Azariel wrote:Assuming you don't overload or anything and the highest grade possible is a 4.0, the highest you can get your average up to is a 3.58. And that's if you're *perfect* from here on out.
Your school sounds a lot like my alma mater. I majored in both philosophy and econ, so I sort of understand some of the benefits and disadvantages of each, though obviously it's somewhat different at every school. Econ is not a golden ticket by any means - it certainly wasn't for me - but it can be a lot easier to find a job - or at least interviews - post-grad than from philosophy, even if you receive a much lower GPA in Econ than you would have in philosophy. Too, the courses you take and your extra-curricular activities can greatly impact your employability - a lot of employers will look more favorably on a B in courses like corporate finance or derivatives than on As in econ classes that are more theory-oriented. Internships help, as do connections. Honestly, in my experience, connections are one of the biggest factors of success, and if you already have a family member in the field you want to go into, that can be a major help. (A lot of people I knew in college got internships, even at big names like JP Morgan, because of a parent/family member or family friend...). If you want to do consulting, especially if you want to go to one of the big names like BCG or Bain, you'll want to get your GPA up and start practicing cases now. In my experience, the big ones had GPA floors for the first interview, but the people who got past that interview stage were all the ones who had been practicing the cases since sophomore year, or had had an internship with the company the summer before senior year. (Some might have special diversity programs that might be to your benefit and help you skirt the GPA issue - I'd research more about that if you're interested in consulting because it might make things completely different from what I'm saying.) Consulting can be a very good field to go into in that it's a good launching pad for all sorts of careers - and some of the big ones will pay for your graduate education (usually MBAs).
Ultimately I wouldn't do law school, unless you're either a born 180 or really, really set on being a lawyer and 100% willing to do the work it'll take. Talk to your friends who have found good jobs and investigate what sort of connections your econ department actually has - because, believe me, things can seem very rosy when graduation's years away and the job pressure isn't as strong. If I were you, knowing what I do from my experiences, I would choose to focus on either accounting or finance (even if it's just an econ major, I'm SURE there are courses in those areas), probably accounting, as you say you are not as strong with the quantitative aspects. If both of these careers seem utterly soul-killing and unappealing to you, I would strongly consider another major - if you can't find one that'll give you a decent chance of employment, transfer. It's harsh, but unless you have some serious family connections you can fall back on, you have to look at college like an investment. If you're not getting the ROI, especially if you have any debt, you're screwed. And don't major in philosophy unless you're absolutely sure that you want to do law or some form of further education. I found it very valuable in a lot of ways (yes, even for taking the LSAT), but unfortunately a lot of people, including employers, are too thick to see its value.
I agree with all of this. I know a few people that majored in econ at one of the top undergrad econ schools in the country, and they were really on their own as far as finding jobs. At the same time, this school has a very good undergrad b-school, so that certainly doesn't help the econ kids. I know a couple managed to network into F500 finance jobs or small investment banks. A lot end up applying to law school because they can't find jobs.
AfricanGal wrote:You wouldn't happen to know what gpa would be necessary for ibanking out of undergrad would you? I'm not sure if the banking industry has any diversity hiring but would being a urm help my chances?
Do banks recruit at your school? My (limited) understanding is that if banks don't actually recruit at your school then you need a really high GPA and connections (which it looks like you have) to get in. I would also make sure you really are interested in banking, as well. 100+ hour weeks for 2 years isn't something to go into without making sure you want to do that.
How good of liberal arts college are we talking here? Like Amherst/Williams, or something else?
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