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Profile Eval...MA in Economics or MBA?

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Profile Eval...MA in Economics or MBA? [#permalink] New post 03 Sep 2009, 20:30
Hey, I'm trying to decide between applying to an MBA program or applying for a masters in economics. I don't have a lot of work experience, which makes me think I should do the masters, but I do have a lot of experiences for my age and I know some business schools are trending younger, so I'm wondering whether it might be worth a shot to apply to an MBA program? In terms of what I want to do, I want to get a masters in econ as I feel that although I went to a great school, I didn't necessarily get the training that I think I need to be a good strategist. Ultimately my goal is to start my own consulting firm, and I really want quantitative training of some kind. I think the masters could do that well. I'd want an MBA because I recently tried to start my own business and wasn't able to get it off the ground, and I feel that if I got more management and strategy training, I'd be better equipped to deal with the sort of issues that I ran into and I'd have the skill set necessary to be a successful entrepreneur. I'd also love the opportunity to get into consulting from that route. Long term wise, in addition to a consulting firm, I'd also like to start a boarding school for bright, motivated underprivileged children and a mentoring program for top achievers in bad school districts.

Gender/Race/Age: Male, African-American, 22

Education/GMAT: Dartmouth College 2.9 GPA in History; haven’t taken GMAT

Work Experience:
1. Recently hired as a manager at a failing Pottery Barn store. I was brought in to turn it around
2. I attempted a start-up company my senior year, working with professors at Tuck, Thayer Engineering School, Dartmouth, Harvard and execs from McKinsey, UBS and Morgan Stanley (hopefully it’ll still happen, but its up in the air)
3. I have 3 previous internships at Tuck, 1 internship at Merrill, 1 internship at a think tank and 1 at a non-profit
4. Founded a legal organization and a journal in college
5. Worked full-time in college
6. Founding member of club lacrosse team, also on club tennis team
7. Coached kids in college
8. Founded a charity for homeless children in 2004, which I have kept up with since. Currently accepting applications from students in top 5% of SE DC schools for pro-bono college counseling and mentorship

Interests (what I want out of a MA or MBA):
1. Quantitative & Analytical Training
2. Improved strategic thinking
3. Management skills and entrepreneurship skills

Interests (what I want to do with my MA or MBA)
1. Consulting/Strategy
2. Economic Analysis (particularly macroeconomics)
3. Entrepreneurship
4. Non-Profit Work

Ultimately, I can see myself doing quite a few different things, which is why I’m trying to keep my options open. However, I’ve got to get back to school. I didn’t take Dartmouth very seriously and I really want some solid quant/analytical training as ultimately I’m going to need both for whatever I ultimately want to do. My GPA is bad because I wasn’t that serious about school, but I am now and I’m wondering what my next move should be. Any tips?

As for schools I’m interested in, I thought of Harvard, Stanford and Yale only because I know they’re interested in younger candidates, but I’m not sure if I’d be competitive even with a 700. I’m pretty sure I can get into Tuck as I’m on a first name basis with several professors there – one of them was an advisor to my start-up and I know him well – and I was accepted to Tuck Bridge, but I ultimately didn’t do it. I’m just not sure they’d encourage me to apply this early out of school…
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Re: Profile Eval...MA in Economics or MBA? [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2009, 09:49
MattMcD03,

Sorry for the delayed reply. You have a lot going for you in your profile. Given how varied your long-term goal interests are, I think the MBA is the more appropriate degree for you, but to get into the top schools you will need a 700+ GMAT given your GPA. If you can afford to wait a few years, you could get some good work experience (leadership, impact) and apply with a stronger hand. Bottom line: If you get a 700+ GMAT (and ideally even higher) then you will be competitive at most top programs. If you get that startup off the ground then you will be "golden."

Hope this helps,

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