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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?

  • Nikola14Nikola14 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    edited May 2014
    Hello, everyone!

    I need advice about the admissions process because I am planning to get an MBA. I graduated last year with a bachelor's degree in Psychology, minor in Human Resources Management at a university from a small country in Asia. I have a GPA of 3.4. During college, I had two internships, one of which is for Proctor & Gamble. I also joined the university sector of a well-known events production group in my city as student council secretary for one year, and their project manager for 3 years. Because of this, I was able to obtain a full scholarship all throughout college. Also, it was similar to a part-time job because I got paid for the events I did as project manager. After graduation, I went back to work for the corporate sector of the production group for 6 months (mainly because I owed them so much, and I wanted to pay off my scholarship). I left the group because I moved to the United States. I guess I wanted something more than just a minimum wage salary, which, when converted to my country's currency, is already equal to a managerial salary back home. However, I have been unemployed ever since I got here. The reason is because it is that long of a wait for my papers to be approved. I thought of getting an MBA because of the fact that I come from a country that nobody has probably heard of, and in this competitive industry, I do not have much of an edge. Although, I might be getting a JD during my second year of business school. My parents have also suggested I get an MBA before I get a JD.

    Having said all of this, with my lack of work experience, do you think I have a shot of getting into graduate school? I am not looking at the top 10 business schools. I am planning to apply to University of Washington or UMass Amherst because it is much cheaper. I will be getting my GMAT this week, but my recent practice exam stated a 680.
  • 0neMore0pinion0neMore0pinion Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Because hiring percentages and employer satisfaction has become factors in determining program rankings, job experience is very important in being accepted into a top MBA program. You get your degree, but have no work experience, who is going to hire you for MBA caliber work? More than likely, you'll be in the market searching and searching, finally settling for a entry level job that would've been attained with just a undergrad business degree.
  • 0neMore0pinion0neMore0pinion Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Everytime I hear of Indiana now, I'm thinking of that wheel of fortune kid who couldn't pronounce Achilles
  • patronyorkpatronyork Registered User Posts: 436 Member
    edited December 2014
    In terms of admission, you can get into top schools wihout it if you show great GPA and test scores.

    However, if you want to get most out of your MBA education, work experience is a must, because you will have to speak a lot based on your real work experience in the class discussion. Schools such as HBS and IMD in Switzerland rely heavily on the case discussion and if you have no work experience, you will have hard time contributing.
  • CarolinaBlue25CarolinaBlue25 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    An MBA is very different from other types of grad programs. It's not designed to launch your career, but to build upon the experience you have gained from working several years in the professional world. Once you have at least a minimum of two-years full-time work experience, the cases and technical skills you learn in your MBA classes will make much more sense and have greater applicability. Certainly there are some MBA's that will admit you with no full-time professional experience, but it would be a mistake most of the time to pursue these offers. You will not get out of the program what you could if you had the experience to draw upon (sorry, but internships alone aren't enough!).

    Further, what many MBA applicants don't understand is that employers who recruit at the top MBA programs are looking to hire those who already have a track record of strong professional experience prior to the MBA. Just having the degree is not enough.

    You note the lower cost of attending of one of the schools on your list. Don't forget about ROI- have you done your research into who recruits at that school, employment rates by 3 mo. of graduation, average initial hiring salaries, average 5-year salaries, average signing bonuses and guaranteed bonuses, etc.. You have to look at lifetime earnings, including bonus' -- don't be short-sighted here. The idea of taking on $200k of debt vs $100k sounds astronomical, but if that $200k comes from a top program where your average earnings are likely to be over $1m more over the course of your life-time, that 100k difference upfront doesn't looks so scary anymore. You only get to do your MBA once, so research carefully so you can make the most informed decisions about where to apply and accept.

    P.S. Your GMAT practice score is very solid right now. If you can spend some time studying and take the test a couple of times to get up to 700+, you would be in a great position both for admission, and for fellowship offers from some of the top schools. That is, once you have solid full-time professional experience under your belt!!
  • CarolinaBlue25CarolinaBlue25 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    LeTexan713-- Try to leverage your Deloitte connection now. Does Deloitte or similar top consulting firms recruit on your college campus? Start off by asking for an informational interview with the person you know and pose some of the questions you ask in your post. Also, set up a one-on-one appointment with the career center at your school. My guess is that all will strongly advise you to work for a minimum of 2 years full-time and then take another look at how the MBA might fit into your career. Honestly, I recommend not listening to your parents for career advice. The market looks very different than it did when they were in their 20's and they may inadvertently be hurting rather than helping.

    You are presuming that the MBA is going to launch the career you really want. Let me be frank-- it will not help if you don't have solid post-undergrad professional experience already on your resume. If you could leverage your connection to get a job now at Deloitte, all the better. Having a global name like Deloitte on your resume will help you not only get in to b-school, but also will make you more marketable down the line.
  • annafongannafong Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    If you are not sure about if you'll be accepted, you can check out ****. I'm interning with ****, and they crowd source information from real college and graduate students so that you'll know how they got admitted. They have a great pool of graduate school profiles that include what so and so person did during their undergrad career, their academic history, personal statements, and whether or not they had work experience. I'm also guessing you were once an undergrad student. It would be awesome if you could create a profile using my link: https://www.****/?ref=SUNYF! And you'll earn $10!
  • boolaHIboolaHI Registered User Posts: 1,956 Senior Member
    @gigaman With all due respect you are bordering on the pompous. Since when did the litmus test of six-fixtures of salary conflate itself to dignity? Further, as someone who formerly taught at a school just outside the top 10, SOM, and one of the premier law schools, YLS, you shock me with your unabated hubris. These institutions seek people who want to make discernible contributions to society (which is by and large the motto of SOM), not compile an inordinately large stack of currency.
  • j6ma9lj6ma9l Registered User Posts: 181 Junior Member
    edited January 2016
    My Tri-Factor GRE Score( Incorporating Writing, Verbal and Quantitative) converted to a GMAT (AWA+V):168 Q:168) is 780 (Using ETS GRE/GMAT conversion tool) and I have a 3.59 G.P.A.. Psychology Major/Corporate Dynamics Minor. I have volunteer work experience (350 hours) but no salaried work experience because I was bankrolled throughout college. My writing ability exceeds the ceiling of standardized tests (perfect scores on SAT/ACT/GRE) and my essays are exceptional...Do I have any chance at second-tier business schools (University of San Diego, SDSU, University of San Francisco, Boston College, University of Miami?) or Even more elite programs (USC Marshall) Right now? Or is an internship obligatory (6 months)?

  • j6ma9lj6ma9l Registered User Posts: 181 Junior Member
    University of San Diego (my second preference tied with University of Miami) GMAT 10th-90th percentile range is 550-700(mean GMAT 621) and average G.P.A. is 3.4....USC Marshall(my first choice) 10th-90th percentile range 640-730 (mean 690) and average G.P.A. 3.3 (29% acceptance rate).....Do I have any shot? I would prefer an immediate transition to MBA because I am already 27 years old.
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