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SIPA MIA v. Fletcher MIB


ejbrooks
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So I have a great problem on my hands, and I know I'm not going to get much sympathy, but I am definitely stuck on how to make this decision.

I was accepted into SIPA Master of International Affairs program and Fletcher's Masters of International Business. I have read a bunch of threads here about differences between Columbia and Tufts, as well as the schools themselves.. But I am honestly not sure what to do.

A bit about my background: I studied African and Islamic Art undergrad and moved to Cairo, Egypt in 2009, working in the private sector for a year and then moving to a non profit for two years that does private sector business support. I have a very strong business network here and have been moving towards international affairs/ politics/ business/ trade relations since I set foot in Egypt. With the revolution, my Arabic (I also speak French), and my work experience and contacts, I have learned a tremendous amount in three years.

I am looking for a school that can help me position myself for the next step. I want to create a business that works with entrepreneurs in the ME, that helps with political and economic development via the private sector. What I need is a healthy dose of finance, management, and economics to give me a foundation on how to run everything.

This is all a bit vague I realize, but I think what I need is a more philosophical answer than anything-- since money offers from both are the same, etc etc.

Greatly appreciate any and all help!!!!

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One vote for Fletcher MIB, especially if you have some "figuring out" to do in terms of what is it exactly that you would like to achieve in the private sector. Although you can choose to take business oriented courses while at SIPA MIA, the private sector focus is already built into the MIB program, and you won't feel like a second banana to Columbia Business School students in that respect. Besides, Fletcher really does care about providing you an individualized program, and the school's atmosphere is more conducive to much needed self-reflection. Personally, this decision will be a no brainer - MIB hands down. (FYI I went to a business school for undergrad and will most likely be enrolling at SAIS this fall) But that's just me. Congrats!

Edited by hoggerjp
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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks so much for the considered response. I agree with a lot of what you are saying about Fletcher's size and program, major pluses, but I am still drawn to SIPA, maybe it's NYC, maybe it's that at the end of the day the MIB curriculum and the MIA (IFEP) curricula are so similar...

I went to huge state school for undergrad and made it a very personal experience-- so the small-ness of a program isn't necessarily something I look for. In fact I thrive in these types of crazy, overwhelming atmospheres.. Hmmm.. so difficult.. Anyone from SIPA care to weigh in? Or someone who's doing/done the MIB?

Thanks again :)

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