UVA - M.S. in Commerce

Hey all, got a friend from a science background who graduated last May and has been working in his field since then. He's looking to make the move into finance (trading specifically I believe) and I immediatly thought of a program I heard about earlier in the year; the Masters of Science in Commerce from UVA's McIntire School of Commerce. I know that the program is very new but does anyone have any thoughts as to how useful it would be to someone looking to make a career change shortly after graduating? I have to assume that recruiting would be great thanks to Darden and McIntire which both rank very well. It's only 1 year and allows for a second semester concentration in finance. I'd think it's a better alternative for him than just running into an MBA program especially since he wouldn't get admitted into a top one essentially right out of school.

Thanks in advance.

Comments (86)

Nov 19, 2008

Why not apply to financial engineering programs at places like Columbia, Carnegie Mellon, Baruch, etc.

Nov 19, 2008

I go to UVA, but don't have much to add. It is so new a program that there is essentially no track record. I don't know any current students.

I do in general, however, have nice things to say about McIntire. And your friend is exactly the type of student who this program is suppose to target.

Nov 19, 2008

Thanks for the info. Have heard good things about McIntire and will also bring up the idea of a MFE. I was thinking that may be a good alternative to the MBA given his situation.

Nov 19, 2008

Best of all, you'll spend most your time at birdwood.

Feb 4, 2009

Okay. The MS in Commerce is a one-year, pre-experience business degree for liberal arts, science, and engineering majors. It features what McIntire is best known and loved for (by students and recruiters alike), the Integrated Core Experience, as well as specialty tracks in either Financial Services or Marketing & Management. The best part is the six-week global study component at the end of the program, with destinations in either Europe or Asia. For those interested in Financial Services, Europe focuses on capital markets and Asia on investment banking.

Despite the economic downturn, the current class (which is the program's first) is doing very well on the job hunt. They are getting interviews and landing contracts. Official destination numbers will be posted in July. I heavily credit McIntire's career services, which are second to none in the country. The office has one person devoted specifically to grad students, giving them specialized attention.

Check it out: www.commerce.virginia.edu/grad/mscommerce
Email: [email protected]

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May 1, 2009

well ecandelier is a recruiter for the program has like 4 posts about it maybe message him/her for more specific questions

Feb 4, 2009

Feel free to contact me if anyone wishes to know more about the M.S. in Commerce at UVa' McIntire School.

Emma Candelier
[email protected]
www.commerce.virginia.edu/mscommerce

May 15, 2009

I think it is one of the best programs in the US. Well run and recruited, with two paths depending on your interests. Cannot go wrong.

I highly recommend it.

May 15, 2009

Good program and it should help a bit with showing your interest in finance but it won't be a cure all for recruitment. I'd try to get work experience, if not in IB, at least somewhat finance related.

Beyond that, don't overlook the importance of networking. Most bulge brackets will be filled before you step foot on campus. UVA has most of the EBs and MM's but even with them, you want to try to get an analyst who will vouch for you. The good thing is that UVA has enough alumni everywhere where the hard part is probably trying to target who to network with.

May 15, 2009

I echo the comments from TNA. I know many compare it to Duke's MMS, but I believe UVA's academic rigor is much stronger, and its career placement is indicative of that.

May 15, 2009

100% agree with above. Not a knock on Duke, but UVA's program is simply amazing.

May 15, 2009

I saw the same information on the UVA website. I want to find out more about this program too. Curious to know if this program possesses the same recognition as their undergrad commerce degree.

May 15, 2009

Had a roommate from UVA Commerce who went into risk management at a major NY bank. Now he is running the firm's Hong Kong/Beijing risk management team at ~27. It's a fairly good program.

May 15, 2009

Do you know if he went the financial services or marketing route? Also, where did he choose to go for the global immersion portion of the curriculum, it is a really interesting addition to the program?

May 15, 2009

Pretty sure financial services. The guy is a native Cantonese speaker so I would suspect it might have been southern China if he was required to do any study abroad.

