Would you go to grad school if you were in my position?

TxAgCRE's picture
Rank: Gorilla | 603

I am currently finishing up my final semester of undergrad at a non-target state university. I expect a major GPA of a 3.4 and the degree will be in history with an assortment of econ and poli sci classes as well. I did not develop a strong interest in finance and the "business world" as a whole until a year or so ago, and by that point it was too late to add a major or even a minor to my degree plan.

Coming from this liberal arts/social science background, I do not have any internship experience, which worries me quite a bit. I worked full-time for the family business for some time, dealing mostly with commercial construction and putting together estimates for job bids. Other than that, I have only volunteer work in an election and part-time retail stuff I do as of now in order to bring money while I'm in school.

I'm mostly looking into MACc programs because of their practicality and the fact that you basically trained to work in public accounting, which although not exciting, is a solid start to a career. I feel like accounting would a more secure choice over, say a MiM or MSF degree, even though I find those options more interesting.

I hope to work in the real estate investment industry in some way, followed by oil/gas. I've looked into a variety of programs, from the Duke MMS to UT-Austin's MPA and MSF but I still really don't know what would be the best choice. I will be visiting a few schools over spring break, hopefully I can get some answers there as well.

Comments (20)

Feb 5, 2013

Did you take the GMAT yet? I would look into UVA's Masters in Commerce. It has great placement and is designed for non business majors like yourself.

Feb 5, 2013
denwhat:

Did you take the GMAT yet? I would look into UVA's Masters in Commerce. It has great placement and is designed for non business majors like yourself.

I have looked at it, but I was a bit worried about job placement and I didn't see any updates on the class of 2012.
I have not taken the GMAT yet, but I have the prep materials. I am mostly focusing on getting my last semester done with all A's as of now. I plan on ordering either Veritas or Mahattan's GMAT prep stuff within a couple of weeks in order to go along with the Official GMAT prep books I already have.

Feb 5, 2013
jon1987:
denwhat:

Did you take the GMAT yet? I would look into UVA's Masters in Commerce. It has great placement and is designed for non business majors like yourself.

I have looked at it, but I was a bit worried about job placement and I didn't see any updates on the class of 2012.
I have not taken the GMAT yet, but I have the prep materials. I am mostly focusing on getting my last semester done with all A's as of now. I plan on ordering either Veritas or Mahattan's GMAT prep stuff within a couple of weeks in order to go along with the Official GMAT prep books I already have.

I highly recommend the Manhattan GMAT guides and the Official Guides and workbooks. If you have good study habits, they should help you score 700+ no problem.

Im not sure how Macc works, but I was always under the assumption that you needed to take a decent amount of accounting classes first. If it helps, I have a friend who is graduating from Villanova's Macc and he secured a full time offer at a Big 4 firm in NYC. Another went to BC and has an offer from a Big 4 out in Boston.

Feb 5, 2013

NYU MSRE isn't hard to get into and seems to place well in NYC.

Feb 5, 2013
notaspammer:

NYU MSRE isn't hard to get into and seems to place well in NYC.

I'll have to look into that then .

Feb 5, 2013

Most Master of Accountancy programs require undergrad degree in accounting. Just make sure you're looking at specific program requirements - it might help you quickly rule out schools.

Also, I'd advise against a Master in Real Estate. Real estate can be learned on the job - try being an appraiser (a job anyone with a degree can get) for a year or two and then try to lateral to a developer.

If you're set on staying in school, I recommend graduate study in finance or econ (econ might fit your story better).

Feb 5, 2013

Yeah I have been looking at programs that have non-business major tracks like UT-Austin, UNC, and Wake Forest. My under grad institution has a program, but it would require 55 credit hours of classes to complete (yikes) I looked at some econ grad programs, but all the good ones require significantly more math than I am comfortable with, which is why I'm looking less mathy programs. UT's MSF only requires a stats class as a math pre-req, and I can finish that at a CC over the summer.

