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Articles / Applying to College / Should Daughter Grab Free MBA Deal Post-College or Work First?

Nov. 20, 2012

Should Daughter Grab Free MBA Deal Post-College or Work First?

Question: My daughter will be graduating with a degree in Business Management in May. She has a very real chance at receiving a graduate assistant position at her school and receiving her MBA paid for by the college. I have read that an MBA is best received while you are working or after you have at least two years in the workforce. Does she turn down the opportunity and go out in the workforce for two years? Chances are the opportunity will not be there for her in two years.

Thanks for your advice.


It sounds like your daughter may have a fantastic opportunity. If this is also something she WANTS to do, then she should definitely go for it! (And, even if she's on the fence, she should think long and hard before saying no.)

Yes, conventional wisdom does suggest that a couple years in the workforce can be beneficial to an MBA aspirant, largely for three reasons:

1. It improves grad-school admission odds

2. In some cases the employer will pay part or all of MBA tuition

3. The classroom experience may feel more relevant … and thus valuable … to a student who has already had some “real" business experience

If your daughter is able to pursue this free MBA at her current college, she will have already knocked off Reasons 1 & 2.

So I believe that this is too good a chance to pass up. She will also get to try her hand at teaching, which could help her decide more about what she does--or doesn't--want to do down the road.

Probably the biggest bullet item on the minus side of the ledger would be that grabbing this MBA deal would mean that your daughter won't be applying to other programs. This could thus preclude her from attending a more prestigious school, one in a preferable location, or a program with more emphasis on her area of interest, etc. But if she's happy with the program at her current college, it seems as if the pros will far outweigh the potential cons.

So congrats to your daughter (and to you) and good luck to her as she takes her next steps.

(posted 11/20/2012)

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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