Tag Archives: Silver Scholars Program

Is There Such Thing as Too Old, Too Young for an MBA?

The profile of the typical business school applicant has changed significantly over the past decade. Once upon a time, few would contemplate applying without first having the requisite 5 to 7 years of work experience …

Many prospective business school students confront whether now is the right time to get an MBA.

The profile of the typical business school applicant has changed significantly over the past decade. Once upon a time, few would contemplate applying without first having the requisite 5 to 7 years of work experience under their belts. The prevailing wisdom held that older candidates would have more to contribute to class discussions because of their substantial real-world experience.

Flash forward to today and you’ll see schools taking a closer look at younger candidates, including those with no work experience. The reason for this shift is that business schools fear some applicants would attain so much success after only a few years that they would not want to go back for an MBA.

Some candidates really are ready for business school right after graduating from college; some have started a company while in school, played a strong role in a family business, or gained relevant experiences in other areas.

But as more MBA programs welcome younger applicants, and in some cases actively court them with programs geared toward younger students—such as Harvard Business School‘s 2+2 Program, Yale School of Management‘s three-year Silver Scholars M.B.A. Program, and the deferred enrollment option for college seniors offered by the Stanford Graduate School of Business—anyone over age 28 may feel that she or he doesn’t stand a chance of getting in.

When a client asks, “Am I too old (or too young) for an MBA?” I respond that it’s not about chronological age. It’s more about maturity, readiness, and where you are in your career. Sometimes these things can be linked to age, but that’s not a certainty.

Instead, think about what you want to gain from and what you can contribute to an MBA program. You may be 22 but have a ton of insight to share and highly focused career goals. That would give you a leg up on the 28-year-old who is lost and just using the MBA as something to fill the time.

While older candidates do face certain obstacles, these applicants get into the top programs every year, and can and should apply if an MBA is the necessary stepping stone to advance their career. If you’re contemplating business school in your mid-30s, the key is to demonstrate confidence, how you’ve progressed professionally, and what you’ve contributed on the job.

A 38-year-old candidate who has spent more than a decade in the same position without showing progression will have a hard time being admitted to a top MBA program. This is not because of age. Rather, it is because the candidate may not demonstrated growth during that time.

If you’re applying to an elite school like Harvard, which values great leadership, you should’ve already developed terrific leadership skills. Many people with great leadership skills have achieved so much by the time they near 40 that they’re not interested in going back to school.

However, if one of these people is interested and can demonstrate great achievement balanced with a legitimate need or desire to return to school, then they have a good chance. Proving that you are a strong and accomplished 40-year-old leader, and balancing that with the fact that you want to improve in order to get to the next step, is tough to pull off. That said, “old” people are admitted every season!

Younger applicants, meanwhile, have their own set of obstacles to overcome. They’ll need to demonstrate to the admissions committee that they have the focus and maturity required to succeed in an MBA program.

Since a huge part of the b-school classroom experience is the exchange of ideas from diverse individuals, younger candidates will also need to prove that they have enough life experience to contribute to an incoming class. Business schools are looking for authentic experience, not just students who subscribe to the Wall Street Journal. Finally, younger applicants will need to show an admissions team they have a strong reason for returning to school so soon after graduation.

Regardless of whether you are young or old, if you can achieve what is written above, you will have a good chance of getting into a program that is the right fit for you. Your age should never be the sole deciding factor of whether to apply to business school.

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Yale SOM May Expand Silver Scholars Program

Yale School of Management is considering an expansion of its Silver Scholars Program, which recruits MBA students straight from undergrad, the school announced last week. The program was founded in 2004 and requires two years …

Yale SOM case competition

Yale School of Management is considering an expansion of its Silver Scholars Program, which recruits MBA students straight from undergrad, the school announced last week. The program was founded in 2004 and requires two years of classroom experience separated by one year in the workforce.

Associate Dean Anjani Jain told the Yale Daily News that “the thinking behind expanding the incoming Silver Scholars class stems from a larger and stronger applicant pool.” Originally, the program was open only to Yale College seniors, but broadened after the first two years to include students enrolled in any undergraduate institution.

“The program is a way for the SOM to attract young talent,” Jain says, explaining in the Yale Daily News that the SOM’s first year integrated core curriculum provides a broad business education that fills in the blanks for students without prior business experience.

Students say they like the program because it allows them to forgo entry-level jobs right out of undergrad and recruit much more quickly into MBA-level positions.

Up until last year, the program enrolled five to six students annually, the paper reports, but that number climbed to seven for the class of 2016 and to 15 for the class of 2017.

“The larger classrooms in SOM’s new building have made it physically possible to expand the Silver Scholars class,” says Yale SOM professor Barry Nalebuff, who notes that the decision to accept more Silver Scholars for next year will ultimately depend on the success of this year’s increase.

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You’re Never Too Old or Too Young for Business School

This post originally appeared on the U.S. News — Strictly Business blog. The profile of the typical business school applicant has changed significantly over the past decade. Once upon a time, few would contemplate applying …

This post originally appeared on the U.S. News — Strictly Business blog.

The profile of the typical business school applicant has changed significantly over the past decade. Once upon a time, few would contemplate applying without first having the requisite 5 to 7 years of work experience under their belts. The prevailing wisdom held that older candidates would have more to contribute to class discussions because of their substantial real-world experience.

