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Pre-MBA Experience and Internship - Make $69000 Extra

Post-MBA Job opportunities depend on the MBA Student’s academic performance, personality and fit for the job. But an overlooked factor that decides the post-MBA salary and job opportunities is the Pre-MBA Experience.

Pre-MBA Experience and Post-MBA Salary


According to 2012 Alumni Perspectives Survey conducted by Graduate Management Admission Council, starting salary difference for Full-time MBA Alumni with less than one year of experience and those with one to six years of experience is $50000. This is a startling finding for those candidates with low experience. The three to six year experienced candidates saw the maximum increase in salary (in percentage), as an MBA program helped them find job openings in mid-level managerial and leadership roles.

Around 19% of MBA candidates with less than a year of experience before the MBA program were unemployed in Sep 2011, compared to 15% with one to six years of experience. Although the percentage difference is 4%, it is a sizable number given the number of MBA students(4,135 graduate business alumni) taking part in the GMAC survey.

Importance of Internships in MBA Program
MBA programs, promote themselves as one year and two year programs. One year programs has the advantage of completing the course in a year, saving the opportunity cost and expenses that are incurred in the 2nd year of a two year program. But MBA candidates should decide wisely before joining any one year MBA program. According to 2011 Global Management Education Graduate Survey, students that have internship experience were more likely to get a job offer than students without any.

When the MBA students were surveyed in Sep 2011, the average starting salary of students that had undergone internships was more than $86000 compared to $72000 of classmates without internship. Many one year MBA programs provide internship opportunity for candidates, like the SKOLKOVO MBA program (MBA program for Entrepreneurial Leaders) that allows students to work on real projects right from the start of the course.  Therefore it is important for candidates to research about One Year MBA programs in detail and find the internship opportunity provided by the program.

For Two year MBA programs, internships are crucial. Students are not only losing one year of opportunity cost, they are also increasing their educational expense in the second year. Ideally, majority of the second year should be devoted to working on real projects and internships. This is especially evident in the GMAC Survey. According to the survey, Full-time two year MBA graduates with internships earned a post-MBA salary of $19000 more than graduates without any internship experience (US$94,000 against US$75,000).

Why Employers value Experience and Internships?
Employers want to make sure that graduates can work well in a team environment. They also want to utilize the skills and knowledge attained before the MBA program. According to the survey, just 27% of employers were planning to hire MBA candidates with less than three years of experience. The experience that candidates have gained during internships and Pre-MBA play a crucial role in getting a competitive post-MBA salary, above the average salary published by Business Schools.

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