Thursday, March 24, 2011

I got into both grad schools!

Hi y'all! Great news! I got into both grad schools I applied to: The New School's Milano School for Management, and NYU's Wagner School of Public Service. I have two weeks to decide between them, and it's going to be tough.

The New School's program would be a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management. The school and program have a lot going for them: I really clicked with the people there; it's a very social-justice-rooted program; it's specifically designed to help people do exactly what I want to do (run nonprofits); and perhaps most importantly, they're offering me quite a lot of money. However, no one's ever heard of them, and as a newer program they don't have the kind of institutional and alumni clout as other programs.

NYU's program would be a Master of Public Administration in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy. They also have a lot going for them: They've got serious clout, funding, good repute, and mighty alumni. However, I didn't feel welcomed or inspired there, and they're offering me a smaller amount of money. I'm giving them another shot to convince me at the admitted students open house next week.

As you can see, I have a strong initial preference. But to go with my heart (I like them, they are nice!) or what seems to be a more responsible long-term institutional connection (they are powerful, they can help me be powerful too)?


Athene Numphe said...


I say go with your heart/first instinct. That's what I did for grad school and I was supper happy with my choice.

cmoore said...

I agree with Athene - go with your heart! I felt inspired, uplifted, and happy when I visited Smith, and I am so glad I chose to go there. You'll make great connections either way (and you already have a ton of connections, too!), and you're already great at finding opportunities to do what you love doing.

Best of luck in grad school! (By the way, in case you haven't heard: Toby got into the Social Justice Education program at UMass! He's starting in the fall.)

Anonymous said...

1. go with your gut.
2. people have too heard of the new school! esp in the NYC area. if your first job post grad is in NYC, you'll be fine. after that, people will judge you on your professional experience over your degree.
3. I went to a newer grad program, and while they didn't have a phenomenal alum network, they did help their alums a lot-- there was a lot of job coaching, resume reading, etc. Honestly, you have the Smith network, you'll be fine.
4. More money = less debt. BIG PLUS.
5. Honestly, the fact that I have an MBA matters more than where I got it from. I mean, the name helps, but the degree itself is key.

Darrick said...

Congrats! I agree with what everyone else has said. Go with your heart. If you have a connection to the school, it will be much easier to do the work, because you want to be there. And your awesomeness will overcome any name advantage that NYU could give you. Anyway, the New School program just sounds like you!

Sylvia said...

Agreed with everything above. I think that institutional clout is a) somewhat overstated, and b) not as influential in the nonprofit world as it is in other places.

Anonymous said...

Erika, you're already awesome and powerful and you don't need school's branding to help you achieve that. Go with your first choice I reckon.

Maric Kramer said...

E, it's so obvious where you should go, based on the way you talk about them! Inspiration trumps institutional clout every time. You have to go somewhere you can believe in (and which believes in you). And some extra money sure don't hurt, either!

I have more thoughts on this dichotomy and why I'm happier with my current grad school than if I'd gone to a top-ranked school, if you want to hear them.

XOXO to you and Petra (power couple!) from the left coast,