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can i get into a top 30 MBA program with no work experience?

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can i get into a top 30 MBA program with no work experience? [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2008, 17:44
I just finished college last year from a university in Nigeria with a 3.29 GPA and currently i'm in the US.i don't have a job now but i'm still looking for one and i got into a university here to do MBA in global management.but the problem is that the school has no ranking.so i'm wondering if i should just wait and get a job and more experience or i should continue with the school.OR is it advisable to do two MBA PROGRAMS but in different concentrations? i really need some advice guys...thanks
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Re: can i get into a top 30 MBA program with no work experience? [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2008, 18:09
Yes, it is possible to get into a top 30 MBA program with no work experience - but it is extremely difficult. The people that pull this off are typically outstanding in almost every respect (grades, test scores, accomplishments, extra curriculars, etc). Now that being said, there are a number of advantages to not going into an MBA program without work experience (especially a top 30) even if you could. I say this because I have recently considered (and am still considering, I guess) whether to try and apply straight out of undergrad.

The biggest reason, to me, not to go to an MBA program without work experience is post-MBA recruiting. In most cases, it will be pretty hard to get hired into a job that is at the same level as most of your classmates' jobs if they've all got experience and you don't. Also, many people will say that you will get more out of an MBA and contribute more to your program if you have some work experience to use as a framework for the program.

However, there are people that do go to top 30 programs without work experience, so some people feel it is a good decision for their career plans (they are just an extremely small minority). Just know what you're getting yourself into if you choose that route (and can make the cut).
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Re: can i get into a top 30 MBA program with no work experience? [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2008, 18:12
Oh, and most U.S. schools will not accept students that already have an MBA into a program for a second MBA. But you need to check with individual schools to verify their policy regarding this, as it varies.
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Re: can i get into a top 30 MBA program with no work experience? [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2008, 18:27
thanks for your opinion :-D
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Re: can i get into a top 30 MBA program with no work experience? [#permalink] New post 12 Jul 2008, 02:33
to reconfirm:

- Most top 30 schools will not accept an applicant with an MBA from another US (or even international) institution. Check with the school you're applying to for confirmation

- WE is very important to almost all the top 30 schools. Most will not accept people with less than 2 years of WE. a few have started accepting straight out of college, but only for exceptional college seniors.
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Re: can i get into a top 30 MBA program with no work experience? [#permalink] New post 12 Jul 2008, 13:31
I think you lose out on a more enriching experience if you have not worked. I haven't gone to business school yet, but I was a business major undergrad, and I definitely catch myself having flashbacks of things I learned in school but vaguely remember, but would be interesting to see the theory after you have the experience.
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Re: can i get into a top 30 MBA program with no work experience? [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2008, 06:27
Hey guys,

I have been keeping up with this forum since April but this is my first post. :)

I did notice that some schools (Stern being at the front of my mind) have mentioned that holding a previous MBA disqualifies you from applying to their school. Can anyone elaborate on why this is so?

I understand that there is no added benefit of holding an MBA from more than 1 Elite/UE school, but how about those that have completed a part-time MBA at a local college earlier on in their career and now want to take the full-time plunge?

As always, any insight on this is appreciated :-)
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Re: can i get into a top 30 MBA program with no work experience? [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2008, 06:44
PalmettoRU wrote:
Hey guys,

I have been keeping up with this forum since April but this is my first post. :)

I did notice that some schools (Stern being at the front of my mind) have mentioned that holding a previous MBA disqualifies you from applying to their school. Can anyone elaborate on why this is so?

I understand that there is no added benefit of holding an MBA from more than 1 Elite/UE school, but how about those that have completed a part-time MBA at a local college earlier on in their career and now want to take the full-time plunge?

As always, any insight on this is appreciated :-)


Well I don't know that I really have an answer for why schools usually won't let you do a second MBA, other than the school might think the material will be too repetative and they might wonder why a second MBA will get you somewhere if a first MBA didn't.

As for your second question about those who have done just a part-time MBA previously - you really will need to check with schools on a case-by-case basis to see if they will let a part-time MBA graduate enroll in their full-time program. But I'd guess there are still only a handful of schools that will allow it.
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Re: can i get into a top 30 MBA program with no work experience? [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2008, 08:26
[quote="PalmettoRU"]Hey guys,

I did notice that some schools (Stern being at the front of my mind) have mentioned that holding a previous MBA disqualifies you from applying to their school. Can anyone elaborate on why this is so?[quote]

I think it's pretty straight forward. If you have an MBA, why do you need another one? Would you repeat your undergrad? Probably not.
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Re: can i get into a top 30 MBA program with no work experience? [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2008, 12:29
Thanks for the advice. While this seems like a "what if" type question to you guys, it actually applies to my case. I am 24 and about halfway done working towards an MBA (part-time) at a non-top30 state school. My work sponsors it and I got accepted to the school fresh out of undergrad. I would be finished with the degree by the time I'm 26 if I were to continue. However, I have recently done some serious career research (I am in IT now and want to move over to Venture Capital) and have come to the realization that to break into the field I should aim for a Top 10 school.

So I stopped taking classes at state school, retook the GMAT (got a 700 (44V, 42Q, AWA 6.0) on my 2nd try, up from 630 from 3 years ago), and will be applying for full-time schools for Fall 2009.

