MBA: What exactly is "Work Experience"?

stankonia3000

Member
Mar 2, 2001
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I am not going to be applying to an MBA any time soon , if ever, but just to satisfy my curiousity, what do Business schools mean when they require work experience? Experience in Management? Experience at any job at all?

Take me, I will have an MS in Genetics and probably end up working in a lab. That probably wouldn't be too exciting for an MBA admission's council, would it?
 

Taggart

Diamond Member
Apr 23, 2001
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Anyone can get an MBA if you have at least an undergrad degree. You get the MBA if you want to move more into the business and /or management side of your profession. You'll learn accounting, finance, marketing, operations and IT if you so choose. Teachers, doctors, lawyers, you name it. A lot of engineers and such get the MBA and start a business related to their chosen profession.
 

Doggiedog

Lifer
Aug 17, 2000
12,775
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Originally posted by: stankonia3000
I am not going to be applying to an MBA any time soon , if ever, but just to satisfy my curiousity, what do Business schools mean when they require work experience? Experience in Management? Experience at any job at all?

Take me, I will have an MS in Genetics and probably end up working in a lab. That probably wouldn't be too exciting for an MBA admission's council, would it?
Your work experience counts alot when you apply to business school. For example, say you are very successful as an engineer but in order to get into a management position, you might need to know the business side of the industry rather than the R&D. An MBA would be suitable for your needs.

I think if you had a real need for an MBA, you might actually have an advantage over others applying. Many of the types that apply to B school are finance types. Admissions committees tend to want to diversify their classes. Having a background in genetics, maybe you might want to be head of a lab one day not just doing research but operations as well. Maybe your lab finds a product that they can market so they would need a finance type. That is where an MBA would fit in. Having your background and an MBA, would make you very marketable for an executive position because you know both sides of the business.
 

UNCjigga

Lifer
Dec 12, 2000
24,170
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Nice timing on the thread...I'm studying for the GMAT myself since I'm between jobs right now. While management experience is commendable, the majority of 23 to 25 year-olds applying don't have any real 'management' experience. In this case, schools are looking carefully at the type of job you've held. Consulting and finance jobs look very good because they teach you about the internals of a company...what makes one tick so to speak. Also, it doesn't hurt that most of the top firms in these fields have gobs of money that they throw into their training programs, making them some of the best and most desirable entry-level jobs (though 80-100 hour work weeks can be quite demanding!)

Next on the scale are the sales and marketing jobs. Here you are likely to get some management experience...managing clients for instance. Cultivating leads, understanding your customers, identifying new markets, and above all, generating sales--these are the skills (or achievements really) that schools want to see on your resume.

I myself have been in consulting for the past 3 years, except I got stuck working for a tiny niche startup that really didn't give me the exposure or the industry experience I was looking for. Eventually I would like to get into marketing high-tech products (either B2B or B2C) so I'm looking for a basic entry-level marketing job that I can use as a segway into an MBA with a marketing concentration.

 

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