Should I get work experience before doing an MBA?
I do not ask from the perspective of shortlisting criteria.
But will gaining work experience help me in classroom participation and placements?
Why do business schools focus so much on work experience?
Yes, in terms of classroom participation, people with some work experience may be able to comprehend the business concepts and jargons in a better way and contribute to class participation/discussions with relevant practical examples they might have come across in their profession. This, in turn, will not only be beneficial for them but also for freshers or other students who aren’t able to grasp the concept the first time.
When coming to placements, some companies use the work experience as a filter to shortlist the candidates from numerous resumes. So, students with work experience will have a slight advantage there. Plus, the practical knowledge you obtain from your work will mostly be the topic of discussions during your placement interviews.
The reasons for business schools focussing on work experience so much may be varied. As suggested earlier, they have noticed work-ex students usually making class discussions more fruitful (However, freshers too contribute due to their experience from various extracurricular activities during the college days). Another reason solely being the fact that some companies coming for recruitment ask the college to filter out the resumes of students with work-ex for further rounds. Also, having experienced a corporate setting helps in getting acclimatized to the rigorous course and pressure that comes from it.
These reasons, however, do not act like barriers for freshers. They do have other experiences that will be required to gain insights from a business perspective and hence is not limited to b-schools only selecting aspirants with work-ex.
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