Major complementing an MBA?

<p>OK I first intended to major in Engineering but I am not sure if Engineering is the best option for me.</p>

<p>My graduate school plans are more or less fixed on a MBA and I was just thinking what would be the best major (undergrad) that would help and complement a MBA!</p>

<p>UChicago does not provide a major in Accounting or Finance. Does it?</p>

<p>I am planning a major in Economics and a minor in Math. Or maybe a double major?</p>

<p>I am most interested in Economics and Finance. Engineering is also fine with me too.</p>

<p>I am sure that I'll do Eco but with what?</p>

<p>Any better option in respect to what is good(Better ranked and higher paying) at UChicago? </p>

<p>I hope my random ramblings is cohesive enough to comprehend! :)</p>

<ol>
<li>UChicago does not have an engineering major. So..that puts a damper on that part. It does have a math major though. </li>
<li>You seem very focused on getting a degree that pays well. As in, a lot of preprofessional aims. That is not the aim of UChicago. So it's very difficult to tell you which major would get you a "higher" paying job. UChicago is a very intellectual community--we strive to learn for the sake of learning and for the advancement of our minds, NOT for a nice big paycheck (of course, a nice big paycheck isn't a bad thing either). </li>
<li>If you are going to get an MBA, your major at UChicago doesn't really matter at all. </li>
<li>You can find a list of majors using a tool known as Google.</li>
</ol>

<p>1.I know 'bout UChicago not providing an engineering major but I just thought that I should add it to give an idea of my mind set. Maths as a minor is still on the list!</p>

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<li><p>I am not focused on a well paying degree. It is just something that would be preferred. Education triumphs Money thus I am applying to UChicago!</p></li>
<li><p>I know it won't matter but I can't just skip my undergrad can I? So hence I was asking for a major that would complement it. It would matter as it would give me an upper hand or further my entrepreneurial aspirations.</p></li>
<li><p>I am not a noob, but rather than a search engine telling me what to do I wanted a more personal reply hence CC comes in the picture. I haven't exactly searched all my options but I intend to do it when I find a starting point on this forum.</p></li>
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<p>And I hope I don't sound haughty. If I do then just ignore my c0ck-a-hoop tone, it creeps in unintentionally everywhere!</p>

<p>Thanks for the reply!</p>

<p>^ Um...I can see why he thought that you were "very focused on getting a degree that pays well".</p>

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Any better option in respect to what is good(Better ranked and higher paying) at UChicago?

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My graduate school plans are more or less fixed on a MBA

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<p>Honestly, for someone with "entrepreneurial aspirations", perhaps you should choose the easiest possible major at Chicago so you have the time and energy to pursue stuff outside of class. Of course, this begs the question why you want to go to Chicago? I'm not saying that it's impossible to do a lot of stuff outside of academics at Chicago, but Chicago is certainly not the easiest school for this.</p>

<p>"Of course, this begs the question why you want to go to Chicago?"</p>

<p>Well I have a legacy at Chicago and my dad wants me to go there and plus it is an amazing school prestige-wise.</p>

<p>I know it sounds like I want a high-paying job and right now I think sub-consciously I am hoping on one.</p>

<p>I don't want the easiest major because I'd need a few years of work experience before getting an MBA and I'd like to do a job that suits me and yet doesn't leave me working for peanuts (the money thing creeps again!) so for that I guess Economics is my best bet at Chicago!</p>

<p>Any disadvantages of majoring in Economics?</p>

<p>While I don't intend to ridicule your aspirations, I think you should think a little harder about applying to UChicago. </p>

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"Of course, this begs the question why you want to go to Chicago?"</p>

<p>Well I have a legacy at Chicago and my dad wants me to go there and plus it is an amazing school prestige-wise.

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<p>This tells me that you're not really interested in what the school has to offer. Having a legacy here has nothing to do with why you would like to come here. Also, UChicago really isn't "an amazing school prestige-wise." The alumni network here is nowhere near as developed as those at Ivies, and most ordinary people out in the world have no idea the school even exists. </p>

<p>The academics here are more difficult than many of Chicago's peer schools, which is something you really don't want to deal with if you're pre-professional. Further, settling on economics because it's your "best bet at Chicago" is a terrible idea. While it's easier than the math and science majors, economics is pretty intense at the U of C. If you're using it as a sort of back-up plan, you're really not going to enjoy all the time and effort you have to put into it.</p>

<p>I'll admit that UChicago is not my top choice at all! But I intend to apply because I know that Chicago has an amazing Econ faculty. And even though the legacy thing isn't half as important as the other admission factors but if I did get in it would mean a lot to my Dad.</p>

<p>Anyways I am applying ED elsewhere and applying EA to UChicago.</p>

<p>So maybe I wouldn't even get to chose Chicago (IF they admit me that is!) but I just wanted to know the best fit for me in Chicago so that I am mentally prepared about what Chicago has for me and right now Economics sounds the best.</p>

