Change target post-MBA from brand management to finance in order to attend dream school?

I come from a non traditional background. I worked in journalism for five years, first as a breaking news reporter and then covering business in a B-tier, midsized flyover city. I won some investigative journalism awards, but realized working 65 to 70 hour weeks for $35K with the threat of constant layoffs for the rest of my life wasn't going to work for me. I switched to public relations at an agency, making $40K, and found it to be similar. Additionally, I found that marketing and brand management seems to be where the real creative growth is.

A mentor advised me to get a local MBA and then I did more research on the ROI of top programs (thanks everyone here!) and decided to shoot my shot. To my delight, I got in to three T15s. One of them is in my dream city, but I didn't get a scholarship. The debt is making me super nervous, but I would also love to have a network where I want to live.

I talked to the mentor and he was like, "Just go into finance then, make a lot of money, and switch back to marketing! Also, you are great at research, so you'll love it! And banks are looking for female talent right now." (Note: I've thought about consulting, but I think I would prefer not traveling so much.) This mentor works in finance, but at a local wealth management firm with like $100M in assets. I'm really interested in your thoughts on the following questions:

  1. I would say I'm most skilled at research (I did a lot of data journalism and investigative journalism), public speaking, and writing. I loved being a beat reporter where I developed a deep knowledge in the areas I covered. What types of jobs within finance involve this skills, if any?

  2. I got a 160Q score on the GRE. I heard IB/finance likes the GMAT better. Will my score prohibit me from IB/finance jobs?

  3. I'm not afraid to work a lot of hours if I'm being fairly compensated, but I would prefer something that's under 75 hours. Do these jobs exist in finance?

  4. What traits do people have who enjoy/excel working in various financial jobs?

  5. Is it true financial firms are highly interested in female applicants right now?

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated!

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