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Laurier BBA vs UChicago Booth MBA

After graduating from the Laurier BBA, I enrolled in the UChicago Booth part-time MBA. I must say, the difference is night and day. The quality of education at Booth is significantly higher than at Laurier. Some of the key differences
– Your classmates at Booth will be much more motivated and intelligent. This is important because a big part of the value-add of business school is the network you’ll develop
– The program is much more rigorous. The faculty at Booth is much more talented, with the highest number of Nobel Laureates of any business school in the world who often wrote the textbook. The professors here don’t shy away from the underlying hardcore math, whereas Laurier dumbs the material down and makes you just memorize formulas. For example, for the technology adoption cycle, the Booth professor explained that adoption follows a normal distribution with the early majority and late majority making up +/- 1 standard deviation whereas at Laurier, we were just taught that “most people” fall into the early or late majority. Also, Laurier taught me the time value of money like 4 times whereas at Booth it’s just assumed knowledge because it’s such a simple concept after you learn it the first time.
– There’s a lot of bullshit courses in both schools like “competitive strategy” or “corporate governance” and all of operations and human resources but I think BS is just a part of business school (that’s why BS also stands for business school) but the difference is that Laurier forces you to take the BS classes whereas Booth gives you much more leeway to tailor your curriculum
– Unlike Laurier, Booth has actually quantitatively rigorous classes like business statistics and Analysis of Financial Time Series whereas I took a data science class at Laurier and it was not well organized. I think Laurier was trying to build out its quantitative offering right as I was about to graduate so things may have changed

Laurier has its bright spots, like the Laurier Student Investment Fund (LSIF), but that was about it.
I almost wish I did a purely technical undergrad (I was double degree computer science with Waterloo) and just did an MBA at a top business school afterwards. Of course, it’s unfair to compare a top 5 business school in the US with a top 5 business school in Canada – Booth has significantly more financial resources at its disposal.

3 Answers

  1. This has to be a troll post. :/
    Chicago MBA falls within one of the M7 schools and is renowned worldwide. It's one of the best business schools and MBA programs in the world. How are you comparing this to a Canadian undergraduate program, at a school that is virtually unknown outside of its regional market (i.e. Ontario). Lazaridis School of Business and Economics is nowhere near the top 5 business schools in Canada. Did you forget about Queen's Smith School of Business, Rotman School of Management, UBC Sauder School of Business, McGill Desautels Faculty of Management, Western Ivey School of Business, and York Schulich School of Business? HEC Montreal also carries a lot of clout among the French-speaking population. Laurier BBA is on par with the likes of Alberta, SFU, Calgary, UTSC, McMaster, etc. Leaving aside the business programs, there is Waterloo AFM, math, actuarial science and computer science dominating the business field (including some top quantitative based programs at U of T). Go look at all the global business rankings and for most of them, Laurier business won't even crack the top 10 Canadian business schools. 
    I can guarantee you that you would not have gotten into Chicago MBA with a Laurier BBA alone, and it was likely the double degree from Waterloo computer science that carried you. Laurier BBA and the students that go there are very average/above average, and most are not ivy league quality. Most people go to Laurier for business when they can't get into the better schools. I don't know how you can compare a business program like this to Chicago MBA. 
    DavidWestern JD, Ivey HBA/BMSc

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  2. The point I'm trying to drive home in my original post is, there is a big difference between top-ranked programs and middle of the pack ones as opposed to the common misconception that the gap isn't actually that large. I remember when I was high school, I was wondering if my subsequent life experience would be substantially different graduating from Harvard versus Waterloo, or would it be more or less similar. After going through a mediocre business program and a top-tier one, my answer is that the difference is quite substantial instead of, say, Laurier is already 90% of the way there to a Booth MBA and so it's good enough. I would say it's actually more like 60-80% of the way there.

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