Thank you to everyone who participated in our recent Spotlight On You MBA Q&A, an open forum during which Linda touched on a wide range of topics. Here are some snippets from Linda’s responses that we thought you’d enjoy.
- 1-Year Programs vs. 2-Year Programs
“In general, for career changers, internships really, really facilitate that career change. Now, if you take, let's say, INSEAD's one-year program and you start it in January, there is time for a six-week internship in the middle of that program. So it also depends on how the program is structured whether you can get that internship in...So an internship is very important for career changers, but I've interviewed many of the European one-year programs in particular, and they say that they facilitate career change just like two-year programs do, just with much lower opportunity cost, and I think lower tuition cost also.”
“First of all, when we talk about older applicants, realize that most MBA programs, there are some differences among the programs, Stanford tends a little big younger, for example, Kellogg, INSEAD, IMD tend to older. So you want to look at the school's average amount of work experience in particular and average age of matriculation and see what the range is, especially, again, that 80% range...If you're above the 80% range, then you are getting in that area of experience–it's more experience level than age - where the schools will question whether you can benefit from the program and benefit from the career placement.
...If you really want the traditional MBA program, then one thing you can do is let the school know that while you need the education provided by the MBA, you have the career contacts and connections to get a job afterwards or maybe you even already have a job...The other thing you can do is apply to programs that are friendlier to older applicants and more experienced applicants. Apply to those programs that have higher average ages of matriculation because those program tend to value experience more.
See if those programs, which are aimed at older applicants...may just be a much, much better fit for you. You would be taking classes with people at your level of experience who it would be easier for you to learn from. The classes would be geared for people at your more experienced applicants and you would simply belong much better.”
“In general, you want to minimize use of technical jargon...So if your mother understands it, it's probably okay for a general audience. But if your mother is technically minded, then try your grandmother or your aunt or your father or somebody who is not technically minded and see if the jargon is such that they understand it or don't. If they don't...you should get rid of it... You want to talk in terms that your reader will understand...if you can't express it without jargon or without very technical terms that lay people are unlikely to understand, then my suspicion is that you are writing an essay that is not going to be effective in a business school context because you're talking about technical achievements, and not the kind of leadership management, teamwork skills that business schools value. So big warning there on jargon.”
“If it didn't work last time, you have very little reason to believe it will work this time....No, reapplicants are not at a disadvantage as long as they can show improvement and growth since their last application. In general, reapplicants are actually at a slight advantage provided they can show growth and improvement in their applications.”
Read the rest of the Spotlight On You MBA Q&A transcript or listen to the MP3 audio file for more info on choosing schools, mitigating weaknesses, displaying leadership experiences, and much more!
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