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Best path to an MBA

JJ870818JJ870818 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
A quick background about me: From Fall 2005-Fall 2006 semesters, I studied at Middlesex County College in New Jersey as a math major. In March 2008, I joined the Navy and I'm planning on separating September. I intend to return to school full time this upcoming fall. I applied to the following schools:

Temple University Japan
University of Nevada Las Vegas
Hillsdale College

So far, UNLV accepted me and the other 2 applications are still pending. I plan on studying something along the lines of Business, Finance, or Accounting. After receiving my bachelors, I'm interested in applying to the following schools for my MBA:

Temple University Japan
University of Nevada Las Vegas
Rutgers
Harvard
University of Pennsylvania
Dartmouth
Yale

I realize that the last 4 school I listed are quite a reach and that I'm planning way ahead. For those of you who are familiar with the MBA admissions process, what do I need to do between now and obtaining my bachelors to be as competitive as possible?

I apologize if I posted this in the wrong place. Thank you for your time.

Replies to: Best path to an MBA

  • BasicOhioParentBasicOhioParent Registered User Posts: 242 Junior Member
    I’m not an expert, but my understanding is that it is customary to work for a couple of years before applying to an MBA program.
  • magtf1magtf1 Registered User Posts: 388 Member
    You might consider getting some non-military work experience before going to B-school. That's not meant to imply that your military experience isn't valuable, it absolutely is, but your MBA education would be enhanced if you brought some civilian work experience. For example, from Wharton's FAQ (https://mba.wharton.upenn.edu/admissions-faqs/):
    The average student has worked for five or six years between graduating from college and entering the MBA program. The program does accept early career candidates with limited or no experience who exhibit strong managerial and professional potential. The Admissions Committee looks for individuals who exhibit professional maturity. In other words, we evaluate work experience not in terms of years, but the depth and breadth of an individual’s position, his or her contributions to the work environment, and level of responsibility and progression.
    Good luck!
  • JJ870818JJ870818 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Thank you, that's good to know. It sounds like I'll have to work while studying to try avoiding having to wait five years after graduating to start B-school. I'm already 30 and I hope to be completely finished with school before I turn 40.
  • mikemacmikemac Registered User Posts: 10,369 Senior Member
    ^^^ Not going to work. The top schools look for a few years of work experience with increasing responsibility and acomplishment prior to enrolling. You are not going to do this while going to school and working part-time.

    Get any book on MBA admissions to learn what top schools look for in candidates and how to plan your remaining college years both to do what they look for and to best position yourself for the work experience they seek.

    Or give up on a top school and get a MBA from an average school. This will give you some marketable business schools but won't be the springboard to the top of the business world people hope to get from a top school.
  • magtf1magtf1 Registered User Posts: 388 Member
    I plan on studying something along the lines of Business, Finance, or Accounting. After receiving my bachelors, I'm interested in applying to the following schools for my MBA
    What do you want to do as a profession? Entrepreneur? Accounting? Management Consulting? Banking? I recommend getting advice from people in your desired profession(s) regarding the expected ROI of an MBA. I'm all for education, but you might find that it's more valuable to have two more years of experience than investing those two years (+ tuition) in business school given your age and military experience.

    Good luck!
  • UCBUSCalumUCBUSCalum Registered User Posts: 982 Member
    For the reach schools you mentioned, in addition to getting quality work experience, you'll need to get a fairly high GPA (say, 3.5 - 3.7+) and a high GMAT score (700+). This is especially true if your undergraduate school is not a top 25 or top 50 school.
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 24,467 Forum Champion
    I'd recommend that you take one step at a time. Returning to college after serving in the Navy is very admirable and will provide you with new challenges. For now focus all your attention on finishing your undergrad and doing as well as you can. Once you are in college and start taking some courses in business you will get a better idea of what you want to do in your civilian career and you can then take things from there. You may find you don't need a MBA for your career. Also recognize that there are many other Master's programs you can consider other than the ones you listed.

    @mikemac The last four colleges on the OP's list are HUGE reaches, but it is possible that the OP's naval career could count as meaningful work experience with increasing responsibility. The OP would have to check with each school to see if work experience prior to completing an undergrad degree would be considered. FWIW my H had two classmates at Wharton whose work experience was military service (but both completed college prior to their full time military service).
  • JJ870818JJ870818 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Thank you everyone for your replies.

    mikemac: I'll look into some MBA books and go from there.

    magtf1: I'm not 100% sure. I would like to start my own business someday if I can find something that inspires me. I'll seek out people of all those professions.

    UCBUSCalum: Hopefully, some of my bad grades from 2005/2006 don't drag me down too much (or I would at least be able to retake some of those classes). As for the GMAT, I heard that you have to study at least 1-2 months to be able to score competitively. How accurate is that?

    happy1: Thank you for the advice. I intend to take some business classes. I was hoping to plan out the next few years as much as possible but I'll try to stop worrying about applying for my MBA so much until I get closer to graduating.
This discussion has been closed.