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3 years WE, but not very highly qualified position

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Joined: 12 Jan 2013
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3 years WE, but not very highly qualified position [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jul 2013, 08:37

Ive some questions regarding the top 10 schools and their emphasis on work experience

I know a mixture of high quantity and quality is sought after; I constantly see people having worked as consultants/client managers/account managers and even CEO's of smaller companies coupled with 3+ years of WE here on the forum.

This, to put it lightly, scares the crap out of me. Why? Because even though I indeed have had 3 years of WE, I havent had a flashy job nor have I had the posibility to get promoted at my employers' (for explainable reasons, one of them being how immensely "flat" the org Ive worked in has been).

Ive worked at a small, local bank as a customer administrator for these roughly 36 months. My description entails taking care of customer errends, such as withdrawals/deposits, card issuing, problem solving pertaining to the aforementioned or other similar operations. A pretty basic job that isnt highly qualified at all. But Ive worked there since I was 18, I just turned 24 (obviously, I havent worked there continiously for these years, Im from a Nordic country and the MO here sort of is to go to college at 20-21 which I did. This is also partly the reason to not getting promoted, still the company I work at employs me every summer giving me 2+ months of work experience each year)

My question to whomever has the knowledge is: is this a far too weak a work resume? Would I - all else equal - be dinged just for the fact that there are so many applicants out there that on paper have a more qualified description? Is there THAT much emphasis on "type of position/promotion/explicit examples of leadership shown in relation to work" put by the elite schools, that I simply get sort of laughed at when they read my resume as they throw it in the nearest bin?

I know this sounds sorta depressing, Im not depressed :-D Just trying to give myself the blessing of what i fairly can expect, given THIS specific part of my background (I know an application entails more than WE)

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Re: 3 years WE, but not very highly qualified position [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jul 2013, 12:54
I wholeheartedly believe that if you re-word your 3 year experience in a way that sounds like you’ve learned a plethora of life changing giblets of wisdom, you’ll be able to capture the attention of the admission committee of an elite MBA program.

If you point out your short experience in your optional essay, they will take it into consideration and hold it against you. It’s like if I tell you don’t think of a pink elephant and the first thing you will think of is a pink elephant. Same concept will apply to your situation.

Instead of dwelling on your work experience, have you thought about volunteering or joining a club where you can obtain leadership experience in a setting other than the work place?

And to be honest with you, I don’t think that working in a small local bank as an administrator is a meaningless experience. It’s all about how you dictate your job functions.

And to answer your question, it’s not too weak. Just tweak it, add a couple of other leadership positions outside of work. And don’t forget it’s the WHOLE package that they’re looking at and GOOD LUCK! :-D

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Re: 3 years WE, but not very highly qualified position [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jul 2013, 16:38
Hey there,

I, for the most part, agree with keikerz. For you, it's really going to come down to how you phrase your work experience but understand there are inherent limitations. I'm not going to sugar coat it (and hopefully you don't hold it against me) - you're behind the eight ball here. Your work experience may be more impactful than you're making it out to be and speak to more key themes than you can think of, but it's not exactly amazing.

As you've mentioned (and keikerz as well), your application is more than just your WE. Your academics, involvements, and potential are all important things to consider. Not everyone can have had an amazing work experience but that doesn't mean you don't have the potential.

BUT...WE matters. People from regular backgrounds get into business school all the time but the majority come from sexy fields because they have the experiences and demonstrated capability/network to make the business school class more dynamic. You won't be laughed out, but you'll be scrutinized.

If you're looking at a meaningful MBA experience, then perhaps you should explore making a move? Maybe find a position or company that gives you the pedigree you need. In addition, get involved! Take on leadership positions and make an impact. You're young - you have a few years to get this ship onto the right course so take the bull by the horns and start working at it, eh?

Also - take the GMAT :)

Let me know if you have any questions or want to talk about the path ahead.



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Re: 3 years WE, but not very highly qualified position [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jul 2013, 11:29
Definitely look outside your day job for leadership experiences. But even with your current job role, the way you describe certain projects or challenges is going to make a huge impact in the way your experience unfolds.

I had a bit more work experience, roughly five years, but also was not from a flashy CEO start-up like job role. I was working in finance roles and analytical roles for a large company. I would not qualify that as a role that is going to be the plot for the next big summer movie.

However, the way that I framed my work scope and projects, as well as volunteer experiences, I think helped in a big way. I was able to get into my top choices Cornell, Berkeley, and Carnegie Mellon, although got waitlisted at places as well.

I document my journey here at Just another perspective on the MBA journey.

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Re: 3 years WE, but not very highly qualified position   [#permalink] 21 Jul 2013, 11:29
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3 years WE, but not very highly qualified position

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