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30 too old for an MBA?

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30 too old for an MBA? [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2014, 02:16
I have been bothered with this question for some time now and have posted on a few forums to seek some views. While I have received some feedback, I want to solicit the views of GMATclub members on the same.
I am planning to apply to US B-schools (Wharton, Harvard, Stanford, Stern, Columbia, Booth, and Anderson) and INSEAD in 2014 (intake of 2015). Following is a brief of my profile.
Undergrad: Top 5 Indian engineering institutes [GPA: 6.5/10]
Post graduate diploma: In management from Indian Institute of Management (considered as MBA equivalent in India, though technically not an MBA and many opt for subsequent MBAs from top US schools) [GPA: 3.2/4.33]
Work experience:
2 years in analytics, advising clients primarily in the US with roughly 1 year of work experience in the US. Prepared a proprietary tool which increased the client revenue by c.USD 100mn
3 years in investment banking – analyst/associate in one of the top M&A advisory businesses in India (at one of the largest International banks in India), focusing primarily on cross-border M&A transactions. Concluded deals include India’s largest capital/debt restructuring (USD 5bn) and acquisitions/divestment (USD 500mn)

GMAT: 760 (V51, V41), IR-8, AWA-6

Achilles’ heel:
(1) Age,
(2) poor GPA in undergrad,
(3) deteriorating GPA in post-grad (from 3.5 in first year to 3.2 in second, while remaining in top 10% of class),
(4) already an post-grad in management from IIM

Key concern:
I will be turning 30 in Jan-2015. By the time I join the class, I will be 30 already and 32 on graduation. So, the question is, am I too old for an MBA from top US schools? While I do not firmly believe in the bias towards younger applicants, speaking with many of friends in such schools has led me to somewhat accept that there may be some bias.
In addition, my GPA in undergrad is low, would a good gmat mitigate that?

Request, your views and feedback on this.
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Re: 30 too old for an MBA? [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2014, 06:10
Hi there,

It's still possible to get an MBA at age 30 so don't be discouraged! However, as I'm sure you know, the average age is much younger for most of the US schools you listed - all of these schools do however admit a very small percentage of applicants who are older - so really that just means your chances are more slim.

You have a good profile and even though your GPA is not very strong, it can definitely be mitigated by your strong GMAT - great score by the way! Or even be compensated by other quant skills you demonstrate in the workplace.

You did mention INSEAD where the age average is much higher so 30 is definitely less of a concern there (or consider IMD as their ave age is quite high). Though you didn't mention these schools below, Yale, USC Marshall, UCLA Anderson, and MIT Sloan admit more in the 30+ range.

For older applicants, admissions committees are really looking for a good reason from you on why you want to pursue an MBA now and why 'so late'. For example they might consider someone who's been in the military and you are now looking for a major career change, hence need an MBA. Or maybe you've been doing a PhD therefore started your career later than others. Or you just can't move any higher in your organization without an MBA and/or you really want to change careers. These are common situations of people in MBA's that are 30+

Either way, don't wait any longer. There is still hope!

Best,
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Melissa Jones | Fortuna Admissions - a dream team of former Admissions Directors from the world's top business schools

Interested in a free 30-minute admissions consultation? Sign up on our website www.fortunadmissions.com.

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Re: 30 too old for an MBA? [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2014, 07:43
Expert's post
kaashi wrote:
I have been bothered with this question for some time now and have posted on a few forums to seek some views. While I have received some feedback, I want to solicit the views of GMATclub members on the same.
I am planning to apply to US B-schools (Wharton, Harvard, Stanford, Stern, Columbia, Booth, and Anderson) and INSEAD in 2014 (intake of 2015). Following is a brief of my profile.
Undergrad: Top 5 Indian engineering institutes [GPA: 6.5/10]
Post graduate diploma: In management from Indian Institute of Management (considered as MBA equivalent in India, though technically not an MBA and many opt for subsequent MBAs from top US schools) [GPA: 3.2/4.33]
Work experience:
2 years in analytics, advising clients primarily in the US with roughly 1 year of work experience in the US. Prepared a proprietary tool which increased the client revenue by c.USD 100mn
3 years in investment banking – analyst/associate in one of the top M&A advisory businesses in India (at one of the largest International banks in India), focusing primarily on cross-border M&A transactions. Concluded deals include India’s largest capital/debt restructuring (USD 5bn) and acquisitions/divestment (USD 500mn)

