Embarrassment of riches or just embarassment
September 9, 2010 5:14 PM Subscribe
Grad school/business school decision freakout. Need help and perspective.
posted by metametababe to education (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I love studying technology and society stuff. danah boyd is my goddess, as well as a lot of other assorted geeks. I also really love the energy of startup businesses, hustling and getting things done. I was an entrepreneur for a few years and loved it.
I'm a mix of entrepreneur and academic, and I have a lot of trouble deciding which to pursue career-wise. I know it's a weird choice to be facing as these are usually completely different career paths, but I'm good at getting into weird situations. :P
So here's my dilemma: I've been accepted to a PhD studying technology usage at a business school in the UK. I have received funding for three years. Also, I was accepted to a top MBA in the US (think Harvard, Wharton, etc.). MBAs are really, really expensive ($150k)
Jobs I could see myself doing:
- itinerant research analyst at a think-tank
- product management at a tech startup
- business development at a tech startup
- policy stuff relating to technology
Basically, I love technology and business... but I'm only an okay coder and I'm not the stereotypical clean-cut MBA type. I don't have a lot of typical job experience -- I was an entrepreneur mostly, but I have done a few regular corporate jobs and was bored and not a terrific fit. I have a lot of soft skills and pick things up quickly but sometimes wish I had something specific to offer, like being a programmer (or an acupuncturist or florist) or something. I don't have a specific entrepreneurial idea to follow at this point. I also don't have a specific research question I'm burning to answer (although I do have some areas of interest).
I am freaking out. I have no idea which path to take and am terrified of letting go of either option. I know that I'll never get into as good an MBA program. (I really think it was a fluke that I got in.) I might be able to get into a different PhD in the US, but not sure how competitive I am. I grew up poor and am afraid of being poor in the future. Both the poverty of the academic life and the MBA debt scare me.
(I am deciding at this super-late date because of a quirk in the admissions system at both schools. I don't want to go into detail, but trust me that I'm really deciding.)
Should I do the PhD? The MBA? Both? Neither?
(Thanks to the few people I asked for help with this decision earlier -- you gave me a lot to think about, but everyone said such different things that I'm sure there are even more opinions out there I should be considering. So I'm throwing it open to general mefites to see what you say.)