<p>AND I AM EXTREMELY SORRY IF I SOUND LIKE A POMPOUS,ARROGANT, MONEY-MINDED NOOB but rather than sugar-coating my questions and doubts I thought I'd be frank.</p>

<p>AND I AM FULLY AWARE OF THE INTELLECTUAL ENVIRONMENT AT UChicago and I respect it even though I am pre-professional.</p>

<p>I made the following post sometime back answering a question about top MBA admission. It answers some of your questions.</p>

<p>(I am a Wharton MBA).</p>

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<p>andidates who spent a few years working in whatever field their original interest took them. When I was doing my Wharton MBA, there were people like me from high tech, researchers from pharma companies, military officers, advocates in non profit agencies, etc. Yes, there were a LOT from Wall Street - after all, Wharton is known to be the best MBA program for the financial type to begin with. Even so, there was a tremendous diversity of people's background. What was important was that they all excelled at their respective field and got terrific recommendations from their companies.</p>

<p>As for the companies that hire graduates from top MBA programs, most of them do NOT like the ones who went straight from undergrad to MBA. Right or wrong, the common perception is, MBA education is wasted on somebody who did not have some real life experience before, and hence the worth of MBA education, even from top schools, was discounted. At least this was the mindset in a couple of global fortune 100 companies I worked for. </p>

<p>Second, you do NOT have to have undergrad business major at all to be admitted to top MBA programs. If anything, top MBA programs love people who did undergrad in different fields. In the world of consulting, top tech/science undergrad education + top MBA is considered a best combination. Personally, I would rather see those who aim later for the top MBA program to do some thing other than business admin at college. Going to college for business admin degree is like going to a trade school - a glorified trade school. They teach you tricks, but not how to think and learn. I feel that college education should be much more than that. </p>

<p>In summary, there is absolutely no advantage for business undergrad majors for getting admitted to top MBA programs or excelling at those programs once they are admitted. However, I did see some core humanity majors who avoided math related courses at college having a lot of difficulty in some classes. But then again, Wharton is a very quant oriented program with a heavy duty emphasis on macro economics, operations research and financial stuff. I don't know whether they would have had an easier time at a program that is more focused on things like marketing, etc. </p>

<p>So, let your son major in anything he likes. Let him have a few years of real world experience, and he can aim for the top MBA program. I am happy to see my son majoring in economics (lately he has been toying with the idea of double majoring in economics/math). The more theoretical, the better. He will have plenty of practical stuff later. If anything, for those who don't go to a Ph.D. program, undergrad is the only opportunity for really theoretical stuff. Practical stuff is not that hard to learn once on the job, and in fact, really hard to learn while in academia. So why waste time learning "practical stuff" at a wrong setting? Learn what universities are best at teaching, and leave the practical tricks later: if you know how to learn, you can learn all the monkey tricks later with no difficulty once you are in the real life setting.</p>

<p>@hyeonjlee</p>

<p>Thanks for the article and most probably I'd be double majoring in Eco and Maths too!
Since you are a Wharton MBA could you tell me what are the chances of Investment banking firms hiring an Eco major from UChicago?</p>

<p>I am in high tech. So, I don't have first hand insight into IB hiring practices. However, since my son wants to join the likes of Goldman Sachs upon graduation, I made a point of listening/reading about his odds. WS elite firms mostly hire college graduates from the schools they do on-campus recruiting in. And, they don't do that everywhere (logistically not possible). If they don't do that at your school, your odds of getting hired by them become severely limited. Only top colleges are included in their roster. They tend to be top elite, private colleges. I hear state schools don't fair very well. Even the top ones don't fair as well as top elite colleges if one is looking to get into the front end plumb field in Wall Street, as opposed to back office positions and/or in cities other than NYC. </p>

<p>Chicago is included in most/all elite WS firms' on-campus recruiting plans. So, as a Chicago kid, you won't have any problem with the "access" issues. Once you have an interview scheduled, it's all about "YOU" - how you come across during the interview, what you have done (ECs etc), your GPA, etc. I heard that this is where Chicago kids may not fare as well as the kids from HYP, etc. There are some people who feel that Chicago kids tend not to interview as well as their counterparts (I have no first hand data to confirm this opinion) - not on academic front, but "social", "personality" wise. </p>

<p>In short, if you go to Chicago, you won't be disadvantaged in terms of prestige, access (on campus recruiting), academic preparation, etc. Your "charm" is something you have to prepare yourself. My son is VERY active in the ECs at Chicago related to his ambition (Wall Street): this is something you should be very seriously engaged in. </p>

<p>In one of my previous posts (<a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/university-chicago/896268-food-thought-admitted-students-perspective-parent.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/university-chicago/896268-food-thought-admitted-students-perspective-parent.html&lt;/a&gt;), I discussed the issue of U Chicago for an Investment Banking hopeful (my son). The relevant excerpt is here:</p>

