HBS Class of 2015: number of years of work experience

Since there's always a debate about being "too old" for business school, and questions about whether the years of experience trending younger, the more facts, the better.

HBS is pretty good about revealing the number of years post undergrad in a graphic-friendly style. Unfortunately, the picture I've posted in the corner here probably doesn't show it very well. So,
here's the link to the blog post by Dee Leopold:

http://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/Pages/from-the-admissions-director.aspx?showall=1#Jul24197

This was just released this morning.

My quick thoughts: There's a slight increase in the number of students with only 2 years experience, but it is significantly down from 2 years ago. That's why they do these charts in 3-year increments, I suspect.

So DON'T PANIC, it also looks like the mode of matriculating students is still about 4-5 years out, and if you add it up, more than 2/3 of the students have four or more years of work experience. That's right, less than 300 of the 900+ students at HBS have 3 or less years out of undergrad. Leaving a big wide pool of seats for the rest of you. That's 600 chairs, more than almost any other top business school but Wharton.

I also like the fact that there are some real oldsters in the class -- of course many of them are military, who cannot get out any earlier than 4 or 5 years. I actually worked with a military guy who couldn't get out for something like 13 years because of his unique training.

Anyway, have at it.

 
Best Response
Betsy Massar:

Since there's always a debate about being "too old" for business school, and questions about whether the years of experience trending younger, the more facts, the better.

HBS is pretty good about revealing the number of years post undergrad in a graphic-friendly style. Unfortunately, the picture I've posted in the corner here probably doesn't show it very well. So,
here's the link to the blog post by Dee Leopold:

http://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/Pages/from-the-a...

This was just released this morning.

My quick thoughts: Looks like there is a big jump by about 50-60 students from last year in the "only 2 years of experience" category. The explanation could be that the 2+2 program was (re)launched enthusiastically about two years ago. So worth digging further on that.

But DON'T PANIC, it also looks like the mode of matriculating students is still about 4-5 years out, and if you add it up, more than 2/3 of the students have four or more years of work experience. That's right, less than 300 of the 900+ students at HBS have 3 or less years out of undergrad. Leaving a big wide pool of seats for the rest of you. That's 600 chairs, more than almost any other top business school but Wharton.

I also like the fact that there are some real oldsters in the class -- of course many of them are military, who cannot get out any earlier than 4 or 5 years. I actually worked with a military guy who couldn't get out for something like 13 years because of his unique training.

Anyway, have at it.

Thanks for posting this Betsy!

I have been wondering about this myself as I have continously heard HBS/GSB likes younger applicants (i'll have 5yrs exp @ marticulation/4yrs @ app). I decided to quickly crunch the numbers in excel, haha.

When I looked at 3 buckets (1-3, 4-5yrs, & >5yrs), I realize approx. 49% of 2015 has 4-5yrs, 28% with 1-3, and 23% >5. While the 1-3yr grouped ticked up to 28% from 25% in 2014, it is still down from nearly 32% for class of 2013.

Also 4-6yrs experience (which i've heard is the sweet spot for many schools) is 60% for 2015, so I think this definitely helps clear up some of that myth. I'm guess the talk about trending towards younger applicants is simple a function of the fact that HBS has a program specifically geared towards early applicants (2+2).

 

This is very interesting.

One thing that would be interested to know is how the number of years of experience comes into play when competing against people with similar profiles.

For example, I'm in consulting (2 years in), and a bunch of people from my class and the class above me (direct promotes to the post-MBA position) are applying. Does the class above necessarily have the advantage because they have more of the same kind of work experience? Aren't they intrinsically more qualified? Does that even matter?

Would be interesting to get your take!

 

According to the broader class profile link: http://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/admission-requirements/Pages/class-pr…

you'll see that 48 members of the Class of 2015 are military. Having said that, there are some who might fall into consulting or something, if they had already left the services before applying.

So, doing the math: I counted 219 with 6+ years of experience, giving only about 21% in military.

Check my arithmetic, though.

Betsy Massar Come see me at my Q&A thread http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/b-school-qa-w-betsy-massar-of-master-admissions Ask away!
 

This is good stuff. In my opinion, top b-schools need to go older, not younger. But of course, I certainly know the rationale behind Dean Leopold's decision to accept younger folks.

 
mbavsmfin:

This is good stuff. In my opinion, top b-schools need to go older, not younger. But of course, I certainly know the rationale behind Dean Leopold's decision to accept younger folks.

Actually, they are not accepting that many youngsters -- that's really what I think the graph is showing In 2015: 77 students had

Betsy Massar Come see me at my Q&A thread http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/b-school-qa-w-betsy-massar-of-master-admissions Ask away!
 

Yes, your math is correct. The incoming class at HBS is definitely not as young as the previous few classes.

I think the reasons why HBS has gone younger in recent years(especially with the 2+2 program) is twofolds: first, to get the talented younger students away from law, medicine, Phd programs, and second, to get the women before they're married and hence more flexible in terms of where they go to b-school.

 
Betsy Massar:

According to the broader class profile link: http://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/admission-requir...

you'll see that 48 members of the Class of 2015 are military.
Having said that, there are some who might fall into consulting or something, if they had already left the services before applying.

So, doing the math: I counted 219 with 6+ years of experience, giving only about 21% in military.

Check my arithmetic, though.

That's also assuming all military applicants had 6+ years of experience which is not going to be true so the real percentage is probably less than that. Pilots have a commitment that usually comes out to 11-12 years and some other fields have similarly long commitments. However the general ROTC commitment is only 4 years and for academy grads it is 5 years. So not all military people at MBA programs are going to be in their mid-30's, many are eligible to leave at that same 4-5 years work experience.

 

I'd be interested in the forums opinion on if the average age of the class is affecting salary figures. Any thoughts/knowledge about whether younger students are receiving offers that are on par with the average or types of positions they are receiving. I think it would clearly be telling to see what the average salary/total comp is for each age division in the above chart.

 

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Betsy Massar Come see me at my Q&A thread http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/b-school-qa-w-betsy-massar-of-master-admissions Ask away!

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