Work Experience FAQ

Why does Georgia Southern prefer and/or require work experience for its MBA program applicants?  Work experience is an alternate measure of what we are really interested in – intellectual maturity and a sense of context about how business works.  As you might guess, these characteristics are much harder to measure and assess.  Why do these things matter to you and us?

Intellectual maturity – As much as anything, intellectual maturity has to do with your approach to acquiring and building knowledge.  In graduate business education, it is as much about the questions and unspoken assumptions as it is about mechanics.  When are techniques or “facts” valid, and when are they not?  If you simply gather facts and tools but don’t actively search for connections and exceptions, you miss the subtleties that differentiate a Master of Business Administration from merely a better trained business undergraduate.  This more skeptical, questioning and personal approach[1] to learning often develops after college when we are forced to live in a messy and ambiguous world.

Business context – Context gives meaning and connections to facts or knowledge.  Meaning and connections make it more likely that one recalls or calls upon the appropriate fact or thought process at the right time and place.  For example, you know that Columbus came to the New World in 1492.  However, 1492 has greater meaning and implications to you if you also know the social, political, and religious atmospheres on the Iberian Peninsula and the New World in the 15th century.  In addition to being helpful to your own learning experience, your experience in a business environment helps round out and enrich the learning of your classmates and instructors.



[1] An accessible article on Intellectual Maturity as it applies to engineering education can be found at www.todaysengineer.org/2005/May/intellectual_maturity.asp.  Embedded is a clever, but unverified, questionnaire to approximate your maturity level based on one model.

Master of Business Administration • P.O. Box 8050 • (912) 478-5767 • mba@georgiasouthern.edu