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<p>Opportunities for pre-professional students: this is the biggest source of a pleasant surprise. We all thought that one major drawback of U Chicago for him is the lack of gravitas the school carries in Wall Street, and a dearth of practical, pre-professional support, professional networking and other such opportunities. Now, I am not saying that U Chicago lands you at a prestigious Wall Street position without you lifting a finger. It just that we had a very low expectation on this regard and we thought this is something my son had to work hard to over compensate for. So, our “pleasant surprise” is more in the line of “gee, it’s not such a liability. Not a huge plus compared to other elite universities, but not bad either. Besides, it seems the school is making an honest effort to help him along”. </p>

<p>My impression is, if you are a “motivated” pre-professional type, you have nothing to fear that compared with your comrades in HYP, you are disadvantaged form the beginning by attending U Chicago. Based on what I heard from others, in the world of high finance, the advantage of attending places like HYPW(Wharton) is pretty obvious for those students who were not so sure from the beginning that they are heading in that direction. In these places, even if you decide in the junior year that you want to join Wall Street, with the prestige of the school name and the ready made connections in the Wall Street dominated by your alums, you can get a relatively easy access to the Street. At Chicago, if you decide to join the Street late in the game, you may indeed be disadvantaged. However, a student who was motivated from the beginning with a clear professional goal, what you get at Chicago is plenty sufficient to put you on an equal footing with any wunderkind from HYPW. </p>

<p>First, let’s talk about access. For the Wall Street jobs, it does matter where you go to for college education since I learned that Wall Street, collectively speaking, is a diploma bigot. They don’t even recruit from colleges and universities that are outside of their “usual pool” (top schools). U Chicago is in that pool, very comfortably. All major finance companies recruit from Chicago. No problem here.</p>

<p>Second, how about the “perception” of U Chicago on the Street? Again, no problem. My son won a first place at a math/econ scholarship competition sponsored by a well known Wall Street firm, and on account of this, was hired as an intern during the summer before he started at U Chicago. He told me that when executives introduced this unusual high school intern to others they made a point of saying “XXX will be attending U Chicago in the fall”, and the typical reaction was “Oh, where the fun goes to die” with wink, wink. It was clearly mentioned in the spirit of “you are opting for a hard challenge. More power to you”. It was clear that Wall Street elite players are well aware of the caliber of students at U Chicago and it gave my son an aura of an elite in the making. He will be interning again this coming summer there.</p>

<p>Third, networking opportunities. I think it’s fair to say U Chicago’s alum network on the Street is not as wide spread as that of HYPW, by a wide margin. However, it appears to me that it may not necessarily a big liability. I am getting an impression, based on my discussion with some alums and parents, that because the network is not so pervasive, there is a strong sentiment among the alums there that they should take care of their own – sort of overcompensating for the lack of a ubiquitous U Chicago presence on the Street. U Chicago offers an “externship” during the spring break. It’s an opportunity to pair first and second year students with willing alum mentors in the field of their choice and have the students spend a few days at the alums firms during the spring break. My son took advantage of this opportunity, and spent two days in the NYC during the spring break in a Wall Street firm headed by an alum. U Chicago also opened the alum network for him. He sent email to a few alum players in the Wall Street, and pleasantly surprised that almost all the people he contacted were graciously making themselves available to meet with my son in person or, if they happen to be away during the spring break, talk over the phone. My son said, the externship, the networking opportunities etc were well worth sacrificing his spring break somewhere in a warm place. My son is also very active in ECs and clubs related to his professional goals and getting a lot of support from upper classmen. </p>

<p>So, in summary, for those motivated, there are plenty of opportunities. However, it’s not in the air they breathe and water they drink, like it is said to be case in some other elite Wall Street feeder universities. The students should take initiative if they have a clear pre-professional goals. My son is very motivated and taking advantage of everything the school has to offer. As it stands now, I can’t see how he would be better off at HYPW on the professional front. If anything, I think he is on a much better path than most of the Wall Street hopefuls from any top universities. </p>

<p>One caveat though. My son is benefiting from pretty hefty career mentoring at home. My husband and I have years and years of experience of dealing with multinational corporate power structure at an executive level. We coach him a lot on how to navigate through the corporate maze. How to talk to those in power. How to work with support staff (you will be amazed how critical this is!). How to create a network. How to cultivate a network. What to say to divergent group of people and how to say it. How to write the perfect initial introductory email that catches the attention of the influential people? How to read between the lines of what others are telling him. How to coax the “inner mentor” of influential people to come to the surface and nurture the promising young thingss like my son…. The list goes on. I believe these are very important part of his success factor so far. Certainly, this is not what he is getting at Chicago. I don’t know whether this level of soft mentoring is available as part of the career support in other elite colleges and universities. If so, this would be the BIG advantage of those schools that U Chicago does not provide. </p>

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