General Question

mirifique's avatar

Would several years' experience as a paralegal be sufficient to get into an MBA program?

Asked by mirifique (1511 points ) August 2nd, 2009

I recently decided not to go to law school, acknowledging that my strengths, talents and interests would be better cultivated by a career in business management. I have often heard that you should really have several years’ experience working in the business world to demonstrate a certain level of professional maturity, etc. However I am wondering if a paralegal background would ever be considered ‘business world’ experience; I do a lot of corporate transactional paralegal work and have managerial responsibilities when it comes to transactions, case management, etc. but do not do much in the way of accounting, financial analysis, etc. Do I need to find a job in the business world that might draw upon my paralegal background (i.e., human resources or contract management) and then apply 3–4 years after working in that type of position? What other options/pathways should I consider? I’m not exactly sure where I want to end up precisely, but my interests lie in operations, management, organizing people, etc. This is an important decision and I’m looking for thoughtful, constructive advice.

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8 Answers

Zendo's avatar

No way dude. anyone can be a paralegal (well, almost anyone, I mean I got my paralegal certificate along with my AA back in the 80s).
Get your butt back into law school while you can.

mirifique's avatar

@Zendo – But I really don’t want to be a lawyer. Are you saying I’m completely stuck?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

you are not stuck, you should do what you want – no risk in trying to apply to an MBA program while you do something else like work

Zendo's avatar

LOL…No, you are never stuck. Take that paralegal paperwork and go out and get into whatever you want. The world is your oyster.

gailcalled's avatar

Take the GMAT’s; if you do well, your experience as a paralegal will work to your advantage.

http://www.mba.com/mba/TheGMAT/GMATScoresAndScoreReports/

“The Graduate Management Admission Test® (GMAT®) yields four scores: Verbal, Quantitative, Total, and Analytical Writing Assessment.”

It doesn’t test whether The Donald would want you as his apprentice.

photographcrash's avatar

Well first of all, do you already have a bachelors degree? Or an associates? Having a bachelors would obviously make getting into an MBA program easier. Second of all, I don’t think you necessarily need real world experience to get into a program. That’s the point of getting the education, to PREPARE you for the real world experience. I have a friend that has a bachelors in education that has worked for a non profit doing social outreach for a few years and she got into an MBA program. Lots of people get into MBA programs right out of undergrad, obviously having NO real world experience! I don’t think it would hurt you at all to apply to a school and see what happens. Or, find a school that offers a program you like, and give the admissions department or the business department head a call and ask what their requirements/admissions process are/is like. Good luck!

YARNLADY's avatar

The way to get into an MBA program is to have the prerequisites first. You can get some of the credits you need by testing out of a class, but the “life experience” credits will not meet the entire requirements.

Get in touch with a college counselor and find out exactly what you will need to achieve your goal. Ask specifically about “life experience” credits, testing out credits, and such. They will also be able to advise you on taking classes in your “spare” time.

EmpressPixie's avatar

You need to either have a bachelor’s degree or rather a lot of business experience. If you don’t have a bachelor’s you are not going to be able to get your MBA generally.

Assuming you do have one, then as long as you are able to draw from your experience in a meaningful way, write good essays, and score well on the GMAT you will be able to get into business school. People do it straight out of undergrad or (like me) with only 1.5 years of experience at the time of application. It can be done.

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