I see your point on an MSRE- I have a couple possible connections in RE that I can work with, I'll have to talk to them WRT jobs in the market right now.

Feb 5, 2013

What was your original career goal?

Feb 5, 2013

LOLschool. I decided against it due to it being 3 years versus 1-1.5 years, shaky job prospects (not that finance is perfect) and the fact that I didn't have much interest in law outside of Constitutional stuff.

Feb 5, 2013

UT would be great for both real estate and oil and gas -- id opt for that

Feb 5, 2013

That's one reason I'm interested in it.

Feb 5, 2013

Hopefully UT posts placement info soon, I'd like to see where they are placing grads out of a new program.

Feb 6, 2013

One other question- if I go and visit a few of these schools, would career services meet with me? I'd like to talk with someone who has knowledge on the subject since I'd be going in without any real intern experience.

Feb 7, 2013

At the risk of looking like I'm talking to myself in this thread (lol) I have moar questions.

1) Outside of equity research, what finance fields have a large emphasis on research work? I'd like to do something that utilizes my research/writing skills.

2) For a job like ER, would I be better off going after a MiM or a MSF? I know chance are slim either way, so this may not make much of a difference.

3) Would I be pigeonholing myself if I went after a MACc degree?

Feb 7, 2013

1. You will be doing industry/economic research in either I-banking or a Capital Markets role, although the majority of the work you'd be doing in banking would be modeling. Capital markets/S&T roles vary widely, but they all require you to keep up with what's going on and as a junior person you'd have some responsibility with that in addition to your standard duties.

2. For ER, definitely do an MSF over a MiM. ER requires a lot of modeling as well so that would be the best choice to hone those skills and learn the concepts you need. An exception to what I just said with respect to degrees would be if you attend a "hybrid" program that allows you to focus on finance, i.e. UVA MS in Comm or something similar. Not too familiar with Duke MiM.

3. Not necessarily, accounting is an essential component of any corporate finance job. However, I'm pretty sure you need to have an accounting undergraduate degree in order to get accepted to a MACc program. I could be wrong here though.

Feb 7, 2013

Thanks for all the input so far.

Re: the MSF, thats pretty much what thought. I'm just highly limited in what programs I can look into due to my below average math skills. The only MSF programs that I have found without high math pre-reqs are UTexas and Villanova.

I've also seen MiM programs at Arizona State and the University of Florida, not sure about employment prospects out of those though.

Feb 8, 2013
jon1987:

Thanks for all the input so far.

Re: the MSF, thats pretty much what thought. I'm just highly limited in what programs I can look into due to my below average math skills. The only MSF programs that I have found without high math pre-reqs are UTexas and Villanova.

I don't know about UT's MSF program, but you sound like the perfect fit for their MPA program. They accept a lot of students that don't have an accounting/business background and the pre-reqs are very minimal.

Feb 10, 2013
Pulchritudinous:
jon1987:

Thanks for all the input so far.

Re: the MSF, thats pretty much what thought. I'm just highly limited in what programs I can look into due to my below average math skills. The only MSF programs that I have found without high math pre-reqs are UTexas and Villanova.

I don't know about UT's MSF program, but you sound like the perfect fit for their MPA program. They accept a lot of students that don't have an accounting/business background and the pre-reqs are very minimal.

That's one reason I am really interested in their MPA program. I can take managerial accounting and stats over the summer, which would let me apply for fall admission instead of summer. My only concern is getting pigeonholed in accounting forever, since my main goal is real estate, preferably at a investment firm or in RE group at a bank.

Feb 20, 2013

Bumping this for some additional input

How screwed am I by not having a finance internship? This has been nagging at me endlessly, I just cannot stand the thought of spending 60k on grad school and then coming out with nothing. Now I'm not trying to sound like a whiner or anything, but really concerns me.

Apr 10, 2013
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