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Schools Less Keen On WE?

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Schools Less Keen On WE? [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jun 2009, 14:17
I have 2.5 years of WE under my belt; however, based on the feedback I've received from schools I’ve applied for, the main concern was my years of WE.
Does anyone have suggestions of schools that do not place heavy emphasis years of WE?

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New post 03 Jun 2009, 14:39
I think usually lower ranked school has lesser requirement on the WE. But again, it's the quality of the experience not the quantity that matters. I think if you still young, you should try to thrive more and apply again. At the same time adjust your list of school to apply. But by all means, don't sell yourself short.

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Re: Schools Less Keen On WE? [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jun 2009, 14:49
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billyjeans wrote:
I think usually lower ranked school has lesser requirement on the WE. But again, it's the quality of the experience not the quantity that matters. I think if you still young, you should try to thrive more and apply again. At the same time adjust your list of school to apply. But by all means, don't sell yourself short.


Yes and no. Some of the very top schools have been the ones leading the charge towards less work experience, or at least admitting a good mix of students with less work experience (~2 years) and more work experience (4-5 years). Think HBS and Stanford, and I would say even Wharton and Chicago to an extent (these last two are more in the vein of admitting a good mix of students with less and more work experience).

Which school did you get the feedback from? I would say that for most of the top schools, they're almost always much more concerned with what/how much you've accomplished and progressed in your work experience than how long your work experience was, regardless of whether it's 2 years or 5 years. That being said, there are a few schools that very rarely admit anyone with less than 2 or 3 years of work experience - think Kellogg, and maybe Berkeley.

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Re: Schools Less Keen On WE? [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jun 2009, 15:01
I applied for:
Haas (Rejected w/o Interview - Does not give feedback; rumored to look heavily on years of WE)
Stanford (Rejected w/o Interview - Does not provide feedback)
Darden (Rejected w/ Interview - too few years of WE)

Here are the schools I'm thinking about applying next year:
Yale SOM
McCombs
Fuqua
Not sure if I should reapply for Haas and Darden or not

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Re: Schools Less Keen On WE? [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jun 2009, 16:46
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If you are basing it on work experience, outside of HBS and Stanford, you have to look at Cornell and Tepper as the other schools who seems to have a lot of young folks. Wharton is the clear cut older applicant friendly school, then probably Haas, Tuck, and Yale. Kellogg, MIT, Columbia, Booth, and a lot of others average 5 years with almost the same 80% split. Duke, Darden, UCLA, and Ross have similar means but greater 80% spreads.

HBS: Mean Age 28, Mean WE 42
Stanford: Median WE 47, Mean WE 47, 80% range 27-72
Kellogg: Median age 27, Mean Age 28, Median WE 60, Mean WE 61, 80% range 36-85
Wharton: Median age 28, Mean Age 28, Median WE 70, Mean WE 70, 80% range 48-96
MIT: Median age 28, Mean Age 28, Median WE 60, Mean WE 57
Booth: Median age 28, Mean Age 28, Median WE 59, Mean WE 60, 80% range 36-86
Haas: Median age 28, Mean Age 29, Median WE 60, Mean WE 66, 80% range 40-97
Tuck: Median age 29, Mean Age 29, Median WE 61, Mean WE 67, 80% range 37-105
Columbia: Median age 28, Mean Age 28, Median WE 54, Mean WE 58, 80% range 32-87
Yale: Median age 27, Mean Age 28, Mean WE 64
NYU: Median age 27, Mean Age 27, Median WE 56, Mean WE 59, 80% range 36-86
Duke: Median age 28, Mean Age 29, Median WE 60, Mean WE 65, 80% range 36-100
Ross: Median age 28, Mean Age 29, Median WE 57, Mean WE 63, 80% range 36-101
UCLA: Median age 28, Mean Age 28, Median WE 60, Mean WE 61, 80% range 36-96
Tepper: Median age 27, Mean Age 28, Median WE 48, Mean WE 58, 80% range 12-120
Darden: Median age 28, Mean Age 28, Median WE 48, Mean WE 52, 80% range 24-84
Cornell: Median age 26, Mean Age 27, Median WE 60, Mean WE 56, 80% range 36-84


