Friday, September 19, 2008

Ode to Work Experience

Work Experience. It is that pesky thing that many employers ask about when you are looking for that first job and what an MBA Admissions office wants to see when you apply. Often, it feels like a Catch-22: You seem to have too little or too much all at the same time.

Times have changed. People now have greater access to a variety of opportunities and more educational choices than generations past. Very few employees stay with one company and move up the corporate ladder. Often, after entering into a job, you get stuck in your current position or fall victim to the “Glass Ceiling” effect. What to do? For many, the answer is getting your MBA and fast-tracking your career.

The top MBA programs require work experience. Work experience will always be prerequisite to obtaining the job you truly desire. But also, it is work experience you will take into the classroom. Think about the new meaning your educational experiences will have when you can make a real-life connection between what you are studying to what you experienced at work in the past.

It is work experience that makes you more marketable in the job market today. The MBA Career Management Center will be instrumental in your job search and in your development as an MBA job seeker. However, it is work experience that ensures you will be considered for higher paying, higher responsibility positions upon graduation. After all, it is the main reason you are considering your MBA, right? With no work experience and an MBA, you will be competing for entry-level positions rather than mid- to upper level management positions.

It is much easier to work your way up if you can get to the middle faster. You can get to the middle without an MBA. But once you reach the middle, an MBA will definitely accelerate you upwards!