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Manager
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05 Oct 2010, 15:52
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I'm planning to apply to the class of 2014. So I've a year to go. I'll be 28 when I apply next year and 29 at matriculation. I'm primarily interested in US school. Are there schools I should target given my age? Am I too old for some US schools? If so, which are the schools to avoid?
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06 Oct 2010, 14:41
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to clarify, wharton's median WE is 4 years, not the average. the median doesn't really tell you much by itself, but combined with the % of class with 3 or less years of WE (which is 26%), you can assume that at least half the class has 4 years or less of WE. i'm not sure how that compares to other schools, though.

at the end of the day, people are going to apply wherever they want (as they should), regardless of how old they are. you shouldnt try to game the system by looking at odds or statistics. just apply to whatever school you feel a strong connection to, and make sure that you highlight this strong connection in your essays.
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07 Oct 2010, 08:56
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Be careful not to confuse correlation and causation. Just because there is a correlation between a certain age bracket and admissions statistics does not mean that schools show preference for that age bracket. You would have to see the numbers for the total applicant pool. For example, if there are 10,000 26 year old applicants and 1,500 29 year old applicants, you might even find that there is a higher percentage of the older applicant pool gets in. There's no way to draw any intelligent conclusion from the available statistics but you may possibly guess that there are more 26 year old matriculants because there are more 26 year old applicants. I still stick by my "age is irrelevant" stance for several reasons. First and foremost, it is illegal to make an admissions decision based on age, so if anyone feels they were denied admission solely because they were older, you can have a great lawsuit. Schools aren't even allowed to ask your age in an interview. B-schools are looking for smart, driven people who can add value to the classroom, do well, and then get a job quickly after graduation. If someone older gets denied, it's not their age, but rather what they are bringing to the table, and what they have accomplished in their time (as I said before). Schools are going to be much more critical of an older applicant and what they have achieved (or not) than they are a younger applicant, but again, this is not an age bias, but rather an achievement bias, which is legit. In response to the inference that I am trying to "fish" for clients on this forum, I can only tell you that I have been a consultant for four years and have never had a client that came from these forums. Believe it or not, I like to help folks get their questions answered. Just sayin...no need to bash consultants!
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05 Oct 2010, 16:10
Age is irrelevant when it comes to b-school. I had people in my class who were 22 and one guy who was 58. I was 30 when I went back. It's not about your age, but about what you have done with your time. Sometimes being older can be an advantage (maturity, perspective, experience). This applies to any school.

hope this encourages you.
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05 Oct 2010, 17:05
bryantmichaels wrote:
Age is irrelevant when it comes to b-school. I had people in my class who were 22 and one guy who was 58. I was 30 when I went back. It's not about your age, but about what you have done with your time. Sometimes being older can be an advantage (maturity, perspective, experience). This applies to any school.

hope this encourages you.

Heartened to know that. I am on the older side too and want to give this the final push...
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05 Oct 2010, 17:45
bryantmichaels wrote:
Age is irrelevant when it comes to b-school. I had people in my class who were 22 and one guy who was 58. I was 30 when I went back. It's not about your age, but about what you have done with your time. Sometimes being older can be an advantage (maturity, perspective, experience). This applies to any school.

hope this encourages you.

I'm sure you know your stuff, but there appear to be many people who disagree with you on this, including other well respected admissions consultants. Why do you disagree with these people?

Don't get me wrong, I know people of all ages GET INTO all schools, but that isn't the same thing as "age makes no difference," so I'm curious about the disagreement.

I mean, after all there is this graph, taken from Harvard's admissions blog:

It's possible that there were very few people who applied as older applicants, but that's a little hard to believe given that (a) it's harvard (b) no emba and (c) it's hard to believe that THAT few older people applied.

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05 Oct 2010, 18:01
Tough to say overall, but just looking through some of the app threads w/spreadsheets, almost everyone fits between 3 and 7 years of WE. Small sample, but without a good dataset, who knows. If people want to apply to HBS, they should and see what happens.

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05 Oct 2010, 18:14
method wrote:
Tough to say overall, but just looking through some of the app threads w/spreadsheets, almost everyone fits between 3 and 7 years of WE. Small sample, but without a good dataset, who knows. If people want to apply to HBS, they should and see what happens.

Sure. I agree. But it makes me go "whoa" when an admissions consultant is saying that age is irrelevant as that's pretty far from the common wisdom. Common wisdom can be faulty, of course.

