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Interviewing with no work experience

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Interviewing with no work experience [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2008, 19:23
Hey All,
Any insights from those who got into a MBA program without any work experience can perhaps shed some light on these questions. I was interviewed at Fisher and have another MBA interview coming up. At the Fisher interview they basically grilled me about having no work experience--everything else in my record is almost as good as it can be without the work exp. part (grades, GPA, leadership). I'm not entirely sure what the "right" answer for these questions is:

What will you do if you don't get into a MBA program? (If I say work in a media related field, which is what I want to do after a MBA, I'm supposing they'd ask 'well why don't you do it now?')
or the variation is "Why no work experience?'

Bah, it almost felt like (last interview)--well, you know I don't have work exp. I can't really change that at this stage of the application. Even the interviewer said she had no doubt I would be more than prepared to handle the course rigor...but the WE factor....any insights will be helpful. :lol:
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Re: Interviewing with no work experience [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2008, 19:29
Lack of work experience is one of the hardest hurdles to overcome. Most schools only have a very small percentage of students with less than 2 years, and a lot of the top schools only have a handful of students with none at all. The key is you need to have a very good reason why you need one NOW not in three years. A crappy economy and job market probably is leading to more students applying right out of school so they are most likely weeding through.

Why arent you waiting two or three years. You would be much better off, getting in would be easier and also recruiting would be. Several current students have noted that the younger students are at a disadvantage recruiting for a lot of jobs.
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Re: Interviewing with no work experience [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2008, 19:34
river,
for good or bad, i have already invested time and money in doing these applications. tho i didnt get any love from harvard/stanford/yale, i had one interview and have two more coming up in the 10-25 range schools...so I want to at least give it my best shot!
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Re: Interviewing with no work experience [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2008, 19:38
Best of luck, do you think that with 3 years of solid name brand work experience would give you a shot at a top 5 school and put you in a better position?
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Re: Interviewing with no work experience [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2008, 19:57
riverripper wrote:
Best of luck, do you think that with 3 years of solid name brand work experience would give you a shot at a top 5 school and put you in a better position?

yes, i have certainly been wondering about that myself! let's see. interviews are certainly encouraging and if nothing else the whole process has been very enlightening. in fact, i have perhaps been able to figure out precisely what i want to do while going through all these drafts :)

thanks!
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Re: Interviewing with no work experience [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2008, 20:24
From a student perspective, classmates with no work experience are a burden. The best discussions in class and in learning teams are when people can share their unique experiences. Depending on the case, it's great to hear from someone with experience in manufacturing or consulting or accounting or banking or entrepreneurship. Actually, it's a struggle for people with zero work experience to contribute effectively in most situations. Certainly, students without work experience could do well in class and would benefit immensely from the experiences of their classmates, but for the benefit of all everyone must pull their own weight.

Another challenge, as others have pointed out, is in recruiting. I have actually sat with recruiters and had a chuckle about how unpredictable it can be when recruiting college students (for analyst positions). You can recruit the most talented students, but you never really know how it's going to work out because of their age and lack of a professional track record. I think MBA recruiters have the same reservations when recruiting someone a year out of college with no work experience; but the stakes are higher because MBAs are paid twice as much (or more).
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Re: Interviewing with no work experience [#permalink] New post 05 Mar 2008, 18:18
Dextrous,
I may have some helpful input for you since I'm in the same boat as you- and have interviewed with some b-schools already (with some admits). I'm assuming that you have a lack of work experience because you are applying out of college or 1st year out- and not because you've bummed around for most of your life. Generally your interviewer will have a more difficult time evaluating you because of your lack of full time experience, so you when and if you are asked to go walk through your resume be proactive at highlighting your important part-time, entrepreneurial, and internship experiences. If they grill you for having no experience, back it up with a strong reason about why you want to pursue the MBA at this point, and how your goals fit into that time frame. You need to have a convincing reason, strong extracurricular and part-time experiences, and even more difficult- your goals should be realistic and needs to fit in with your personal story/experiences.
Make sure you present yourself as a mature and well-rounded individual that is attentive and responsible. I don't think that you can go wrong if you can actually state that your experiences and youth make you an asset to their program. Best of luck!
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Re: Interviewing with no work experience [#permalink] New post 06 Mar 2008, 00:35
I have a friend who does admission interviews. He recently interviewed a guy who has a year of law school under hs belt, but that´s it. He said it was really hard for him to ask questions, becaues he just wasn´t used to that situation and didn´t know what to say. I think you shoud try to prepare to direct the interview some, in case you have someone who is not used to applicants in your situation. The advice above is proabbly a good way to do that.
Re: Interviewing with no work experience   [#permalink] 06 Mar 2008, 00:35
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