HOWEVER, I would suggest thinking about the employment part of the MBA. Getting a job outside of MC/IB is tougher when you have less than 4 years work experience, and MUCH tougher when you have less than 3 years. Lots of companies wont even interview people with less than 3 or 4...heck there are some who require 5 or 6 years as a minimum. HBS is young since they have been placing so many people in finance (IB, IM, HF, VC, PE, etc.) for the last few years and they feel that medical and law school are their real competition, and those tend to attract young applicants. I think 4-6 years is the sweet spot for experience for most people, since you really have little responsibility to talk about prior to that.
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Re: Schools Less Keen On WE? [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jun 2009, 20:03
I'll throw Kelley out there as something you might like. It doesn't get a lot of notice on these boards (that's ok, it's no top 10) but Kelley admits a fair number of younger students. I'm heading there this fall. I'm only 23 with 2 years of WE with a large bank (think TARP). I'd say if your goal is a top 10 or thereabouts, just reapply to a few of those schools next year and your chances will be much better. More WE and they will see you are serious about their school and not just trying to wing it.

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New post 03 Jun 2009, 20:58
river, thanks for the great post. it's very helpful to see that info side by side.

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New post 04 Jun 2009, 07:27
River is certainly right. My reasoning behind saying Wharton might be younger-applicant friendly is due to my experience researching their program. While, yes, their average work experience is very high, they also make it a point to state that they take people with little work experience, too (remember, it's a huge class). Compare this to Kellogg - in my personal experience, there is almost no way anyone with less than 2 years of work experience is getting in (and less than 3 years seems pretty rare). This is very different from Wharton, in my opinion. I also felt like Chicago made a point to say they're letting more and more people in with less work experience (granted, the overall number may not be huge - but it's possible there).

All this being said, I came to the conclusion that River pointed out - even if I could get in with little to no work experience, it's probably not a good idea for the career path I want to take. Just my two cents.

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New post 04 Jun 2009, 09:18
I think wharton actually accepts fewer folks with 2 years work experience than Kellogg...they definitely arent younger applicant friendly. 10% of their class has less than 4 years work experience (and its a safe bet most of those people have 3) where at most other schools that 10% has less than 3 years. Pretty much all these schools have the same 2 year minimum policy...but that means people start applying a year out of school basically since their second year is when they submitted applications.

When I was applying, I was under the impression that Kellogg was an older school along the lines of Tuck or Wharton, but I must say now that I am hear I have been shocked by how many people graduated in 05 (3 years) and 06 (2 years). However, a lot of these kids come from great backgrounds, they have top 10 undergrad (or top in their country), work at big name companies. A lot seem to come from consulting but some come from specific feeder programs at huge corporations whether its a marketing or leadership development one. Its not a bad thing to accept a smallish number of people like this but I think most people benefit more from having a few years more experience.

Companies seem to think this too, my younger friends had a much harder time recruiting this year than people with more than 3 years of experience. Of the really young people I know in my section the success rate was much worse this year during recruiting season than for people in the 4-8 year range. Thankfully many have things now but I wonder if they would have gotten their dream job had they had a few more years under their belt.
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New post 04 Jun 2009, 09:51
riverripper wrote:
..heck there are some who require 5 or 6 years as a minimum


Would you mind sharing which industries prefer applicants w/ 5-7 years of experience, or is it dependent on the role? I was particularly curious to know the age patterns of the Energy Industry.

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New post 04 Jun 2009, 10:00
Most energy industry positions are 3-6 years experience. So I'd say 3+ and you'll be ok but as River and I have mentioned elsewhere your background really maters. If you're an engineer or you come from the industry already you are going to get a lot more looks than your peers.

Also I've seen a lot of GM positions that are 4+ or 5+ years exp. which is definitely a negative for me as I've only collected 3 before matriculation.

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New post 04 Jun 2009, 10:11
lsuguy7 wrote:
Most energy industry positions are 3-6 years experience. So I'd say 3+ and you'll be ok but as River and I have mentioned elsewhere your background really maters. If you're an engineer or you come from the industry already you are going to get a lot more looks than your peers.

Also I've seen a lot of GM positions that are 4+ or 5+ years exp. which is definitely a negative for me as I've only collected 3 before matriculation.


Thanks for the heads up. I should have 4 years of experience at matriculation. I graduated with a degree in CS/Engineering and work in Energy Consulting so I think I have a good amount of industry knowledge as it is.

