Work Experience^x = Northwestern

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Momentum
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Work Experience^x = Northwestern

Postby Momentum » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:12 pm

I'm curious: the standard convention on these boards is that one's having at least a year of work experience and reasonable numbers makes him or her viable applicant to Northwestern, but do we know how prestigious that WE must be to qualify as Northwestern-worthy? Is it both prestige and one's propensity for promotion, or some other combination of factors altogether?

To give this a more personal context, I'll present a semi-mock dilemma. In an applicant's effort to appeal to NW, which would be the most beneficial way to work during a year between UG and LS:

1. Entry-level position at some company: No prestige, but chances for quick promotions.
2. Middle/High School Teacher: No chance for promotion and little prestige, but great leadership and feel-good experience.
3. Entry-level Government Position: Relatively high prestige, no chance for promotion.
4. Political Campaign work: No prestige or promotions, but great experience.
5. Something else entirely?

So, what do you think? What WE is NW WE?

dddhhh
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Re: Work Experience^x = Northwestern

Postby dddhhh » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:21 pm

Do what makes you happiest & that you can speak of with enthusiasm during your NU interview.

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Momentum
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Re: Work Experience^x = Northwestern

Postby Momentum » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:53 am

dddhhh wrote:Do what makes you happiest & that you can speak of with enthusiasm during your NU interview.
That's great advice, but what I was shooting for was clarification of a widely-dispensed piece of information. I'm curious as to what differentiates 'a job' from 'Work Experience' in regards to Northwestern's penchant for the latter.

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Verity
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Re: Work Experience^x = Northwestern

Postby Verity » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:12 am

Really prestigious/impressive WE will only save you if you have borderline numbers, and probably won't save you if you're numbers really aren't up to par. NU cares about WE, but cares more about numbers. I'll give six cases with examples:

Median Numbers: 170/~3.7

Typically, you should have at least 1-2 years of solid WE. Nothing too crazy, but doing some Teach for America would definitely be enough.
In out of UG.

Above Medians: 173/~3.9

You will probably get in even straight out of UG.
In out of UG.

Below Medians: 169 and below/3.7 and below

You need to have done something impressive, and hopefully for a while (e.g., CEO of successful start-up). Even then, it's a toss-up.
You're probably in no matter what, but at least a year of anything will make it certain.

Way Below Medians: 165ish and below/3.5ish and below

You better have been the youngest VP at JPMorgan for the past 5-7 years.
Some solid WE for at least 1-2 years is needed, but nothing too rare.

Splitter: ~175/~2.5

Something solid, hopefully for a while (e.g., manager at an F500).
You're probably in with some decent WE or volunteering for at least 1-2 years.

Reverse-Splitter: ~160/~4.0

You better have been the youngest Director at Goldman. Even that might not save you.
This is tricky. NU doesn't like low LSATs, but in this case, some serious WE might help you prevail. Manager at an F500 for a few years should do the trick.



There are plenty of other hypos, but to sum up, WE is necessary in almost all cases, but hardly sufficient.

*EDIT: Non-URM in red, URM in blue.
Last edited by Verity on Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

dddhhh
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Re: Work Experience^x = Northwestern

Postby dddhhh » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:18 am

Momentum wrote:
dddhhh wrote:Do what makes you happiest & that you can speak of with enthusiasm during your NU interview.
That's great advice, but what I was shooting for was clarification of a widely-dispensed piece of information. I'm curious as to what differentiates 'a job' from 'Work Experience' in regards to Northwestern's penchant for the latter.


Work Experience will mold a better candidate because it creates a strong sense of maturity. Ultimately, they want a mature candidate (what the dean said in an interview in a book I have). You will have to successfully prove this during your interview, those with no WE can speak instead to experiences they've had.

09042014
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Re: Work Experience^x = Northwestern

Postby 09042014 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:28 am

IMO work experience at northwestern will never overcome bad numbers, unless you are a JD/MBA because Kellogg will be the one accepting you. You could have an amazing career but if you aren't hitting the numbers you need, it's not happening.

If you have good solid numbers, anything that was full time counts.

