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Can being in an under represented industry help you out?

Launched April 26, 2006
This topic has expert replies
Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Posts: 11
Joined: 06 Nov 2007
I've seen a few different takes on this on other websites and was hoping to get your opinion. I work as a Nuclear Engineer for the US department of defense and plan on taking the GMAT shortly and pursuing an MBA and am wondering if the fact that i'm currently employeed in a government position could actually be helpful and get me some bonus points when it comes to filling out "well rounded" classes at potential schools?

I'm sure if you look at the average GPA and GMAT score of say, Investment Bankers, it's probably going to be very high. After all, in order to become an investment banker at a large firm you're going to have to have a high GPA and be rather sharp (which would tend to give you a great shot at beating the gmat). But if a school was to only have a class of investment bankers (although all with fantastic GPA and GMAT scores, and great work experience) well then your class wouldn't offer you much in the realm of experience and opinions would it? That's just an example (which may be true or false).

So that brings me back to my original question, would being in an under represented field (government work, non-profit work, etc..) give you an edge over one of the more popular fields where there are tons of applicants trying to get an MBA largely because in order to advance in there company they have too (investment banks, consulting firms, etc..)?

thanks!

MBA Admissions Consultant
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by Amy » Wed Nov 14, 2007 6:14 pm
Hi thunderdogg,

I don't think there is a particular edge given to people from non-traditional industries. The main factor with work experience is showing progression, leadership and management potential - which applies across industries.

As I repeat often, the admissions process is holistic. While I think applications from candidates with less typical jobs can stand out, you also have the job of communicating why your work experience prepares you to contribute to an MBA class and to pursue your career goals successfully post MBA. Most adcomm are very familiar with "traditional" careers, which can make the process of discussing career paths a bit easier for such candidates.

Demonstrating your leadership potential, showing clearly what your career path is and how your past and future will be joined logically with an MBA is the most important task you have. And remember that you cannot control who your competition is, only your own application and presentation of yourself.

Good luck!

Amy
Amy
Consultant
Stacy Blackman Consulting