Do I really need work experience???

Posted by: Geoff Gloeckler on May 16, 2008

Recently I’ve received a few emails from college seniors asking if it’s possible to go straight from undergrad to a top B-school without the “normal” two to five years of work experience. The simple answer is yes, it’s possible. It just isn’t easy. And it appears that now it’s even harder than it was a few years back.

At the University of Chicago, I’m told you can count the number of accepted MBA students with no work experience for the Class of 2010 on one hand. That number is holding steady. At Harvard, 22 college seniors were offered direct admission, but considering the total class size will be in the ballpark of 900, that doesn’t amount to much. At Notre Dame, work experience is down, but everyone offered admission to the Class of 2011 has at least a little.

Bottom line: It’s a tough time to be graduating from college with the job market in a state of flux and the economy on a downturn. So it makes perfect sense that more students are weighing their options in looking for ways to put off their dive into the working world. The problem is, folks with the “normal” amount of experience are thinking the same thing, opting to take two years and invest it in B-school in the hopes of when they graduate, job prospects might be a little more positive. This means that application numbers are on the rise and schools aren’t as hard up to find qualified candidates to fill their classes.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Apart from being one of the lucky few who are accepted right out of undergrad, a number of schools offer options to get an MBA with less than the usual experience. For instance, schools like Indiana, Rochester, and Carnegie Mellon offer a 3-2 program. Simply put, this means a student can get an undergraduate degree and an MBA in five years. On a similar note, a few years ago Harvard Business School launched the 2+2 program in which college juniors apply to HBS then once they are accepted, they work for two years in an approved job then enter the B-school. As an observer, it seems like a win for both the student and the school. The student is guaranteed a spot at a top MBA program and the school gets a strong student with two years of good work experience.

For students graduating now, it’s probably too late to get into these kind of programs, but for juniors it might be something to consider.

Reader Comments

mijo

June 13, 2008 2:52 AM

i have completed my bba this year and now I am looking for a good job so as to get admission in top B school.what kind of work experiece they r asking.will it make diference if i join mba after a gap of my graduation study

jitendra kumar

November 1, 2008 11:46 AM

i am from india .i completed my graduation in b.com in year 2007.now i am preparing for mba entrance exam like cat,snap,iift,xat and mat.now i want to take admission into top mba college in india like iim,sp jain ,mdi,xlri and other.
marks score is here
10th=52% marks
12TH=61% MARKS
GRADUATION =60%
CAN I TAKE ADMISSION INTO IIMS AND OTHER TOP B SCHOOL IN INDIA
CAN I TAKE ADMISSION INTO IIMS BY THIS ACADEMIC SCORE
I AM FRESHER IT MEANS I AM NOT WORKING
THERE IS A GAP OF ALMOST 2 YEARS IN GRADUATION AND POST GRADUATION
WHAT SHOULD I DO FOR THAT?

Saugat

April 23, 2009 7:26 AM

I am an IT professional with 6+ years of work ex. I am an Undergrad. Can I do an MBA? If so please provide details.

vasanth

June 15, 2009 1:29 AM

I am from india and i planned to write cat and other important exams this year . my marks are listed below
10th=74%
12th=77%
BE(graduation)=75%
whether it is possible to get admission in top b school in india and abroad. guide me about the procedure.

waheed

September 4, 2009 2:03 AM

i am from india and im planning to get admission in harvard bussiness school.
my marks in
10th = 61%
12th = 61%
graduation = 85%
actully im be student of BE with 2 year gap and having no work experience
can u tell me what kind of work experience i need and what are my chances to get admission in harvard,

Aswin

October 1, 2009 1:12 PM

80% and 60%.
No chance,man!
kiss ur iim dreams goodbye

sid

March 7, 2010 11:52 AM

hi i have a queation too. i have 80% in 10 . 70% in 12 and 75% till now in 7 th sem . i have done a lot in projects and in team work . i have also don internship in canada . i have gmat score of 740 so do i have chance to go for harvard or any other big b scholl/ if not then can u please suggest me any gud b school without work experience

vivek

March 9, 2010 12:38 PM

my marks in
10th = 67%
12th = 75.5%
graduation = 72%
im be student of B.Sc (computer science) with 4 year gap and having no work experience
i hav very good flow in english , so can I give exam of cat and get admission in iim

ThroughMBA

October 4, 2011 10:44 AM

Some other college where you have good chance to get an interview call without experience or less experience is

Simon Graduate School of Business
Krannert
Texas A&M University
Rochester
Stanford

Source http://throughmba.com

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