dooood wrote:drylo wrote:Well, you said that. I know that you said that. But like I said earlier, I wasn't asking you, because frankly, I can read the TLS forums too. I was asking somebody else who has at least some experiential knowledge (although to be honest, Flight seems to be more interested in getting offended than in having an honest discussion).
Edited to add: Also, depending on the interpretation of what you said above, I don't necessarily disagree. I think that in most markets, employers will basically give your GPA a bump for being at Michigan vis-a-vis Vandy/Texas/UCLA. In a sense, I suppose that would make it "easier" to get a job. But my point is that that has nothing to do with geographic mobility, per se. That is the whole reason that I asked Flight what he/she meant by "geographic mobility" in the earlier post. And then you were so kind as to give me your opinion on the matter, etc., and the rest is history.
It's good you acknowledged the GPA bump aspect - I think that's what has been the real point of contention that people are dancing around. But I think that the GPA point is really inextricable from the geographical point. For example, ceteris paribus, Seattle-born-and-raised Michigan student with class rank of X will be considered by Seattle firms, whereas Seattle-born-and-raised Vandy student at X rank in his class will not (no one could say where X is).
If this same student from Vandy had better grades, he could definitely break into the Seattle market, but there's going to be a point at which, if the student is below that point, it won't be possible for him to go to Seattle. This point may not be median, but it will be higher in the class than it would for a Michigan student. Given the substantial possibility that the average person will not be in the top half of his class, it's wise to go to a school where you know firms will dig deeper (because it does make a geographical difference at the cusps).
I think the GPA aspect is really what we are talking about--which is why I pushed back against the "geographic mobility" idea. It's hard to come up with any absolute rule, but it is fair to say that in the mix of information available to them about different candidates, most employers (although certainly not all) will essentially forgive a slightly lower GPA the higher up the rankings the school is. I also think that for most firms, there are a ton of other variables in each candidate's "file," though. And I'm not convinced that there is any way to truly measure how significant this "GPA bump" is, but either way, this perceived cushion is the biggest difference in "placement power" between Michigan and Vandy.
TL; DR: The difference between these schools is not so much opening different doors, but opening them ever so slightly wider. The question is about how much to pay for that--coupled with other personal factors, which I think are very important as well.