If you have border line numbers they are probably more picky, but still, nothing more than an average job. All five things you mentioned would definitely count.

Northwestern brands itself as us all having amazing work experience, but it's more that we've all had some work experience. After all you can't be selective about soft factors without having your numbers tumble. See Berkeley. And good career is more rare than Berk softs.

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Borhas
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Re: Work Experience^x = Northwestern

Postby Borhas » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:09 am

why leave a good career for law school?

Bumi
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Re: Work Experience^x = Northwestern

Postby Bumi » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:15 am

Verity wrote:Splitter: ~175/~2.5

Something solid, hopefully for a while (e.g., manager at an F500).

Ran here, taking questions.
Borhas wrote:why leave a good career for law school?

"Good career" is defined differently by different people.

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sanetruth
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Re: Work Experience^x = Northwestern

Postby sanetruth » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:21 am

Desert Fox wrote:IMO work experience at northwestern will never overcome bad numbers, unless you are a JD/MBA because Kellogg will be the one accepting you. You could have an amazing career but if you aren't hitting the numbers you need, it's not happening.

If you have good solid numbers, anything that was full time counts.

If you have border line numbers they are probably more picky, but still, nothing more than an average job. All five things you mentioned would definitely count.

Northwestern brands itself as us all having amazing work experience, but it's more that we've all had some work experience. After all you can't be selective about soft factors without having your numbers tumble. See Berkeley. And good career is more rare than Berk softs.


Someone in another thread said that Northwestern "explicitly states they don't like paralegal experience". When I pressed him on where he got this info he didn't reply. Is this true? How many former paralegals do you know there?

Verity wrote:Median Numbers: 170/~3.7

Typically, you should have at least 1-2 years of solid WE. Nothing too crazy, but doing some Teach for America would definitely be enough.



Ummmm...TFA is pretty prestigious.

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sanetruth
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Re: Work Experience^x = Northwestern

Postby sanetruth » Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:42 am

sanetruth wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
If you have good solid numbers, anything that was full time counts.



Someone in another thread said that Northwestern "explicitly states they don't like paralegal experience". When I pressed him on where he got this info he didn't reply. Is this true? How many former paralegals do you know there?



Bump. would really like a final determination on this.

09042014
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Re: Work Experience^x = Northwestern

Postby 09042014 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:25 pm

sanetruth wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:IMO work experience at northwestern will never overcome bad numbers, unless you are a JD/MBA because Kellogg will be the one accepting you. You could have an amazing career but if you aren't hitting the numbers you need, it's not happening.

If you have good solid numbers, anything that was full time counts.

If you have border line numbers they are probably more picky, but still, nothing more than an average job. All five things you mentioned would definitely count.

Northwestern brands itself as us all having amazing work experience, but it's more that we've all had some work experience. After all you can't be selective about soft factors without having your numbers tumble. See Berkeley. And good career is more rare than Berk softs.


Someone in another thread said that Northwestern "explicitly states they don't like paralegal experience". When I pressed him on where he got this info he didn't reply. Is this true? How many former paralegals do you know there?




The former Dean of the law school said that (IAFG or Raiyner said this right? I'm friends IRL with them), but he wasn't really in charge of admissions. It's definitely not true. It may be what the Dean aspired to, but it wasn't the reality on the ground. There are tons of paralegals. It's probably one of the most common career people had. Maybe 1/20 people are paralegals.

The former Dean wanted to make NU very similar to a business school in terms of admissions, but we aren't anywhere near that yet. And I doubt a new Dean will continue on that path as vigorously as the old dean has.

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bk1
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Re: Work Experience^x = Northwestern

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:29 pm

I get the feeling as 1 year is pretty sketch at NU considering almost 90% of the class is 2+.

09042014
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Re: Work Experience^x = Northwestern

Postby 09042014 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:37 pm

bk1 wrote:I get the feeling as 1 year is pretty sketch at NU considering almost 90% of the class is 2+.


