What type of work experience is required for an MBA abroad?

What type of work experience is required for an MBA abroad?

Unlike in India, where an MBA does not limit entry to fresh graduates without any work experience, MBA abroad recommends some work experience as a requisite for selection.   Sometimes freshers indeed get selected to the top business schools without any work experience, but that is more an exception than a rule. All abroad universities offering MBA program suggest some work experience as a criterion for selection to MBA studies. If that be so, let us learn about what is expected. 

What is the right work experience for MBA abroad?

Analysis of data about MBA students in the top-ranked B-Schools like Harvard, Stanford and Wharton, the mean experience length comes to 5 years. Since the MBA is a full time two years program, with a 5-year experience indicates that you should ideally complete your MBA by the time you are 30 years of age. 

What do the B-Schools look for in Work Experience?

Mere duration of the experience in a corporate is just half the story. At the B-School, all experiences do not carry the same weight. They are on the lookout for specific attributes. Let us check them out.

  1. Leadership Role: Any reputed B-School will lay stress on is the quality rather than the quantity of work experience. The idea is to ascertain the impact created in the organisation in particular and the society in general by your leadership. 
  2. Skills: Every job requires some skill characteristics. But in the case of MBA soft and technical skills in a candidate may not be in alignment with the degree. Your skills must be transferable to your MBA experience. 
  3. Professional Wisdom: Personality development is the key to leadership. If your experience gives you the wherewithal to manage conflicts reflects the quality of your skills. It is one aspect that needs to be highlighted in the MBA essay. It is for the Ad Com to filter out the relevant and grasp the true essence. 

What is the right type of experience that matter?

When it comes to work experience, many factors come into play. Not all come into play while pursuing an MBA. Let us check out a few of them. 

  • Big vs Small: Work experience in a big company does impress the Ad Com, for its name not as much for its quality but recognition. In the case of worthwhile experience in a small enterprise, the onus is on you to showcase it to the Ad Com for what it is worth. 
  • Family Business: Unlike in our country where not much credit is allotted to the experience in a family enterprise, international B-School has a different perception about it. In the absence of experience in a recognised large MNC, the onus again is on you to showcase what you have. It is sensible to be true and not pompous. 
  • Internship: Usually, the internship does not add credit to your experience unless it is in a large corporation coupled with the type of involvement. Either way, anything substantial during the internship must be showcased in the application.  
  • Frequent Changes:  Switching jobs often give no credit to your experience. On the contrary, it is a reflection on your lack of clarity, your commitment and consistency. The key is to project the moves as not opportunistic but backed with a sensible rationale. Right articulation and reasoning will counter the negative impact it is likely to carry. 


There is no denying that an MBA abroad looks for work experience in the prospective candidates. The key is to impress the Ad Com for the B-School of your choice. Highlighting the qualitative as well as the quantitative in the right blend in your MBA application is the key to your success. Showcasing your experience in true light with solid rationale is what you must work on. 

Check out the list of top universities in abroad at https://studyabroad.shiksha.com/top-universities-in-abroad-abroadranking32 

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