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Over 30 and applying to a top tier program. [#permalink]
06 Dec 2006, 08:01
From what I have gathered, if you are over 30, especially in your early 30's (31~34) and planning to apply to either HSW, then expect a 98% DING.
Although Harvard and Stanford don't explicitly admit it, the message they put out is crystal clear: go ahead and send us your $300, but honestly we don't want you to mess with our competitive mean of 27~28 years old.
Wharton might flex a little, ie that 2%, but what a candidate lacks in "youth" he or she makes up with truly exceptional numbers: GMAT 750+, GPA 3.95, 7+yrs W/E in P/E...
*Disclaimer: I'm not applying to either HSW.
OK, what I'm getting at is whether anybody knows about a similiar "unspoken age discrimination policy" that exists at #4~15? Almost every school boasts a median of 28~29, with one or two at 30; most with the 80% range falling between 25 and 34. Does this mean an applicant is at a serious disadvantage if he is over say, 32?
Wharton actually has the highest average work experience of any of the top schools. In fact, at an average of 71 months, it's the highest of any school I have seen.
The think the real challenge for a candidate in their mid 30s is to demonstrate why they need a full-time MBA program instead of an executive MBA program. Candidates at top schools need to demonstrate outstanding work progress. If you are 10-12 years out of school and cannot show lots of promotions and work progress, it will be tough to gain admission.
Schools like Wharton, Michigan, Berkeley, Chicago, Kellogg & Tuck all have average work experience greater than 5 years. So the normal range probably includes people with 3-8 years or so. If you have more than 8 years of experience, then they probably want you to consider an executive program.
In my opinion, the age issue is generally overstated. Ultra elites such as HBS are looking for high potential individuals. The greater your age, the greater the expectation that some of that potential will be realized and converted into tangible achievements.