How Work Experience Affects Your MBA Application

If you're applying to an MBA program after spending some time in the working world, you're in luck. Work experience is an asset on MBA applications. Business school admissions committees highly value a candidate's professional experience, especially if it's full time.

Candidates who have real-world work experience have gained a degree of maturity and career- and self-awareness. That wisdom contributes to a student's success in an MBA program; work experience gives enrolled MBA students a frame of reference that enhances learning.

Remember, however, that the quality of your work experience — in addition to quantity — is important. When applying to an MBA program, make it a point to highlight skills you've developed in the work force, contributions you've made to your place of employment, and any leadership roles you've assumed during your tenure there.

Some business schools recommend that prospective students have at least two years of full-time work experience. Most schools, however, don't have a minimum requirement for the number of years of work experience.

If you plan to enroll in an MBA program immediately after completing your undergraduate studies, you'll want to ensure you make the most of your undergraduate experience to enhance the likelihood of acceptance into an MBA program. A strong academic record, double majoring, graduating with honors, and doing volunteer work that pertains to your coursework are just a few ways to distinguish yourself as an undergraduate.