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How important is the brand name of the employer in the b-school application process? I get the feeling that working at a big Fortune 500 company gives you an edge over the same work exp. at a smaller less well known company. Is this true?
Honest answer is yes...its more of a known and its easier to compare you to the typical career progressoin. However, plenty of people from small no-name companies are at every b-school. Its just easier to get in with some blue chip work experience. _________________
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I work for a F500, but I still do not think people will know of my company unless they know of the industry. So I think rather than F500, it will come down to how commonly the company is to the public. I could be wrong, and I hope so, and the AdComs will know all.
wanted to up this for more opinions...my personal experience is below
"Does work experience from a smaller company hurt your candidacy at "brand whore" programs such as Harvard, Wharton, etc.? My work experience is of high quality and being in a smaller company gave me more responsibility and a better salary than I had at the F100 I worked at. I also have F100 college internship exp. and H/Y/P/S as my undergrad." _________________
My own experience – yes, the name and the type of the employer matters; to which extent, depends on a particular school. And it starts to matter more in this market, when schools try to minimize their future career placement risks.
If you are young, but have a promising potential - small firms and family businesses are OK, as the adcom put more weight to academics/GMAT/community here.
If you’re an older candidate – well, it’s indeed better to be some average mid-level manager in a well-known MNC than to have a more senior position, but in a local company or in a lesser known firm. Your true level of responsibility matters not that much if this is just not ‘the right type’ of company.
The reasons for this situation are clear: adcoms and recruiters need some objective way to predict your job performance, and a well-know company name is a guarantee of a sort. And if you are a ‘big fish in a small pond’ kind of a person – no secret that you will need to try harder in your apps and interviews.
It doesn't hurt you that much as one would think. Sure a top employer (Goldman, McKinsey) helps but it is probably a lot further down the list than GMAT, Essays, real leadership experience and Letters of Rec.
I don't think its more important to have leadership experience and be able to speak to that experience.
I worked in a MNC for more than 2.5 yrs. But I wanted a different experiance and so joined a Start up company. It was a step down in terms of my compensation package but the exposure was worth it. Would I be at a disadvantage in the eyes of the adcom ? Please let me know your thoughts.
your employer's brand is used as a general filter that reaffirms other parts of your application. ie) how hard is it to get into Harvard as an undergraduate? They use that as a indicator of how well you did against the competition coming out of high school. How hard is it to become a proprietary trader at Goldman Sachs, a developer at Google, or a protege at McKinsey? That's a filter. They consider your employer's brand as "the market's view" of your competitiveness. As far as I can tell, b-schools are extremely risk-averse and they don't want to take a step that is out of whack with what everyone else is thinking. If you studied underwater basket weaving at a small school in the inland mountains and ended up working part-time as an accountant for a 7-11, Columbia may wonder whether they'll be raising eyebrows by admitting you.
I agree with those folks who have said that the answer to your question depends on the overall picture--your overall profile, the depth of skills you have developed, the breadth of responsibilities you have enjoyed, your leadership (in the workplace and outside), in addition to your academic credentials and GMAT. The answer also depends on the school to which you are applying. _________________
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I think it helps. Now it also depends a lot on what is your overall profile because if you are an IT consultant trying to get a MBA you will be against a lot of similar profile therefore the name of your employer will be important to try to differentiate yourself from the competition however if you have a very special, unique, diversified background (2 years in New Zealand working for a small business, 3 years of NGO or if you started your own firm before moving to something else) then it won't matter as much because your experience itself will position you as a different/unique candidate . _________________
Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth Tuck Alumni, Class of 2008
Re: Brand Name of Employer?
28 Jun 2010, 02:16