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Comments (31)

Jun 4, 2020 - 11:11am

My heart tells me that I should take the gap year to psychologically prepare for 4 years that are coming but the age "gap" seems like a hefty price. I know most students in the US finish college with 21/22 while I would enter freshman year with 20/21.

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Jun 4, 2020 - 11:15am

I get this point of view, but realistically in the long run it does not matter. Yeah, so there maybe that one student that graduates at 19 and will have a decade of PE experience by 30. That really doesn't matter at the end of the day, a lot of doors will still be open for you, especially coming from HPY.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jun 4, 2020 - 12:40pm

I just graduated and I am 25. No one I ever networked with or talked to cares. In no interview it ever came up either unless I bring it up to state that I have more matuirty/experience because I am a little older.

Jun 4, 2020 - 11:24am

It's not like I won't be able to walk if I go to the USA this year but I was advised that I should stay in a controlled environment as much as possible until my knee fully heals. To put it the other way, once I leave crutches, I have little less than a month before going to college. I don't want to make a foolish decision. Anyway, thank you for your input, it means a lot to me.

Jun 4, 2020 - 11:27am

I understand that I'm still young but still I will be behind for some opportunities like business school or graduate school, opposed to majority of candidates who will enter bschool by the time I finish college. Anyway, thank you for your advice.

Jun 4, 2020 - 11:46am

For business school you are incorrect. You can attend business school at any age. In fact, business school loves people that attend after their 30's because they bring maturity and unique experience in the classroom. Many friends in MBA programs have tons of people over the age of 30. For Bus school, age is only a number,.

Same goes for any graduate school program.

  • Prospect in 
Jun 4, 2020 - 11:41am

Stanford just announced rotating throughout the next year - you get 2/4 quarters on so one quarter during the year. Think a lot will follow suit

Jun 5, 2020 - 7:36am

you can use it as a strength, that you're more mature and reliable than the 22 year old frat bro they just interviewed/hired. honestly could be beneficial. I have been at firms where they loved the slightly older, more mature, married recent grads. same is true of my current role where we have had first year analysts in their mid 20's (I can think of 4)

Jun 4, 2020 - 12:49pm

Highly recommend taking a gap year if you can. I actually graduated university a year earlier because I was a keener and did summer school and took on extra classes every semester. I entered IB when I was just 21 FT. I recently turned 30 and here are some of my takeaways now that i've been working for a decade.

1) Never compare yourself to others when it comes to timeline of achievements. No one gave a two shits that I was young when I entered and no one also cared if you were a bit older. When I was climbing up the ladder I would always compare myself to others and wonder if I could beat them. I lost myself and was unhappy for a good 5 years doing the rat race. Looking back at it, I could've made some really meaningful connections, but I decided to be competitive instead. I'm not gonna lie and say that it didn't help me, but if I were to do it all over again today, I would choose to bond more with my colleagues rather than see them as competition. When I finally got the promotion before anybody else, I had no one to share that joy with.

2) Take time for yourself. For the first 5 years of my career, I took 8 vacation days (technically). Looking back at it, I was foolish. Although it advanced my career, it also reduced my happiness. I lost TIME. I missed out on boys trips, bachelor parties, etc...Doing that now at my age is a whole lot different as people start to have families and time spent with friends become a second priority. My advice is, take time to enjoy life when you're young...enjoy the company...and as you become a happier person, your career will follow.

3) Spend less on material things and more on experiences when you're young. Because I grinded so hard during my 20's at work and I didn't travel, I had a bunch of money. I started to spend it on material things by improving my lifestyle: nicer car, nicer home, nicer watch, nicer shoes, etc....and because of this, I am now accustomed to a higher standard of living. I'm handcuffed...I have a lower risk appetite for career changes and life experiences. Advice is, keep your material lifestyle to a minimum so you're able to take higher risks as you age.

Hope this helps!

Jun 4, 2020 - 1:39pm

Wow, thank you for such a detailed answer! I would lie if I said it didn't bother me when I see people my age or younger accomplishing things; I'm now old as Zuckerberg when he started Facebook! I understand that I shouldn't compare myself to anybody but it's kind of subconscious thing. Something about finishing college later is just unattractive. Anyhow, do you have any idea how to leverage my "maturity"? I already lost one year while serving military in my home country, would that be considered "edge"? Once again thank you!

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jun 4, 2020 - 2:26pm

Take a gap year, you don't want to miss a year of college and building relationships due to online or social distancing bs. I just graduated from undergrad and everyone from our freshman pledges to esp seniors were devastated at what we lost due to Covid. Being a little older than everyone at work or school means literally nothing if you aren't weird about it.

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