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Applying to MBA program with an Architecture Background


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Hello All,

This is my first post on the Grad Cafe! I would like some opinions and some constructive criticism on my current career path, and hopefully some insight from someone who might've been in a similar situation.

I recently graduated with an undergraduate degree in architecture, with a minor in business administration. During my last year as an undergraduate student, I realized that although I love architecture, I no longer wish to pursue it as a lifelong career. This comes from several reasons: the current job market and pay rate for architects, personal goals; and a growing interest in business, specifically in an international context.

Currently, I am enrolled to finish my Business administration minor into a major, graduating in another 1.5 years with a double major in International Business and Real Estate(or possibly finance). I have chosen to complete another undergraduate degree rather than an MBA because I really would like to aim for a top 10 MBA program. During the summer/after graduating, I intend to work (preferably in the north east), and after 2 years, apply to an MBA program.

What I would like to work in is real estate development, investment banking, or commodities trading.

So! After all that background info, here are a couple of questions/comments that I'd love help on.

1. Although I do not regret my decision to study architecture, I am frustrated that I am repeating ~2 years of an undergraduate degree. Does this seem like this route will be worth it? If not, what would you advise?

2. With two undergraduate degrees, will I still be competitive for the top MBA programs? I realize I will be short on professional work experience, but it is not unheard of to only have 2 years of work experience, right? My GPA is a 3.8, with a several leadership and other extracurriculars.

3. I chose specifically the undergraduate program that I am currently enrolled in because I really enjoy other cultures and thinking in an international context- are there any international programs or dual degree programs that are located in the north east I should take a look at?

Thank you so much for sifting through all of this information, and let me know if you need any additional information to provide a better answer. I appreciate your responses.


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I think that your great GPA and drive will allow you to still be competitive with top MBA programs. I understand you are frustrated stuck in your undergrad program but, it wasn't a bad decision. I would have advised you to finish up your degree and minor in business, work for a year or two, and then return for your MBA. You can be accepted into an MBA program with any background. You should try and get a part time job or internship that will help boost your experience.

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  • 1 month later...

I personally think doing another undergraduate degree is a waste of time. The original design of MBA programs was for students who do not have a background in business as an undergraduate. It was for professionals in any field who wanted to be better at what they do from the business side. I think you can easily transition into doing an MBA program with just having a undergraduate business minor. When I was in my MBA program we definitely had a mix of people who had business degrees and who did not.

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  • 4 years later...

Then what graduate degree does go well with an architecture background? More architecture? I believe the MBA will open up doors in other fields and give more career options.

Could you change your minor to full architecture or something else in the area of construction and then get the MBA?

I am currently juggling the same issue.

I have a major in architecture with a minor in building construction and I'm unemployed with 15 years of experience. I am looking at other options that pay well and not entirely contingent on the economy. Counseling phycology has crossed my mind but Counseling is were I may be headed (I'm good at talking to people and I like to read) but, it means starting over but. Given the state of the economy I think so. 

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