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I am in my early 30s and am seeking out schools where the average age of applicants is closer to 30. The story so far:
- Nationality: Indian (but will likely change to German this year) - GPA 4.0 (topper) from Indian university - Living in Germany for over 7 years now & can speak German - 10 years WE: IT and business consulting - 710 GMAT - Rejected by IMD - Waiting for a response from INSEAD (D-day today, so not much hope there)
A one-year MBA is my first preference but I am open to good 2-year programs too. Though I have targeted European schools until now, I am also considering US schools. The main reason for considering US schools is two fold: - US schools seem to be strong on entrepreneurship. I am seriously considering launching a business of my own after an MBA and hence the MBA experience should help me towards this end - After a long stint in Europe, spending a few years in the US would kind of round up my international experience.
I would like to know the experiences of other over-30 applicants in their search for B-schools. Which good US (or Canadian) schools are favorable to applicants with a lengthier work experience? Preferably schools with a diverse international class.
Hey GBH traditionally European schools tend to be more older applicant friendly. Schools such as LBS, INSEAD, IMD have a higher average age and require a minimum work experience level. In the US usually Wharton, Chicago are older applicant friendly.
However, even before you contemplate school choice, perhaps you should reconsider your application strategy. It seems to me that something in your essays or your story might have caused the dings rather than school choice. Your profile seems quite distinct (even among the strong Indian engineer pool).
I too think that LBS could be a good option for you: it's definitely in Europe TOP 3 and is older-applicants friendly. The only problem may be that you are somewhat late in the admission season, and this could make things tougher.
So, as an alternative, I'd like to bring your attention to Oxford/Cambridge MBA programmes. They are considered a tier lower compared to LBS/INSEAD/IMD at the moment, but the majority agree that their reputation will strengthen in time. Both are oldies-friendly (ave. age is 29-30) and diverse. I myself am 30+ with 9.5 WE, and I know of admits of 35+ at both schools. Considering your interest in entrepreneurship, Oxford might be a better choice for you: its strengths are entrepreneurship and finance, while Cambridge, like IMD, positions itself as a GM programme (and also their last round deadline has already passed).
So you might think of this option too after your LBS app is ready!
That's right - yesterday was the last deadline for LBS 2009, which means that I have to target for 2010 and I doubt if I will be any younger next year
Unfortunately most schools in this part of the world seem to start off in fall rather than in summer which means that I only have a possibility to target the R3/R4 deadlines which definitely makes it tougher.
Thanks for recommending Oxford, greenoak. I am in the process of shortlisting the schools that I have to apply in my next "wave" and Oxford was on the list and it now gets a +1. Any ideas about how favorable the R3/R4 rounds are at Oxford?
R4 is never the easiest one, but I think that it’s still doable at Oxford. Your demographics is not very rare, unfortunately – there is a lot of Indian admits already (those not working in India as well), and many of them with high stats – but as your goals match the school’s strength, I believe that if you manage to explain them efficiently and write good essays, you will have a decent chance even in R4.
And even if you are late for R4, don’t worry: getting a year older won’t spoil your chances dramatically, at least at Oxford/Cambridge/IMD: AFAIK, there’s almost no difference in perception of 31-34 y.o. by the adcom there (good WE, consistent career path and very clear and realistic goals are expected from this age group, though).
So, good luck!
Re: B-schools for the 30+ applicant
02 May 2009, 01:58