Where should I live in the US while I go to business school?
October 6, 2007 9:55 PM   Subscribe

Where should I live in the US while I go to business school?

I'm taking my GMATs for the third and final time (take a test prep class, my score has risen almost 200 points) and now I have a decision facing me.

Do I stay here in San Diego, where I completed my undergrad, or look for another home for the next 3 years (or longer).

I'm looking for places with "B" business schools and up combined with great weather, great activities and that "it" feeling, where when you visit for the first time, you get drawn in.

I'm past my "drink 15 beers, throw up and drink 15 more" phase, but I'm not quite at that wine snob phase, if that helps guide your recommendations.

Some early candidates include Albuquerque, NM and Austin, TX, I haven't been to either, although I have friends who've come from both. Its gonna take a special place to pull me away from San Diego (I'm a sucker for whale's vaginas) but give me your best shot. Thanks --AW
posted by weiler63 to Education (7 answers total)
Austin rivals, and probably tops, San Diego for livability.

Actually, my impression is that the cities are similar. When I was in San Diego recently, my thought was, "This is like Austin by the ocean."

Check out Austin --- I'm not aware of a better place to go a top business school.
posted by jayder at 10:00 PM on October 6, 2007

What's missing here is what you plan to do in business school.

There are a lot of "B" business schools, but you should only go to a business school with faculty and classes that fit exactly what you are looking to learn. For example, Madison WI, which is one of the most livable cities in America according to Utne Reader and the Urban Land Institute has an excellent Securities Analysis Program, perfect for someone interested in going into hedge or mutual fund management.

I suggest that you narrow down what you want to study (supply chain/marketing/brand management/securities analysis, etc) and then look at schools and then make some choices.
posted by parmanparman at 10:14 PM on October 6, 2007

Response by poster: I'm looking for a good marketing/management courseload, which, as far as I can tell, most B and up schools offer. I'm not to the point where a specific program would lure me more than the city its in. Thanks, --AW
posted by weiler63 at 10:25 PM on October 6, 2007

You'll find several accredited universities in the L.A. area, not sure which offer MBA programs. If you live in the LA Area, the following are within a 1 hour drive: CSU Fullerton, CSU Los Angeles, CSU Long Beach, CSU Dominguez Hills, CSU Northridge, UCLA, USC, Loyola Marymount Univ, Antioch Univ, National Univ, Univ of Phoenix, Biola Univ, Pepperdine Univ, Azusa Pacific Univ. I'm sure you've been to LA lots of times, but you should consider giving it a good, hard look. There is so much to do here. We have city life, Santa Monica Mtns, hills, Angeles Nat'l Forest, Griffith Park, suburbs, beach. It's all here. There are ritzy neighborhoods, middle class neighborhoods, working class neighborhoods, old people neighborhoods, college people neighborhoods, yuppie neighborhoods, gay neighborhoods, ethnic neighborhoods, arts neighborhoods. Whatever you want you can find.

By the way, when I was in grad school at UCLA, I knew several people who lived in San Diego and loved it so much that they commuted to LA and stayed in hotels 1-3 nights a week. Just leave early in the morning or after 8pm to avoid the traffic. The drive would be murder on a lot of people, but if you like San Diego enough, you might consider it. I lived 25 miles from UCLA and it took me 2 hours to drive there in morning rush hour.
posted by HotPatatta at 11:39 PM on October 6, 2007

parmanparman is spot on. Choose the school based on what it offers, not on location. My friend from LA and never fathomed living outside California went to Michigan for grad school because it was the best in field of study (that he could get into). I told him the cold winters would kill him. He busted his ass to complete the program early. Go for the best program, San Diego will still be there when you're done.

UT Austin has a great business school and is a very livable city. Little hot in the summer [and spring, and fall] and you have to settle for lakes instead of the ocean. And the closest beaches on the gulf are pathetic compared to anything on the Pacific coast.

Austin has funky neighborhoods and funky people and you can almost forget you're in Texas. I've only spent a few hours in ABQ, but it is much smaller, meaning few "big city" things like available flights anywhere, stores with specialty items not found in smaller places, etc. Austin is small [1.2m in greater area], but offers many big city conveniences [nonstop flights to many cities, or you have to go to Houston or Dallas to get anywhere else]. If you came to school in Austin, you'd probably really enjoy it.

Austin does have a shitty transportation infrastructure especially the freeways running through the downtown area. If you pick a place to live near campus you'd never have to deal with it though.

I had that "it" feeling when I visited Austin in 1993 and moved here. But last month, I had that "it" feeling about San Diego and am figuring out how to move there.
posted by birdherder at 6:46 AM on October 7, 2007

I have some friends who went to business school at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, PA. I know nothing about b-school but I can tell you that Pittsburgh is WAY cooler than you think it is. And very affordable.
posted by selfmedicating at 11:23 AM on October 7, 2007

I am ~2 months into my Msc. Finance at a business school in the South. The quality of life in the city was a significant factor in my decision on which school to attend. I am a bit surprised to say that I have had very little outside-school time to enjoy it. Therefore, I would echo the comments above: choose a program that fits what you want to do is paramount. Talk to people who actually go to the schools you are looking at. And also, don't undersestimate the importance of a strong career center / alumni network -- the recruiting cycle is already well under way.
posted by fourstar at 11:47 AM on October 7, 2007

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