May 15, 2009

If your friend is 27, it's not likely he went to the MS in Commerce program because the first graduating class for the program was 2009, and it's a pre-experience program, i.e. you enter at 21 or 22 right out of undergrad. The MS in Commerce program is growing in prestige and popularity as an option to pick up a finance or management / marketing education following a liberal arts or engineering undergraduate education. The top kids in the program each year have landed good banking jobs while a few have gone into S&T roles. The lower numbers going into trading is more a factor of UVA in general because it really is a banker training school. Banking jobs are better paying and have better exit options (i.e. private equity or hedge funds) relative to trading jobs, so that is why only 5% (HighHeck's figure, not mine) go into trading. If you're smart and at UVA, you shouldn't have a problem getting into trading if you want to. I've seen grads from both the undergraduate and graduate programs have success in that respect.

May 15, 2009

From what I understand about the program, it doesn't quite have the recognition of the undergrad program because it's newer and isn't quite as selective(just what I've heard, I have never seen facts to back that up,) but UVA's grad programs (both Commerce and MS in ACCT) let you recruit for undergrad positions, which is a huge bonus. Also, if you're a strong applicant, I'd say you will get offered in state tuition even if you're out of state.

May 15, 2009

Oh, he did the undergrad program. Missed that.

May 15, 2009

I think it looks like a really well rounded program but cannot figure out exactly what careers they are preparing students for.

May 15, 2009

That is definitely good to know, I am looking for a degree with a more broad focus.

May 15, 2009

My buddy forwarded this to me

Interviews granted to MS Commerce: Financial Services students

  • More than one student

BlackRock
Blackstone Alternative Asset Management
Citi (Capital Markets, Sales & Trading)*
CCMP Capital*
Cornerstone Research
Google (Business Analyst)
Harris Williams & Co.*
Houlihan Lokey (corporate finance M&A) *
Jefferies & Co (Aerospace & Defense, Consumers, NY Generalist)*
Lazard Middle Market*
Macquarie Group*
McColl Partners*
Milestone Advisors
Miller Buckfire & Co
Morgan Keegan Technology Group
Rothschild*
Sagent Advisors*
Simmons & Co*
Stifel Nicolaus (ER)
Stout Risius Ross (FAS)
SunTrust Robinson Humphrey*
UBS Global Energy Group
Wells Fargo (Capital Markets and Investment Banking, Real Estate IBD)*

I think this year they have 30-35 students on the finance track.

May 15, 2009

NM

May 15, 2009

UVA's undergrad business program at McIntyre is incredibly well respected. If you are looking to go to a strong middle market firm in the south, or even some New York banks, UVA is a great place to go.

