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Family business as work ex?

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Family business as work ex? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2013, 23:21
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Hi,
I wanted to know if working for my father's business would count towards "work experience".
I have a 2+ year work experience with a major IT consultancy and I plan to leave this job to work for my father.
Will this be treated differently from any other form of work experience?
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Re: Family business as work ex? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2013, 23:55
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Work experience is work experience regardless if you're working for a giant corporation or for mom & dad. Just be sure that wherever you are that you're contributing to the business and have solid accomplishments and responsibilities to speak/write about later, should you apply to bschool.

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Re: Family business as work ex? [#permalink] New post 04 Feb 2013, 01:12
Thanks aerien. That is really encouraging.

I am planning to take my GMAT somewhere in July/August 2013. Most probably I will leave my IT consultancy job in July and then work on boosting my profile for another year or so until I think that I'm fit to apply for B schools in the US. This includes working for my dad's company and/or social work of some sort.

What really put me off was the reply of GMATLA on this thread :

gmatclub (dot) com (slash) forum (slash) working-for-a-family-business-and-letter-of-recommendation-128828.html

How true is this and why is it so contradictory to what you have mentioned?
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Re: Family business as work ex? [#permalink] New post 04 Feb 2013, 01:22
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nitishgera wrote:
Thanks aerien. That is really encouraging.

I am planning to take my GMAT somewhere in July/August 2013. Most probably I will leave my IT consultancy job in July and then work on boosting my profile for another year or so until I think that I'm fit to apply for B schools in the US. This includes working for my dad's company and/or social work of some sort.

What really put me off was the reply of GMATLA on this thread :

gmatclub (dot) com (slash) forum (slash) working-for-a-family-business-and-letter-of-recommendation-128828.html

How true is this and why is it so contradictory to what you have mentioned?


Yes, you leaving an IT consulting gig to work for the family business may raise some questions about why you did so, as it may raise questions of why you need an MBA at all.

That said, the noteworthy aspect of an MBA application from someone working for the family business is the letter of recommendation. I am not an admissions consultant, but I would say you should NOT get a letter of recommendation from dear ol' dad. Many schools will not even accept such letters. That is where you will need to strategize, whether it means reaching out to managers/supervisors at your current workplace to get the recommendations or someone else who could talk about your achievements.
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Re: Family business as work ex? [#permalink] New post 04 Feb 2013, 01:24
Also, from your name I take it that you're Indian?

Adcoms will most likely understand that traditions in Asia regarding taking over the family business.Your best bet will be to talk to them.

Every year top schools take in students who will go back and work for the family business. They can guide you on how to prepare your application where your work experience and achievements with the family is an asset, not a liability.
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Re: Family business as work ex? [#permalink] New post 04 Feb 2013, 01:27
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For starters everyone has different opinions on the matter. I agree with GMATLA that it is more difficult to get rec letters when working in a family business since having your dad write won't be looked at well. You'd be better off getting a client or advisor writing it. That being said, gaining work experience in a family business IS working. Nothing can take away what you've learned working with other people.

When looking at bschools though you will have to find the schools that fit for you -- some may be friendlier than others when looking at your background.

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Re: Family business as work ex? [#permalink] New post 04 Feb 2013, 02:37
westsidah408 wrote:

Yes, you leaving an IT consulting gig to work for the family business may raise some questions about why you did so, as it may raise questions of why you need an MBA at all.



Thanks westsidah408. The main reason I would leave my IT job for the family business is primarily to streamline the IT aspect of the family business. I guess an year down the line I would have done something substantial in this regard, so as to justify my switch.


westsidah408 wrote:
That said, the noteworthy aspect of an MBA application from someone working for the family business is the letter of recommendation. I am not an admissions consultant, but I would say you should NOT get a letter of recommendation from dear ol' dad. Many schools will not even accept such letters. That is where you will need to strategize, whether it means reaching out to managers/supervisors at your current workplace to get the recommendations or someone else who could talk about your achievements.


