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Too old


Q) Should I apply for the Full-time MBA program at Harvard Business School? I am a 45-year old UK-based doctor will 13+ years of experience. With an MBA, I would like to switch careers from medical practice to hospital administration with an eye on taking a C-Level position in the next couple of years. I am not interested in part-time or Online MBA programs.

Age is a big factor when it comes to Business Schools. The oldest candidates in Harvard, Stanford, Wharton and other top schools for Full-time MBA programs are in the 37-38 year age group. They are in the minority. Maybe 1 or 2. Getting a Harvard brand associated with your profile can create wonders, but applicants rarely make it to top MBA programs when they look at the admission process with “How to get into HBS.” It should be what you can offer and what you can learn from your peers. You can offer a lot given your 13+ years of experience, but your peers in a full-time class won’t be able to offer you much in terms of perspective.

Case study method depends on that daily interaction and peer-to-peer learning. Another bigger factor is that the Harvard MBA brand depends on how they can keep the Employers happy. The largest chunk of employment is in Consulting. The big 3Cs don’t like older candidates. I am talking about 35+ year olds. One reason is that when you are older, the motivation to put in 90+ hour work week...

Categories : MBA, Too old

MBA Too OldF1GMAT: Stacy, you have written about this topic in 2005 but to refresh our memory, what advice would you give an MBA candidate who is much older than the average class? What are some of the points that the candidate should keep in mind while writing an essay? Which age group has the least probability of getting into a premier Business School?
 
Stacy Blackman:  Bottom line, it can be challenging for an “older” applicant to be admitted into a top business school.  In the MBA world, older means over 30.  Is this some sort of arbitrary age discrimination?  Not really.  Business schools want to admit people who will legitimately benefit from the experience, who will do well in recruiting and who show potential to succeed.  It can be difficult to meet these criteria when you are older than the average student.

Let’s examine all of these issues more closely.

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