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Intern
Joined: 19 Sep 2009
Posts: 45
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30 Dec 2009, 16:34
I'm trying to decide between schools, and one factor in my decision is a graduate assistantship offered by one of the programs. It's a 12-hour per week GA at a top 20 program, and I'm not sure whether to view it as a great opportunity to gain experience and learn or a time-consuming burden (although it's likely a bit of both). I'll be entering the program with less than 2 years experience, so I like the idea of having the interesting work experience on my resume, but obviously it will cut into my study/free time.

I'm hoping some of you gmatclubbers can lend some insight into the value of being a GA for future job prospects, specifically for someone without significant work experience going into an mba program. My post-mba goals are mostly undecided, although I'm leaning towards MC.

Also, if anyone out there is a current GA, please share your experience!
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Joined: 04 Dec 2002
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GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
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31 Dec 2009, 10:49
ksjhawk wrote:
I'm trying to decide between schools, and one factor in my decision is a graduate assistantship offered by one of the programs. It's a 12-hour per week GA at a top 20 program, and I'm not sure whether to view it as a great opportunity to gain experience and learn or a time-consuming burden (although it's likely a bit of both). I'll be entering the program with less than 2 years experience, so I like the idea of having the interesting work experience on my resume, but obviously it will cut into my study/free time.

I'm hoping some of you gmatclubbers can lend some insight into the value of being a GA for future job prospects, specifically for someone without significant work experience going into an mba program. My post-mba goals are mostly undecided, although I'm leaning towards MC.

Also, if anyone out there is a current GA, please share your experience!

I would say in 90% of cases, take the GA job.
You are potentially looking into 2 scenarios:
1. Your professor is a typical teacher who is not interested in managing an employee and filling up your time, will be busy with classes and will give you minimal load and ask to do 3-5 hours of work per week (will be low level work but very easy to do)
2. Your professor is working on a big research project and needs a ton of help. In this case, you will get to learn a lot and will probably develop a strong relationship, and gain strong experience working with an industry leader

For the 10% of situations when the professor is a pain in the neck, you can always appeal to switch or opt out for a semester. Schools will usually let you do that and are very understanding. You will notice that there will also be a lot of interest from other students to get your spot, should you refuse.

GA is a favorable opportunity and most of the time it will be easiest money you have made (whether it is option 1 or 2 above).
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