Flash forward to today and you’ll see schools taking a closer look at younger candidates, including those with no work experience. The reason for this shift is that business schools fear some applicants would attain so much success after only a few years that they would not want to go back for an M.B.A. Some candidates really are ready for business school right after graduating from college; some have started a company while in school, played a strong role in a family business, or gained relevant experiences in other areas.

But as more M.B.A. programs welcome younger applicants, and in some cases actively court them with programs geared toward younger students””such as Harvard Business School‘s 2+2 Program, Yale School of Management‘s three-year Silver Scholars M.B.A. Program, and the deferred enrollment option for college seniors offered by the Stanford Graduate School of Business””anyone over age 28 may feel that she or he doesn’t stand a chance of getting in.

When a client asks, “Am I too old (or too young) for an M.B.A.?” I respond that it’s not about chronological age. It’s more about maturity, readiness, and where you are in your career. Sometimes these things can be linked to age, but that’s not a certainty.

Instead, think about what you want to gain from and what you can contribute to an M.B.A. program. You may be 22 but have a ton of insight to share and highly focused career goals. That would give you a leg up on the 28-year-old who is lost and just using the M.B.A. as something to fill the time.

So while I have seen posts in online business school forums that essentially tell people there is “no chance” past a certain age, and older candidates do face certain obstacles, these applicants get into the top programs every year, and can and should apply if an M.B.A. is the necessary stepping stone to advance their career. If you’re contemplating business school in your mid-30s, the key is to demonstrate confidence, how you’ve progressed professionally, and what you’ve contributed on the job.

A 38-year-old candidate who has spent more than a decade in the same position without showing progression will have a hard time being admitted to a top M.B.A. program. This is not because of age. Rather, it is because the candidate may not demonstrated growth during that time. If you’re applying to an elite school like Harvard, which values great leadership, you should’ve already developed terrific leadership skills. Many people with great leadership skills have achieved so much by the time they near 40 that they’re not interested in going back to school.

However, if one of these people is interested and can demonstrate great achievement balanced with a legitimate need or desire to return to school, then they have a good chance. Proving that you are a strong and accomplished 40-year-old leader, and balancing that with the fact that you want to improve in order to get to the next step, is tough to pull off. That said, “old” people are admitted every season!

Younger applicants, meanwhile, have their own set of obstacles to overcome. They’ll need to demonstrate to the admissions committee that they have the focus and maturity required to succeed in an M.B.A. program.

Since a huge part of the b-school classroom experience is the exchange of ideas from diverse individuals, younger candidates will also need to prove that they have enough life experience to contribute to an incoming class. Business schools are looking for authentic experience, not just students who subscribe to the Wall Street Journal. Finally, younger applicants will need to show an admissions team they have a strong reason for returning to school so soon after graduation.

Regardless of whether you are young or old, if you can achieve what is written above, you will have a good chance of getting into a program that is the right fit for you. Your age should never be the sole deciding factor of whether to apply to business school.

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Spotlight On: Yale SOM Silver Scholars MBA Program

Each year, Yale School of Management admits a select group of college seniors to a three-year MBA program called the Silver Scholars Program, created in 2001 to celebrate Yale University’s tercentennial and the 25th anniversary …

Each year, Yale School of Management admits a select group of college seniors to a three-year MBA program called the Silver Scholars Program, created in 2001 to celebrate Yale University’s tercentennial and the 25th anniversary of the Yale SOM.

A Financial Times profile of the program published earlier this week reveals that it was originally launched to attract more non-traditional MBA candidates to the business school and until recently was limited to Yale students only.

How Does it Work?

Participants enter the program immediately after receiving their undergraduate degree. Silver Scholars spend the first year at Yale developing the basic skills and mindset of a manager through SOM’s core curriculum.

During the second year, students complete a full-time internship. This extended work experience is designed to allow students to put their business education into practice, develop leadership skills, and provide a competitive advantage as they pursue a permanent position.

In the third year, Silver Scholars return to campus for the conclusion of the MBA program, taking electives at SOM and elsewhere at Yale in the areas they chose.

Who Should Apply?

Yale SOM says Silver Scholars are chosen for their combination of intelligence and common sense, maturity and curiosity, passion and compassion. Each has made a difference and distinguished him- or herself in a particular field of interest.

The school is looking for people who will be future leaders in business, government, and nonprofit endeavors. Only current college seniors are eligible to apply.

Job Prospects for Silver Scholars

The FT reports that recruiters can be somewhat skeptical about these relatively untested MBA graduates. Ivan Kerbel, careers director at Yale SOM, tells FT the still-shaky economy means employers lean toward the more tried-and-true model and tend to require more experience in their candidates.

“Most traditional MBA recruiting organizations don’t have a set playbook for recruiting anything other than traditional full-time MBAs,” Kerbel says. To combat that mindset, Silver Scholars students become more entrepreneurial about managing their job search.

“These students get good at presenting their story to recruiters ”“ explaining why they had an appetite for getting an MBA very early in their career,” Kerbel adds.

Ultimately the program appears to have little negative impact on Silver Scholars’ job prospects; FT reports their placement and salary statistics are virtually indistinguishable from their traditional counterparts.

For more information about Yale SOM’s Silver Scholars MBA Program, download the Silver Scholars brochure.

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