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# Apply as an undergraduate student

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Intern
Joined: 22 May 2009
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22 May 2009, 11:01
First of all, thank you very much for reading my post and offering help. I have some questions about the MBA program, and I really need advice from someone in the forum. I am currently an undergraduate student, and as an undergraduate student, I am not sure if I am eligible to apply for an MBA program. Also, do you think the fact that I have no working experience will hurt my chance of getting accepted to graduate schools, particularly the top ones? If it will, what should I do to compensate for this weakness in my application?
Any advice from you is strongly appreciated. Thank you very much.

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Director
Joined: 16 May 2008
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22 May 2009, 11:08
Most top schools take recent graduates with no work experience but they really need to make a good case why it makes sense for them. Since the number is so small I assume it is very tough. Only compenation I can think of is developing a convincing pitch.

Some schools have "straight through" programs and I think they only take students from that particular school's undergrad.....not 100% sure though
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Intern
Joined: 23 May 2009
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23 May 2009, 11:18
It is possible to apply for an MBA right out of undergrad, but it is extremely difficult gain admission.

To give you an idea:
At Fuqua 99.5% of the entering class has full-time work experience.
At Darden 100% of the entering class has FT WE.
At Wharton only 2% of the entering class has 0-2 yrs of FT WE.
At Tuck 100% have FT WE (2008 stats)

I have a friend that was accepted to a top 3 program straight out of undergrad, but he had an EXTREMELY competitive profile. He was president of his fraternity, president of a student club, varsity athlete, double major (4.0 in both) at top 10 undergrad, 2 summers of internship work with a top 10 fortune 500 company, high GMAT (all I know is that it was 750+). You get the point.

There is also the Harvard 2+2 program that accepts you on a deferred basis and allows you to work 2 years before joining HBS.

If you have the right profile, the right story, and a very clear plan you have a chance, but I know that most top schools stress the importance of work experience.

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23 May 2009, 11:51
Thank you so much for the advice. I've never known before that applying to an MBA program is so difficult to an undergraduate student like this. Maybe I should think about applying to a Master program instead. I am wondering if working experience is really important to the application for a Master's degree? Also, could you please suggest names of some top schools which offer Master programs?

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23 May 2009, 12:02
Well let me start off by letting you know that I am based in the USA, so the information I am giving is based on that.

For a master's program it really depends what you are looking to do. Are you currently a college senior? Do you have a job offer? Do you want to get an MA/MS in Management or is something else?

London Business School has a Master's in Management program. It is intended for students with little to no work experience.

HEC Paris also has an MS (? I think it's and MS) in Management. Their degree is geared towards pre-experience candidates as well, but it is very competitive (717 average GMAT).

From what I can tell these degrees are more popular in Europe than in the US.

Duke University just started a Master in Management Studies degree (MMS) that is geared toward candidates with no work experience. It is taught at their business school (Fuqua).

Wake Forest also offers an MA in Management.

That is about all I know in respect to management masters. Even with one of these degrees I highly recommend you work for 2-3 yrs before getting an MBA. Most of these programs will tell you that it is very difficult to transition from an MA/MS to an MBA. MBA's are much morebeneficial to you if you have work experience to relate to the subject matter.

Then again my disclaimer: I'm not in business school so this is just what I've heard.

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Joined: 10 Apr 2007
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Schools: Kellogg Alum: Class of 2010

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23 May 2009, 12:17
Getting into an MBA program outside of HBS's 2 & 2 program is next to impossible. I think the youngest students here at Kellogg have 2 years and there are only a few of those.

Besides getting in being difficult, getting a job with less than 3 years work experience is tougher than with 4 to 6 years...if you have 2 or less years then it is exponentially more difficult. Lots of companies will flat out not even bother interviewing you if you dont have at a minimum 3 or 4 years of experience...some of which are some of the top companies to work for. Outside of IB and MC options are limited, and those are becoming increasingly more difficult for everyone. I also think that with little experience there is only so much you will get out of your experience and only so much you will provide to classmates experience. Younger students often are extremely bright but they dont have the depth of experiences to base comments on. You rarelly hear them say how something they did at their job directly relates to a discussion.
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23 May 2009, 14:14
From my eperience it is really, really, extremely rare. I knew a guy that had a 4.0 in Economics at Penn (Wharton) that graduated early and was admitted into a special undergrad/MBA program that allows you to graduate with both degrees in 5 years. He was also pretty much a genius.

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23 May 2009, 15:39
Entrepreneurs also have a good shot at getting in, so if you run your own company during college some schools may consider you. When I visited MIT, I was floored about how many undergrad-to-MBA kids there were -- 4 that I met during my very short visit -- all entrepreneurs.

The bigger question is...do you really need to do an MBA immediately after college? Chances are probably not.

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