As for BC Masters of Finance, I wouldn't use it as my entry way into investment banking. I think it is a well-respected program, but probably not on a level high enough to enable its graduates to break into banking consistenty.

~~~~~~~~~~~
CompBanker

May 15, 2009

Yes, the undergrad McIntire is well-respected on the street and in various PE/HF roles, but there is no comparison to the MS program. It just finished its first year and unless you have incredible personal connects in New York, will fail to place you where you want to go.

As a point of information, the incoming average GPA (as a junior, it's a 2 year program undergrad) is a 3.7. For the MS program, I know a mid 2's GPA Environmental Science major who is enrolled next year. They are taking anyone to bolster enrollment. The chasm of difference in candidate caliber is incredible.

I guess a pro is that it is easy to get into, but don't expect similar job prospects even though you utilize the same career services.

May 15, 2009

Interesting points. So do you really think that it is the program that throws the employers off or if its the quality of the actual participants. (the scores on the website looked pretty decent, nothing spectacular but alrigh) There has to be a broad spectrum that they take in, right? But then again if you said that its just in the first year of existence there is no real basis to evaluate it.

Thanks for the reply about BC too, I just fail to understand, what the f*** is the program good for anyways. Seems like people dump 70k down the drain for a year if it can't even get you decent jobs.

May 15, 2009

Everything about UVa is inferior to everything else...

TIC

May 15, 2009

"Everything about UVa is inferior to everything else"

Else being???

May 15, 2009

.

May 15, 2009

Let's say that you have decent stats (GPA in high 3's, GMAT > 750), but are from a liberal arts college, and struggle to get an offer. Since anyone in the M.S. program is kind of lumped in with the undergrad in terms of recruitment (from what I understand), then why would this not be a decent investment? If every bank and consulting firm under the sun come to McIntire, and you have numbers that might allow you to compete with the McIntire seniors...why not?

    • 1
May 15, 2009

GMAT >750 is not just decent- you'd be top quarter of your class at HBS or Stanford GSB.

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May 15, 2009

background? goals?

May 15, 2009

I'm a recent graduate from a top 15 Lib Arts school...interested in getting a more analytical background for perhaps...dare I say...an IB job. Thanks for your input.

May 15, 2009

Look into Duke's new MMS Program...

May 15, 2009

Can you tell me more about the Duke MMS program? Thank you. Anyone else has info on UVA? Happy long weekend!

May 15, 2009

what was your major? Most kids dont get IB jobs. The director of graduate recruiting called ib a "long shot".

May 15, 2009

I had a useless BA for a major...nothing Business Admin/Econ/Accounting-related. Thanks for your input Startop, do you know anything else about these programs/job prospects? Thank you!

May 15, 2009
May 15, 2009

just read duke's mms site..all the info is there:

http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/programs/other_programs/...

May 15, 2009

My buddy just forwarded me this:

There are 35 students on the Finance Track. About 30% are seriously interested in banking. 1st round interviews received through CommTRAK (for McIntire only) or CAVLink (UVA):

Barclays Capital*
BlackRock
Blackstone Alternative Asset Management
Citi (Capital Markets, Sales & Trading)*
CCMP Capital ($12BB PE Fund)
Harris Williams & Co.*
Houlihan Lokey (corporate finance M&A) *
Jefferies & Co (Aerospace & Defense, Consumers, NY Generalist)*
Lazard Middle Market*
Macquarie Group*
McColl Partners*
Milestone Advisors
Miller Buckfire & Co
Rothschild*
Sagent Advisors*
Simmons & Co*
Stifel Nicolaus (ER)
Stout Risius Ross (FAS)
SunTrust Robinson Humphrey*
Wells Fargo (Capital Markets and Investment Banking, Real Estate IBD)*

  • Several MS Comm students were interviewed
    • 1
May 15, 2009

check your pm

May 15, 2009

also very [email protected] could you pm me also or post it. Thanks

May 15, 2009

overall, if you have a business backgrounds MS commerce is redundant - it is literally McIntire (UVA business undergrad)'s 2 years stuffed into one. It WILL give you a bigger network but recruiting happens in the fall when you just start to learn and you'll be competing w/ McIntire kids who have 1 yr under their belts and quite possibly an internship. If you DON'T have a business backgrounds, consider it.

May 15, 2009

You cannot get into the program with a business background. I think it is a good idea frankly.

I have three student reviews on my site, including two recent ones. Check it out. The program is one of my favorites and really is dialing it in. The brand name is great, program is flexible and you really get a great education as well as experience. I was up in NYC last night and spoke with Emma and a couple alumni. You won't be disappointed.

May 15, 2009

It says you're not eligible if you have a business undergrad background..

May 15, 2009

ANT, do you know anything about the work/life balance of the program? I was thinking of it as a 5th year of undergrad (a.k.a. fun), but I've heard that you rarely have free time even on the weekends.

It does sounds like they get great recruitment - do any of the banks recruit them specifically or is it just mixed with the ugrads?

May 15, 2009

