When we say “older” we mean > 30 — which is a little depressing.
We covered some alternate programs for those who are truly “older” — like, > 33 or 34 — in this post some time ago.
We keep getting the question about which standard full-time MBA programs are open to “older” applicants, so here’s a quick and dirty list for you:
- NYU Stern
- Berkeley Haas
This is not the full universe of schools that are receptive to you old-timers, and of course every school accepts a range of students along every spectrum, including age. There’s probably a 40+ year-old student in every bschool class in the world. There’s also a 22-year-old. They like diversity. What that means if you’re “older” (yes we keep putting that in quotes because thirty years old is not old gosh darn it!) is you just have to work harder to stand out — particularly if you’re Indian and “older.” There’s simply a lot of you guys rattling around out there in the wanna-go-to-bschool atmosphere.
If you’re “older” then you’re going to be expected to come up with even more impressive stories of fabulousness to present to the adcom, simply because you’ve had more time to accrue said fabulous stories. You’ve had more time to prove yourself as a leader and make an impact on things. So the bar is higher.
There’s also the little fact about salary and career transition at an older age, which we’ve covered before. If you’re already making >$100k it’s a tougher sell that you need an MBA to advance.
Basically if you’re in the “older” category then we’d be more discouraging of an app to a Harvard or a Stanford — and we’d be challenging you to come up with the awesome in your storytelling in all the essays.
Tall order, yes. But schools do accept guys like you every year. Even you old fogey types.
Good thing you’ve started early, huh?