Home







This 1772 Decision Making Technique Recommended by Benjamin Franklin will teach you about picking the best MBA program

Algebra Method Benjamin FranklinThere is a myth on how we make decisions and the information we collect to reach a conclusion. Analysis paralysis is often associated with the vast amount of information that is under our disposal. The truth is different. We are not paralyzed by the additional information but by the narrower choices that we have reached after eliminating several other equally viable options.

The time invested to reach the fewer choices is high and we are not ready to go through the process again to consider other equally viable options that we had earlier eliminated thus increasing the stake to pick one option over the other.

Chip and Dan Heath explain in their new book, Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work, about Moral Algebra technique that Benjamin Franklin recommended for decision-making. It is a modified Pros and Cons technique where the Pros and Cons are written in two sheets of paper, and pros and cons with equal weightage are eliminated.

For example, if you are comparing MIT Sloan and Stanford MBA program, and have started writing down Pros and Cons for MIT Sloan, here is the summary

Pros                                                                                   

1) MIT's core curriculum lasts just one semester while for Stanford the Core Courses run for one year. More Flexibility in Course structure.                     

2) MIT Sloan prefers more experienced candidates 5 years against 4.2 for Stanford . Better Peer to Peer Learning Experience                                   

Cons

1)  MIT is in the colder city of Boston

2) 2.6% of MIT Sloan's class was hired by VC, Private Equity & Hedge Fund sector, against a massive 27% for Stanford GSB

This is a general pros and cons list about MIT Sloan MBA program. If the applicant is interested in VC, Private Equity & Hedge Fund sector, the 2nd entry in the Cons list will have equal weightage to Options 1 & 2 in the Pros list.

Eliminate 1 & 2 from the Pros List, and Option 2 in Cons List.

What is remaining:

Cons

1) MIT is in the colder city of Boston

If living in a colder city is a decisive factor, the MBA Applicant will pick Stanford over MIT but the context and background of the applicant was the deciding factor.

Now let us consider the Pros and Cons of MIT Sloan from a student interested in entering consulting job function post MBA.

Pros                                                                                   

1) MIT's core curriculum lasts just one semester while for Stanford the Core Courses run for one year. More Flexibility in Course structure.                      

2) MIT Sloan prefers more experienced candidates 5 years against 4.2 for Stanford . Better Peer to Peer Learning Experience       

3) Sloan also had an edge in the most popular sector - Consulting, with 33.7% as opposed to GSB's 27%, though the median salaries were identical - $125,000

4) Sloan SOM is next door to Harvard, and presents opportunities to interact with a diverse group of students.
                            
Cons

1) MIT is in the colder city of Boston

2) 2.6% of MIT Sloan's class was hired by VC, Private Equity & Hedge Fund sector, against a massive 27% for Stanford GSB

3) Stanford is near Silicon Valley. Major companies visit both schools for recruitment, but Stanford alumni dominate the valley and offer immense networking opportunities

The applicant now eliminates choices with equal weightage.

First, Con 1 and Pro 4 are eliminated

Since the applicant wants to enter consulting in a non-tech sector, post-MBA, Cons 2, and 3 have equal weightage to Pros 3.

What is remaining:

Pros                                                                                   

1) MIT's core curriculum lasts just one semester while for Stanford the Core Courses run for one year. More Flexibility in Course structure.                     

2) MIT Sloan prefers more experienced candidates 5 years against 4.2 for Stanford . Better Peer to Peer Learning Experience