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Am I too young, too inexperienced for an MBA??

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Am I too young, too inexperienced for an MBA?? [#permalink] New post 28 Nov 2009, 01:17
Hello everyone,
Thank you all for this amazing forum, It has been really helpful !
I will be finishing my undergrad degree end of december in Computer Engineering, and I am hoping to get into a good MBA program in the US ( I live and study in Dubai right now)
I am 21 years old and I have no work experience , never had a real job and I just finished a summer internship which I didn't do much in.
Although many programs that I am targeting did not say explicitly that they require work experience, I am having the feeling that my chances in getting in are very low compared with people with experience about 5 years or even more.
And I am not sure if coming from engineering background will make my application stronger or weaker !

I would really appreciate your opinions on this
and hoping for some encouragement :wink:
Thank you
Maram
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Re: Am I too young, too inexperienced for an MBA?? [#permalink] New post 28 Nov 2009, 08:09
Most top programs in the US want you to have work experience before starting, and I'm pretty sure they're open and honest about that preference - even if they don't say they want X years work experience. Some schools are more open to younger applicants than others, but I can't think of any that take a significant number of people straight out of undergrad with no work experience. A lot of this can be explained by the fact that recruiters want MBA graduates to have a few years work experience, so the schools would be taking a risk if they admitted someone without any work experience that the person wouldn't be employable at the end of the program. For example, most jobs I've seen posted want at least 3 years work experience.

As for engineering background, there are certainly a bunch of engineers at bschool, but again most have at least a few years of work experience where they've proven themselves. So again you'd be competing against people who can point to more tangible accomplishments.

My advice if you want an MBA from a US school is to get a job, spend a few years working and taking on increasing responsibilities, look for opportunities to make an impact, then apply later.
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Re: Am I too young, too inexperienced for an MBA?? [#permalink] New post 28 Nov 2009, 21:14
I agree with everything that Jerz has mentioned. You can find out what percentage of the incoming class at top bschools have no work experience by looking at the student demographic distribution on their respective websites. I think most are in the low single digits. So yes, there are people who get in with no work experience, but they usually have had very good internship experience and worked during the school year or have started a business while in college. In addition, they probably graduated with really stellar GPAs, very high GMAT scores and impressive ECs during their undergrad years. Most people don't fall into this category.

If you're really interested in bschool, you might want to take a look at some of the combined programs. If admitted to these programs, you'll have to work for a couple of years and then matriculate. The most well known is Harvard's 2+2, but I think some other schools have it as well.

You could also just suck it up and get a job for a few years, as Jerz mentioned. It's great that you're starting to think about going to bschool so early. When the time comes you'll definitely be ahead of most of your peers.
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Re: Am I too young, too inexperienced for an MBA?? [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2009, 18:44
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In my opinion its always good to have some real world experience if you want to get the best out of your MBA. And how much experience is good enough is very subjective and it can vary from person to person. Today B schools are welcoming younger candidates but it no ways imply a reduced expectation level from these candidates.

You can read more about this topic on my blogpost http://mad-bubbles.blogspot.com/2009/09/less-than-2-years-of-worx-ex.html
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Re: Am I too young, too inexperienced for an MBA?? [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2009, 11:30
it's a matter of how you can contribute to the class too. if you have no work experience, then what real value are you adding to your class? i personally wouldn't want someone who's never worked in the real world to tell me how to run a presentation or do an interview.

so while you may have all the other great attributes for an mba (smart, hard working, international, etc.), the work experience is something that's really irreplaceable and you have to just do it for a few yrs (and do well in it for good references) before you'll be considered valuable to an mba class.
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Re: Am I too young, too inexperienced for an MBA?? [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2010, 15:36
The top US programs see 2 years of work experience at a top caliber firm as a must nowadays. It also depends on what type of b-school experience you want and what you want to get out of it. Most people get an MBA to get a boost in income. The top MBA programs do this for the most part, but it will be hard to get in.
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Re: Am I too young, too inexperienced for an MBA?? [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2010, 16:18
Almost all top US MBA programs look for solid work experience. I say wait a few years and get some experience before applying. Also, keep in mind some schools recommend only applying once.
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Re: Am I too young, too inexperienced for an MBA?? [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2010, 11:30
techandconsulting wrote:
Most people get an MBA to get a boost in income.


Most people actually do it to switch careers, though the boost in income helps facilitate that possibility.
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Re: Am I too young, too inexperienced for an MBA??   [#permalink] 25 Jan 2010, 11:30
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