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Years of experience

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Years of experience [#permalink] New post 09 May 2010, 17:10
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I have worked since I was in 9th grade.
1999-2005 Plywood Company – Part-Time
2006 Record Label
2006-2007 Independent Contractor
2007-2010 Plywood Company

On the application, it asks for how many years of adult work experience do I have. I have worked since I was 16. Do I put the total amount of years combined, the total amount of years since I became 18, or the number of years of work experience since I graduated?

One more question. In my resume under career profile, how many years should I put? I have11 years of work experience and 9 years at the same company, but these 9 years really are not the same as someone working 9 years at a company since graduation. Should I put the amount of experience since graduation, or my total years of experience at the Plywood Company?

I apologize, I know that is confusing.
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Re: Years of experience [#permalink] New post 09 May 2010, 20:58
kudos for all the hard work.

I think it depends on how the application is. If it is just a box to fill in, I would only include the post highschool work experience. If there is room for explanation I would give it.
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Re: Years of experience [#permalink] New post 10 May 2010, 06:16
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We will be collecting all our profile evaluations and application review responses posted at GMATClub and other forums under the MyMBAAdmit thread to provide a single resource for our readers.

Candidate seeks to understand how to define total work experience.

TXTDryFly wrote:
I have worked since I was in 9th grade.
1999-2005 Plywood Company – Part-Time
2006 Record Label
2006-2007 Independent Contractor
2007-2010 Plywood Company

On the application, it asks for how many years of adult work experience do I have. I have worked since I was 16. Do I put the total amount of years combined, the total amount of years since I became 18, or the number of years of work experience since I graduated?

One more question. In my resume under career profile, how many years should I put? I have11 years of work experience and 9 years at the same company, but these 9 years really are not the same as someone working 9 years at a company since graduation. Should I put the amount of experience since graduation, or my total years of experience at the Plywood Company?

I apologize, I know that is confusing.


Hi TXTDryFly,

Impressive work experience! I would be very interested in your stories for your essays - having done so much, I am sure they must be fascinating to read.

Regarding work experience, the conventional way to approach full-time work experience for the purpose of an MBA - whether that is in the application, in the context of summer internship/post-degree employment, or in casual conversations with classmates - is the experience after obtaining an undergraduate degree. Any other employment, such as part-time during college, internships or co-ops is not listed in the main section of "number of months of full-time employment" but listed in the supplemental information section. In your case, this is something I would strongly recommend since it not only shows extra experience, but a host of attributes such as perseverance, ambition, hard work, etc.

On the resume, begin with your post-undergraduate work experience. List any internships and co-ops in the additional information section. List your part-time experience while college was in session as one of the points under the academic section. This approach ensures that you take full advantage of all the experience you have, while still following convention on how to list it.

Do note that my advice above assumes that you have sufficient work experience after completing your undergraduate degree, i.e. 3years or more. If I missed something, I apologize. Feel free to post any follow-up questions in the Ask My MBA Admit thread in this forum.

From our experience with admissions as well as My MBA Admit clients, we believe that both the resume and data forms are extremely important sections of the application, but often don't receive as much emphasis as they should. An MBA application resume is very different from a vocational/job resume, and needs to be tailored accordingly. Also, the more effort you spend on it now, the greater your ability to hit the ground running when you start developing one for MBA internships. Secondly, the data forms offer tremendous opportunity to mention achievements, with a judicious amount of detail, that may not have received sufficient emphasis elsewhere in the application. It is to your advantage to fully leverage them, versus just providing a list of all that you have done.

This is where we can help. We work with you to develop an entire application package that has a coherent story running throughout all the components that include not just the essays, but all other parts such as resume, data forms and recommendation letters. The singular aim is, of course, to help you be a successful admit.

Feel free to drop us a line at mbaconsult@mymbaadmit.com. Check out our Application Packages and Volume Discounts tailored to help with your admission needs.
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Re: Years of experience [#permalink] New post 10 May 2010, 08:55
Thanks for the great reply MyMBAAdmit! I hadn't really thought about this question before, even though it will pertain to me in my apps!

