By Matt Lehrer, Eller Career Coach
Many MBA programs require three years or more of full-time work experience before you are admitted, but the quality of the work experience is more important than the quantity. For example, working for two and a half years as a manager at a marketing firm will carry more weight with the Admissions Committee than nine years working at the front desk of a resort.
Why is there a work experience requirement for an MBA, in contrast to a Masters in Finance or Management? The primary reason is that classroom discussions are frequently based on the real-world experience of the students, so solid business experience is required. Admissions considers work experience to be work that begins no earlier than the first day after you get your undergraduate degree—summer internships during undergrad will not count.
MBAs are not just for business majors – they are for anybody with the requisite qualifications, whether a graduate in MIS or an attorney. This fills the MBA classroom with a variety of bright, experienced and interesting people.
The important piece of advice here is to do your research – does the MBA program “fit” your needs and wants? Based on the admission criteria, do you even have a chance of getting in? These statistics are readily available. Let’s take a look at the current statistics from Eller’s MBA program:
Average age: 27
Average work experience: 3.6 years
Average GPA: 3.44
Average GMAT: 639
Business undergrad degrees: 26%
Is an MBA right for you? If you need help deciding, please feel free to make an appointment.
For additional information, see:
Finding the Right Fit: 10 Tips for Choosing the Right B-School for You (chat)
Ace Your Interview: Don’t Make These Mistakes (webinar w/ Q&A)