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Is work experience really necessary to get into a top MBA program?

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Replies to: Is work experience really necessary to get into a top MBA program?

  • indiandesi06indiandesi06 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Need some advice for an aspiring B-schooler.

    Univ of Rochester Undergrad
    SGU Med (1 year) - Left to get into healthcare industry
    Worked in a pharmaceutical company for a year.
    Looking to get a healthcare mgmt MBA.

    Planning on taking GMAT in a month.

    Any advice on applying?
  • hellojanhellojan Registered User Posts: 1,632 Senior Member
    Ricky, the Marines counts as work experience. I'd say that it'd be really good to have a year or two of corporate work under your belt. But, don't count yourself out.
  • LeTexan713LeTexan713 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Hello everyone!

    I'm new to the forum and this subject is exactly what preoccupies my mind for the moment. I'm getting my undergrad in December with a major in French and minor in Spanish. I have lived in France for an extended period of time and it is my second language.

    I would immediately like to transition into an MBA with a specialization in International Business, but I had no idea that WE was required from many of the top B-schools. Upon completion of my undergrad, the only work experience I will have will have been one full year working as a French translator for a video game company in Austin, TX. I left the company on good terms to refocus on my UG.

    I have begun looking at universities that offer the "Early Career" MBA and have thought that it might be a viable option for me coming out of my UG. Another reason that I would like to go straight into my MBA is 1) my parents have offered to help me financially through my program and 2) a reference I know who works for Deloitte has offered me an internship if I complete one year of a MBA program.

    Still, I have seen so many nightmare stories of folks getting a MBA and being over qualified for certain jobs while being underqualified for others and therefore ask the following question: In my particular situation, does it make sense for me to go for my MBA?

    If not, what jobs could I get with a French degree that would help me eventually go back to a top b-school to get my MBA?
  • VulgarUnicornVulgarUnicorn Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    g8erbait wrote:
    How do top MBA programs value work as a CPA for a few years? Also, is it common for CPAs to go back to school to get their MBA and work in finance, and is the prior work as a CPA a good foundation for a career in IB? Would not working in IB before getting your MBA work against someone who was a CPA beforehand?
    Aside from the IB part, I'm interested in this as well. Several people in my accounting class plan to get an MBA, yet I have not seen a single accountant post in this thread.
  • sheliasutherlandsheliasutherland Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Yes It is Compulsory to have work experience if you planning to enroll yourself in top MBA program.My brother in law worked for 4 years in Investment Bank and went to do MBA from http://www.hbs.edu/Pages/default.aspx
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 11,471 Super Moderator
    In truly exceptional cases, business schools might admit a traditional-aged undergrad. But I feel that you must be a truly exceptional undergraduate - with lots of leadership experiences and an internship or two under your belt, so they can be sure that you will be successful with your degree. One example I can think of who got into Harvard's 2+2 program was an undergraduate at my Ivy League school. He was a resident assistant, the president of one of the three big Greek councils at my school, a leader in his fraternity, had at least one internship that I can recall, and had served in the National Guard for 4 years including doing some active duty assignments and missions. There were other things he had done that I forgot, and he was an exceptionally poised and thoughtful young person. And Harvard STILL wanted him to go work full-time for two years before starting the progam. (He decided not to attend; he's doing something else amazing instead.)

    LeTexan713, you have a full year of work experience already so you don't really fall into the "no work experience" category. Business schools do sometimes admit people with one year of work experience.
  • silverlining07silverlining07 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Hi,

    I am an Indian girl and I completed my MBA from a top university in India last year and since then have been working in a beverage firm as a management trainee. Now the deal is I am getting married and moving to Seattle soon, by which time I would have completed about an year and a half of full time work experience.

    The only way I can legally work in the states would require me to do another professional course (right? please help out if any alternative is available). I have been researching schools in Seattle and Fosters looks like a good option. However I am concerned about the work experience bit, as the average work experience is 6 years. Would be grateful if anyone can throw some light or provide any solutions on the ideal thing to do in my situation.

