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Shot at grad school after 5 years abroad

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Shot at grad school after 5 years abroad [#permalink] New post 22 May 2013, 00:07
Lurked around the MBA forums, but lack of experience is starting to point to masters in accounting. Need advice on schools to apply to and possible chances for this Fall. Looking to get into Big 4 audit/tax.

Stats
26 year old white male
State School GPA - 3.68; Accounting Major; Minors - Economics, Chinese, Business
3 semesters as vice president of BAP chapter
Taking GMAT this summer and going for ~700
Post grad: 2 years Mandarin Chinese language courses in Beijing

Currently finishing up a 2 year masters in accounting at the top program? in China. However, it is research focused and taught entirely in Chinese so my GPA has suffered greatly; expecting 2.4 at graduation this summer. I'm the only international student in class with most in the business school dropping out or failing. I'll be the first and only to hold a degree in accounting in China as a foreigner. I know I can pull the language card, but I'm hoping a high GMAT will back me up on the GPA.

Experience
US:
3 years bookkeeping at family company
1 year collections at bank

Beijing:
8 months investment analyst
Currently at boutique law firm in their bankruptcy department

Will stay at law firm after graduation, so I'll have 1-2 years full time work experience going back to the US in Summer 2014.

Target Schools by area (following girlfriend to law school)

1. Bay Area: UC Davis
2. Boston: Boston College, Northeastern
3. NYC: Baruch, Fordham?, Pace?

Will probably end up in the Bay Area, Boston, or NYC, so which programs should I really be focusing on? Also looking for a little international name recognition if I ever end up back in China.

4. LA: USC
5. DC: George Washington
6. North Carolina: UNC, Wake Forest
7. Upstate NY: SUNY Binghamton

May also apply to University of Illinois, Michigan, and Toronto.

I know it's a long list, but not the typical Texas/Utah bound so I would appreciate any advice in top schools for these areas. Also want to know if the Chinese master's GPA will be an automatic ding. I figure schools will either really like it, or really hate it. I'll explain the need for a second master's as the Chinese one was research focused and if anyone asks, the credits probably don't meet the 150 requirement for CPA.

Thanks in advance and I may see some of you gmat clubbers in class next year!
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Re: Shot at grad school after 5 years abroad [#permalink] New post 24 May 2013, 14:29
Beijinger wrote:
Lurked around the MBA forums, but lack of experience is starting to point to masters in accounting. Need advice on schools to apply to and possible chances for this Fall. Looking to get into Big 4 audit/tax.

Stats
26 year old white male
State School GPA - 3.68; Accounting Major; Minors - Economics, Chinese, Business
3 semesters as vice president of BAP chapter
Taking GMAT this summer and going for ~700
Post grad: 2 years Mandarin Chinese language courses in Beijing

Currently finishing up a 2 year masters in accounting at the top program? in China. However, it is research focused and taught entirely in Chinese so my GPA has suffered greatly; expecting 2.4 at graduation this summer. I'm the only international student in class with most in the business school dropping out or failing. I'll be the first and only to hold a degree in accounting in China as a foreigner. I know I can pull the language card, but I'm hoping a high GMAT will back me up on the GPA.

Experience
US:
3 years bookkeeping at family company
1 year collections at bank

Beijing:
8 months investment analyst
Currently at boutique law firm in their bankruptcy department

Will stay at law firm after graduation, so I'll have 1-2 years full time work experience going back to the US in Summer 2014.

Target Schools by area (following girlfriend to law school)

1. Bay Area: UC Davis
2. Boston: Boston College, Northeastern
3. NYC: Baruch, Fordham?, Pace?

Will probably end up in the Bay Area, Boston, or NYC, so which programs should I really be focusing on? Also looking for a little international name recognition if I ever end up back in China.

4. LA: USC
5. DC: George Washington
6. North Carolina: UNC, Wake Forest
7. Upstate NY: SUNY Binghamton

May also apply to University of Illinois, Michigan, and Toronto.

I know it's a long list, but not the typical Texas/Utah bound so I would appreciate any advice in top schools for these areas. Also want to know if the Chinese master's GPA will be an automatic ding. I figure schools will either really like it, or really hate it. I'll explain the need for a second master's as the Chinese one was research focused and if anyone asks, the credits probably don't meet the 150 requirement for CPA.

Thanks in advance and I may see some of you gmat clubbers in class next year!


Are you certain you don't have enough experience to make it into an MBA program? Your experience sounds interesting enough to me. Also, I applied to all MAcc programs except for Santa Clara University's MBA program because they have an Emerging Professionals MBA (all the programs are pretty much the same, however) application for people who have even 0-2 years of experience. So if you'd like to pursue an MBA program and still feel you can't make it into programs that require ~5 years of experience, look into SCU.

That being said, if you're set on pursuing accounting, you should strongly consider UC Irvine for the LA area, as its accounting program is stronger than UC Davis's.
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Re: Shot at grad school after 5 years abroad [#permalink] New post 24 May 2013, 19:26
I just want to point out that you are not able to apply to UNC MAC program. They do not permit accounting undergrads.
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Re: Shot at grad school after 5 years abroad [#permalink] New post 24 May 2013, 20:24
Thanks for the heads up on UNC. To clarify the locations, it is mainly because my girlfriend is applying to law schools, with the cost only justifying going to top programs. Her top choices are Berkley, Harvard, and NYC (NYU/Columbia).

I'm also concerned about costs of pursing a MBA, especially ones outside top 20. USC MBA's last year or two still had 25-30% unemployment, so I really like UC Davis and Northeastern accounting programs "promising" 100% placement. I like my chances of going for a ~$50k accounting program with a guaranteed job and possible scholarship than dropping ~$60k-$150k on a MBA. I figured my girlfriend has a great shot of getting into Berkley (hence UC Davis, long drive I know) and a bit of a reach for Harvard. NYC would be the best for both of us, and LA would be best for me to shoot for USC or UC Irvine. However, it would be a better for "us" if she took Berkley over UCLA's program.

Now, if things don't work out, I'm prepared to work a couple years while she is in law school and then position myself for a top 20 MBA. Then again, the accountant in me demands security and a program in the US next year will be an easier transfer than trying to cold call from Beijing for jobs in San Francisco.

In case anyone was wondering, the Big 4 only pay $12,000/yr pre-tax in China with same hours, and a master's degree from a top university only gets you $20,000/yr. Time to jump ship.
Re: Shot at grad school after 5 years abroad   [#permalink] 24 May 2013, 20:24
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