I interned during my program. I would encourage you to intern before starting the program or trying to fit in one during the program. It won't be easy, but it will help a lot. Also, the UVA brand and experience will help you regardless of having an internship.

Not saying everyone will coast into a BB position, but it will help a lot.

May 15, 2009

Do programs like the UVA MS Commerce and Duke MMS give a measurable leg up, or are they primarily for grads of the schools that don't quite get the kinds of jobs they want?

What's the BB placement rate for UVA, btw? It seems like the ~$43,000 tuition ought to have a demonstrable payoff.

"When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is."
- Oscar Wilde
"Seriously, psychology is for those with two x chromosomes."
- RagnarDanneskjold

May 15, 2009

I am a current student in the finance track.

In regards to the free time and going out on weekends, I think what you've heard is somewhat overblown. There are times when we definitely don't have a lot of free time but most students who manage their time effectively usually make it out on weekends.

The recruitment is also fantastic just being a part of the McIntire School. The program is building a strong reputation and some companies do come specifically for MS Commerce students, but the banks are largely here to recruit school wide.

A word of caution on investment banking recruiting. Because it happens so early you are really recruiting with your resume as is, before the program. Considering the recent downturn in deal activity this year recruitment for I banking analyst positions was really limited to students who already had internships, or could have gotten a job with an investment bank prior to the program, i.e. 3.7+ GPA, previous internship, connection.

That being said we've had a lot of students already sign with some smaller investment banks, private equity shops, and this year a lot of students have received offers from consulting firms (McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Accenture, IBM, Deloitte).

The program is definitely no guarantee that you will get a job but the opportunity is definitely there for the students that take advantage of it. Because the program is so new the professors have a lot invested in its success rate for placement and really go the extra mile to help students out. So if you're proactive you'll do really well with recruiting next year, especially if the market improves.

If anyone wants to talk privately please feel free to PM me.

PS: ANT thanks, your blog is the reason I found out about this program Best decision I've made in a long time.

May 15, 2009

Thanks dude. I think your program is great and have been happy to know a bunch of past students. Emma is super nice and works hard to grow the program. Can't say enough good things about it.

May 15, 2009

Isnt the program one of the few that begin in the fall??? Doesn't this give you the summer before to get an internship experience by tapping into the ms commerce alumni and McIntire's alumni as a whole?

May 15, 2009

@Jamsheer..thats makes plenty of sense. I made sure to get in for this past deadline so I will hear back by dec 15th. I have an extremely limited and exhausted alumni base at my current school so I figured if I get in & choose to attend I will still have time to leverage the ms commerce alumni into a SA.

Has anyone else on here applied for the round??deadline is today.

May 15, 2009

Don't forget....:

Am I eligible?

If you can answer yes to either or both questions, then you are not eligible to apply to the M.S. in Commerce Program.

  1. Did you receive your undergraduate degree before August 2011?
  2. Did you or will you earn an undergraduate major in any of the following
    areas: business administration, finance, marketing, management, or
    commerce?
May 15, 2009

Bump

"There are only two opinions in this world: Mine and the wrong one." -Jeremy Clarkson

May 15, 2009

I was thinking along the same lines with a few schools in mind namely UVA MS Commerce. Also like so many others have said here make sure you fit the requirement that you enroll within a year or less of completing undergrad. Hopefully someone else will come by with more knowledge than me. Good luck though.

May 15, 2009

New program but there are tons of UVA grads on wallstreet - recruiters are becoming more familiar and you can partake in the undergrad recruiting events. I have a buddy that did the commerce program - he said the recruiting was great for wallstreet jobs and got IB offers in both NY and the south.

Just curios, have you been accepted and if so, what are your stats? PM me if you dont feel comfortable disclosing publicly.

May 15, 2009

With this program, you gotta be straight out of undergrad to be eligible.

May 15, 2009

me too please

May 15, 2009

I am waiting on two reviews which I will post on my site .It is a top notch program. All the major banks recruit and Emma knows her shit.

May 15, 2009

I'm interested in hearing these reviews. I'd also like to know what kinds of jobs these people are getting out of this program. I'm major in history and econ, so the design of this program is really appealing to me.

"There are only two opinions in this world: Mine and the wrong one." -Jeremy Clarkson

May 15, 2009

A friend of mine went through the program last year and got placed well. McIntire is a target for banking and most top shops recruit there. I would say it is one of the best specialized masters if you want to get a finance job.

May 15, 2009

Was his undergrad a target or non-target? My school isn't really a target for most big employers, plus I won't much in terms of experience when I graduate (no internships) so this worries me a some. I'd hate to drop 60k on grad school only to be dinged by every possible firm.