GMAT: 760 (V51, V41), IR-8, AWA-6

Achilles’ heel:
(1) Age,
(2) poor GPA in undergrad,
(3) deteriorating GPA in post-grad (from 3.5 in first year to 3.2 in second, while remaining in top 10% of class),
(4) already an post-grad in management from IIM

Key concern:
I will be turning 30 in Jan-2015. By the time I join the class, I will be 30 already and 32 on graduation. So, the question is, am I too old for an MBA from top US schools? While I do not firmly believe in the bias towards younger applicants, speaking with many of friends in such schools has led me to somewhat accept that there may be some bias.
In addition, my GPA in undergrad is low, would a good gmat mitigate that?

Request, your views and feedback on this.



Soooo, to answer your main question: Nope. 30, is not too old. For HBS/Stanford it is a wee bit old, as they do like their students young, but even in most US programs the average age is about 27-28. So two years over is normal. In Europe, (like INSEAD) you are pretty much exactly at the mean age. So there you go! Not too old! (although you may want to change your school list a wee bit. Having All three H/S/W might be a bit challenging if you don't add a few more schools)

Hope this helps!
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Re: 30 too old for an MBA? [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2014, 08:07
kaashi wrote:
I have been bothered with this question for some time now and have posted on a few forums to seek some views. While I have received some feedback, I want to solicit the views of GMATclub members on the same.
I am planning to apply to US B-schools (Wharton, Harvard, Stanford, Stern, Columbia, Booth, and Anderson) and INSEAD in 2014 (intake of 2015). Following is a brief of my profile.
Undergrad: Top 5 Indian engineering institutes [GPA: 6.5/10]
Post graduate diploma: In management from Indian Institute of Management (considered as MBA equivalent in India, though technically not an MBA and many opt for subsequent MBAs from top US schools) [GPA: 3.2/4.33]
Work experience:
2 years in analytics, advising clients primarily in the US with roughly 1 year of work experience in the US. Prepared a proprietary tool which increased the client revenue by c.USD 100mn
3 years in investment banking – analyst/associate in one of the top M&A advisory businesses in India (at one of the largest International banks in India), focusing primarily on cross-border M&A transactions. Concluded deals include India’s largest capital/debt restructuring (USD 5bn) and acquisitions/divestment (USD 500mn)

GMAT: 760 (V51, V41), IR-8, AWA-6

Achilles’ heel:
(1) Age,
(2) poor GPA in undergrad,
(3) deteriorating GPA in post-grad (from 3.5 in first year to 3.2 in second, while remaining in top 10% of class),
(4) already an post-grad in management from IIM

Key concern:
I will be turning 30 in Jan-2015. By the time I join the class, I will be 30 already and 32 on graduation. So, the question is, am I too old for an MBA from top US schools? While I do not firmly believe in the bias towards younger applicants, speaking with many of friends in such schools has led me to somewhat accept that there may be some bias.
In addition, my GPA in undergrad is low, would a good gmat mitigate that?

Request, your views and feedback on this.


Great GMAT score, Kaashi! I've heard of quite a few people from India who are pursuing their second MBA from Wharton. Don't think age will be a barrier, although you will have to explain the reason for a second MBA. By the way, didn't understand why you wrote that PGDM is not equivalent to an MBA :o . Most US schools are aware that PGDM is an MBA and that students in India can go for an MBA with no work-ex.

My two cents - Before jumping in for a second MBA and spending thousands of rupees, think / research about the visa situation in the US. It is becomingly increasingly difficult by the day to get a work visa given the lottery system (unless, your intention is to move back immediately to India after graduation with a INR 1cr salary :) )
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Re: 30 too old for an MBA? [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2014, 08:26
Thanks for your replies.

@FortunaAdmissionsMJ - I still have to crystallize and structure my rationale for "why mba" and "why now" in a articulate manner. The broader strokes are network, formal classroom learning in an international mix of students etc. The schools on my list are largely based on my career goal of getting into asset management/investment side of business. Some of these schools might appreciate my steady move towards my career goal. What are your thoughts on this?

@JonAdmissionado - A bit comforting. I understand that H/S are inclined towards younger applicants, still may give it a shot. However, other than H/S/W I have 4 more schools, you think the list should be expanded further?

