I'm currently under process for a high-level security clearance and wonder if this can be viewed as "unique" for work experience. Unfortunately, I turned down offers from big, private companies coming out of college because I wanted to get the clearance.
Is staying with a small government contractor going to hurt me when I could have been working for companies such as IBM or Microsoft? The clearance process has been going for over a year (I worked part-time for them in college) and will definitely be done by the time I apply for schools in a year.
My ultimate goal is to move into management consulting. It would be nice if I could use the clearance in that role, such as Booz Allen Hamilton with their government consulting practice.
Having clearance is a uniqueness factor, that is, an asset in that it sets you apart a bit, but not in a big way. Make the most of it by giving them interesting stories about it.
It's not a negative to have chosen your company rather than Microsoft because the schools won't know you made that decision and will be open-minded about the value of the route you did choose. Show them it has been valuable for you by highlighting your leadership and impact. I do think you can maximize the value of your current clearance job by connecting it to your post-MBA goals in the way you described. Good plan.
Paul Bodine /
Author, Great Applications for Business School and Perfect Phrases for Business School Acceptance
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