I believe that you are underweighting the effect that your sabbatical can or will have on your candidacy. Additionally, it is going to be hard for me to tell you if three and half years of work experience are enough. Why? Because I have no idea what you want to do in future and upon graduation from an MBA program. If your current work experience is related to your future goals, then generally speaking 3.5 years of work experience is definitely enough.
So let us talk about your sabbatical. Is this really going to advance your current career, as well as your future goals? I am sure that you could make the case it will contribute to your future MBA classmates, but would it convince a recruiter that you have been desired skills to realize your short-term, post-MBA goal? Again, I cannot really answer this for you because I do not really know what your goals are upon graduation.
Let us look at this yet another way. If you were on an admissions committee, would you admit someone who just "quits" their job? You might be able to rationalize a "yes" answer, but not you consider that everyone else applying will pretty much have a job – at least all the competitive applicants will for the most part. The admissions committee is going to view it as a gamble. Remember, schools like certainty and a reach for as many sure bets as they can. There is a reason why business school classrooms are filled with students from banking and consulting – these folks are sure bets.
If we remove your sabbatical/extended vacation from the question, I really do not see a reason for you to wait another year. I mean, do you really see a compelling reason to wait another year? The only thing I got from you was that you were "leaning" towards winning another year. That does not really instill in me a sense that you have good reasons for applying this year or next year. Remember, the admissions committee is keen to understand why this is the critical year for you to apply.
Here is something else to consider – simply waiting an extra year means expending time that you will never get back. What happens next year if you apply and to not get into the schools that you want? Now you run the risk of being considered slightly old for an American business school.
Another thing – what happens if you cannot get a job that is better than the one you have now after your sabbatical? If shit should hit the fan real hard, you are going to look like a doofus. Every move you make in your career should be on the up and up. If you start zigging and zagging, you are going to submarine next year's candidacy. That's fo shizzle.
This is my advice – unless the sabbatical you take advances you toward your career goals, then reconsider taking the time off. If I were you, I would continue working and volunteering in your spare time. There will be plenty of time for extracurricular exploits during the business school experience. Wait a few more months and once you are in business school, then quit your job.
E-Mail me at MBA@Amerasiaconsulting.com
if you would like to discuss further during an initial consultation.
I will get off my soapbox now, and you make the call. Go forth and prosper.
I am considering applying to B-school for next year (Fall 2013) but am wondering whether the 3-3.5 years of work experience I will have at that point will be sufficient.
With my below profile, does it make sense for me to wait until Fall 2014?
My Current Profile:
-730 GMAT (44Q 47V)
-3.5 GPA from USC (International Relations)
-2.5 yrs work experience in account services/project management at software firm, will add either 1 or 2 more years in operational mgmt field (moderate career/industry change-- the main reason why I'm not sure if 3.5 years is enough). I am leaving my current job in a month to travel, volunteer more heavily, take some extra math courses, and search for a new job. I anticipate that I will be unemployed for 3-4 months.
-1+ years on board of local non-profit, various other "selfish" EC's
-Target schools are Kellogg, Columbia, and Haas, among a few undecided others.
Any advice? I am leaning towards waiting, but if I have a good chance next year, I might just go for it.
Also, with my profile, are top-10 schools a real possibility?
Thanks in advance.