@pharmaguy - Well, technically PGDM is not an MBA and some of the schools in the list indirectly suggest so. I agree, almost all schools know what it stands for, but I believe they all understand that such programmes are narrowly focused in terms of geography and class mix (which I realized later have a significant impact on one's outlook). On the Visa issue, I understand that risk, but dont think it may be a decisive factor because I believe it is beyond my control. It is the desire to have that pedigree, the experience, the network, etc.
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Re: 30 too old for an MBA? [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2014, 08:48
kaashi wrote:
Thanks for your replies.

@FortunaAdmissionsMJ - I still have to crystallize and structure my rationale for "why mba" and "why now" in a articulate manner. The broader strokes are network, formal classroom learning in an international mix of students etc. The schools on my list are largely based on my career goal of getting into asset management/investment side of business. Some of these schools might appreciate my steady move towards my career goal. What are your thoughts on this?

@JonAdmissionado - A bit comforting. I understand that H/S are inclined towards younger applicants, still may give it a shot. However, other than H/S/W I have 4 more schools, you think the list should be expanded further?

@pharmaguy - Well, technically PGDM is not an MBA and some of the schools in the list indirectly suggest so. I agree, almost all schools know what it stands for, but I believe they all understand that such programmes are narrowly focused in terms of geography and class mix (which I realized later have a significant impact on one's outlook). On the Visa issue, I understand that risk, but dont think it may be a decisive factor because I believe it is beyond my control. It is the desire to have that pedigree, the experience, the network, etc.


Agree with your views regarding an MBA from India...Not too sure on the part of "technically not being an MBA", the broader course structure is the same as that of any other MBA program in the world - understood that the quality of teaching, the actual course content, peer-to-peer learning can make a huge difference between the different MBA programs.

The only think you might want to consider is that since you have a decent salary now, and after forfeiting two years of work life, you may have the pedigree, experience and network from a global big-brand name MBA college. What if the visa prevents you from leveraging on that experience in your desired industry in a place where you want to be? You might want to spend the two years in rising up the ladder in your current job without the huge debt.

Nevertheless, good luck! A lot of Indians do get a second MBA from Wharton / Harvard and I'm sure you can succeed in getting one too!
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Re: 30 too old for an MBA? [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2014, 09:09
Now that you put the visa issue this way, it seems scary.
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Re: 30 too old for an MBA? [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2014, 10:26
kaashi wrote:
Now that you put the visa issue this way, it seems scary.


didn't mean to ;)

I just put it in context as you already have a degree from one of India's finest institutions and might be earning decently as well - might be worthwhile to weigh the pros and cons before getting a second MBA.

Who knows if you take the risk and succeed, you might be working in a Fortune 500 company in a job of your dreams -- taking the plunge is a trade-off between risk and reward!
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Re: 30 too old for an MBA? [#permalink] New post 02 Apr 2014, 08:16
Hi kaashi,

To answer your direct question to me, portraying you goal of getting into asset management/investment side of business makes sense and is realistic but you need to dig a bit deeper and give specifics about how their school can get you there. Speak to alumni, professors, students etc to do some more research. It needs to be pretty clear why you need an mba and why now and, in so many ways, emphasize that you absolutely can't get to where you want to be without the help and education from the school! but on the flipside, you need to show them how much value YOU will bring to the school and how you will contribute.
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Melissa Jones | Fortuna Admissions - a dream team of former Admissions Directors from the world's top business schools

Interested in a free 30-minute admissions consultation? Sign up on our website www.fortunadmissions.com.

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Re: 30 too old for an MBA? [#permalink] New post 17 Apr 2014, 08:18
Hi,

Just to add to this, my colleagues Judith and Caroline from Fortuna Admissions just published this great article on "Getting into Business School when you're 30+' in Poets and Quants.

If you are challenged by the question if 30 is too old, this might provide you, kaashi, and others with further insight. Enjoy!

http://poetsandquants.com/2014/04/16/ov ... reference/
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Melissa Jones | Fortuna Admissions - a dream team of former Admissions Directors from the world's top business schools

Interested in a free 30-minute admissions consultation? Sign up on our website www.fortunadmissions.com.

Re: 30 too old for an MBA?   [#permalink] 17 Apr 2014, 08:18
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