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Question regarding work experience

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Joined: 28 Apr 2010
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Question regarding work experience [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2010, 12:13
Hi Alex. I'm going to try to keep this from being a typical "is this good work experience for b-school?" question.

My question is: regarding work experience, will business schools consider more of what you did at your job and your progression in your position if it's not at a real blue-chip Fortune 100 company?

I'm a recent college grad who is about to start a position with the Department of Defense as a Contract Specialist - basically doing market research, analysis and contract negotiations with defense contractors. I've already accepted the position and I think it's going to be a great job that will teach me a lot, but I was just curious how this may be seen in business school's eyes since it's not in the private sector. The actual work that I'll be doing seems to match up with a lot of others' work experience in substance. It's a formal training program and I'll earn professional certifications during the first two years, if that makes a difference.

Note: I'm not planning on applying to business school for probably another 4 or 5 years, my GPA isn't stellar (3.05) so I figure having solid work experience under my belt will make me more competitive. I was thinking of schools in the range of Darden, Fuqua, Cornell, etc. (this is assuming that I can get a 700+ GMAT and good recommendations and essays, which I'm confident I can); I'm not aiming to get into Stanford or Harvard or anything. And again, I'm not planning on changing my career just to "look better" to admission committees, I'm just curious if a top 15/20 business school is something that I could be competitive at in a few years.

Thanks a lot for your advice.

EDIT: After reading it, it looks like a pretty standard "is this good work experience" question. Oh well.
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Re: Question regarding work experience [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2010, 14:01
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"Quality of work experience" is a subjective thing - whether you're dealing with a recruiter, family member, friend, coworker, or MBA adcom.

Put it this way. Your work experience in defense/aerospace certainly isn't unfamiliar to any adcom -- there's always a handful of folks each year who come from the same or similar industry as you at any of the top b-schools. In your case, it really comes down to how successful you are at conveying what you've learned on the job and how that will help you in the future post-MBA (in whatever career you're going after).

In practical terms, it's not something to really worry about. If the job is interesting to you, you're learning a lot, and you enjoy the people you work with - you'll be just fine. So long as your GMAT score is within range (by the time you apply, shoot for 700 or greater) and you have decent work experience (no matter what industry it is), it really comes down to how well you execute the applications (i.e. do you come across as a dynamic individual).

Alex Chu

Re: Question regarding work experience   [#permalink] 28 Apr 2010, 14:01
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