Undergrad: Good Liberal Arts School
B.A., Economics, Mandarin, IR
CUM GPA: 3.6
Major GPA: 3.9
Hey everyone, hoping for some advice given my current situation.
I graduated from a small liberal arts college about a month ago and am currently trying to decide between Columbia and a job with the Federal Trade Commission.
I was recently accepted into a Masters program at Columbia tailored to my interests in global economy and law with an emphasis on China's economy and thus entailing the study of Mandarin. I've been studying for over four years now, studied abroad in Beijing, and have tested over proficiency levels for speaking and reading.
Initially, I thought IB was what I wanted, but after two summers as a Summer Analyst, felt that consulting was more me and more related to my interests in working with Chinese companies (ultimate goal being global M&). I did Sales & Trading at a top boutique (think , ) two years ago and did Equity Research at a (think , goldman) last summer.
Unfortunately I hold a great amount of debt already from financing my undergraduate studies and the cost of MA tuition at Columbia would be an additional 60-70k in loans including living expenses, travel, etc.
The FTC job would be within the Bureau of Economics and would allow me to gain some practical experience while simultaneously receiving a paycheck which is nice. It's part of their federal career intern program and I'd be an Economic Research Analyst. (Does anyone know more about this program, is it competitive/regarded by private firms as desirable in terms of exit opportunities, etc.?)
That said, I love NYC and believe Columbia with OCR would allow me to be put in touch with the necessary contacts to facilitate my goals in consulting. I have a friend at Columbia (PhD candidate) that worked atand would be willing to work with me on preparing for their interviews and getting in touch with the right people as well... Furthermore, I also wouldn't mind furthering my education and doing so in a recession.
(However, I still question the value of the MA now versus getting the MBA later on)...
Would love to hear your opinions on the matter. Thanks so much in advance--appreciate it!