance with China. In the short run, a project management or business analyst lead at an SF or Silicon Valley company (I’m not saying who, exactly) sounds kick-ass.
Santa Clara’s information session laid it out directly, that their focus is largely “regional”. Most of their graduates get recruited by local companies, or stay working at their Bay Area jobs when they graduate. An important impression from my visit was that those involved with the program seemed professionally confidant in their excellence, rather then self-congratulatory, like some MBA promotional materials. Everything about the program made me comfortable and realistically excited. This doesn’t seem like the type of place to churn out the MBAs who fed everyone kool-aid during “The Bubble”. I’m not saying that other schools do, but I’m glad that SCU students not seem (so far) to fit the negative stereotypes. The students I’ve met all seem like people I’d be happy to have as co-workers.
In a bygone era, fast talkers with attitude for days could attract silly amounts of VC with 15 Powerpoint slides and an infectious sense of entitlement. The author Geoffrey Moore has referred to it as “the time of great happiness”, when people could raise money easily. Those who did it by talking a big game about a crappy plan were jerks, though (in retrospect). Nobody I’ve met at SCU, who I’ve met, seems like that type of guy. Check out the excruciating documentaries “E-Dreams” and “Startup.com” to see exactly what I mean. I don’t want to become the sort of MBA who makes software engineers hate MBAs.