Three Reasons to Gain Work Experience before Entering an MBA Program


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Work Experience

For more than 20 years, Aubrey Gladstone has served as president and CEO of Gladstone Consulting, Inc., a firm that goes beyond traditional consulting with its hands-on strategy implementation. A graduate of the MBA program at University of Pittsburgh, Aubrey Gladstone gained years of work experience as a pilot and business manager between college and pursuing his MBA.

Many aspiring business leaders face the decision of whether they should continue their education in a graduate program before gaining real-world experience. Some choose to start an MBA program right away, while others enter the workforce for a few years and return later. Here are three benefits tied to the latter approach.

1. Expand personal perspective

Staying in school will no doubt open one up to a variety of knowledge and learning, but it will be limited to the environment. Taking some time to work before returning, by contrast, helps balance the way young professionals see the business world.

2. Improve admission chances to the right school

Applying to an MBA program straight out of undergraduate studies places a student in a pool of hundreds of similar candidates. Venturing into the workplace helps differentiate prospective grad students from others, and it helps aspiring MBA students determine what schools best fit their interests.

3. Secure scholarship funding

Professional schools, including graduate business programs, rarely offer teaching assistant positions, so scholarships are typically the only way candidates can receive financial help. A number of schools place individuals with work experience over those without when awarding these funds.


Three Reasons to Consider a Gap Between College and Graduate School

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Aubrey Gladstone serves as CEO of Gladstone Consulting, Inc., a firm that has handled business workouts totaling over $100 million. Holding an engineering degree and an MBA, Aubrey Gladstone is a proponent of taking time off to gain work experience between undergraduate and graduate studies.

While some students choose to proceed directly to graduate school following recipient of their undergraduate degrees, others find value in pausing their formal education to gain work experience and perspective. Consider the following benefits of the latter approach:

Improved job prospects. In many professions, employers place a great deal of emphasis on real-world experience. Taking some time between undergraduate studies and graduate school can allow students to build stronger resumes that will benefit them when they begin their careers.

Clarified career path. After spending a few years working, many people come away with a better sense of what they would like to study in graduate school. This sense of direction is especially helpful in disciplines with many sub-specialties.

Strengthened/conextual learning ability: Real-world experience often helps students absorb classroom material better. For many, it is easier to comprehend complex ideas if they can relate to actual experiences.

Brooke Gladstone Pursues Career in Aerospace Like Father

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Aubrey Gladstone

Commercial pilot Aubrey Gladstone also serves as the president of Boca Raton, Florida-based Gladstone Consulting, Inc. During his time as a pilot, Aubrey Gladstone has flown a variety of aircraft, such as a Bell Jet Ranger, Citation ISP, King Air, Piper Cheyenne, and more. Aubrey Gladstone’s love of flying is something that he passed on to his daughter, Brooke Gladstone.

Brooke Gladstone works on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in the Propulsion Systems Division at Boeing in Charleston, South Carolina, a career decision featured in the local Aspinwall, Pennsylvania, newspaper, The Herald.

A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University with a master’s degree in engineering and materials science, Ms. Gladstone’s passion for flight started in her youth when Aubrey Gladstone began taking her on business trips as co-pilot. After starting to learn to fly at 16, she received her pilot’s license at 17. According to The Herald, Ms. Gladstone enjoys the quiet nature of flying, and with her current career in aerospace, it appears that a passion for the pastime runs in the family.