Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Very worried about MBA admissions regarding work experience

angelfish13angelfish13 Registered User Posts: 136 Junior Member
Hi,

I am aiming for a top 15 MBA program for 2019-2021 admissions. I currently have 3.5 years of work experience - mostly in corporate sales at a fortune 10 company. The problem is that I have been at my current company for 2.5 years and haven't had a single promotion (long, long story - I am known for being a top performer and people constantly ask me how I haven't been promoted yet). I know that no promotions will probably be an enormous red flag for MBA applications. I am 100% confident that I can get a promotion if I stay for another 3-6 months but I am completely miserable and this job has ruined my life. My current position has caused me significant anxiety (anxiety attacks, stomach pains, restlessness, etc.) and serious depression. I silently cry at my desk as I work, I have lost enjoyment in all things, and I consistently cry myself to sleep at home almost every night. Every time I enter the office in the morning, I literally feel my stomach twist into knots.

I want to quit so, so badly and move home with my family, and start applying for new positions. But I am terrified that if I quit now MBA programs will be confused how I stayed at a job for so long with no promotion. I also have a couple of leadership positions with my current employer (extracurricular type) that I am trying to build even more for MBA applications in the future. Also, if I start at a different company I am not sure I will have enough time to get promoted at a new company before application time. Finally, I have worked so hard to develop a reputation at my current employer and build a name for myself. The idea of starting over at a brand new company seems daunting.

Basically, my question is - if you were in my shoes...what would you do? Should I toughen it out with my current employer or prioritize my mental health? Are promotions as important as I think for MBA applications? I am already a reach for top 15 schools and cannot afford really any dings due to my undergrad GPA.

Please let me know, thank you so much for your help!

Replies to: Very worried about MBA admissions regarding work experience

  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 5,375 Senior Member
    My current position has caused me significant anxiety (anxiety attacks, stomach pains, restlessness, etc.) and serious depression. I silently cry at my desk as I work, I have lost enjoyment in all things, and I consistently cry myself to sleep at home almost every night.

    1. Why do you want an MBA?

    2. Are you a top salesperson in your company? Do you have prizes / awards / etc for your sales achievements?

    3. What will be different in the next 3 months that you are "100%" sure you will get a promotion- and would it be a 'big' promotion or a 'standard' leveling up? Is your lack of promotion typical for your company? If not, why have you been passed over?

    4. "I have worked so hard to develop a reputation at my current employer and build a name for myself" Do you know what your actual reputation is / what name you have with senior management?

  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 4,074 Senior Member
    Turn your misery into a persuasive personal statement as to why you want an MBA.
  • coolguy40coolguy40 Registered User Posts: 1,553 Senior Member
    I actually was in your shoes a few years ago. I've found from experience that big name companies are usually the worst jobs. Every department is a micro-specialized walled garden. You can get good at what you're doing, but pretty soon, you become over-specialized in one job, which leads to getting "pigeon-holed" in a dead end. Going to a different department requires a different set of specialized skills and you have to compete with thousands of other candidates, both internal and external.

    Here's my advice. You don't have to put up with that kind of misery with any job. It's not you, it's the work culture, which sounds toxic to me. Do yourself a big favor. Before you apply to graduate school, go find another job, preferably a smaller to medium sized company, even if it's a lateral move. Trust me, it can make a world of difference. You don't want to stay in a toxic job for any reason. Once you're in your new job, you can go to school part time, and the company will likely pay for most of it. That's how most people get their MBAs. Smaller companies tend to have more flexibility and more opportunities for advancement, because employees do multiple jobs across different skill sets. 3.5 years is actually a good stay for a first job. Most people last 1 or 2 years.
  • cbreezecbreeze Registered User Posts: 4,670 Senior Member
    When you write a personal statement for MBA admissions, don't mention this
    I am completely miserable and this job has ruined my life. My current position has caused me significant anxiety (anxiety attacks, stomach pains, restlessness, etc.) and serious depression. I silently cry at my desk as I work, I have lost enjoyment in all things, and I consistently cry myself to sleep at home almost every night. Every time I enter the office in the morning, I literally feel my stomach twist into knots.

    The schools want winners and leaders and people who have overcome obstacles.
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 21,880 Forum Champion
    A few comments:

    --You should always prioritize your mental health. I think you may have used that term a bit lightly but if the job is causing you severe depression, suicidal thoughts etc. then move on. If you are just grumpy/frustrated about not being promoted that is something you may choose to live with.

    --Top MBA programs are extremely competitive. Work experience is but one component of the application -- you also need a strong undergrad background/GPA, excellent GMAT scores, a great essay and stellar recommendations. Do what you can to make the other parts of your application as strong as possible.

    --Depending on the job, two and a half years is not a ridiculous amount of time to be in the same position. Focus on your accomplishments and growth while in the job. If you have taken on new responsibilities, new clients etc. make that the emphasis. Choose someone who will give you a great recommendation from work that also focuses on your positive attributes.
  • spoonbenderspoonbender Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Whoa, that sounds horrible. I think the key thing is - WHY is it so bad? Is it a toxic boss? An impossible strategic situation for the company where you can't meet your goals? Do you hate working at a big company and crave something looser? It's really hard to give you advice without knowing more. In general, I would not advocate quitting unless you have another job lined up or unless you are in a solid financial situation. I would hate to see you trade one stress for another. If there's anything you can do to manage or mitigate your situation at work (do you have any allies that can help, can you switch to a different team), I'd try to hang in there for the 3-6 months, look on the side for other positions, and put off the MBA plan for the moment. I think you need a change of environment, but I'm not convinced an MBA is the answer to your problems. I think you should try somewhere else for a year or two where you are invigorated and can rack up some momentum/success. The top programs want to know WHY you want an MBA and the answer should be something positive - that it will help you achieve something. It would be helpful to make sure you even like what you think you want to do before taking on graduate school debt. Good luck, I'm rooting for you to get into a better situation, either by asking for some kind of help or looking for advocates at your current job or switching to a better place. The MBA will still be there the next year!
  • LenuAiLenuAi Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Hi!

    First of all, hats off you have realised you are unhappy and you have come up with a plan how to get out of this situation and move forward. This requires incredible motivation too so I am sure you will be a very good candidate for the school you have chosen.

    I have to agree with one of the previous comments that your work experience is just one of the elements of your application. Have you tried contacting an MBA coach that can advise you? Or just generally looked into tips for your application? I am reading blogs like this one - https://www.accessmba.com/articles/view/essential-mba-tips-for-admission, which give some useful tips?
Sign In or Register to comment.