Yea the only guy I know with 1 year only has good numbers for NU and no scholarship.

splitmuch
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Re: Work Experience^x = Northwestern

Postby splitmuch » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:40 pm

Verity wrote:Really prestigious/impressive WE will only save you if you have borderline numbers, and probably won't save you if you're numbers really aren't up to par. NU cares about WE, but cares more about numbers. I'll give six cases with examples:

Median Numbers: 170/~3.7

Typically, you should have at least 1-2 years of solid WE. Nothing too crazy, but doing some Teach for America would definitely be enough.
In out of UG.

Above Medians: 173/~3.9

You will probably get in even straight out of UG.
In out of UG.

Below Medians: 169 and below/3.7 and below

You need to have done something impressive, and hopefully for a while (e.g., CEO of successful start-up). Even then, it's a toss-up.
You're probably in no matter what, but at least a year of anything will make it certain.

Way Below Medians: 165ish and below/3.5ish and below

You better have been the youngest VP at JPMorgan for the past 5-7 years.
Some solid WE for at least 1-2 years is needed, but nothing too rare.

Splitter: ~175/~2.5

Something solid, hopefully for a while (e.g., manager at an F500).
You're probably in with some decent WE or volunteering for at least 1-2 years.

Reverse-Splitter: ~160/~4.0

You better have been the youngest Director at Goldman. Even that might not save you.
This is tricky. NU doesn't like low LSATs, but in this case, some serious WE might help you prevail. Manager at an F500 for a few years should do the trick.



There are plenty of other hypos, but to sum up, WE is necessary in almost all cases, but hardly sufficient.

*EDIT: Non-URM in red, URM in blue.



I think your splitter estimation is a little off, im a non URM with a 3.1 178 and just under 1 yr WE as a paralegal, got in today. (Off hold, though, but I was also a february applicant).

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Verity
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Re: Work Experience^x = Northwestern

Postby Verity » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:02 pm

splitmuch wrote:
Verity wrote:Really prestigious/impressive WE will only save you if you have borderline numbers, and probably won't save you if you're numbers really aren't up to par. NU cares about WE, but cares more about numbers. I'll give six cases with examples:

Median Numbers: 170/~3.7

Typically, you should have at least 1-2 years of solid WE. Nothing too crazy, but doing some Teach for America would definitely be enough.
In out of UG.

Above Medians: 173/~3.9

You will probably get in even straight out of UG.
In out of UG.

Below Medians: 169 and below/3.7 and below

You need to have done something impressive, and hopefully for a while (e.g., CEO of successful start-up). Even then, it's a toss-up.
You're probably in no matter what, but at least a year of anything will make it certain.

Way Below Medians: 165ish and below/3.5ish and below

You better have been the youngest VP at JPMorgan for the past 5-7 years.
Some solid WE for at least 1-2 years is needed, but nothing too rare.

Splitter: ~175/~2.5

Something solid, hopefully for a while (e.g., manager at an F500).
You're probably in with some decent WE or volunteering for at least 1-2 years.

Reverse-Splitter: ~160/~4.0

You better have been the youngest Director at Goldman. Even that might not save you.
This is tricky. NU doesn't like low LSATs, but in this case, some serious WE might help you prevail. Manager at an F500 for a few years should do the trick.



There are plenty of other hypos, but to sum up, WE is necessary in almost all cases, but hardly sufficient.

*EDIT: Non-URM in red, URM in blue.



I think your splitter estimation is a little off, im a non URM with a 3.1 178 and just under 1 yr WE as a paralegal, got in today. (Off hold, though, but I was also a february applicant).


That's another hypo in itself. But yeah, ^ assumes normal application dates (October-December). Your LSAT is very-high end, and you're not quite an extreme-splitter (sub-3.0 + 175+), so it's a little different. Also keep in mind that this stuff is largely true for most applicants. I've seen some weird anomalies that I still can't understand.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Work Experience^x = Northwestern

Postby Stringer Bell » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:10 pm

Any of those will probably be fine to fulfill the W/E requirement at NU, but I think another factor you might want to consider is what jobs will make your resume look better to legal employers. I would imagine working at a company will look best to law firms.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Work Experience^x = Northwestern

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:01 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:Any of those will probably be fine to fulfill the W/E requirement at NU, but I think another factor you might want to consider is what jobs will make your resume look better to legal employers. I would imagine working at a company will look best to law firms.


