UNDERGRADUATE AND GRADUATE DEGREES
How Valuable Is Your Undergraduate Major?
“…major does play a role in the assessment of an applicant’s academics and the GPA is going to be contextualized against the major (and school and other factors). This is a bit of a tangent, but a 3.7 in English isn’t going to elevate a candidate’s academic profile the same way as a 3.7 in business, math, engineering, or other quantitatively-oriented discipline. That’s not to say that majoring in a non-quantitative discipline is problematic to getting into a top program; it’ll mostly make the adcom put more emphasis on standardized test results.
As I’ve mentioned to others in this forum, there isn’t a must-do major to best prepare for an MBA. If you look at class profiles for just about any program, you’ll see that there are a large variety of academic backgrounds (and professional backgrounds) at any school. STEM majors or business are certainly fine routes to go, but rather than a particular major and worrying about getting a particular GPA, I’d mostly recommend that your son take (and do well in) quantitative courses so he’s able to provide some evidence of quantitative ability no matter what his major ends up being. Calculus, statistics, etc. are safe bets.”
Can I Get a Second MBA?
“…most programs will allow applications from candidates who already possess an MBA, but unfortunately, rather than being an asset to you, your prior MBA is only likely to complicate a subsequent MBA application process.
It’s rather challenging for someone in your shoes to make a compelling case as to why you actually need a second MBA…while there is variability in academic quality among programs, it’s hard to make the argument that you NEED to take all those finance, marketing, accounting, strategy, etc. courses again. As a result, adcoms will often make the assumption that you’re mostly looking for a second MBA because the employment prospects from the first weren’t that great, or you’re hoping to plug into a better alumni network. In a competitive application process, this sort of thing would be enough to significantly hinder your application success.
So why do you need a second MBA? If it’s due to the fact that your first MBA didn’t provide you with a depth of coursework in a particular area necessary for your goals, then rather than traditional, two-year programs, you might consider looking into one-year MBA programs. Those kinds of programs may let you get into specialized elective courses more quickly, bypassing some of the redundant core courses. An MBA might not be the answer for you at all – perhaps a specialized master’s degree instead?”
Which Schools Interpret a First Round Application to Mean That They Are an Applicant’s First Choice?
“In addition to Fuqua and Tuck, Columbia is the other rather big player when it comes to early application rounds.
The implication of applying to Columbia or Fuqua in their early round is that the program is your top choice and you will attend if admitted – they consider it to be a binding situation. Columbia requires applicants to agree with this statement: “I am committed to attending Columbia Business School and will withdraw all applications and decline all offers from other schools upon admission to Columbia Business School.” Duke states the following on their website: “Applicants commit to a binding agreement to attend Fuqua if admitted. Any applications submitted to other schools must be withdrawn upon an offer of admission from Fuqua.” So to answer your question, yes, Fuqua would expect you to withdraw your application from Kellogg.
Tuck also interprets your early application as evidence that the program is your top choice, but the adcom doesn’t consider the admission to be binding and they don’t tell you to withdraw your applications from other schools.
Another factor w/all of these options is that the enrollment deposits are more substantial than for the standard rounds. Columbia requires $6,000 within two weeks of admission (versus $2,000), Fuqua wants a first deposit of $3,000 by the beginning of December (versus the usual first deposit of $2,000), and Tuck wants $4,500 (versus $2,500) in mid-ish January.”
I Got a Scholarship and Got into a Target School. Should I Wait?
“…congrats on your admission AND scholarship – that’s a great accomplishment, especially applying late in the cycle. While it’s certainly tempting to see if lightning will strike twice, I think you should take your current offer and run for a few reasons. It’d be one thing if you were focused on doing consulting at MBB, for instance – the program you attend can have a fairly significant impact on your chances, and upgrading from a school like you’re probably considering to a Kellogg/Fuqua/Ross/Anderson could make me consider the risk to be a little more worth it. But if the school has success in putting people in to CPG roles/companies that are attractive to you, then going to one of the other schools you mentioned might not make that much of a difference on your recruiting opportunities. I recommend you talk to students to get beyond the Career Services reports . . . also ask them where their fellow interns are going to school. You will probably find yourself in some good company.
The other factor is that success this year is no guarantee of success in the next cycle, especially with more selective programs in the mix. I’m guessing that your stats (especially your GMAT) were pretty competitive with the school where you were admitted, but you’ll be more on the average end of things with the other programs you’ve mentioned. You likely did an effective job showing the relevance of your work experience, so that bodes well, but given that these programs are likely more selective than the school you’re currently considering, your work/goals might give these more competitive programs some concern. And even if you got in, scholarship money is probably very unlikely.”
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