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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?

  • rolen27rolen27 250 replies110 threads Member
    Should I wait until after graduation (when Im working) to take the GMAT?
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  • sakkysakky - 14563 replies196 threads Senior Member
    Actually, I would say that you shoud take the GMAT while you're still in school, or at least right after you graduate. I did. The reason for that is that that is when you're at your academic and testing peak. After being out of school for a few years, you begin to lose your test-taking skills. Let's face it. Working at your job is not going to make you any better at taking that GMAT.

    Of course the downside is that the GMAT is only good for 5 years, which is why I advocate delaying the GMAT to your senior year or right after you graduate (but before you start working), because that would give you the most time for the GMAT scores to be active and submittable to schools.
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  • AlexandreAlexandre 24280 replies434 threads Senior Member
    I agree with Sakky on this one. I also took my LSAT and GRE during the sumer between my junior and senior years (in case I decided to apply to Law school or PhD programs my senior year) and I took my GMAT the summer right after my graduation. That's when students are at their academic best.
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  • sallyawpsallyawp 1948 replies111 threads Senior Member
    I, too, took my LSAT and GMAT during my second semester of senior year of undergrad, and I started my JD/MBA a few years later. It definitely would have been difficult to focus on taking those tests once I was working since it turned out that I worked long nights, weekends, etc. Taking the tests senior year was great, because taking practice tests just became part of my regular studying program.
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  • bonafide20bonafide20 330 replies104 threads Member
    I am bumping this thread because I found a link that could be useful:

    http://kelley.iu.edu/mba/admissions/kaap.cfm

    This may be worth considering if you have a good academic record (and are accepted to Indiana) and can land a job right after you graduate and keep it for at least two years.......then, you could begin your MBA at Indiana. You are basicaly offered a defered admissions option and all you have to do once accepted is work for a couple years full time.
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  • rolen27rolen27 250 replies110 threads Member
    how did you take it second semester of your senior year? It seems to me that wouldnt leave you with ample time to fill out your apps. I probably misread, clarification ?
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  • Mr PayneMr Payne 8818 replies32 threads Senior Member
    This thread is absolutely ridiculous. Gigaman is such a far fetched online persona that I'm thinking it must be a **** account. The thread itself is something which is a no brainer.
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  • sallyawpsallyawp 1948 replies111 threads Senior Member
    I took the LSAT/GMAT second semester senior year because I went out into the working world for a few years before heading back to school. I don't think that I would have gotten into my MBA program without the work experience.
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  • CorporatefinanceCorporatefinance . 197 replies28 threads Junior Member
    Say if you have a part-time job (15-20h/w) and have a year salary on $34.800-49.200. Would this be seen as an "ok" WE granted that one has worked with this job (and will work for it) since senior year HS and through 3 year biz college? The company itself is a asset mgmt firm.
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  • alicantekidalicantekid 1359 replies4 threads Senior Member
    What part of "FULL TIME" do people not understand? Jeezus Christ.
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  • sakkysakky - 14563 replies196 threads Senior Member
    Say if you have a part-time job (15-20h/w) and have a year salary on $34.800-49.200. Would this be seen as an "ok" WE granted that one has worked with this job (and will work for it) since senior year HS and through 3 year biz college? The company itself is a asset mgmt firm.

    Clearly it's better than no job at all. But it will not be as valuable as the equivalent job on a full-time basis.
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  • 3togo3togo 5218 replies15 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2006
    I suggest thinking about the work experience requirement from the schools end. Most MBA programs involve a lot of case work and case discussions in class. Given 2 students with identical GMATS, GPAs, and quality shcools for undergrad whom is more likely to bring relevant experiences and more well-thought out positions to these classroom discussiions ... a student who just graduated with the BS/BA and has a had a couple quality summer jobs or someone who has worked 3-5 years in industry and can bring that experience to the classroom?
    edited July 2006
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  • Muqsith1Muqsith1 26 replies1 threads New Member
    Work experience is necessary. Otherwise, you may not able to contribute much to class discussions
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  • pmatpmat 10 replies0 threads New Member
    I do think that work expereince is very necessary. The business schools don't just want to educate you - they also expect meaningful inouts from you during the class discussions... It's a kind of experience where having first hand experience helps...

    Regarding full-time vs part-time work-ex, I believe that it also depends on what you have done in the job,,, Business schools prefer work-experiences where people have shown significant growth in job responsibilities/career < that's what make a good candidate -- you can achieve this both in part-time or full-time. But, probabilty of showing you growth curve in full-time job is higher.


    **pmat
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  • younghov1983younghov1983 142 replies15 threads Junior Member
    "and I would NEVER degrade myself by taking non 6 figure income."


    my favorite line from the college confidential boards. hilarious.

    I've always thought that an mba is something to tack on an already successful or rising business career.
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  • sakkysakky - 14563 replies196 threads Senior Member
    I do think that work expereince is very necessary. The business schools don't just want to educate you - they also expect meaningful inouts from you during the class discussions... It's a kind of experience where having first hand experience helps...

    Regarding full-time vs part-time work-ex, I believe that it also depends on what you have done in the job,,, Business schools prefer work-experiences where people have shown significant growth in job responsibilities/career < that's what make a good candidate -- you can achieve this both in part-time or full-time. But, probabilty of showing you growth curve in full-time job is higher.

    I agree with this, and I would second it. It's not just about the quality of class discussions. It also has to do with the quality of the NETWORKING, which I think is probably the most valuable aspect of a top B-school. B-schools want people who have had successful careers not only because they can add to the discussions, but also because they bring a valuable Rolodex of industr contacts that other students can access through them. It's not just about who you know, but who those other people know. For example, if you want to get a job at Microsoft, and your B-school friend used to work at Microsoft, then that's your "in". If you want to meet some powerful industry figure, and your B-school friend actually used to work with that guy, then that's your "in".

    So basically, when B-schools admit you, they are not admitting just you, they are admitting your entire network of industry contacts. If you don't have any industry contacts because you've never actually worked, then you're obviously a less valuable asset to the class.
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  • S2584S2584 5 replies1 threads New Member
    i just graduated from college and got a job doing IT for a financial services company. I want to go to Bschool in about 3 years and change the direction of my career. I want to go either into management, strat consulting, or finance.

    My work experience is going to be mostly technical and I am not sure if admissions officers will look at this as a plus.

    Now lets say I get into a good Bschool and after my first year of classes, try to go out and get an internship in finance or strat consulting. How will I be able to get a job in that field if I have no work experience in that field and my undergrad background is engineer. What do you guys think of my situation? WIll I be able to make it work and what should I do to position myself as best as I can?

    Is my case common?
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  • score911score911 37 replies6 threads Junior Member
    I know several people who got into ivy league business schools straight out of university.
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  • sallyawpsallyawp 1948 replies111 threads Senior Member
    Congratulations to your friends who got into business school straight out of university! Oh, and good luck to them, too, when they try to get jobs with no work experience coming out of business school.
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  • gellinogellino 3012 replies5 threads Senior Member
    Unless you're referring to people who graduated undergrad more than 25 years ago, I'd be curious to hear the particular circumstances of anyone getting into a top 10 business school (or even Yale or Cornell) straight out of undergrad. It's very uncommon for anyone to attend a top b-school without at least three years work experience, and those are the smartest candidates.
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This discussion has been closed.