Help for Career/MSF Decision

Greetings monkeys, longtime lurker, first time poster

I am a 5th year business econ student (with a stats minor) at a UC in California (not berk, LA, SB or SD). I applied to all of the top tier MSF programs for the fall (hoping to place into IBD in LA) and some lower-end programs. Long story short, I didn't get into any top tier programs (all listed my low GPA 2.75 and more particularly my low GMAT 660 as reasons for rejection). I got into lower tier programs (Arizona and Peppedine) but I have a question for the WSO community. Which one of the following paths should I take?

Option 1:
Go to Pepperdine/Zona and network like a hawk to land an IBD gig.

Option 2:
Stay in school for my 6th year and finish with a double major in business econ and stats (3 classes away from stats BS). Get the GMAT above 700 (doable with enough study for me, got a 500 my first time, 660 the next), get my GPA up to 3.0 (possible with near straight As), then apply to the top tier programs. Wait for USC's possible MSF. I would love to stay in California. If I take option 2, I would also be able to do an SA in corp fin at a reputable F500.

Thank you everyone in advance. Gracias!

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Comments (13)

Feb 26, 2013 - 10:02pm

Private Message me. We should talk.

I don't think a 6th year in school is something you want to do, IMO. Pepperdine rolled out a new MSF type program so maybe they are getting serious about their offering.

Feb 26, 2013 - 10:08pm

I'm not sure if Univ of Roc Simon School is considered top-tier, probably not to WSO folks. Have you considered that program? Their 11-month curriculum is pretty solid. I spoke to a few alumni who ended up in IBD, though in Asia. Last year, I got into a their MSF program with a GMAT lower than yours, but GPA slightly higher. But my father had some business ties in the city. Not sure if that helped. I also did my undergrad from UC (not Cal, SD, LA). However for other reasons, I ultimately chose an MBA. If I were to rewind, I might have chose Univ of Roc.

Feb 26, 2013 - 10:23pm

Agree with above. I met a bunch of the current class and will be going to a Simon finance conference. Their NYC program is pretty impressive.

Feb 27, 2013 - 2:58pm

riverside? even if its not, i still know ur pain. outside of berkeley and la, other uc's r pretty much non-target. dont stay for the 6th year. get out of there and find a job. then u can apply for msf or wait for mba. pepperdine and arizona wont get u anywhere. seriously, u have to work harder.

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Feb 27, 2013 - 8:10pm

CaliforniaAnalyst:
riverside? even if its not, i still know ur pain. outside of berkeley and la, other uc's r pretty much non-target. dont stay for the 6th year. get out of there and find a job. then u can apply for msf or wait for mba. pepperdine and arizona wont get u anywhere. seriously, u have to work harder.

Not Riverside, but equally as "non-target". I figured Zona and Pepp wouldnt get me far, so I'm re-doing my GMAT asap and applying to programs with late deadlines.

Feb 27, 2013 - 3:32pm

Cali, what are your thoughts on Santa Clara. I am not personally familiar with the West Coast market. I know Claremont is the top MSF there, but how is the SCU brand?

Feb 27, 2013 - 5:12pm

ant, i have no idea about santa clara. scu is very regional. even most ppl in socal probably never heard of it. sf bay area high finance is pretty much dominated by berkeley, stanford and kids from other national top schools. thus i would doubt scu can provide any meaningful career boost to high finance. plus given there hasnt been a "true" msf in sf bay area ever, there might not exist a real demand... just my .02

Feb 27, 2013 - 8:19pm

HollywoodMonkey, does you current school have any alumni in IB? As someone coming from a school with zero alumni, I would suggest doing your MSF only at a school with a good alumni network (e.g. Villanova, Vanderbilt, WUSTL).

Good luck! For the GMAT, take a look at the three OGs, the MGMAT books, and the writing pad from MGMAT. Those got me a 700 with 1.5 months of studying.

Feb 27, 2013 - 8:55pm

KKS:
HollywoodMonkey, does you current school have any alumni in IB? As someone coming from a school with zero alumni, I would suggest doing your MSF only at a school with a good alumni network (e.g. Villanova, Vanderbilt, WUSTL).

Good luck! For the GMAT, take a look at the three OGs, the MGMAT books, and the writing pad from MGMAT. Those got me a 700 with 1.5 months of studying.

My alma mater has 0 IB alumni. None.

Thanks for the GMAT tips. Is that all you used?

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