Stanford GSB | Mr. Co-Founder & Analytics Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 7.4 out of 10.0 - 4th in Class
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Environmental Sustainability
GMAT N/A, GPA 7.08
Columbia | Mr. Old Indian Engineer
GRE 333, GPA 67%
Chicago Booth | Ms. CS Engineer To Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.31
Chicago Booth | Mr. Private Equity To Ed-Tech
GRE 326, GPA 3.4
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Trucking
GMAT 640, GPA 3.82
Harvard | Mr. Athlete Turned MBB Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Ross | Mr. Low GRE Not-For-Profit
GRE 316, GPA 74.04% First Division (No GPA)
Harvard | Mr. Marine Pilot
GMAT 750, GPA 3.98
Ross | Mr. Civil Rights Lawyer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.62
Harvard | Mr. Climate
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. Seeking Fellow Program
GMAT 760, GPA 3
Harvard | Mr. Army Intelligence Officer
GRE 334, GPA 3.97
Harvard | Ms. Data Analyst In Logistics
GRE 325, GPA 4
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Comeback Story
GRE 313, GPA 2.9
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Green Financing
GRE 325, GPA 3.82
Harvard | Mr. Gay Singaporean Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Bangladeshi Data Scientist
GMAT 760, GPA 3.33
Ross | Ms. Packaging Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.47
Columbia | Mr. MD/MBA
GMAT 670, GPA 3.77
MIT Sloan | Mr. Marine Combat Arms Officer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
Ross | Mr. Automotive Compliance Professional
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Darden | Mr. MBB Aspirant/Tech
GMAT 700, GPA 3.16
Kellogg | Mr. PM To Tech Co.
GMAT 720, GPA 3.2
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Chess Professional
GRE 317, GPA 8.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Deferred Asian Entrepreneur
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Yale | Mr. IB To Strategy
GRE 321, GPA 3.6

How To Get Into A Top MBA Program With Non-Traditional Experience

Get Into a Top MBA Program with Non-Traditional Experience

 

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be an investment banker or a consultant in order to get into business school. In fact, if leveraged correctly, an unusual professional trajectory can be an asset.

Here are tips to help you get into a top MBA program with non-traditional experience:

 

Have crystal clear goals.

It’s important for all candidates to articulate clear short and long-term goals. However, non-traditional candidates need to be especially explicit. Spell out exactly what you want to do, and explain how you know that you will thrive.

Highlight transferable experience.

Revise your resume so that it demonstrates progression and emphasizes supervisory, strategic and analytical skills, and quantifiable impact. Continue to highlight these qualities and accomplishments throughout your application and in your interviews, placing special emphasis on skills that you will leverage in your post-MBA career.

Talk about what you will contribute.

One of the reasons that schools love to admit strong non-traditional candidates is because of the unique perspective that they can add to the classroom, and to the community. Paint a vivid picture of how you will get involved, with specific illustrations, and make it clear that you will be an active participant.

Be proud of your background.

There is absolutely no need to be defensive about charting a less traditional educational, personal or professional path. The right school will appreciate your vision, courage, resilience and ability to take risks. Ultimately, your non-traditional background may be the reason that you are admitted to your dream school.


Karen Marks has more than 12 years of experience evaluating candidates for admission to Dartmouth College and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Since founding North Star Admissions Consulting in 2012, she has helped applicants gain admission to the nation’s top schools, including Stanford, Harvard, Wharton, Yale, Cornell, Dartmouth, Columbia, MIT, Duke, Georgetown, Northwestern, Booth, NYU, Ross, UVA, Haas and more. Clients have been awarded more than $10.2 million in scholarships, and more than 95% have gotten into at least one of their top-choice schools.