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Dear Gradcafe users,

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Please give me any advice on what to do : 

I have a B.A. from an Ivy/US News top 20 institution, and I have four years of work experience in a foreign company that has many US Phd and MBAs in it. My work experience is mostly in literature summary, data organization and research, and administrative work. I have a diagnostic GMAT score of 710, which can be improved substantially.

I'm torn between doing an MBA and a DBA(doctor of business admin), but while I think my experience and GMAT will be good enough for a top20 MBA, my GPA is not good enough for admission into a DBA program.

I am taking extra classes through the LSE external program. But I feel I need extra classes : my option is to either take grad level classes here in my home country, or move into the US and take a stepping-stone course(i.e. NW post-bacc in accounting or Columbia post-bacc in economics) to go directly into the course that I want. 

I am growing tired of working since advancement requires a higher degree anyway and I have neither the money nor the GPA credentials to get me into the program I want. I would preferably like to work for an economic or management consultancy after an MBA or a DBA, so which course of action(i.e. taking post-bacc or taking classes here) should be more fail-proof?

Expert advice is highly needed.

Thank you!




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If you have the test scores to get into a top MBA program, why do a post-bacc first? Just go straight into the MBA program! You don't need grad level experience in econ to get into those programs though you do need good quantitative schools. Another option would be to get a job working in management/economic consulting and then transition from there into a MBA program. Given your goals, getting a DBA doesn't make any sense.

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My problem is not only that my GPA is sub 3.0(but almost 3.0, but still thanks to school policy only; I have an 'almost' double major in econ and philosophy; one course less in philosophy), but also that that I only have about 100 grand of savings (will probably be around 170 grand by the time I enter some MBA program) which will not be enough in and of itself to fund my education -- unless I go to INSEAD or IE or IESE, (INSEAD I'm considering, but the internship isn't properly there for a successful career change)

So in the hopes of getting the same effect out of my education yet costing me half the money, I'm looking into DBA programs as well. Also since economic consulting specifically favors Ph.Ds I would spend half the time on getting a Ph.D. for a DBA and get a job at NERA or Bates White and so forth. 

Is this a good strategy to pursue or should I stick to getting an MBA despite the cost? I can ask my parents to pay but I've been feeling awfully guilty and anxious about my previous expensive college education and my current inability to make enough money to do the cost justice, so I feel uneasy to ask for their help again, without the sure prospects. They aren't rich but they are solidly upper middle class, so about 100 grand wouldn't be impossible to dole for my final education. Otherwise I need to take out loans which sounds like a huge risk -- what if I can't get a 200 grand job out of an MBA?

ps I'm targeting Duke, Cornell, Anderson, Ross, and Carnegie Mellon. Above that I think it's almost impossible. 

Edited by red_alert_3
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When they say they favor PhDs, they mean people with a PhD in economics, not people with a DBA. So, I'm really not sure how your job prospects would improve by getting the DBA over the MBA. Some of the schools you've listed offer some financial aid to applicants (scholarships, fellowships, etc.), so that's something you should look into and consider. I'm not sure that any MBA is worth spending $170K unless you're sure you're going to get a solid return on your investment. I would be paying careful attention to the placement stats for those programs to see what kinds of jobs you might be able to get after graduation.

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