Yes. I agree with you on that. I will be getting all my recommendations from my current supervisors. So hopefully that aspect is sorted.
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Re: Family business as work ex? [#permalink] New post 04 Feb 2013, 05:07
westsidah408 wrote:
Also, from your name I take it that you're Indian?

Adcoms will most likely understand that traditions in Asia regarding taking over the family business.Your best bet will be to talk to them.


Haha yes. Good observation :)

Well, yes. That is the general tradition in India. The reason I want an MBA from one the top B schools is to gain that exposure so as to take my family business global. My knowledge in IT systems and processes will hopefully complement what I learn in B school, when I need to apply it to my family business. I hope I am able to convince the adcoms on this.
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Re: Family business as work ex? [#permalink] New post 04 Feb 2013, 07:10
nitishgera wrote:
westsidah408 wrote:
Also, from your name I take it that you're Indian?

Adcoms will most likely understand that traditions in Asia regarding taking over the family business.Your best bet will be to talk to them.


Haha yes. Good observation :)

Well, yes. That is the general tradition in India. The reason I want an MBA from one the top B schools is to gain that exposure so as to take my family business global. My knowledge in IT systems and processes will hopefully complement what I learn in B school, when I need to apply it to my family business. I hope I am able to convince the adcoms on this.


It's virtually the same here in Thailand. :)

My advice would be to just speak to the adcoms regarding your situation. Tell them that you're making this move, why you're doing it (streamline the company's IT systems etc.) and you think that you will achieve a lot - but that you will want an MBA to take it to the next step, i.e. management training or something like that. What are their thoughts?

Also, you should consider which schools you will apply to since their strengths are different; also consider their alumni base in your location/industry etc.

Good luck ;)
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Re: Family business as work ex? [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2013, 08:45
Hey buddy. I'm in the same situation as you working for a family business. I see you referenced my earlier post.

I'm actually still working at the family company but have decided to leave company and am conducting a job search while working here. I want to make sure my next job is actually a step up and progression from my position here.

I think important consideration for the family business are:
-How big/prestigious of a company is it? In my situation its a little $2 million operation with only 7 employees. Part of the reason I'm leaving.
-What is culture and type of people you are working with? You need to surround yourself with successful people to become successful. In my situation I'm the most educated, professional, and driven person here. This is also part of the reason I'm leaving. You need to surround yourself with high caliber people.
- What role/level of responsibility do you have? I actually have a lot of responsibility and am second only to my father/owner. This is really one of the main reasons I stayed in the family business so long.

My initial plan was to take the GMAT and apply for Fall 2014 but unfortunately have not received the GMAT score was aiming for (I only got a 560). Thus I'm making a job change while I hope to improve on my score in the future. Hope that helps.
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Re: Family business as work ex? [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2013, 10:10
nitishgera wrote:
Hi,
I wanted to know if working for my father's business would count towards "work experience".
I have a 2+ year work experience with a major IT consultancy and I plan to leave this job to work for my father.
Will this be treated differently from any other form of work experience?


I think that as long as you adequately explain why you left and that it was a career move you should be fine. Make sure you leave your IT job on amicable terms (give them enough notice) that way you can still get a letter of recommendation from someone there as a letter from a family member (as mentioned before) won't carry too much weight and you'll likely be relying on getting a letter from a client or someone along those lines with the next job.
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Re: Family business as work ex? [#permalink] New post 05 Jun 2013, 02:58
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scullianscholar wrote:
Hey buddy. I'm in the same situation as you working for a family business. I see you referenced my earlier post.

I'm actually still working at the family company but have decided to leave company and am conducting a job search while working here. I want to make sure my next job is actually a step up and progression from my position here.

I think important consideration for the family business are:
-How big/prestigious of a company is it? In my situation its a little $2 million operation with only 7 employees. Part of the reason I'm leaving.
-What is culture and type of people you are working with? You need to surround yourself with successful people to become successful. In my situation I'm the most educated, professional, and driven person here. This is also part of the reason I'm leaving. You need to surround yourself with high caliber people.
- What role/level of responsibility do you have? I actually have a lot of responsibility and am second only to my father/owner. This is really one of the main reasons I stayed in the family business so long.

