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second bachelor's degree. I need your advice.

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second bachelor's degree. I need your advice. [#permalink] New post 29 Aug 2011, 13:57
I don't know if this is the right site/forum to post this. But I think that the people who frequent this website would have great advice.
Well, I graduated college last year with a degree in International Relations from a university in south america, which is where I'm from. (Note that a degree in IR in my country is heavily focused on international business/commerce). This may no be relevant but during this time, I participated on a study abroad program at an US university for 2 semesters.
I graduated last year and moved to the US for personal reasons, it took me months to go through the immigration process which held me back, because I had to wait for this process to be completed in order for me to do anything: find a job, go back to school, get a driver's license (!). My plan was to start working, and apply to Business school after a few years of experience.
Earlier this year I finally started to actively look for a job in marketing, which is what I'm interested in. Needless to say I wasn't able to find a job, I was a recent grad with no experience in the field I wanted to get into.
I decided then, to go back to school in the fall for a second bachelor's degree in Business adm. with a marketing concentration. Maybe then I would be able to find a job since I would have a degree from an american school and in the field I plan to work in. And plus, I assume that by then, the job market will be somewhat better. This will take me 2.5 years.
I started school today, but part of me feels like it's a such a waste to get a second bachelor's degree. I know it won't add much in terms of professional experience, but better than not doing anything and having to settle for a less than ideal job.
I plan on going to a decent Business School, therefore I think having real work experience in a must.
What would you do in my situation? Is this really a bad idea?
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[#permalink] New post 29 Aug 2011, 14:52
Quote:
This may no be relevant but during this time, I participated on a study abroad program at an US university for 2 semesters.


I think that you would definitely mention this somewhere in your b-school application.

Quote:
it took me months to go through the immigration process which held me back, because I had to wait for this process to be completed in order for me to do anything: find a job, go back to school, get a driver's license (!).


This is totally understandable and this unemployment gap will not be held against you by admission committee as long as you explain it in the b-school application.

Quote:
Needless to say I wasn't able to find a job, I was a recent grad with no experience in the field I wanted to get into.
I decided then, to go back to school in the fall for a second bachelor's degree in Business adm. with a marketing concentration.


Considering the gloomy state of US economy even for USA graduates, your reasoning is totally believable. You can present this as an example of you taking a very strong initiative to keep moving and not let circumstances shut you out.

Quote:
I plan on going to a decent Business School, therefore I think having real work experience in a must.


It's not a must.

Okay in case you didn't know, the heart of any b-school application is a number of essays, usually five, appx 500 words each, where you are asked questions that allow you to explain your story to the admission committee. The idea is to come up with a compelling story with a unifying theme, to present yourself as a unique individual, but at the same time to have a real good reason as to why you want to go to business school, and to show how the actions you took in the past, given your circumstances, were all leading to your decision to go to business school. If you get the adcoms to believe in your story, and believe that you will contribute to their school as a student, they will accept you.

But of course there are other things to getting admitted. You should have some kind of experience but lots of students don't have the "typical" experience. In MBA classrooms you will find kids who went to MBA straight from undergrad, or people who took irrelevant majors such as philosophy, arts, humanities etc. So business-related experience is not a must. Next, you gotta write the GMAT and get a good mark on the test.

Keep in mind that MBA programs seek variety in their students. They will admit a certain number of typical candidates with your typical successful careers, but there's always room for people like you, who took a winding path. Also, MBA programs emphasize internationalism and typically a US MBA program has about 30% foreign students. International experience and speaking other languages is definitely an asset, and you might want to promote internationalism as your key strength. As part of this strength you could mention your business network and connections in your home country, or your potential to create them.

Another strength you might pitch is "broad perspective" you gained with two bachelor's. Something along the lines of "I studied IR and CM and can understand how these two interact, which taught me how to understand this and other things from multiple perspectives".

I can understand that doing a bachelor's degree with MBA in mind down the road can test one's patience. But then again, I will start my MBA next year and I have been thinking about it more or less for some 4 years. 2.5 years degree, shouldn't it be four? While at school try to do as much extracurricular stuff because that's also big in b-school applications, or you could also seek an internship.

A good MBA is definitely feasable for you. Good luck!
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Re: second bachelor's degree. I need your advice. [#permalink] New post 31 Aug 2011, 03:59
Thank you so much! Your reply has made me feel a lot better about my situation, and I appreciate the insight you have given me. And I agree with what you said, and it has made me see this from a different perspective. To answer your question, no it's really only 2.5 years to get my second bachelor's (which I'm just starting) because I already have a bachelor's degree, so some of the classes transferred.

Again, thank you!

Best of luck to you too!
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Re: second bachelor's degree. I need your advice. [#permalink] New post 31 Aug 2011, 06:23
This seems like a sound plan to me, the one thing I'd underscore is that you make sure to do this second Bachelor's degree as an "adult" rather than doing "college all over again." Don't goof around like a kid away from home for the first time. Your extracurriculars are going to matter a lot more than in most cases, as they will be standing in for work experience. You should find a way to lead something impressive outside of class, if possible maybe even off-campus (you don't want to look like a perpetual student; an MBA is not a PhD). Ideally you'll want to present yourself to adcoms in a couple years by saying "After coming to the US, I accomplished this, this and this. And by the way, I did all that while also earning a second degree related to my career goals."
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Re: second bachelor's degree. I need your advice. [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2011, 03:34
JoelCairo wrote:
This seems like a sound plan to me, the one thing I'd underscore is that you make sure to do this second Bachelor's degree as an "adult" rather than doing "college all over again." Don't goof around like a kid away from home for the first time. Your extracurriculars are going to matter a lot more than in most cases, as they will be standing in for work experience. You should find a way to lead something impressive outside of class, if possible maybe even off-campus (you don't want to look like a perpetual student; an MBA is not a PhD). Ideally you'll want to present yourself to adcoms in a couple years by saying "After coming to the US, I accomplished this, this and this. And by the way, I did all that while also earning a second degree related to my career goals."



Thank you. That is very helpful.
I agree with you, and I am 23, married, and a female so I definitely have a completely different mindset going back to college.
I'm going to school full time and have two part time internships (one of which is from home, but it's an internship nonetheless). I plan on joining some marketing clubs my school offers. Do you have any other suggestions of things I could participate in?
Re: second bachelor's degree. I need your advice.   [#permalink] 01 Sep 2011, 03:34
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