Cranfield or Manchester Full Time MBA --- need your help and views please!

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*Please share your thoughts.* This is a real tough decision for me. I am a traditional person, who rely on heart when brain fails, but this time, heart is also failing. I am fortunate enough to be selected at both MBS and Cranfield...
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Bharatbhai and other current students of Cran and MBS ... any advice please?

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Anyone would like to share anything please?

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Please share your thoughts.

This is a real tough decision for me.

I am a traditional person, who rely on heart when brain fails, but this time, heart is also failing.

I am fortunate enough to be selected at both MBS and Cranfield and I am unable to decide between the two. By the way, I have already eliminated few other similar schools, those were easy for me to eliminate.

MBS and Cranfield are very close to my heart from day 1 of my MBA journey.

I know, at the end of the day, it is pure personal decision. But I would like to hear your personal opinion. I believe nothing is absolutely wrong or nothing is absolutely right. However, what might be right to you might be right to me as well ... and I may have overlooked that aspect. Same goes for negative aspects. I am just trying to take a well balanced and deliberated decision.

First a bit about my situation.

I am well experienced (or say OLD, male, aged 30++) in general management and work in one interesting domain. I am not sure whether I can join back my industry or I have to look for a wider industry. Preferably I would look for Supply Chain, Retail, Automobile, Transportation, Aviation related companies. I may even expand to Core sectors or service sectors. I prefer a big team/projects/operation rather than working in silos or to be a whiz kid!! ... I feel at home in "jack of all", varieties, uncertainties and dynamism. For sure, finance, consultancy or technology sector will be the last option for me.

Location wise, I am open but definitely would love to be in the UK.

I am Non-EU

I am fluent in English but need to localise for UK. Worked in MNC environment for long and communication is not an issue BUT I highly value localisation.

Objective of MBA?

I am confident that I will be heading something in next 3-4 years. But before I head something, I would love to be equipped myself properly so that I satisfy myself that I am doing a good job and I am doing it right. So I am risking my successful career for LEARNING and accordingly I have narrowed down to MBS and Cranfield. On the other side, knowing my age and various financial commitments, Placement is equally important to me. However, placement is not the MOST important aspect for me.

Here is a quick summary of my own findings so far

MBS and Cranfield probably have the most comprehensive programme with a great focus on application of the theory. Both the programmes are equally good with few differences like:

a. 18 months Vs 12 months

b. 3 Internships Vs no formal internship

c. MBS is extensive Vs Cranfield is intensive (someone claims )

d. MBS is part of a wider university Vs Cranfield is a post grad only university

e. Partnership, overseas schools and exchange programme options at MBS - not sure at the moment whether useful to me

f. Work experience of the class at Cranfield seems to a bit higher than MBS

g. Class mix seems to be more diverse in MBS, compared to Cranfield. Although both are much better than many other schools, however, both the schools has a huge Indian IT people and other Asian class. I would like to hear your views on this aspect.

h. Again on class mix, I heard Cranfield receives many military personnel in the class. My personal experience with armed force is impressive. They apply all the management principles all the times ... but without formally knowing it!!. Yes, they sometime appears to be a bit rigid and egoistic. The reason I found is quite interesting, they lacks communication power to clearly convey their concern and apprehension. I learned too many things from armed force but I heard some opposite views by few students.

i. City location Vs Self contained village location but then again, close to London and both have their own pros and cons

j. Strong focus on General Management, Operation and SCM at Cranfield; MBS is just breathing over the neck though!!

k. In UK, both are equally known but outside world, Manchester is better known. Does not matter for football but people at all levels can immediately recognise Manchester.

l. Both are old and matured programme with huge alumni network.

m. Both focuses a lot on personal development. Cranfield may be a slight notch better.

n. Both have almost similar class size, MBS is a tad larger.

o. Reputation, student satisfaction are almost same.

p. Cranfield has their executive programme and very well known in sr management circle. But I presume it will be in local market.

Some of the things that does not bother me too much are

a. Ranking

b. Accreditation (both are triple accredited, in that matter, they are ahead of LBS, OX and CAM)

c. ROI, fees, scholarships, cost of living

d. Elective options - my focus is operation/SCM but in general MBS has few more electives than Cranfield

e. 1 year master degrees are not recognised in some countries (someone claimed in one post)

f. Family support (my family will be able to survive!! but support is nice to have like clinic nearby)

g. Nightlife, shopping options, lively city, vibrant city, sunny city, heritage city, historic city!!

h. Local transport options

i. Opportunity to learn a new language (come on, you might be kidding!!)

j. Climate

k. Food options

l. Whether have specific finance module or not

m. I heard few people complaining that MBS professors takes a back seat and let the student discuss. To me this is a very positive approach than playing a record with 10 years old slides.

I must say, the experience I got with both the schools so far is extraordinary. Both the schools have a strong personal touch and Ms Spiro (MBS) is like a motherly figure and David (Cranfield) is like big brother. You immediately connect with them and you instantly feel that you are at the very right hand. You are treated as 'Mike' not someone from 13-14 batch!!

I believe I will have equally great learning experience at both the places.

What I am not sure is, Placement Outlook. Which school will have better scope to land in a decent job in General Management.

I am not looking at 'hard data'. I am looking at the ground feel. How upbeat are the current class about their placement outlook?

I am also looking at views on Placement Department's Support

Talking to current students/alumni as well as visiting the school is a great suggestion ...... roger!!

Please share your views and opinion.

Thank you very much and my apologies for this extraordinary long thesis.

NB: Please, no motherhood statements. All knows that individual plays the key role in landing in a job, no spoon feeding, blah blah. Also please avoid "nothing is guaranteed" or should not assume something kind of approach!!

Right platform makes a hell lot of difference. I did my graduation from one school where even the donkeys get to choose from many jobs. And I saw my brightest friends from other schools to literally fight for BPO/Amway kind of jobs. Number of available opportunities matters a LOT. Also matters a lot, how the placement team supports you during those trying period.
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