Work Experience: Some contrarian Thoughts

Anybody who is applying to a business school abroad is stuck with a question, to have a work experience or not? Although the website of all leading b-schools put down the need for work experience as a basic necessity for admission yet they recommend it everywhere. So, now the big question that arises is to have a work experience or not? In what field one should have work experience and the duration too? Work experience is definitely the clairvoyant and savior in a b school. Work experience helps an individual in dozens of ways and helps you to gain the maximum benefit out of your B-school.

Need For Work Experience

If you are applying with a strong GMAT or GRE score it is undoubtedly true that you are excellent at the theory part. But what is required at international B schools is the ability to apply this theoretical knowledge in real life situations. The teaching methodology is completely different for top b schools. Hence, many of them have made work experience mandatory. If you have a good work experience of 2-3 years full time in any field you may become an indispensable part of group work and group discussions at your program. Further you may also understand the practicality of your subject and then extract the maximum from your peers and teachers. It will also help you take active part in discussions at class and will also give you an edge over the others.

After you complete your graduation, with prior work experience, you can easily apply to executive positions and attract higher salaries unlike your peers. It proves beneficial at the time of team management and working in a group. People with a work experience of more than 6 years can also apply to Executive MBA.

During application, it makes you a better applicant and so when you have it, flaunt it!

How Much Work Experience Is Required?

Quality of work experience is required more than quantity. What impresses the B schools is your role at your work place,your responsibilities there and the activities you were involved in.

At any top B school the majority of the class comprises of work experienced people. About 60-65% people come from consulting,investing or financial background. Last year’s class at Wharton had only 2% people who had less than two years of full time work experience which means only 15 people out of 8,300 applicants. This implies it gives you a 1 -in- 533 chance.

HBS recommends 2-3 years of work experience and so does Kellogg. A class at HBS comprises of people from a variety of industries. An example can be

Pre-MBA Industry

Consulting 23%

Consumer Products 5%

Healthcare/Biotech 6%

High Tech/Communications 7%

Investment Banking 11%

Investment Management 4%

Manufacturing 8%

Military 3%

Non-Profit 6%

Other Financial Services? 5%

Other Services 8%

Venture Capital/Private Equity 15%

(Source HBS Official Website)

HBS appreciates work experience and hence it has come up with its HBS 2+2 program that offers work experience of 2 years first and then full time MBA program.MIT Sloan also recommends an average work experience of 4.9 years.

Work experience is a thumbs up for all applicants. It helps to get real and hold a strong position at the program.

What do you think?

What are your thoughts? Do you think?work-ex??is necessary? If so, how much ? Share your thoughts. Feel free to comment.

Related posts:

  1. HBS 2+2: The New ?In? Thing
  2. In conversation with Pratik Agarwal- First Indian at HBS 2+2
  3. MBA in India or abroad: Should I stay or should I go?
  4. Road2HBS
  5. Business School In-focus: Haas School of Business

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