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Please Evaluate MBA/MPA

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Joined: 02 Apr 2012
Posts: 11
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Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 0

Please Evaluate MBA/MPA [#permalink]

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New post 02 Apr 2012, 10:12
Hi Paul,

I am planning to apply for business school for start in 2013

1) I graduated in 2010 and went straight into a graduate position at a top 3 British Bank (focussed on Emerging Markets), which has done incredibly well in the crisis - it is the largest foreign bank in India, China and the Middle East. After a few months they moved me to Dubai, Where I did rotations in the Investment banking and PE departments, for two years (as well as brief rotations in risk and operations). I was recently transferred to the Investment banking desk in London. By matriculation in 2013 I will have 3 years of work exp, between here and Dubai (including a brief 3 month professional training Malaysia and China)

2) GMAT : 700, considering retaking.

3) College info: I read BSc (honours) Economics (international) from a top 20 Russell Group university in the UK, and graduated with a high 2.1.

This included a Erasmus exchange scholarship(which was offered to top 15 students in the business school) to study economics at a top university in Sweden for a year.

4) In 2009 I set up a small charity with a couple of friends, to build and renovate schools and libraries in target countries. We have built and renovated Libraries include Pakistan, Zambia and Kenya.

I am British of Libyan origin and have been very active during Libya's year long revolution. I am a member of the 'AngloLibyan Business Initiative', which has conducts seminars and workshops offering consulting advice and information to start-ups in Libya. I am also a member of a prominent youth NGO based in the UK, with the aim of giving the youth a voice in Libya - and have attracted multi-million dollar funding and support for international governmental and non governmental organisations.

I have had small entrepreneurial ventures such as purchasing a small pizza restaurant during my second year of university with some investors, and spinning it off 2 years later for a healthy profit. As well as starting a very small branded clothing venture whilst in Sweden for the international students

5) I am currently a CFA II candidate and hope to have the charter by matriculation

6) I am very interested in the MBA/MPA-ID 3 year course at HBS and HKS. I was wondering if you had an experience with that? Also Wharton and Stanford have a 2+1 MBA+1 year MPA with HKS which are highly appealing.

Otherwise Pure MBA wise i am interested only in HBS, Wharton, Stanford and Booth. I am willing to wait and reapply two or three times until i get in, before setting my sights a little lower. (I am currently 24)

7) My ambitions after graduating, is to work in VC/PE in the US for a few years, before transitioning into a quasi finance-governmental role in Libya, either as part of the SWF (LIA) or in the Libyan Foreign bank, with the long term goal (hence the MPA) of working in the finance ministry or the central bank.

Thanks again,

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Joined: 08 Oct 2011
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Re: Please Evaluate MBA/MPA [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2012, 13:09
Hey M,

Thanks for reaching out. Sorry this post got missed somehow - I hope that even a delayed response is a helpful response.

Your whole plan of attack seems very much on point. I am personally a big proponent of dual degree programs, not just because of the ROI (such an MBA specific way to think about things), but also because of the holistic learning and development that takes place when you use different models of instruction. Adding a Kennedy School experience to an elite MBA, for instance, is going to have an exponential effect and likely make your time in school 3-5 times more valuable rather than just twice as good, via double the degrees. JD/MBA programs are similar, as are MBA/MPP combos. I'm sure there exceptions, where there are diminishing returns for the extra time and money, but considering that the MBA is the least "academic" of the big masters programs, adding a really thoughtful course of study can really open the mind.

And, of course, it can have real "paper" value as you move forward, but I truly believe that is secondary.

Now, as for how to approach it, the key is to really make your case for why both degrees are necessary. We work with a lot of dual degree candidates (especially for the HBS programs - JD/MBA, and HBS/Kennedy - and for the extremely popular Kellogg JD/MBA) and what is often missed is that dimension of really spelling out why the secondary degree is so critical. Many candidates approach it just like an MBA application and forget to showcase the need for the accompanying program. This probably seems like common sense, but you'd be surprised how easy it is to fall victim to a "pure MBA" approach, especially since so many joint degree admissions processes piggyback closely to the MBA process.

Be thinking about how your goals, interests, learning style, and perspective (the teaching you will be doing to and for your peers) lend to the joint degree. If you do that, you will be able to showcase proper career goals, transferable skills, key program traits, and - most importantly - nuanced understanding of program DNA. And you will be off and running.

I respect and appreciate that you have shortlisted your schools and you don't want to compromise that list - rather waiting and reapplying if need be. I don't think it will come to that, based on your profile, but you are wise to be selective and bank on your youth.

The only thing I would say is open your list to include MIT and its dual program with Kennedy. Same city, incredibly elite institutions, and what a great combo of learning opportunities. Here's a link: ... -programs/

Good luck!

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