International Development/International MBA

Alright, I'm weighing options for post-undergrad. Currently, I'm a second semester junior at Georgetown. Upon graduation my GPA will probably only be around a 3.1. I have held a one year econ research assistant position, 9 months in consulting interning, about four volunteer trips abroad, and studying abroad this summer. I am an International Business/Finance double major, econ minor. Major GPA will probably be closer to a 3.65-3.90.

In the event I don't get any offers in consulting (and with my GPA it is not as likely) I would like to attend graduate school. I have loans of around $50k.

The program I am looking at is a 2 year dual program with the University of Pittsburgh and University of Geneva, in Switzerland. One year in Pittsburgh (in state tution~$20k total a year no scholarship) for the MA International Development and one year in Switzerland for an International Organizations MBA. The recruiting department listed The World Bank, UN, then some consulting firms like Deloitte, L.E.K post graduation.

In terms of recruiting, if I were to do well and reset my GPA, would consulting firms with heavy international focus such as LEK look favorable upon this sort of MBA and offer salaries comparable to other MBAs?

Is this a wise alternative? I am going to pursue a job out of undergrad, but would this be worth my time to have as a feasible plan? Any advice is appreciated, thanks.

Other Western Europe
United States - Northeast

Comments (7)

Jan 28, 2012

why do you need a masters why cant you just go into that right now?

Jan 28, 2012

Just state your major gpa and apply for positions

Jan 29, 2012

From a European perspective, even the university of Geneva is not that well known, as far as I know.
So while a double degree would be a nice addition for recruiting in Europe, it wouldn't give you a huge advantage. Obviously I don't know what US recruiters would think about your two years of additional study.

My gut feeling - you would be better off with getting a job now and maybe spending one additional year employed before business school (maybe switching jobs pre-MBA).

Jan 29, 2012

I agree with the above poster. From what I understand, you should really get a few years of work experience before you get your MBA. The other thing that's crucial is that you should try to go to a business school that is highly-ranked because that really makes a difference when it comes to recruiting, especially if you're thinking of consulting. Quite frankly, I have never heard of the program you mentioned.

Just in case you can't land a job next year, I would start applying to (non-MBA) grad schools in the fall/spring of your senior year. Prepare in advance: study for the GRE and take it this summer. It's really crucial that you get into a target grad school (at equal par or better than Georgetown) because that is crucial when it comes to recruiting. One of the great things about going to grad school is that you get another shot at landing a job through on-campus recruiting.

We're very similar - when I graduated from Georgetown, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do and I went straight to an intl dev't mphil at Oxbridge. That year, I applied for consulting jobs through on-campus recruitment (which was soo much better than at Georgetown) and in the end I managed to get two really great offers. The masters allowed me time to figure out what I really wanted to do, and it gave me access to amazing on-campus recruiting opportunities... all the while, learning a lot and getting a degree in the field I'm really interested in.

If consulting isn't what you want to do and you're looking into jobs with international organizations, keep in mind that those usually require either a masters and/or several years of working in a relevant field, preferably in a developing country. I know because I was considering it for awhile and I have friends now who are having a tough time even getting their resumes looked at. There are some exceptions though: the IMF research assistant program and the World Bank junior professional associate program take people right out of undergrad. I know at least 1 MSB grad who's doing the World Bank JPA program, and around 3 SFS grads doing the IMF one.

Also, you mentioned you did a consulting internship, can't you go back to them this summer and try to get a full time offer?

Hope this helps! Feel free to pm me if you have any questions.

Jan 29, 2012

Out of curiosity, what were your credentials for Oxbridge? My GPA is very low, but I have A's in courses related to international development, have four volunteer trips (soon to be 5) and focused on development at the consulting firm. I plan on taking the GRE this summer and have three excellent recommendations in mind via work, academics, and a reference from volunteering. Do they look favorable upon Georgetown?

Jan 29, 2012

I had close to a 3.9, internships, and a lot of extracurricular activities. I didn't have as many volunteering opportunities as you do though, and so that's definitely in your favor. Your GPA is low but I don't think that should deter you from giving Oxbridge a shot if you're interested in doing a program here. Based on what I can tell, what makes the people in my program amazing are the range of experiences that they have, not necessarily their grades. I think they definitely look favorably upon Georgetown, and in fact there are quite a few people here who graduated from less selective/highly ranked (however you want to put it) schools.

I only applied to schools in the UK, so I don't know much about grad schools in the US. But, aside from Oxbridge, there are other schools in the UK that you might want to consider: LSE, SOAS, UCL, Imperial. All of these schools are targets/semi-targets for consulting.

But, I have to warn you that if you're dead-set on doing consulting in the US, I wouldn't really suggest going to grad school in the UK. The term starts in October here, which means that if you want to do on campus recruitment through your UK university (that doesn't start in earnest until late Oct - early November), you would miss the U.S. office deadlines, which correspond to the September start date of most American universities. Although technically, you can list office preferences in your applications, I honestly did not hear of anyone here who was offered an interview by the US office of the firm they applied to. But then again, maybe it's a self-selecting pool : most of the ppl applying here want to be in London and few even list US offices as a preference. When applying to consulting firms, I listed London as my top choice, NY as my second and a Southeast Asia office as my third.. and the interviews I got were either for London, Southeast Asia, or nothing. That being said, it seems like you're pretty open to getting international experience, so definitely consider UK grad schools as an option.

Jan 31, 2012