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Waitlisted and second-guessing - thoughts?

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Waitlisted and second-guessing - thoughts? [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2008, 19:30
I need some input from the Clubbers out there who are in b-school and know what's going on.

I'm a mech. engineer with over 2 years experience in the R&D dept. of a fortune 500 tech company. My wife and I moved to North Carolina for her graduate program at Duke recently. While it was a year or two ahead of the schedule I had planned, I decided to apply to 2 b-schools in NC this year just to see if I could get in because I've always known this is the path I wanted to pursue.

At this point, I'm waitlisted at my top choice and have yet to hear about my second choice school.

I'm beginning to second guess my decision to even apply this year because I feel like even if I get in it's likely that a recruiter would pass on me because of my lack of prior experience. Also, I've heard multiple people say that they would've gotten more out of the program if they had had a few more years under their belt before starting.

Bottom line, here's my question: If I can get into an Elite program, regardless of my prior experience, should I jump at the chance? Or should I truly consider just holding out for a few more years to gain some more industry experience beforehand?

After studying so hard for the GMAT, I feel like I was so hyped about finishing the process and applying for schools that I overlooked some serious questions and concerns that I should've answered for myself more thoroughly. :?

I need advice!
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Re: Waitlisted and second-guessing - thoughts? [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 14:54
I took a similar route and settled for a MS Engineering Management program, 2 years into my first job from a quasi-elite school. While the courses in Economics, Financial Management etc were good. I could not participate well is some of the other courses like Executive leadership, Organization Behaviour, etc. While the program was extremly rigorous, I did not get 100 % benefit.

I still see some serious gaps in my background and I am now applying to Executive MBA programs as I have hit a glass ceiling at a middle manager level.

I think you will have greater momentum and steam if you have at least 4 years of experience as you can adequately relate to case studies, group projects etc in the class.

But again if you plan on becoming a bean counter on Wall street by dropping your Engineering credentials then it may be a good idea to start MBA early from an elite school, change your line and then grow in your new career.

Good Luck
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Re: Waitlisted and second-guessing - thoughts? [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 16:33
Thanks for the comments, rhoeta. They help confirm how I've been feeling lately about trying to enter a little too early.

Good to hear about the engineering management program because I was looking into that a little, as well. I spoke with another student in an EM program and she said the same thing about hitting a ceiling in middle management. She agreed that an MBA could do more in the long run.

My problem is that after 2 internships and my work in tech (all very different functions), I haven't found anything in engineering that I'm interested in, so I've been viewing the MBA as my way to move up and out of the minutiae of bachelor's level engineering work.

My plan has been to pursue a corporate development program or rotational program straight out of school - I think my odds at getting into one of those programs with less experience is much higher than the standard post-MBA career paths (IB, Consulting, GM, etc.) I haven't seen a lot of people interested in this path though, so any advice out there would be great to hear.

Thanks all.
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Re: Waitlisted and second-guessing - thoughts? [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 22:11
I agree. Corporate development program is definitely an avenue you can pursue if you are getting stuck in minutiae. It will also give you an opportunity of trying different areas in a corporate setting and help find your niche.

The key is that these programs don't pay as well, but its an investment for future growth.

So given where you are. I suggest joining the MBA if you get admitted. Learn vicariously from other students' experiences and then eke it out in the Corporate development programs.

Our company has hired MBA students from Cornell, University of Minnesotta, and Rensaeler Polytechnic in corporate deve program and it looks like the people love the experience.

Good Luck
Re: Waitlisted and second-guessing - thoughts?   [#permalink] 22 Jan 2008, 22:11
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