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Questions For Younger MBA Applicants

While work experience is a key element for MBA admissions, recent trends indicate that business schools are welcoming more candidates at the lower end of the spectrum. But does this make sense for younger candidates? While the desire to pursue an MBA early in one’s career is probably being driven by one or more factors such as money, position, peer pressure, or even glamour, younger candidates need to ask themselves if it’s the right decision.

The first question younger MBA aspirants need to ask is whether they have sufficient experience, work or otherwise, to participate in and contribute meaningfully to within a group of highly accomplished individuals. Simply learning theory and listening in onto other people’s experiences doesn’t enhance the MBA experience. The overall experience of the entire group diminishes even if one participant cannot contribute effectively.

The second question younger MBA aspirants need to ask themselves is whether another year or two in the workplace can enhance the quality of their own experience. When concepts are discussed in or beyond the classroom, it is imperative for MBA students to be able to relate them to their own experiences. So if you don’t have a rich tapestry of experiences to work with, you will be unable to imbibe the true benefits of an MBA program.

The third question younger (and older) MBA aspirants need to ask themselves is whether they know where they want to go. It’s not uncommon for professionals to lack clarity about their career goals during the first two to three years after graduation. If you don’t know where you want to go, apart from the fact that you may not be able to convince admissions committees, you will probably end up doing a disservice to yourself as well.

While it is true that MBA aspirants in the past decade or so have become much smarter about managing their profiles, it is also important to note that simply completing an MBA should not be the objective. It is also important to think about the brand as well as your MBA experience, which could ultimately make a world of difference to your career. Hence, waiting for a year or two, could be the way forward to maximize your prospects.

The trend to admit younger candidates will probably continue. However, as we have seen, the quality of your experiences as well as clarity about your career goals should play a key role in your decision to pursue an MBA. Apart from the importance of being able to add value to your cohort, you also need to ensure that your own experience will lead to growth, academic and professional, and justify your decision to pursue an MBA.


LemonEd can help you with all elements of your MBA application. Call today for a free consultation.

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