I'd just hate to give some 32-year-old investment banker hope of getting into HBS. For one, false hope isn't a great thing. And depending on how cynical I feel, I might think that an admissions consultant who wants someone to hire them might be giving false hope to have an older person hire them.

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05 Oct 2010, 18:21
Jeanette, I think as far as HBS is concerned age probably does play a role. The question is if all schools look down upon older applicants. Surely the older applicant pool is smaller, much smaller - personal, family considerations etc. But I feel if you can prove that you bring something unique to the table you can get in. Plus I am sure if you belong to some well known business family - those things matter too...
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05 Oct 2010, 18:29
I don't think anyone is disagreeing to the fact that all kinds of people get into b-school, including those 22-year-olds and 50-year-olds. I truly believe that if you have something different to bring to the table, by all means, apply and I hope to be sitting next to someone who's both wise and experienced, regardless of age.

However, I have to admit one thing though: when I read what the admission consultant said in his reply that age is irrelevant, I twitched a bit as well. That's a pretty strong statement.
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05 Oct 2010, 18:37
Bryant is just trying to tap the very fertile geriatric market.

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05 Oct 2010, 18:54
bakfed wrote:
However, I have to admit one thing though: when I read what the admission consultant said in his reply that age is irrelevant, I twitched a bit as well. That's a pretty strong statement.

I agree. Age is not at all "irrelevant" in business school admissions, or in getting a job afterwards. That being said, no one should let their age keep them from applying.
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05 Oct 2010, 20:53
even i am a older applicant...hence i want to be sure abt the average experience of the present batch before i apply to any schools ...
one thing is for sure is that age should not demotivate u from applying to B school..
but in mba schools u learn from fellow pears rather than just from books. it would be great to have fellows with work ex whose thinking process is different from me..
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05 Oct 2010, 21:33
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I have learned few points related to age from different forums and by talking to few current students at B-schools:

1. If you have exceptional profile (in terms of work, education or extra curricular activities)- forget the age.
2. If your profile is similar to the mass applicants of a particular school but your age is way below or above the average age - then you would have show that you have an edge over the others. Additionally, you have to tell adcom 'Why MBA Now' (and why not earlier or later). This becomes very-very important if you do not fall near to avg. age (or experience).
3. Most people agree that H/S/W are more hesitant in taking older applicants. One of the reasons for this trend could be this - these schools already get top candidates with excellent profiles. so there is no reason for them to admit older applicant unless they believe that this candidate is far better than other younger applicants.
4. You can not change your age, anyways. So, don't be discouraged and give it a shot. For better results, prepare excellent application. Your story (why MBA, why now and why this school) should make sense to adcom. While selecting the schools, try to find schools that have higher avg. age. In addition, make sure that your career goals (and why now) fits to the school you are applying to.

These are my opinions that I have formed based on my research. I am an older candidate too and hence did some research to find out where do I have better chances. No one for sure knows about it but as there is a practical limitation on the number of schools one can apply for, it is better to select the schools wisely.

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06 Oct 2010, 10:52
I'm curious to know how old is too old? Is being 28 at the time of application too old?
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06 Oct 2010, 13:14
bschool2014 wrote:
I'm curious to know how old is too old? Is being 28 at the time of application too old?

Nah. 29 at matriculation is going to be tougher to overcome at Harvard, Stanford and Wharton , but it's barely over the average at other top schools such as Columbia, Ross, Tuck, and Haas.

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06 Oct 2010, 14:14
What about W ? I hear it's friendly towards older applicant. Is that right? What about MIT?

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06 Oct 2010, 14:19
bschool2014 wrote:
What about W ? I hear it's friendly towards older applicant. Is that right? What about MIT?

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4 years of WE average, so the same as Stanford's.

http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/mba/studen ... rofile.cfm

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06 Oct 2010, 14:51
Thanks! Replies on this forum are almost instantaneous. You guys are awesome!

I currently have 4 years of WE, 5 at the time of application. I got a Masters degree; hence didn't start working until I was 24. Even though my WE is average for most schools, I'm older. Not sure how schools look at it and whether they would relax the age for someone like me.

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06 Oct 2010, 16:21
bschool2014 wrote:
Thanks! Replies on this forum are almost instantaneous. You guys are awesome!

I currently have 4 years of WE, 5 at the time of application. I got a Masters degree; hence didn't start working until I was 24. Even though my WE is average for most schools, I'm older. Not sure how schools look at it and whether they would relax the age for someone like me.

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Definitely not "too old" for any of the programs. Welcome to GMAT Club
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Re: Age   [#permalink] 06 Oct 2010, 16:21

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