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Undergrad Senior Honors Thesis?

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Undergrad Senior Honors Thesis? [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2010, 00:56
I am currently a Senior at a top 10 undergraduate university, and starting next year will be working as an analyst at a bulge bracket investment bank. After working at the bank for two years (as most analysts do), I will most likely either go straight to business school or work in another industry (private equity, etc.) for a year or two and then go to business school. Obviously I have no idea what else will come up, and there is a decent chance that I do not end up going to business school at all. I have a good GPA (approx. 3.7 - probably Cum Laude) and have not yet taken the GMAT (I'm taking it in April) but I did comparatively well on the SAT etc. so hopefully if I study enough I will score well.

I have a very specific question - I am considering writing a senior honors thesis, which would allow me to graduate with distinction (same thing as honors) in Economics. I am wondering if the benefits outweigh the costs as far as B-school admissions are concerned.

It would certainly mean a great deal of added stress and work (especially considering I already have a job) which I would prefer to avoid. However, if business schools view this kind of thing as a possible "difference-maker" in choosing candidates, I would certainly consider putting in the time. Do you think that top business schools will see a senior thesis as extra proof that I am hard-working and intellectually motivated, or will it really not make much of a difference in 2-5 years from now? Other than the the recognition of receiving "distinction" I don't think I would get a whole lot of personal satisfaction out of the process, so MBA admissions' view of senior theses in general is a critical factor in my decision. Any comments are welcome.

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Re: Undergrad Senior Honors Thesis? [#permalink] New post 29 Dec 2010, 02:48
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Hi Senioritis,

Well, I've seen people build fantastic essays around making the choice to go all out on a senior thesis (specifically Booth Essay 2 about taking a risk). But you will have to be the one to shine a light on it - it's not something adcom readers will go crazy over on their own.

There is something to be said for taking this one year of your life to master something. It's not something common to US college students anymore - where they can leave school knowing more about a subject than literally almost everyone alive. It's pretty cool and trust me, it won't present itself again. If you are feeling it in your bones, do it man. If not, well, it's not going to come back to haunt you on the apps so go forth and prosper.

Ultimately, I guess what I'm saying is that this is a life choice and don't let minor MBA considerations govern it.

Good luck!


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Re: Undergrad Senior Honors Thesis? [#permalink] New post 02 Jan 2011, 20:39
best answer by far, thanks!!
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