Edit: Sorry for OT

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Re: Schools Less Keen On WE? [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jun 2009, 18:41
riverripper wrote:
HOWEVER, I would suggest thinking about the employment part of the MBA. Getting a job outside of MC/IB is tougher when you have less than 4 years work experience, and MUCH tougher when you have less than 3 years. Lots of companies wont even interview people with less than 3 or 4...heck there are some who require 5 or 6 years as a minimum. HBS is young since they have been placing so many people in finance (IB, IM, HF, VC, PE, etc.) for the last few years and they feel that medical and law school are their real competition, and those tend to attract young applicants. I think 4-6 years is the sweet spot for experience for most people, since you really have little responsibility to talk about prior to that.


This bears requoting/repeating. I've been putting together my spreadsheet of employer prospects for the fall, and a lot of the posted positions in industry, non-profit, and government for MBAs require 4 years WE. Unless you're positive you will recruit for only MC, IB, or other positions that are ok with lower WE, you may be at a disadvantage going into school with less than 4 years.

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New post 04 Jun 2009, 19:32
Most energy stuff is usually a minimum of 3 to 4 years dependings on the company. Every GM position seems to be in the 3+ range, with some of the stronger leadership programs in the 4 to 5+ range. A few have multiple programs and if you are in the 5-6+ range you will be in a higher up program than someone with 3-4 years. However, there aren't a ton of companies in that range old of an age range.

If you want strategy, gm, operations, or basically outside finance in energy, most companies want people with engineering backgrounds, preferably in an energy related field. Finance is more open. Its not to say you wont make it in without those backgrounds but its what they strongly favor and you definitely see that bias with who gets offers from energy companies. I think they definitely look for passion for the industry more than most other areas.
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New post 06 Jun 2009, 14:22
I would like to add a twist to this question: Considering an applicant has 3-4 WE under his/her belt, how important would it be to get a promotion during in these years? I will be completing three years of work ex next month and do not have any promotion and it is sort of worrying that I do not have a single promotion. Sure, there is a chance that by the time I join (hopefully in fall 2010), I would have a raise but then that is a very "iffy" scenario. :/

Does any one have any idea how do AdComs look at such scenarios?

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New post 06 Jun 2009, 15:17
Showing progression really helps...its hard to show that on a resume if you have one job title and description for work experience. You dont put salary on there so they dont see you advancing. On thing that really helped me was the title changes show that my responsibility was increasing a lot. Having lead, senior, manager, or something along those lines really helps when it comes to not only applying but recruiting. That said some industries dont have that type of title structure so its hard to show but adcoms might know that is the case. I know engineers often dont get a lead or senior position for 5+ years at a lot of companies, my work senior basically came with time at about 5ish but Lead was usually 7+ and was a true promotion in responsibility not just level of seniority.
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Re: Schools Less Keen On WE? [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jun 2009, 23:09
When companies have 4+, 5+ WE requirements, how strictly are they? I will have 3 years and 10 months worth of WE when I marticulate. Am I not qualified to apply for positions that require 4WE?

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New post 07 Jun 2009, 07:53
krispy wrote:
When companies have 4+, 5+ WE requirements, how strictly are they? I will have 3 years and 10 months worth of WE when I marticulate. Am I not qualified to apply for positions that require 4WE?

It varies by company but you should be fine. I mean it will be considered 4 years since you graduated college so thats kind of how it will be viewed.
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New post 07 Jun 2009, 10:18
riverripper wrote:
Showing progression really helps...its hard to show that on a resume if you have one job title and description for work experience. You dont put salary on there so they dont see you advancing. On thing that really helped me was the title changes show that my responsibility was increasing a lot. Having lead, senior, manager, or something along those lines really helps when it comes to not only applying but recruiting. That said some industries dont have that type of title structure so its hard to show but adcoms might know that is the case. I know engineers often dont get a lead or senior position for 5+ years at a lot of companies, my work senior basically came with time at about 5ish but Lead was usually 7+ and was a true promotion in responsibility not just level of seniority.

Yeah, thats the problem with engineering and techie firms. Whats worse is that the US slowdown has had a considerable impact on the IT budgets as well. So all promotions and pay hikes have been frozen. I just hope that the AdCom knows this as well!

@kripsy
I have seen most colleges (Ross, Darden, LBS - from the chat transcripts) to be quite fuzzy on the work ex. Their usual lines go "as long as the candidate shows leadership/exception quality/[insert some adjective here], then work ex can be lowered. But 3 years and 10 months is not a low work ex by any US college standards. IIRC, the 80% range of all students is in the 26-29 years range.

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Re: Schools Less Keen On WE? [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jun 2009, 11:32
Thanks river and aval!

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Re: Schools Less Keen On WE?   [#permalink] 07 Jun 2009, 11:32

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