What kind of work experience are b-schools looking really for? And what are the biggest mistakes that applicants make on their admissions essays and interviews? We asked Kacy Hayes, MBA admissions manager at the University of San Diego (USD) School of Business Administration.
USD requires at least two years of work experience for MBA applicants. What are you looking for people to have gotten out of their work experience?
Ideally, the candidate would have years of experience in one particular area that they have grown and developed in. On the other hand, we’ve had some phenomenal applicants who have been all over the board with their work experience, still trying to find their niche. If they can connect the dots for us, how their different experiences have all led them to the point of doing an MBA, sometimes they bring a diversity of experiences into the classroom, which can also be great.
There’s no one thing in particular we are looking for in terms of work experience. In general, we are looking for someone who has knowledge of their field and can relate that to what they are studying in the classroom, and therefore enrich the experience of all students by sharing.