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Dual degree MSW/MBA

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Anyone done this before? How were your experiences and would you recommend it?

I am interested in starting a business/nonprofit which targets mental health in immigrant (and their children), especially East Asian, communities. My goal would be to run a network of clinics that in additional to talk therapy take advantage of modern software-based and brain stimulation approaches. I'd also love to involve researchers at our clinics and also do some community outreach. My personal dream would be to be able to do a little bit of everything (management, software, research, outreach, giving therapy) but unfortunately time is limited. If I have to specialize, I'd choose primarily management with giving therapy on the side. 

My current background is US citizen -> biz school (investment banking, wealth management) -> transferred to games/computer science -> software engineering -> engineering manager at top tech companies and startups, but I'm off work now trying to pivot. I have been in psychoanalysis for 4 years and CBT for one year. In college, I was a board member of a volunteer club but not that many volunteer hours (~100). I am currently training to be a crisis hotline volunteer and am also a research assistant at a neuroscience lab that is looking at direct brain stimulation techniques to address mental illness.

I honestly wouldn't have been against starting a company directly, but I don't want to be locked out of giving therapy myself - hence the dual degree. I see the MSW as a path to licensure and the MBA as a way to build my network. I've lived in Asia since graduating college, but I want to come back and help other Asian immigrants and second generation like me, so I thought that I would need an MBA because of my nonexistent network in the States. Even if I went back now, I don't have other people to start this company with ?. One concurrent option I'm going to take is finding remote work as an engineer/manager at a mental health tech startup like Path or Grow Therapy. 

Debt is a concern but I'm taking a chance on my business acumen to carry me out of it.

Looking forward to feedback. Thanks. 


PS I don't have a liberal arts coursework background. Would MSW programs accept online courses from the likes of EdX? Or should I be looking at online courses from something like UC Extension? I also have the option to take courses at my local universities, but they aren't in English so I'm afraid it'll drag down my college GPA (3.86).

Edited by doubl3dutch
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