Want to pursue an MBA degree abroad? Worried about not having any work experience to take the GMAT test? We will help you navigate through such a scenario.

Pursuing an MBA degree requires you to take the GMAT. With cutthroat competition in the field, you will need a good GMAT score to get into the business school of your choice. In order to stand out amongst other candidates applying to business schools, having a sufficient amount of work experience will guarantee an edge over the other candidates. 

Why is work experience a necessary requirement?

You must wonder why work experience is a necessary requirement in order to pursue an MBA. There are various reasons as to why work experience is considered important for an MBA, some of the reasons are as follows:  

  • Provides you a glimpse of the industry 

Having worked in a company or firm, you will get an insight into how the industry works. You will also gain exposure to the intricacies of the industry as well.

  • Develops professional skills 

Being an employee at a firm helps you gain some very essential professional skills. It also trains you to handle and navigate through various kinds of scenarios. Some of the professional skills include leadership skills, organisation skills, communication skills, problem solving abilities and more. 

  • Helps expand your network

Working with professionals from various fields broadens your scope of networking. You interact with different people from various working backgrounds and that way build your professional network. Doing so helps you a lot in the future and whenever needed. 

  • Proactive knowledge 

You gain a lot of knowledge when you are working with a firm. Moreover, your knowledge is not only restricted to your field of work, you are acquainted with what every department does. If you have sufficient knowledge about how the organization works, you will be able to practically apply that knowledge in any real-life scenario. This serves you well when pursuing an MBA degree.

MBA  with Work Experience Requirements

Now that you are aware why gaining work experience is important, let us move onto business schools which list work experience as a necessary requirement to qualify for admission into their organisation. We have listed the top business schools with the required GMAT score and required work experience below:  

Business school  Average  GMAT score Work experience required 
Victoria University of Wellington  500+ 5 years 
Judge Business School – University of Cambridge  630+ 1 to 2 years 
HEC Paris Business school 600+ 3 years (minimum)
Sloan School of Management – Massachusetts Institute of Technology  670 – 760 4 to 9 years 
Stanford Graduate School of Business  730+ 5 years 
Harvard Business School 700 – 760 Not available 
University of Canterbury  600+ 5 years 
California Business School 700+ 6+ years 
London Business School 700+ 2 to 11 years 
Wharton Business School – University of Pennsylvania  600 – 790 5 to 6 years 

As you can see, the work experience requirement varies from one business school to another. However, if you are planning on pursuing an MBA degree without any work experience, here are some universities you can consider looking at. 

MBA  Without Work Experience Requirement 

The universities that offer an MBA degree without work experience are as follows: 

Business school  Country 
Brock University  Canada
Thompson Rivers University  Canada
Technical University of Munich  Germany
Melbourne Business School- University of Melbourne Australia 
University of West London UK
Coventry University  UK
University of Northampton  UK
Yale School of Management – Yale University  USA 
Columbia Business School – Columbia University  USA
Haas school of Business- University of California, Berkeley USA
Darden School of Business – University of Virginia  USA
The University of Windsor  Canada 

There are a couple of advantages of not having gained any work experience at all. The biggest advantage of pursuing an MBA degree without any work experience, is the consistency in your studies. This ensures that you don’t lose touch, when it comes to studying and learning in an academic environment.

However, there are a lot of drawbacks of not having gained any work experience. The biggest disadvantage being, not being able to comprehend the knowledge you gain in a pragmatic manner as you haven’t been in a scenario where you necessarily had to apply knowledge practically. Another drawback would be that candidates who have worked for a couple of years,  would have a lot more diverse and prominent contacts in the industry. Having no work experience at all would be disadvantageous as compared to those who have acquired sufficient work experience.

We hope this article on whether work experience is necessary for GMAT helps. You can arrive at an answer to the question ‘is work experience necessary?’ with your own discretion of the information we have provided to you. All the best!

CareerLabs will be glad to help you in your GMAT preparation journey. You can ask for any assistance related to GMAT and MBA from us by giving us a missed call at +91 6366004441, or you can drop an SMS too. You can also write to us at support@thecareerlabs.com for any additional assistance.


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