"There are only two opinions in this world: Mine and the wrong one." -Jeremy Clarkson

May 15, 2009

Ive heard placement was OK, not spectacular since its only 1 year and you are in full recruiting mode as soon as you start.

"Life all comes down to a few moments. This is one of them." - Bud Fox

May 15, 2009

http://msfhq.com/category/v-z/university-of-virginia/
This should help you guys out. I'll get those reviews posted soon and I will let Emma know of your questions.

May 15, 2009

Yeah I'm well aware of that. Being at a non-target, a liberal arts major, plus being a "late bloomer" in the sense that I only more recently have gained an active interest in finance related stuff. I don't expect to be working at GS in NYC after any of these programs; really I'd be satisfied with a lot less so long as it's a career with advancement opportunity and decent salary.

"There are only two opinions in this world: Mine and the wrong one." -Jeremy Clarkson

May 15, 2009

McKinsey is the world's most elite consulting firm. If work-life balance even crosses your mind then forget about McKinsey.

Your question is way too broad. "Business Analyst" is so broad that it literally encompasses anything and everything. If you have $30,000 to blow then the UVA Commerce master's degree is a great place to be--I hear it has very solid post graduate recruiting.

May 15, 2009

I'd never want to teach kids, but to think that being a teacher is somehow less rewarding than making changes to a PowerPoint at 2am is comical.

May 15, 2009

Not really sure what you're asking as far as the UVa program goes. You'll get in. All the consulting firms recruit for full time in September. With your high undergrad GPA you'll probably get interviews. If you were a UVa undergrad you'll be at a significant advantage for on grounds interviewing. There's a large push in the program for people to go into consulting. Then again if you're a UVa undergrad now you'd probably be using the career resources at the school already.

May 15, 2009

Hey Adam-Dominic1, I'm the WSO Monkey Bot and I'm here since nobody responded to your thread! Bummer...could just be time of day or unlucky (or the question/topci is too vague or too specific). Maybe one of these topics will help:

  • Nova MSF vs UVA MS Commerce in Philly More interested in Nova's curriculum Great alumni network Solid placements UVA pros: ... Asset Management internship. Looking at getting into S&T or ER. Nova pros: Cost Would love to end up ... Great brand name Great OCR Starts in fall so possibility of another SA Would love to get some input ...
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  • UVA MS Global Commerce Hello All, I was wondering what you guys thought about the new UVA MS in Global Commerce program? ... could help lead to that type of job placement? university of virginia ... The basic premise of the program is it is a year long and you spend 15 weeks on UVA's main ...
  • UVA- M.S. in Commerce I immediatly thought of a program I heard about earlier in the year; the Masters of Science in Commerce from ... UVA's McIntire School of Commerce. I know that the program is very new but does anyone have any thoughts ... admitted into a top one essentially right out of school. Thanks in advance. uva ..
  • A One Stop Shop For All Things Diversity Recruiting- The Most Exhaustive List On WSO 2015 (Every Fall) J.P. Morgan- Asset Management BA Launching Leaders- Description: 2 day program with ... scholarship of up to $10,000- Divisions: Asset Management, Equities, Fixed Income, Investment Banking- ... workshops, and networking events. Introductory programs are designed to get you in front of professionals and ...
  • Thoughts on The University of Virginia? their placement is like (outside of McIntire) for investment banking, and how/if not being in the ... I'd be interested in hearing as well. Thanks, uva ... Hello, Headed to UVA CAS for Fall 2016 (junior transfer). I've been browsing related threads, ...
  • UVA MS Commerce offer, need more info Hi everyone, I just got an offer from UVA MS Commerce Finance Track. I know this is a great ... My career goal: either IB or management consulting. Currently in my gap year, doing an ER internship ... in a west-coast MM. I don't like the hours of banking/ ER...especially when you need to wake up ...
  • More suggestions...

No promises, but thought I'd mention a few relevant users that work in the industry: @Christian-Miller @Dr. Shakalu @harvardgrad08

I hope those threads give you a bit more insight.

Dec 23, 2018

Let me begin by saying that I went to UVA for undergrad and then attended the MS in Commerce program for about a week before deciding to drop. I talked to probably a dozen students from the program, dozens from UVA outside of the program, spoke with almost every faculty member at the program, and looked at hundreds of McIntire Linkedin profiles. There is a very small group of students who would benefit from this program, but for 95% of people reading this, I'd tell you to absolutely avoid.

McIntire - as a school within UVA - is primarily an undergraduate school at UVA that is built to train students to become complicit with a top-down, East-Coast business culture of 'do what you're told, when you're told, and for how long you are told to'. It therefore breeds top applicants to consulting and banking firms in DC and NY who like "talent" that won't question any immorality in business practice.