My initial plan was to take the GMAT and apply for Fall 2014 but unfortunately have not received the GMAT score was aiming for (I only got a 560). Thus I'm making a job change while I hope to improve on my score in the future. Hope that helps.


I couldn't agree more. The single most important question for the AcOm is WHAT KIND of family business are you taking over? If it's a three person English school they will not be impressed, but if it's a 10,000 person mining operation, even HBS will open their arms for you. It also depends on what you will do/have done, and whether you are heir apparent or just joining your cousin's family business, as well as the school's belief in your capability to lead the company into the next generation. (This sounds like a Star Trek commercial a bit ;) )

Hope this helps!
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Re: Family business as work ex? [#permalink] New post 05 Jun 2013, 07:15
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It is great that you are asking questions now before you apply. I came to many of the same conclusions reached above about 6 months ago through a painful game of trial and error.

I come from a family business where I spent 7+ years managing various functions. I'd describe the company as a medium-small business. We have 100+ employees and do roughly 50 million in annual revenues. A little more on me (http://poetsandquants.com/2013/04/30/ha ... ol-odds/3/). Ironically, I didnt see Sandy's write up until AFTER I applied to schools. Needless to say take my recommendations with a grain of salt since I probably didnt approach the MBA application in the most efficient manner.

Consultants would call us 'nontraditional applicants'. I find that notion kind of strange given that an MBA is a degree designed to supposedly broadens ones managerial perspective thereby helping a graduate manage a company, an opportunity many family business applicants have immediately after school, but I can see how we don't fit into the traditional dog and pony show that I envision as the recruiting cycle.

A couple of comments:

1) Aim high in terms of schools - I didn’t apply to HBS because I ran out of time / didn't want to use three references for a program I prob. had a 10% shot of admissions. In retrospect, I should have at least put my name in the bucket. Crazier things can happen, although I am very excited about where I ended up.

2) As people have mentioned above references can be a bit tricky. I was able to pull two clients, one I was able to sign to a national contract and the other was top 3 MBA grad, and my former boss, who is an MBA and NOT related to me. I actually used many of the schools optional essays to explain how I thought my former boss would be able to objectively evaluate my performance.

3) Work experience is work experience. If you are working at Goldman, Google, Abbott, etc you'll have a leg up on the competition since those are branded companies whereas if you are working for tiny family business or a marginal regional player, you're probably get a check minus or even a question mark as it is hard to compare ABC I.T. corp to Apple. To this point, I made sure that in my application I had quantifiable proof of my successes while also building my companies brand to the adcom. For example, I landed a 15 million dollar 5 year deal with a state government entity. I made sure to give the hyperlink that showed ME as the awardee to the adcom. On my resume, I made sure to mention that I signed exclusive deals with a couple of major league baseball teams that resulted in long term business partnerships. Remember you are selling yourself but also selling the business that you come from. Sales is an emotional game. The stuff my family business does is pretty dang boring, but by attaching sexy names and forward thinking ideas to my company, I was perhaps able to turn that question mark into a check box. In your case, you could go the Infosys route and state that your company refuses to pay bribes and contribute to governmental corruption! [Please note that what you are putting on paper should be true – not that I think you’re paying bribes, but whatever you put down make sure you believe in it].

4) Work experience is only part of the application. Personally, I had far bigger hurdles to overcome than my work experience.
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Re: Family business as work ex? [#permalink] New post 06 Jun 2013, 05:10
Yes, will be considered, but be ready 4 tough questions.
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Re: Family business as work ex? [#permalink] New post 06 Jun 2013, 06:50
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Also, see this one by Stacy Blackman: http://gmatclub.com/blog/2013/06/move-f ... -b-school/
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Re: Family business as work ex?   [#permalink] 06 Jun 2013, 06:50
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