This is a question that plagues every MBA aspirant. MBA is a Post Graduate level program that is meant to train students into becoming better managers.Internationally, most universities require that the MBA aspirants should have some work experience before applying for an MBA. However, we cannot say the same for the Indian B-schools.
In India, both parents and students are of the opinion that one must first complete education and then start their corporate career. Hence, most students in India opt to pursue MBA straight after their Graduation.
So the answer to the question above is that 'No, Work Experience is certainly not compulsory for seeking admission into an MBA program.’
However, Work Experience adds a lot of value to a candidate’s profile. The experience and exposure give the candidate an edge over his/ her fellow students.
Don’t have Work Experience? No need to fret.
You still have a pretty good chance of getting yourself enrolled in a premier B school.
Any full-time work/ job post your Bachelor’s degree is counted, regardless of the field or position.
While leadership roles are a plus, it is not a negative in case you do not have any.
Studying in a Business School can be a promising step for your career provided you are sure that it is the only path ahead.
Below are the advantages of studying MBA right after your Graduation –
Like there are two sides to a coin, studying MBA without work experience has some disadvantages too -
MBA Curriculums is all about peer education, through active classroom participation. Experienced students can quote real instances and examples in their presentations and discussions.
Most B-schools have Case Studies methodology of learning which is far more enriching than the purely textbook approach. The inexperienced student stands to lose as they may not be able to contribute or analyze real-world business situations as well as an experienced student can.
Having significant work experience before your MBA adds to the credibility of your application. It shows your understanding and exposure of the corporate world. This certainly gives you an edge vis-a-vis other applicant.
As an experienced professional, you will surely contribute as much to the B-School as you would gain from it. Your work experience before entering the MBA program will not only benefit you but will also help your batchmates and the institute at large.
Your Pre- MBA work experience will also improve your Post-MBA CV. Your future employer will perceive you as a strong contender for the job against your batchmates who have zero work experience.
Your work experience will show your willingness to make an informed career choice, as well as an eagerness to improve your skill set.
Case Studies, Simulation of Real-World Scenarios, Classroom participation etc. set apart MBA program from other postgraduate courses. Experienced professionals can connect better with the theories taught in the classroom as they are able to analyze a situation more practically by drawing insights from their workplace.
Although it is a known fact that, in India, work experience is not a necessary requirement in most MBA admissions. However, while evaluating prospective students, B-Schools award them points based on the various parameters. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) have set an evaluation weightage of certain percentage of the selection process for MBA aspirants who had prior work experience. Additionally, in case, you don't have a good academic record; good work experience can work in your favor.
Fresh Graduates have a general understanding of the career path that they want to pursue. It’s only when they enter the corporate world that they realize their inclinations and can define their long term and short-term career goals.
If you have work experience beforehand you would have a better understanding of your own interests, aspirations and your expectations from the MBA program.
The course work of an MBA program is extremely intensive and competitive. Students are expected to take up the responsibility of their own learning.
Many fresh Graduates may find it difficult to cope with the challenges of an MBA curriculum. The learning structure requires the student to be open to new ideas and constructive feedback. Students with work experience usually find it easy to appreciate other’s viewpoints and perspectives.
If a fresher lacks maturity and responsibility, he may not be able to draw as much from the course.
For a full-time MBA program, one can have two to three years of work experience. It is also subjective of your field of experience and job profile.
The bottom line is that the Committee that selects applicants need to find answer to the questions below:
Priyanka Vermani is a Content Marketer by profession and Creative Writer by passion. She is an author of many educational books. She is Consultant at Proton.