I would appreciate some advice on how to use my MBA coursework at the state school to my advantage when applying for full-time programs. I have heard of people taking a few classes at a local B-school and then "transferring" (with no carrying of credits) to a full-time program. However, I am a little worried that unless I spin it positively my large amount of MBA coursework from the state school will complicate my application (or worse show that I lack dedication because I'm not finishing what I started). Any advice on this one guys? Thanks in advance.
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Re: can i get into a top 30 MBA program with no work experience? [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2008, 12:37
All I can say is GOOD LUCK! I'm not sure how the adcoms will view it, but the fact that you started the MBA there, stopped and switched directions doesn't show them the continuity of career/education path that so many of them seem to look for. They may wonder (regardless of what you tell them) if you will complete the degree at their school. Was the work too much for you? Why didn't he think about what he wanted before going to this other MBA program?

I don't know if these are things that the Top 10 adcoms are thinking, but even if they look at your application, you're going to have to be very compelling as to why they should let you in with your background and half-finished MBA vs someone else that did a lot of thinking about what they want and this is their first try at it.
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Re: can i get into a top 30 MBA program with no work experience? [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2008, 12:42
Ya I hate to say it too, but good luck. Anything is certainly possible, but I think you are going to have to be significantly better than other applicants that are applying for their first time (which is almost everyone) - especially if you want to try for the top 10. But you never know- determine which schools are targets for you and contact them directly to see what they say. Some may be more open to your situation than others.
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Re: can i get into a top 30 MBA program with no work experience? [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2008, 12:45
smkrn - I totally agree with you. Do you think any top 10 schools are going to let someone try due to the equivalent of buyer's remorse? Oops, I bought a Pinto when I should have bought a Ferrari.


smkrn wrote:
Ya I hate to say it too, but good luck. Anything is certainly possible, but I think you are going to have to be significantly better than other applicants that are applying for their first time (which is almost everyone) - especially if you want to try for the top 10. But you never know- determine which schools are targets for you and contact them directly to see what they say. Some may be more open to your situation than others.

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Re: can i get into a top 30 MBA program with no work experience? [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2008, 12:58
jallenmorris wrote:
smkrn - I totally agree with you. Do you think any top 10 schools are going to let someone try due to the equivalent of buyer's remorse? Oops, I bought a Pinto when I should have bought a Ferrari.


Not to belittle this guy's situation, but that made me chuckle. Schools should just put that in their FAQs under the "Applying for a Second MBA" question...
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Re: can i get into a top 30 MBA program with no work experience? [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2008, 13:02
Thanks for the honest advice but I have no choice but to remain optimistic. One of the students present at a Top15 school's info session had started at a local college but then "transferred" to the higher ranked school -- so I have seen it done.

So let's say, worst case scenario, I am unable to get into a school of my choice and I end up finishing my MBA from the state school. What do you guys think of the value of alternative Masters degrees such as Executive Master of Science in Technology Management from Columbia? I have seen many executives with a Masters (not MBA) from a top-tier school -- not sure if the degree was pivotal for their career or if it was just an "add-on."

Also, would I be able to get an executive MBA several years down the road to complement my first MBA? I understand the material overlaps but as we all know the value of b-school extends beyond the classroom work.

My primary concern is that to break into VC or MC it seems that pedigree is extremely important.
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Re: can i get into a top 30 MBA program with no work experience? [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2008, 13:03
I agree. Not everyone is going to be in the best situation, and we don't know any background information on this other than what was said.

I didn't go to the best law school, but I also had specific reasons for attending the one I did attend. The only regret I have about that law school is the way the students are treated. (PM if you want to know more, it's not for public discussion). I think they did a great job of preparing me for the bar (the school's test results on the multi-state part of the bar exam which is taken by all 50 states is as good as they get). We passed 93% of all takers this last time. Like 96-97% of first-time takers.
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Re: can i get into a top 30 MBA program with no work experience? [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2008, 13:29
Step 1: Do not finish the degree. Who says you are enrolled in the program? Maybe you could sell it as having a genuine interest in business and decided to take some courses at the local college.

Actually your transcript may say that you were enrolled in the program, but I still think you can try for full-time programs if you are convincing in your optional essay about why you did it (your company encouraged all employees to enroll or something).
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Re: can i get into a top 30 MBA program with no work experience? [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2008, 17:15
Maverick -- thank you for the great advice. While the transcript does say that I am enrolled in the MBA program, when they send out my grades my grad and undergrad transcript are basically one and the same as I attended the same school for undergrad.

I have been leaning towards the angle of "I wanted to learn more about business (esp since my undergrad was engineering) so I took some classes on the side." Your advice on mentioning company culture is excellent and applies to my case -- out of my class of college recruits, almost everyone is currently enrolled in some kind of Masters program (MSIS is the popular one), and if you want to demonstrate ambition it is almost expected that you go to class in the evenings.

I agree with not finishing the degree, unfortunately while I hate to leave things unfinished, it seems like finishing the degree will close more doors than it will open :(.


Jallen...I like the Pinto vs. Ferrari analogy, but not everyone can have a Ferrari as their first car :-)

EDIT: from FAQ on Wharton website:

I already have an MBA. Can I apply to Wharton?
Yes you can apply. We do not exclude candidates who have an MBA or any other graduate degree. You should, however, fully explain your reasons for pursuing a second MBA in your application.
Re: can i get into a top 30 MBA program with no work experience?   [#permalink] 17 Jul 2008, 17:15
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