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Will taking time off to travel ruin my MBA chances?

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Will taking time off to travel ruin my MBA chances? [#permalink] New post 03 Nov 2005, 18:58
Hello, longtime lurker, first time poster.

Recently wrote GMAT - did very well. Have high GPA, good work and extracurricular experience, can prob get excellent recommendations. Confident about my b-school chances. I'm thinking of applying to an MBA next year (2007).

But here's the thing: I'm totally, completely burnt out at my job. I'm thinking of quitting (on good terms of course) and taking some time - several months, maybe even a year - to travel around the world.

The way I look at it is, after going to business school and then hopefully getting recruited and starting the next stages of my career, I won't have any more opportunities like this one. And hey, you're only young once, right? I love to travel and if I have one regret in life, it's not doing more of it when I was younger (in undergrad and before).

But by doing that, would I totally kill my chances for admission into a top business school? Would adcomms look at this big gap in my resume and dismiss me out of hand?
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Re: Will taking time off to travel ruin my MBA chances? [#permalink] New post 04 Nov 2005, 11:39
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ad_girl25 wrote:
Hello, longtime lurker, first time poster.

Recently wrote GMAT - did very well. Have high GPA, good work and extracurricular experience, can prob get excellent recommendations. Confident about my b-school chances. I'm thinking of applying to an MBA next year (2007).

But here's the thing: I'm totally, completely burnt out at my job. I'm thinking of quitting (on good terms of course) and taking some time - several months, maybe even a year - to travel around the world.

The way I look at it is, after going to business school and then hopefully getting recruited and starting the next stages of my career, I won't have any more opportunities like this one. And hey, you're only young once, right? I love to travel and if I have one regret in life, it's not doing more of it when I was younger (in undergrad and before).

But by doing that, would I totally kill my chances for admission into a top business school? Would adcomms look at this big gap in my resume and dismiss me out of hand?


They wouldn't dismiss you out of hand. And it would also depend how you portray this year. If you spend it on exotic beaches, I don't see it is as being very helpful to your admission efforts. If you portray as a year of growth, interaction with different cultures, adventure, perhaps some volunteering in a needy corner of the world, it could add to your profile, especially if you have a lot of work experience to date and little int'l exposure.

Here is a less risky possibility (especially valuable if lying on the beaches is what you had in mind), although one that would not provide the short-term satisfication of quitting quickly: Apply first round next year and then leave on your round-the-world trek. The disadvantage of this approach is that you would have to make some arrangements ahead of time for interviews. Think about it.

Good luck!
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Nov 2005, 13:11
Yeah, that's kind of what I thought. And it was my original plan (including the lying on beaches part, as you correctly surmised).

But it may not be so easy after all, since I'm in serious doubt that I can hang on at my job for another year. I'm working on trying to fight the burnout, and my company is being understanding, but I'm afraid that any steps I take to do that (voluntarily lessening my workload, for example) will also diminish my chances.

Maybe I should change jobs right now? I'm concerned about how that would look on an app, too.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Nov 2005, 18:35
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ad_girl25 wrote:
Yeah, that's kind of what I thought. And it was my original plan (including the lying on beaches part, as you correctly surmised).

But it may not be so easy after all, since I'm in serious doubt that I can hang on at my job for another year. I'm working on trying to fight the burnout, and my company is being understanding, but I'm afraid that any steps I take to do that (voluntarily lessening my workload, for example) will also diminish my chances.

Maybe I should change jobs right now? I'm concerned about how that would look on an app, too.


Frankly, a year in a position where you are happy, especially if represents a step closer to your post-MBA goal) would be more valuable from an admissions perspective than a year of lying on beaches no matter how exotic and gorgeous.

Good luck!
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Dec 2005, 11:41
I really shouldn’t give my opinion on this issue since a.) I am just beginning my professional career, and b.) I am not facing an MBA adcomm yet. Really my only credibility here is that I have traveled, somewhat extensively. HOWEVER, I say travel. In the long run I don’t think you will regret exploring the world for a year. Conversely though, it is very possible you might one day be sitting at your post MBA desk peering out the window over an insurmountable stack of work imagining an experience foregone so that you could earn 15k extra a year.

Either way you will get an MBA, it’s just a matter of what institution will issue the diploma.
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