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I joined the MSc Economics program (2 year track) at the London School of Economics last year after giving my GRE (Q800;V700). I also had admits to the EE masters programs at Cornell, Columbia, Penn State, Georgia Tech and Dartmouth. I chose to join LSE economics since I enjoyed the econ classes (2.0 units) in my undergrad (I am an electrical engineering graduate). The LSE program requirement for continuing into the second year of the program was a 60 in all the subjects. I fell short of this cut off in a fairly challenging econometrics and micro-econ class ( However I got a distinction in my Calculus and Linear Algebra courses and also cleared the Intro to Macro and Micro courses during the LSE summer school with As). Due to this I was given a 'diploma in economics' by LSE.
Now I want to apply to a b-school (for fall 2011). I have 3.5 yrs of work ex in consulting (SAP consulting and management consulting). How will this development be seen by the admissions committee? I still need to take the GMAT (on 13 Oct). I was planning to take the Stanford EPGY online courses to mitigate the poor grad GPA, but I do not have time to complete the courses right now in order to report them in time for R1 deadlines.
I think the two big questions you'd have to answer are: 1) why do you want/need an MBA, since it's a very different degree than a MSc in economics, and 2) can you handle the academic rigor of a masters-level program. A good GMAT could help on this second point, but you'd still have to explain why you didn't meet the academic requirements of LSE (other than saying the classes were hard).
I am confident that I will be able to handle master level courses, though the LSE experience has not been a pleasant one. My undergraduate performance has been fairly solid, with GPA increasing from the first to the last year (I graduated with an overall distinction).
As for why MBA? I think after studying for a year in a specialized masters program I can confidently say that most of the stuff that I learned there was highly theoretical and not applied (LSE is in fact known for a highly theoretical treatment of subjects, which includes proofs and axioms). A MBA degree will complement my past work experience and it will help in accelerating my career growth in the consulting industry.
I agree that MSc Economics and MBA are completely different, but since I want to return to the working world (more as a generalist rather than a specialist, like an econometrician) a MBA will surely help me out in the long run.
As for explaining the LSE situation, one of the things that comes to my mind is that I switched courses (3 courses) after attending their classes for about 11 weeks! Though, I had enrolled in the advanced courses after having a word with my adviser, the advanced microeconomics and econometrics became too much too handle. I was spending too much time on them and as a result I was sacrificing the other three courses. I must say, I put in a lot of effort, but in late Jan I switched to the intermediate level courses (and hence had A LOT to catch up on!).
I am aware that what has happened can not be changed. I will give a good shot at the GMAT and apply to various schools in the US. Hoping for the best!
Reading your background, I realised that being an engineering graduate like you , I was also exposed to basic economics in undergrad and have sort of taken a liking for it since then rather than my core engineering subjecs.
I have about 2 years FT experience now in core engineering. Nothing related to econ whatsoever.
I have contemplated MBA vs. LSE MSc Econ for a while now and can say that I am still not very sure. Although I am sure about one thing that ,if I want to apply want to apply my knowledge of econ in the business world, I need business education sooner or later. If not directly , maybe a couple of years after MSc from LSE. What are you thoughts on the same?
Do you regret taking that path that I am contemplating now??
I can understand your state of mind at the moment. Even I was very confused about going to LSE and leaving top Ivy league engineering programs. Though, I must say that I am not regretting the decision that I made since I gave my best shot at the course while in London. But, it is a disappointment that things turned out this way.
I would like to point out that a program like the MSc Economics at LSE (or Oxbridge) is a highly specialized program that requires a lot of academic rigor. These programs are perfectly fine for a student wishing to pursue a PhD in economics or some related field. In fact many masters students from LSE do end up at top PhD programs across the world.
If you really do want to get a flavor of subjects like economics, optimization, finance etc, but at the same time do not want to drown in the details, then I would suggest that a MBA will be more suited and will serve the purpose. 2 years in a specialized program like the one in LSE will pave the way to an excellent academic career.