What Type Of Experience Are Top MBA Programs Looking For?

Do good colleges (global top 20) actually take people with work experience as less as 1 year? If yes, what other qualities are required to make up for the lack of experience?

Rodrigo Malta, Director of MBA Admissions, McCombs School of Business, says:

The answer to this question will vary by school, so it is always best to check with the programs you are applying to determine their entry requirements. The question should go back to you then to determine if this is the right time to get an MBA career wise. Most top MBA programs view work experience favorably since students are expected to add to the learning environment both in and out of the classroom as a result of their professional experience. Applicants with post-undergrad work experience have been exposed to various challenges, leadership opportunities, learning environments, etc. that will enable them to fully benefit from the MBA experience where they would not otherwise benefit without this working base.

If you are applying to an MBA program and your work experience is less than the average from the incoming class, my advice would be to concentrate on the demonstrated teamwork and leadership skills in key projects on your professional work experience. Co-Ops and internships in undergrad may also be highlighted if they can be leveraged to achieve your post-MBA goals. More importantly, it is key for the applicant to let the admissions committee know how you will be able to add to the class environment given the less than average work experience (i.e. unique work assignments, etc.).

This is our first post in a new monthly series that highlights Rodrigo’s responses to MBA admissions questions found on Quora, the popular question-and-answer website. View original question and answer found on Quora.

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