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Harvard trending younger - smart move or not?

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Joined: 05 Sep 2009
Posts: 93
Schools: Stanford '12
WE 1: Wall Street Finance
WE 2: Entrepreneurship
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Re: Harvard trending younger - smart move or not? [#permalink] New post 07 Feb 2010, 07:32
i think were arguing two different points entirely here. younger applicants do indeed have valuable things to contribute. the main argument however is are schools are justified in deliberately trending younger? i do not think they are. every applicant should be on equal footing for what they would be able to contribute to a graduating class. i think the only justified exception are for females for reasons everyone already discussed (and even then why not just say and do things to directly accommodate them?). i hate to think that if im stacked up against a relatively equally qualified candidate that they get the nod b/c theyre younger. its preposterous. pick them only if theyre the better applicant!

the other argument is whether younger or older applicants would contribute more. as stated i think older applicants have more opportunities to develop and can contribute more to a graduating class than younger applicants. at the level we are competing at for the top schools, were talking quality applicants. i think then, that an extra couple of years equals more quality experiences. sure we need both, but if i had to choose this tips the scales for me to older applicants. obviously this is subjective and we can argue about it all day long, but i still think im right on this one too tho. :-D
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Re: Harvard trending younger - smart move or not? [#permalink] New post 08 Feb 2010, 01:49
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Here's my point of view. I agree that the most talented early 20s kids have plenty to contribute and plenty to gain from business school. However I believe that most kids do not fall into this category.

I was certainly not a credible b-school candidate when I was 24. This is partly because I had too much undergrad debt but mainly because I would have had nothing to contribute. I was naive, inexperienced, unprofessional and lacking leadership exposure. I suppose this is a confession of mediocrity, albeit one which I suspect applies to most young people, including the talented ones. There was nothing I could have done to change that in those early years because I was not mature enough to want to nor skilled enough to be able to.

Yet at 28 I believe I am an excellent b-school candidate and can't wait to get involved. I wish I'd been in this position at 24 but I wasn't, so all I can do is make the most of it now. There are plenty of young movers and shakers who got to where I am a lot faster, and full credit to them - I look forward to working with them and learning from them. But I think they are too few and far between to fill all of the top business school classes so focusing on the 24-28 age group will open the doors to more kids who aren't ready. Soo let's not write off the 28-33 guys because they were slower out of the blocks because there's plenty of talent and plenty of potential there still.

What's more, raw talent is not a subsitute for experience, despite what the girl with the subway avatar said in her otherwise excellent post. Her implication was that all the benefits of pre-mba experience can be gained in two years and the rest is superfluous. But after 5 years in industry, I have a perspective that no young rock star can offer. So if you take away all the 28 year old dinosaurs like me, you take away an integral learning opportunity for the whippersnappers who remain.

Bottom line - find the right balance.
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Re: Harvard trending younger - smart move or not?   [#permalink] 08 Feb 2010, 01:49
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