Can you please clarify a few things in your post?

MyMBAAdmit wrote:
On the resume, begin with your post-undergraduate work experience. List any internships and co-ops in the additional information section. List your part-time experience while college was in session as one of the points under the academic section. This approach ensures that you take full advantage of all the experience you have, while still following convention on how to list it.


1) What is the difference between "internships" and "part-time experience"? (You say "internships" go in the "Additional Info" section, while "part-time" experience goes in the "Academic" section, but I always thought "internships"="part-time experience").

2) Would I still list the work experience during college separately from the post-undergrad experience if it was in the same field that I am currently in? One of the part-time positions during college was at a competitor company, and the other part-time position was in the company I am currently at. (Assume all part-time positions together total 20 hours per week for 2 years while in college)

MyMBAAdmit wrote:
Do note that my advice above assumes that you have sufficient work experience after completing your undergraduate degree, i.e. 3years or more. If I missed something, I apologize. Feel free to post any follow-up questions in the Ask My MBA Admit thread in this forum.


3) If I will only have 2 years at the time of application, should I do something different in my resume/application?

Thanks for your help!
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Re: Years of experience [#permalink] New post 10 May 2010, 09:53
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username123 wrote:
Thanks for the great reply MyMBAAdmit! I hadn't really thought about this question before, even though it will pertain to me in my apps!

Can you please clarify a few things in your post?

MyMBAAdmit wrote:
On the resume, begin with your post-undergraduate work experience. List any internships and co-ops in the additional information section. List your part-time experience while college was in session as one of the points under the academic section. This approach ensures that you take full advantage of all the experience you have, while still following convention on how to list it.


1) What is the difference between "internships" and "part-time experience"? (You say "internships" go in the "Additional Info" section, while "part-time" experience goes in the "Academic" section, but I always thought "internships"="part-time experience").

2) Would I still list the work experience during college separately from the post-undergrad experience if it was in the same field that I am currently in? One of the part-time positions during college was at a competitor company, and the other part-time position was in the company I am currently at. (Assume all part-time positions together total 20 hours per week for 2 years while in college)

MyMBAAdmit wrote:
Do note that my advice above assumes that you have sufficient work experience after completing your undergraduate degree, i.e. 3years or more. If I missed something, I apologize. Feel free to post any follow-up questions in the Ask My MBA Admit thread in this forum.


3) If I will only have 2 years at the time of application, should I do something different in my resume/application?

Thanks for your help!


Glad you enjoyed it! Kudos (the little +1 box on the left) are always welcome! :)

Although we would prefer follow up questions in the Ask My MBA Admit thread in this forum, I am happy to answer them here. If you can, do submit them in our thread the next time!

1) What is the difference between "internships" and "part-time experience"? (You say "internships" go in the "Additional Info" section, while "part-time" experience goes in the "Academic" section, but I always thought "internships"="part-time experience").

Internships are traditionally understood as full-time work experience undertaken during the course of a degree program, mostly when classes are not in session, such as summer internships. In this context, part-time experience is when a student is attending classes, and working somewhere for a few hours (around the part-time load of 20) at the same time.

2) Would I still list the work experience during college separately from the post-undergrad experience if it was in the same field that I am currently in? One of the part-time positions during college was at a competitor company, and the other part-time position was in the company I am currently at. (Assume all part-time positions together total 20 hours per week for 2 years while in college)

Yes. You are welcome to show the similarities by making a brief indication in the full-time experience section, saying "continued experience in X" but to make your resume more understandable, this is the best course.

3) If I will only have 2 years at the time of application, should I do something different in my resume/application?

Potentially. Although applicants are getting younger at full-time business school programs, it still strengthens your application to show strong work experience, not just for the AdCom but for the potential employer as well. Although 2 years at the time of application is not uncommon (one of our consultants at My MBA Admit was in the same boat, and she got into all the top schools), it still helps to demonstrate that the applicant's work experience can compare against the class. In this case, depending on the situation, the resume might be tailored to show internships in the experience section instead of the additional info section, after expressly marking it as such.

