I am preparing for the GMAT and will be applying to b-schools this year. I am pretty intimidated though by the amount of work experience many schools list as their average. Also, only some schools list a percentage of their students having little (2 years or less) full-time experience. Virginia tech was one school that listed a significant portion of students having little experience. I am just wondering how much this will weaken my applications. I think my application can have many strengths though too. My GMAT prep thus far, including practice tests is allowing me to estimate my GMAT score to be 680-710. Other strong points include:
Eagle Scout -Led community service project logging over 300 hours.
Large amount of other community service/volunteering
3.8 GPA from University of Michigan
VP & Pres of student organization there, managing several thousand dollar budget, fundraising, and recruitment
Involvement in business/finance related clubs
2 years research experience <<Does this receive much attention for b-school apps?
2 years Student Manager in the dining system. <<Supervising 8-12 employees. Only ~8 hours week though.
Would these outshine my lack of experience and tell AdComs that I have potential for leadership and success? Not necessarily applying to very best schools, possibly Boston College, Boston University, Georgetown, or Indiana.
Also, in application essays, would it be appropriate to represent something such as my being president in the club as a valuable professional experience, even though it isn't a full time employment situation? Could this be interpreted as not understanding the essay prompt?
Thanks for any insight anybody can offer and kudos definitely given!
It doesn't sound like you have full-time work experience, and claiming part-time experience as full-time or volunteer experience as full-time experience won't change the fact that it is neither. However you can and should make the most of your leadership experiences and part-time jobs by emphasizing your leadership and the amount of responsibility you have handled both in terms of people managed, sales, budget, or other quantitative measures of responsibility. Then of course, there are the stories of success, achievement and impact that you should relate.
However, that being said, this is a competitive process. And at some schools, especially those that attract older applicants and clearly prefer older applicants, your lack of full-time work experience will put you at a disadvantage. I encourage you to apply to program that are friendlier to younger applicants. you mentioned Virginia Tech. Also consider CMU Tepper and Rochester Simon. You may also want to consider the Masters in Management programs at Duke, Wake Forest, and London Business School (as well as Simon) all of which are aimed at applicants with little or no full-time work experience.
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