I recently called one of the top MBA schools to find out if my age would be a concern. It was not very encouraging. The admissions rep said (her exact words, no paraphrasing), "We prefer younger students, somewhere between the ages of 25-28 with at least two years work experience because they are easier to mold. But we encourage anyone to apply." I was left dumb struck. I said my thank yous and hung up.
I am in my early 40's. I have over 18 years work experience, and I will have my bachelor's in Business in 2011. I can afford to go full-time, but I prefer a part-time program and to remain on the east coast. Does anyone know of a good school that doesn't discriminate against age? I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.
Honestly, her response is consistent with the class profile for each school in the top 15. Although the school has its own reasons for preferring younger students, the biggest driver is the employers' expectations. Recruiters that come to campus to recruit for specific functions/programs are expecting early career professionals and might have difficulty finding a home for someone with 18 years of experience.
The good news: Part-time and EMBA programs prefer more experienced applicants. Although you're a better fit for an EMBA (10+ years exp), you shouldn't have significant issues in the traditional part-time programs either.
Is there a specific region that you're looking to attend business school? We can suggest a couple schools if we know what your criteria are.
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