If you would like to discuss this further, go ahead and post a question in the Ask My MBA Admit thread in this forum or drop us a line at mbaconsult@mymbaadmit.com to set up a Free Initial Consultation. Also check out our Application Packages and Volume Discounts tailored to help with your admission needs.
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MBA Admissions Consultants
New York, NY

Contact us for a Free Initial Consultation

Just starting the MBA application process? Our Candidate Profiling and School Selection report is currently offered for $100 only! This 10-page report conducts a multidimensional profile evaluation, and provides you with a comprehensive list of business schools that match. Click to Find Out More!

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Re: Years of experience [#permalink] New post 13 May 2010, 00:48
Expert's post
Hi TXTDryFly:
I wanted to add a few points about the nature of your work experience and the overall application process. Most of your points have been answered but with your length of work experience and the diversity it adds, you are not going to want to do it justice.

On the actual form, you would only list post graduate work experience. However, most applications have areas for undergraduate work experience. You need to list your experience in that section on the app form, if presented the opportunity.

Also, you need to weaver your undergraduate work experiences into your essays if you are not able to flat out list it on the actual application forms.
So for instance you would weave it into a career essay or perhaps an essay on your undergraduate experience. If you spent significant part time hours per week (i.e. 15+ hours) then this will have impacted your undergraduate performance and possibly your GPA. You need to address this in any type of personal essay (i.e family, community, undergrad experience essay) and you need to consider filling out the optional essay if you feel your undergraduate performance was not reflective of your academic potential. Remember you can not make excuses for bad grade (as an example) but you can provide context for the reader.

Another point I wanted to make was about the definition of internship vs. part time work. (Another term we can use is also a "co-op" which is similar to an internship.) Internship does not necessarily imply part time or full time work. It also does not imply that it is conducted when no class is in session.

Internship means that the job (full or part time) is in support of your academic pursuits. That is, it is more or less on-the-job training relating to the subjects you are pursuing at school. I know plenty of students at the undergraduate and graduate levels who take off at the end of each day or a few days a week, in order to gain the OTJ training through an internship. The important part is that if you confuse these terms on the application or essays or in the interview, you are going to look like a neophyte and confuse the interviewer or reader. So if you were majoring in Plywood, then it is an internship, if not, then it is most likely a part-time job. :)

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti

TXTDryFly wrote:
I have worked since I was in 9th grade.
1999-2005 Plywood Company – Part-Time
2006 Record Label
2006-2007 Independent Contractor
2007-2010 Plywood Company

On the application, it asks for how many years of adult work experience do I have. I have worked since I was 16. Do I put the total amount of years combined, the total amount of years since I became 18, or the number of years of work experience since I graduated?

One more question. In my resume under career profile, how many years should I put? I have11 years of work experience and 9 years at the same company, but these 9 years really are not the same as someone working 9 years at a company since graduation. Should I put the amount of experience since graduation, or my total years of experience at the Plywood Company?

I apologize, I know that is confusing.

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Schedule a Consultation | Twitter | Blog

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Re: Years of experience [#permalink] New post 13 May 2010, 01:08
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Hi username123:
At the risk of ruffling feathers, I wanted to provide some feedback on your questions, based on my experiences as an admissions interviewer and then in recruiting management consultants for KPMG Consulting.

1) What is the difference between "internships" and "part-time experience"? (You say "internships" go in the "Additional Info" section, while "part-time" experience goes in the "Academic" section, but I always thought "internships"="part-time experience").