But considering that grads from most other law schools get jobs without the benefit of ANY post-UG WE, I don't think it's all that big of a deal what your WE is, as long as it's not 5 years of delivering pizzas part-time while living in your parents' basement. Something reasonably adult and productive is good.

Unless, of course, the WE is relevant to the legal job you're pursuing, like an accountant becoming a tax lawyer or a former professional athlete getting a JD to become a sports agent.

bobo11111111111
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Re: Work Experience^x = Northwestern

Postby bobo11111111111 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:59 am

I have roughly 3 1/2 years of solid work experience. Nothing special, but a good amount of responsibility for a big company.

I'll have a masters with something over a 3.8 gpa.

My undergraduate gpa is low 3.18.

Do you think I'll need at least a 172 to get into Northwestern? Or higher?

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ArchRoark
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Re: Work Experience^x = Northwestern

Postby ArchRoark » Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:10 am

Super splitter URM with 1 yr full-time WE (lots of part-time throughout college) and I was accepted at NU with a 10k/yr scholly.

My WE wasn't anything prestigious...

splitmuch
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Re: Work Experience^x = Northwestern

Postby splitmuch » Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:56 am

Im only 1 year and its as a paralegal so I don't think the NU doesn't count paralegal work idea isn't true.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Work Experience^x = Northwestern

Postby JamMasterJ » Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:41 pm

bobo11111111111 wrote:I have roughly 3 1/2 years of solid work experience. Nothing special, but a good amount of responsibility for a big company.

I'll have a masters with something over a 3.8 gpa.

My undergraduate gpa is low 3.18.

Do you think I'll need at least a 172 to get into Northwestern? Or higher?

Yes. masters degrees are considered a soft factor. Your gpa will carry little to no weight - it's not used in USNWR or LSAC calculations

antonin
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Re: Work Experience^x = Northwestern

Postby antonin » Mon May 02, 2011 9:03 pm

My impression is that they do not care too much about quality, after all they know it is a bad economy. I am guessing that they care enough to know whether your job supports you or not. Working part time for example might not be ideal, but any full time job should be enough if for two years.

09042014
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Re: Work Experience^x = Northwestern

Postby 09042014 » Mon May 02, 2011 9:08 pm

antonin wrote:My impression is that they do not care too much about quality, after all they know it is a bad economy. I am guessing that they care enough to know whether your job supports you or not. Working part time for example might not be ideal, but any full time job should be enough if for two years.


Number of years is basically an objective factor. The quality is a soft factor.

jrose5
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Re: Work Experience^x = Northwestern

Postby jrose5 » Mon May 02, 2011 9:47 pm

I'm an applicant in undergrad admitted to NU this year. I interviewed on campus and was accepted 2 weeks later. Oh yeah, I have median numbers for NU so I was NOT a shoo in.

I obviously don't have full time WE, only part time in college. I knew this was to my disadvantage, so in my interview I stressed the aspects of my part time job that involved leadership and organizational skills... it must have worked.

I guess what I'm trying to tell you is that as long as you can spin the WE in a way that makes it sound like you gained the important qualities they're looking for (leadership, organization, project management skills), you'll be fine.

Best of luck!

09042014
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Re: Work Experience^x = Northwestern

Postby 09042014 » Mon May 02, 2011 10:00 pm

jrose5 wrote:I'm an applicant in undergrad admitted to NU this year. I interviewed on campus and was accepted 2 weeks later. Oh yeah, I have median numbers for NU so I was NOT a shoo in.

I obviously don't have full time WE, only part time in college. I knew this was to my disadvantage, so in my interview I stressed the aspects of my part time job that involved leadership and organizational skills... it must have worked.

I guess what I'm trying to tell you is that as long as you can spin the WE in a way that makes it sound like you gained the important qualities they're looking for (leadership, organization, project management skills), you'll be fine.

Best of luck!


At both medians is shoo in.




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