    Thanks!
  • CHD2013CHD2013 Registered User Posts: 2,510 Senior Member
    ^^ Why do you think the law requires you to get more schooling before getting a job?
  • shawbridgeshawbridge Registered User Posts: 5,221 Senior Member
    In general, the acceptance age is older. Harvard accepts kids as @juillet said in the 2+2 program. One of my friends' sons is in that. Several top schools including Stanford and Sloan accept kids right out of college or shortly thereafter. My son applied to two business schools after one year of work and was accepted at a very high ranked school with what will be only one year of post-college experience, but he was a summa graduate with a very high GPA / test scores from an elite school who started a software company during his senior year and is the CEO. It has seed funding, a product and customers, and has turned down an offer to be acquired by one of its customers. Although he is a math major, he is good with people and I think the school thought they could really help him jump start his career. But, he came back from a party for admitted students in our city and said, "Dad, they are grownups. They've been working at places like Bain Capital for 4 or 5 years. They have furniture and know what wines they like. Some have spouses."
  • CHD2013CHD2013 Registered User Posts: 2,510 Senior Member
    ^Sounds like business school might be a waste of time for your son.
  • shawbridgeshawbridge Registered User Posts: 5,221 Senior Member
    @chd2013, he said he realizes how much he needs to learn. He is also going to get a masters in a program between the comp sci and stats departments.
  • CHD2013CHD2013 Registered User Posts: 2,510 Senior Member
    ^I understand; the pursuit of knowledge is a life-long quest. However, most students consider grad school to be a step that's required to land a good job. It sounds like your son already has a job that most business school grads would love to obtain.
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 11,471 Super Moderator
    ^It's not just a step to land a good job, though; it's a step to have the kind of career you want. A lot of business schools are starting entrepreneurship-focused MBAs - and some have had that focus for decades - precisely because a lot of successful small business owners come to b-school because they want to scale up their business, take it to the next level, and/or they realize that there are still some business school tools that they need to learn. Business owners also need to deal with clients and people outside the business, and having an MBA may increase the social capital they derive from those interactions - perhaps more invested seed funders, for example.

    And perhaps @shawbridge's son decides in 10 years to sell his very lucrative software company and move somewhere else (or his moderately successful software company, just depends). His business experience, of course, will be the key element - but some places are sticklers about degrees and won't consider you without one. (My father, a man with 30+ years of experience in various roles in the transportation industry, got passed over multiple times for promotions to supervisory levels of processes he knew VERY well simply because he doesn't have a bachelor's degree. He got very frustrated watching younger, MUCH less experienced people leapfrog him to get the jobs he wanted because they had the degree.)
  • cbreezecbreeze Registered User Posts: 4,508 Senior Member
    edited April 2014
    precisely because a lot of successful small business owners come to b-school because they want to scale up their business, take it to the next level, and/or they realize that there are still some business school tools that they need to learn. Business owners also need to deal with clients and people outside the business, and having an MBA may increase the social capital they derive from those interactions - perhaps more invested seed funders, for example.

    The type of people you described above would benefit more with an Executive MBA program. Typically, if they have a business, they can't take 2 years off for an MBA.
    My father, a man with 30+ years of experience in various roles in the transportation industry, got passed over multiple times for promotions to supervisory levels of processes he knew VERY well simply because he doesn't have a bachelor's degree.

    Without knowing your family history, lots of people in your father' shoes complete their degrees in PT evening programs. And lots of people get their MBAs in PT programs if all they wanted was a MBA stamp to advance in the same field.

    Different people take up an MBA for different reasons and lots of young entrepreneurs start companies even without a degree, like Zuckerberg, Gates. They can employ people with the know how.
  • shawbridgeshawbridge Registered User Posts: 5,221 Senior Member
    @chd2013, you are right that many people would consider his current job a dream job, even after leaving business school. But, he's thinking big, I guess. He will remain associated with his company but it can no longer be full-time. He will retain a stake. He has already learned a vast amount, but thinks that the challenges the company now faces are more complex than those the founders originally expected that someone someone with more experience with large, complex customers would be better to lead the business. He has found someone. He's already thinking about his next company and how combining what he has learned from this company with the grad degrees (MBA and one technical degree) and the contacts he will make will position him for the next level of success.
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