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When would be the ideal time to obtain an MBA?

I am a sophomore accounting major who has the potential to get an MBA right after I graduate as an undergrad, or I could wait a few years and go for it after I have gained some experience in the workplace. Which one would you say is more beneficial? #business #finance #accounting #graduate-school #mba

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Carlos’s Answer

Hi Megan,

I would agree with what folks are saying on this thread. Top MBA programs will look for at least 2-5 years of work experience when screening applicants and it really makes a difference in terms of your classroom experience. That said, there are a number of MBA programs that have "2+2 programs" where you'll apply while you're still in undergrad, secure your spot in their MBA program, and start after having 2 years of work experience. If you're sure you want to pursue an MBA then I would recommend you take a look at those options and make a decision on whether you want to apply now vs in a couple years. Much better value than going straight from your undergrad to an MBA. I hope this helps!
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Rose’s Answer

I had six years of work experience before starting a part time MBA program. (It would be difficult to gain admission without at least two years of work experience.) The full time students (same curriculum) were generally in their mid twenties and I encountered them in several cross-enrollment classes. The diversity and depth of experience in the part time cohort helped us learn from each other. For that reason, I would advise working for two to five years and seeking out a program that encourages or requires work experience. As you wait longer, the financial benefit of the MBA declines.

Thank you comment icon Thank you so much Rose for this beneficial response. Megan
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Steven’s Answer

Always best to have some experience before embarking on an MBA. Top programs generally look for 2+ years in a job with real responsibilities.

Thank you comment icon Thank you Steve for your feedback. Megan
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Manish’s Answer

At least 2 years of MBA experience would be great to have before you enroll for MBA. For two reasons, 1) You will have exposure to corporate world, understand nuances of management in workplace and other related issues. This will give you confidence to participate in classroom discussions and add value. 2) You will have some money saved to partially fund your MBA

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Laurence’s Answer

I believe it's better to have 3-5 years' experience before MBA especially if you want to get into a top business school. Besides the reasons that other people have mentioned, one other reason is that you may find it relatively difficult to get interviews with great companies during on campus recruiting. Imagine you were a recruiter and you saw two candidates with similar background and interest, but one didn't have any experience and the other one had 5 years, who would you pick for interviews? With that said, it's not wise to wait for more than 5 years because your opportunity cost will be much higher.

Thank you comment icon Thank you Laurence for your response, that makes a lot of sense and has helped me to decide my future plans. Megan
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Debbie’s Answer

I would get a few years work experience under your belt if your goal is to work in industry. You will see the practical application of what you are learning in a bigger way. Also, working for a while will give you insight into where you want to focus your graduate education, MBA vs MS. A public accounting track may require something different because of the education requirement for certification.

Thank you comment icon Thank you Debbie for your response. Megan
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Lauren’s Answer

I did my MS in Accounting right after I did my accounting degree, which I would highly recommend. Some classes were building on top of a previous one I had taken in my undergraduate degree, so taking it right after was extremely helpful.
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