The undergraduate school has top placement, sometimes through explicit and implicit agreements with large employers. The MS in Commerce is a high-priced-program to fill leftover slots at these firms. Especially with EY. From the MS in Commerce program alone, you won't have your top pick at a firm, or in an industry. So - who should do the program?

If you're an international student with a questionable GPA (below 3.0) from a small, no-name university, have no solid internship experience, a background in liberal arts or pre-med who realized during your senior year that you want to do finance (I wouldn't even go to this program for consulting), and have a very specific reason for wanting to live in D.C. or N.Y., then this program is for you.

That's it. If you don't match ALL of those criteria, I wouldn't go.

The MS in Commerce was the first of its kind, but certainly not the best. NYU has a computer scienced focus MSe right in the heart of the city. LBS has an internationally focused Beijing-London based program. Georgetown has an online MS in finance with a higher base pay and broader student base. Heck, even UVA has a one year MS in data science program whose base pay is practically double that of this MS in Commerce.

Not only are there other options for schools - if you're trying to land a consulting, marketing, sales, or data analytics job, this still would be a waste of time, since these industries don't even require a degree to start off in.

Take what would have been your Fall semester networking hundreds of people on Linkedin and from company websites, offer to intern in the Spring, and you'll absolutely have a good job offer. This strategy landed me a full time offer making 10K more than the average MS Commerce graduate, and at a much better firm than what most students there get into. Want to work in a NY startup? Move to NY and reach out to Uncubed. What about SF? LA? DC? You'll literally save money if you just move there and network yourself, or hired a career counselor for 1/30th of the price.

This program is inherently regressive, contradicting UVA as an educational institution while driving students away from modern business trends.

UVA is a school built on free thought and challenging the common standard to think outside the box - but this program literally grades you on what you say and penalizes students heavily for being one minute late to class (8:00 am) or speaking away from their very pro-capitalist readings. You'll basically be in a basement of a building learning nothing but working all the time, and not be allowed even the freedom to question the Professor when he says that Amazon, Google, and Facebook don't do anything illegal and aren't oligopolists.

They're extremely rigid structure is contradictory towards the developing internet economy, too, where work hours are more flexible and responsibilities changing more often.

Finally, you won't learn much for the price and time you give.

In the first week of class, they haphazardly tried to prepare us for consulting applications (which 5% of students will actually see results from, even though 50% expect to). We did a middle-school level assignment that took a few hours outside of class and 20 minutes in class, and then were told that we could embellish this experience on our resume and pretend (I'm not even exaggerating, we were told, point-blank, to lie to prospective employers) this was a real project for a real firm.

The finance and business analytics tracks will, in the Spring, learn some fundamental skills. But these skills could be learned on coursera or linda in literally a month of your own time and at a much, much lower price. If you do this MS program, you won't learn the skills you need in the time you would need for applying to top firms. Yes, you'll learn some skills, but you would have done so too late and would be left with employment options that you could have landed by doing a coursera course and applying 8 months earlier.

Even the staff - who are on top of their jobs - are mostly incompetent. Emma Candalier would be the only exception, as she is responsive, forgiving, helpful, and understanding. Professors and program leads know that this program is a joke, but they can't do much about it. Course material is expensive and ridiculously dated, and you can't help but feel robbed the entire time. It's so bad that when I asked - in confidence - other classmates if they were actually going to stay, most said they wanted to leave, but were too afraid that they couldn't get a job if they do.

Going to this program would have been the worst decision of my year. UVA alumni rarely respect graduates from this MS Commerce, and you won't leave with an incredibly valuable hard skill (like if you went to a data or computer science program). You're basically paying for a position at EY as an analyst and will work there for 4 years before realizing that you'll need to go back for an MBA to get the salary you thought this program was going to give you.

If you just want to work in business, look for companies you admire, and then reach out to people doing things you're interested in. Find out what skills you need to get a job there and build those on your own time online. Keep in contact with these firms and take any interviews you can get for a Spring internship. You'll be happier, more successful, and wealthier to. Go back to an MBA after 3 to 5 years for that salary increase - this is not even close to a replacement for an MBA, or any other degree, for that matter.

And don't ever forget that being human is being able to question the common and think for yourself. We all have our own happiness, and that's the only Way to work towards it. This program will throw you in the opposite direction of that.