Do I have too much work experience?


you2me
Due to professional constraints in my current job, I would like to pursue an MBA next year. But I am worried that with almost 20 years of work experience, I may be considered "overqualified."

I started working right out of uni and next year I will be 40 so you can do the math. I have read through a lot of material here and elsewhere and it is apparent that many who pursue MBAs are much less experienced. A lot of discussions seem to point old folks like me to EMBA programs.

But my main goal is to change my career -- I've been in retail backend for most of my career, and I would like to get into a more marketing oriented role, not in the retail industry. Such a change usually calls for an MBA not an EMBA, I would think.

Another change I would like to make is to go to the US. I am British but my wife is American and we would like to relocate to the US. This also seems to suggest that I need a full time MBA program.

What are my chances at the top b-schools in the US? I'm thinking Duke, Kellogg, Carnegie Mellon, primarily.
Due to professional constraints in my current job, I would like to pursue an MBA next year. But I am worried that with almost 20 years of work experience, I may be considered "overqualified."

I started working right out of uni and next year I will be 40 so you can do the math. I have read through a lot of material here and elsewhere and it is apparent that many who pursue MBAs are much less experienced. A lot of discussions seem to point old folks like me to EMBA programs.

But my main goal is to change my career -- I've been in retail backend for most of my career, and I would like to get into a more marketing oriented role, not in the retail industry. Such a change usually calls for an MBA not an EMBA, I would think.

Another change I would like to make is to go to the US. I am British but my wife is American and we would like to relocate to the US. This also seems to suggest that I need a full time MBA program.

What are my chances at the top b-schools in the US? I'm thinking Duke, Kellogg, Carnegie Mellon, primarily.
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Duncan
It's hard but not impossible. You need to show to the schools that you have realistic plans. You're not going to get into banking or consulting (and that is not your goal) but be clearer about the sort of role you would like. The fact that yoiu are British makes it harder.

There are some schools with higher-than-normal levels of work experience, like Syracuse, UNC, GSU, UCLA and Arkanas. Of the schools you have mentioned, Duke feels like a school to consider.

There are also some programmes aimed at people like you: the Sloan Fellows programme; the Stanford MSx and the USC IBEAR degree.

Considering your background, why not take an MS in marketing, market research or market communications at somewhere like Columbia, Georgia, Rochester or Northwestern's Medill school?
It's hard but not impossible. You need to show to the schools that you have realistic plans. You're not going to get into banking or consulting (and that is not your goal) but be clearer about the sort of role you would like. The fact that yoiu are British makes it harder.

There are some schools with higher-than-normal levels of work experience, like Syracuse, UNC, GSU, UCLA and Arkanas. Of the schools you have mentioned, Duke feels like a school to consider.

There are also some programmes aimed at people like you: the Sloan Fellows programme; the Stanford MSx and the USC IBEAR degree.

Considering your background, why not take an MS in marketing, market research or market communications at somewhere like Columbia, Georgia, Rochester or Northwestern's Medill school?
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you2me
I see, thank your for the info. Just out of curiousity, why would being British put me at a disadvantage?
I see, thank your for the info. Just out of curiousity, why would being British put me at a disadvantage?
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Duncan
Because you do not have US citizenship.
Because you do not have US citizenship.
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I assume he can get US citizenship through his wife...
I assume he can get US citizenship through his wife...
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Duncan
Indeed, but work experience outside the US is not so highly valued. There are real cultural barriers. In this respect, read the account of a European who studied at a top ten US school: http://board.find-mba.com/usa/tips-from-a-european-top-10-mba-in-the-us-34148
Indeed, but work experience outside the US is not so highly valued. There are real cultural barriers. In this respect, read the account of a European who studied at a top ten US school: http://board.find-mba.com/usa/tips-from-a-european-top-10-mba-in-the-us-34148
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you2me
I see, thanks for that. Not worried too much about citizenship/visas. That account from the European who studied at a top ten school is very informative.
I see, thanks for that. Not worried too much about citizenship/visas. That account from the European who studied at a top ten school is very informative.
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