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mbas that require little work ex [#permalink]
27 Jul 2004, 22:24
hey guys i was wondering if you could help me out on this one. im sure there are a lot of people here who, like me, do not have a lot of work experience
( 1 yr for me). Are there any schools with a good academic reputation that do
not either require work ex or place a lot of importance in it.
Schools do indeed admit recent graduates but there are some important points to keep in mind.
1) Many observers, including admissions officers, will be curious why one would need to enter an MBA program with little experience. It behooves the applicant to have a compelling rationale for entering now rather than waiting like "normal" applicants.
2) In many ways, your understanding of the material and your contribution to the education of other students will be enhanced with more experience. Further, many recruiters would probably prefer more experience.
3) Some of the very best schools recognize that students of all ages can contribute to the academic environment. I believe that Harvard, Stanford, and Carnegie Mellon are generally more receptive of applications from these students than many other schools. However, an applicant with low work experience would need to have an extremely strong standing on virtually every other dimension.
I'm not sure that there are any schools that don't place a lot of emphasis on work experience. That will probably be the most important component of your profile, no matter where you apply. Some schools, like Carnegie Mellon, will let a select number of undergrads go right into b-school. And others like Vanderbilt seem to be more open that others to admitting people with very little work experience. But I wouldn't say that any school doesn't place a lot of emphasis on work experience.
Of course, the good news for you is that work experience is pretty much the easiest thing for you to change and improve on, simply by waiting. You can't go back and change your undergrad GPA, and improving your GMAT score can be hard, but moving up the ladder at work for a few years can help your chances a lot. In fact, you will have a real advantage over other applicants if you decide NOW that you want to apply to b-school in a few years, and manage your career accordingly (taking the lead on an extra-tough assigment at work, making sure to demonstrate enough community involvement, etc.). Many applicants decide to apply literally at the last minute. They don't have the benefit of this foresight, and are left with trying to "polish" their unspectacular work records.
I agree with most of what other posters have said. However, I believe that young applicants who are serious can be accepted to a well-regarded MBA program.
I agree few schools would ignore low work experience. However, many are probably willing to overlook it in exchange for especially high standing on other admissions criteria. This is somewhat similar to the way that schools prefer higher grades or higher test score but they are willing to accept a lower value on one criterion in exchange for a higher value on another criterion. A number of elite and near elite schools have submatric or 3/2 programs for their own students (eg Penn, Rochester, Washington (MO), UC Irvine). These schools clearly see utility in the presence of relatively young students. However, these schools might be more generous to their own undergrads than young undergrads from other schools.
It is important to note that the presence of young students at top schools is consistent with the early history of graduate business programs. For generations, many of the students at the elite schools had little work experience. The heavens will not fall if a 22 year old attends a top school.
See the following information from Irvine
"Admission to this program is highly selective and requires exceptional academic performance at UC Irvine. Because of the importance of team projects in the MBA program, personal maturity is a significant factor for admission. Work experience is another important factor. While undergraduates are not expected to have as much full-time work experience as other MBA candidates, significant summer or part-time jobs and internships are strongly preferred. Students who are admitted generally have an average GPA of 3.6 and score above the incoming class average on the GMAT."
In any case, applying will almost certainly increase your chance of admission.
Stanford: "College seniors who go straight to business school usually have an extensive record of extracurricular leadership, as well as superb academic credentials. These students are mature and self-confident and can also effectively articulate the reasons why they wish to attend business school now. If you are a college senior interested in pursuing an MBA education immediately after obtaining your undergraduate degree, and you believe you have a strong case -- we encourage you to apply."
Harvard: "we would like to emphasize that there is no minimum number of years of work experience required before applying to our MBA Program. It is important for you to assess your own readiness when deciding when to apply. Successful candidates are able to demonstrate strength in the criteria outlined above, regardless of their number of years of work experience. They include college seniors with significant leadership experience, as well as individuals with full-time work experience."