I addressed this in a prior post to this thread. Internships can be part or full time, they just have to be aligned with supporting your major and be considered on-the-job training. Here is some more independence evidence from a primary source: http://www.career.vt.edu/coop/faq.html. I will spare you from re-posting what Virginia Tech (one of the largest co-op/internship programs in the country) says about internship vs. co-op vs. full vs. part time. But it clearly states that internships are full or part time and not limited to the summer. Co-ops are generally full-time. Always good to have an independent source. ;)

2) Would I still list the work experience during college separately from the post-undergrad experience if it was in the same field that I am currently in? One of the part-time positions during college was at a competitor company, and the other part-time position was in the company I am currently at. (Assume all part-time positions together total 20 hours per week for 2 years while in college)

Given the you have fewer years of work experience than the mean (I am assuming you have 2 years), you are going to want to promote as much work experience as possible. This means that you are going to list your internship experiences with your current post grad experiences. You list them together because your internship (by definition) was in support of your current profession and studies. The resume is a continuum of sorts. So, for example, you would not list your current work experience, then your education, then your internships/part-time work. You group them together for the reader, so he can cut up logical groupings and review progression with each. So, experience is grouped and education is grouped.

Please trust me on this one. I used to recruit at KPMG and the resume is your snapshot chance to impress the reader with your organized thinking abilities. Twain used to say, "I would have written less, but I didn't have the time." It's tough to be logically organized and concise.

Again, with 2 years or experience, you HAVE to hit on all leadership examples. You have to speak in terms or "leading" or "managing" or "directing" whatever budding domain you have at work. There is an art to making perceived molehills into mountains. Don't underestimate it or your contributions. If you PM me, I will send over plenty of resume templates for you to review and decide what makes sense for you, given your level of the organizational hierarchy.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti
_________________


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Last edited by PaulLanzillotti on 13 May 2010, 16:12, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Years of experience [#permalink] New post 13 May 2010, 06:34
Hi guys:

Thanks for the kudos (that's the little +1 box on your left) and PMs on the previous posts. Much appreciated! :)

An additional point that may not have been hit on yet - if you have a lot of experience, some of it is going to be more relevant to your MBA and post-MBA career goals than others, and you will need to identify which one deserves more focus (explanation, metrics, tenure) and which just needs a single or even half a line.

From our admissions, resume evaluation and career counseling experience at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, this is how internships, co-ops and part-time work experience are defined.

Internships: full-time or part-time when school is not in session. Ideally, this is related to your concentrations or future career goals, but it is not always necessary. Successful candidates can pick the most transferable skills and appropriately position any internship for a future role - helping a client position an office administrator internship with budgeting responsibilities for a full-time position in accounting comes to mind.

Co-ops: Full-time, and understood to be of a longer duration than internships, which makes it stretch into the school year as well. Co-ops can be for as long as one year, and much more likely to be relevant to future career goals due to the longer time commitment required from a student.

Part-time work experience: Up to 20 hours a week, mostly when school is in session, as a supplementary source of income for full-time students. Jobs in retail, food courts, customer service, etc. are examples. May not be relevant to career goals but help to show initiative, independence and perseverance, plus seniority at the job can help leadership/supervision and communication as well.

If a student has fewer years of work experience (less than 3) while putting in an MBA application, she needs to demonstrate all the work experience she can get. In that case, internships and co-ops can be listed in the Professional Experience section. If not, these can be listed in the Additional Information area. Part-time work experience, if it fits the definition above, can be listed as an extra bullet in the Education section.

Above are the most common ways of defining the aforementioned types of work experience. Individual extenuating circumstances can sometimes make a difference.

Post a follow-up question in the Ask My MBA Admit thread or email us at mbaconsult@mymbaadmit.com for a free consultation. Check out our Application Packages and Volume Discounts tailored to help with your admission needs.
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New York, NY

Contact us for a Free Initial Consultation

Just starting the MBA application process? Our Candidate Profiling and School Selection report is currently offered for $100 only! This 10-page report conducts a multidimensional profile evaluation, and provides you with a comprehensive list of business schools that match. Click to Find Out More!

MBAConsult@MyMBAAdmit.com

Read the My MBA Admit Blog

Follow My MBA Admit on Twitter and Facebook!

Re: Years of experience   [#permalink] 13 May 2010, 06:34
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