MBA - Work Experience

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MBA - Work Experience

by rjetha » Thu Jul 15, 2021 2:18 am
Hello Stacy,

Am a Metallurgical Engineer w/ a 3.5 GPA.
And, an IT Professional with 18+ years' work experience
in Oracle and its Tools.

Will my work experience be a drawback while applying
for the Full time MBA degree ? Can you suggest a few
US B-Schools that accept candidates with my kind of WkEx ?



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Re: MBA - Work Experience

by MargaretStrother » Fri Jul 16, 2021 4:25 pm
Hi Ravi,
Thanks for your question! I do think 18 years of work experience will present a challenge to top full-time MBA programs in the US. Most of these programs are targeted for applicants at an earlier stage of their careers; a quick glance at the incoming class profile of top schools shows that generally 80% of their incoming class will have between three and eight years of work experience.
Of course these class profiles are intentionally vague; they don't want to discourage any applicants.
So here are some things to consider:

1) What are your reasons for seeking an MBA? What do you absolutely need, that only an MBA can provide? Those reasons need to be increasingly strong and specific for more experienced applicants. It's possible that you don't need a full-time MBA for the goals you've set for yourself, but if you feel that you do, be sure you have a strong and clear reason for this kind of a dramatic break in your professional life.
2) Score high on the GMAT. I've found that the older an applicant is, the more important those test scores are to their chances of admission.
3) Think about fit. How can you integrate socially with a class full of much younger professionals? What do you do outside the workplace that would be a contribution to the school community outside the classroom? What are your interests, hobbies, passions?
Most importantly,
4) Why not an EMBA or a one-year MBA? EMBA students are typically in their mid-careers, and one-year MBAs from top business schools are often more open-minded about students who fall outside of the typical MBA age-range. Stanford's prestigious MSx program would be a great one to consider.

There is always the possibility that you will be an exception -- the first person with 18 years of experience ever accepted at School X. But I prefer not to plan for the exceptional case: if you were my client, I'd urge you to follow your dreams with your eyes open, and hedge your bets by applying to some schools for which your experience is right down the middle. Look at the class profiles for each program and learn about what the program can do for you -- I'm sure there are a lot of great options available to you in the US.

Good luck!
Margaret Strother
Senior Consultant
Stacy Blackman Consulting

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