I recently stumbled upon this post: Things to Consider When Your Partner is Applying to an MBA Program. It's written by Veronica Armstrong, a business school wife and mother and brings up some good points regarding the location, services, and community at schools that you and your prospective student might be considering (she has also written a few other posts about life as an MBA wife that are worth checking out).
Interestingly, I feel as if she wrote the first part on location almost directly for me and my family. We came here from California, and hope to return there again after finishing school. So, did it make sense for us to move all the way to New Hampshire for these two years? Will we be at a disadvantage when it comes to finding a job back on the West Coast? Sure, it'll mean longer flights for interviews, but there were several reasons why the long-distance move made sense for us.
1. School ranking. Tuck is consistently ranked among the top business schools in the nation, if not worldwide. For a while we debated between two programs, Tuck and another school that would have been an easier move and very close to our families but wasn't as strong of a program. In the end we decided that we should go to the best school available to us, knowing that will open more doors.
2. Atmosphere. When Zach talked to current and former Tuckies, and when he visited the campus for his interview, he came away with this very positive vibe about both the school and the people here. That was not true for that many other schools, even other top-rated ones. Many people will gladly tell you all the academic advantages of their program, but Tuckies seem to just really love being here.
3. The Alumni network. Tuck is known for having an incredibly close-knit network. Tuck students and alumni stick together. I have heard so many stories of prospective or current students reaching out to Tuck alumni and being amazed at how quickly they would all respond and offer whatever help they could. I'm confident this will be a great advantage to us as well.
4. Community. We knew business school with young kids would be a challenge. Tuck is very family friendly- we are included in most student events, and the atmosphere is such that commitment to family duties is honored here in a way that isn't always true elsewhere. I wanted us to be in a place where I would have a true community to support me and my kids, so that we could in turn support Zach and allow him to really throw himself into his education.
5. Lastly, there is something to be said for this location in and of itself. I don't think we would ever have come to the east coast on our own, but I am glad for this chance to experience this beautiful place (and real seasons! Though we'll see how I still feel about snow and true winter in January) for these two years. It's an adventure all it's own.
Going to business school is a HUGE investment-- you're giving up two years of income, paying a hefty tuition bill, living expenses, etc. We wanted to make the least number of compromises in this decision, to get the most back out of this investment of time and resources. Everything about Tuck felt perfect, with the only "compromise" being having to move across the country... and again, even that feels like a plus in some ways. We're still at the beginning stages of this journey through business school, but I know we made the right decision in coming to Tuck.