Thoughts on work experience

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djchach
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Thoughts on work experience

Postby djchach » Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:40 pm

Hey everyone, I've been picking around these forums for a while and had a few questions for the community.

First, let me tell you a bit about myself. I'm a 21 year old living in South Dakota, attending South Dakota State University, and have always been interested and set on attending law school after my undergrad. I started working at Wells Fargo as a Collector at age 16 and continued in that position until I was 20, after which I moved to a Teller position where I am currently at. I'm in the second semester of my junior year in my Business Economics major and am enjoying every part of it. Throughout my college career, I haven't really focused (probably a little to much drinking, which I think will start soon after finishing this post) as much as I should have up to this point and unfortunately have a cumulative GPA of about 3.3 with one W.

As for my path to law school, I have always been interested in the JD/MBA joint degree because of its flexibility. However, I know many people have extremely negative thoughts of this degree, and am always interested and respect everyone's opinion they may have about it. I have been speaking with the pre-law adviser on campus have we decided that I try to raise my GPA to, at minimum, 3.5. We decided that I will take my LSAT this June and hope to start applying from there. I currently joined a LSAT study group that meets at least twice a week for a couple hours each time, but would of course increase my studying time closer to the test. To be honest, I couldn't tell you where I'm 100% interested in going, but I've read around the forums and understand that a t14 law school would be the ideal place to go as well as attending a school where you would like to build your career. One of the concerns I have with trying to get into a top law school, is what school will actually pick an undergrad from South Dakota?

Anyways, with me picking up a lot of credits this semester and in the future, I was thinking of possibly leaving my job to focus on classes and raising my GPA to an acceptable level. However, this is not the only reason I want to leave this job, but that can be saved for another post. My main question was, do you think I've had good work experience for getting into a possible MBA and/or JD program or would it look bad if I left that job now to finish my undergrad?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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eaper
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Re: Thoughts on work experience

Postby eaper » Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:46 pm

djchach wrote:Hey everyone, I've been picking around these forums for a while and had a few questions for the community.

First, let me tell you a bit about myself. I'm a 21 year old living in South Dakota, attending South Dakota State University, and have always been interested and set on attending law school after my undergrad. I started working at Wells Fargo as a Collector at age 16 and continued in that position until I was 20, after which I moved to a Teller position where I am currently at. I'm in the second semester of my junior year in my Business Economics major and am enjoying every part of it. Throughout my college career, I haven't really focused (probably a little to much drinking, which I think will start soon after finishing this post) as much as I should have up to this point and unfortunately have a cumulative GPA of about 3.3 with one W.

As for my path to law school, I have always been interested in the JD/MBA joint degree because of its flexibility. However, I know many people have extremely negative thoughts of this degree, and am always interested and respect everyone's opinion they may have about it. I have been speaking with the pre-law adviser on campus have we decided that I try to raise my GPA to, at minimum, 3.5. We decided that I will take my LSAT this June and hope to start applying from there. I currently joined a LSAT study group that meets at least twice a week for a couple hours each time, but would of course increase my studying time closer to the test. To be honest, I couldn't tell you where I'm 100% interested in going, but I've read around the forums and understand that a t14 law school would be the ideal place to go as well as attending a school where you would like to build your career. One of the concerns I have with trying to get into a top law school, is what school will actually pick an undergrad from South Dakota?

Anyways, with me picking up a lot of credits this semester and in the future, I was thinking of possibly leaving my job to focus on classes and raising my GPA to an acceptable level. However, this is not the only reason I want to leave this job, but that can be saved for another post. My main question was, do you think I've had good work experience for getting into a possible MBA and/or JD program or would it look bad if I left that job now to finish my undergrad?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


First off- where you go to undergrad doesn't really make that much of a difference. Short of an online school, you'll be fine even going to a school nobody has heard of. Also, I would probably focus more on getting your LSAT up than your GPA (although, If you can manage to raise it .2 in a semester, that's pretty good). To your main question- do whatever will get you better grades/LSAT scores. Another semester or two of a part time job won't really make a big difference (except financially) at this point. Anyways, depends on where you score on LSAT practice tests, it changes the answer slightly. Take one of those then come back for more specific advice=)

HTH.

djchach
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Re: Thoughts on work experience

Postby djchach » Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:56 pm

Thank you for the quick response. I apologize, I didn't clarify a few things and probably still won't. I am hoping to raise my GPA by .2 in the next 3 semesters and I will take a practice LSAT within a week or two.

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eaper
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Re: Thoughts on work experience

Postby eaper » Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:31 pm

djchach wrote:Thank you for the quick response. I apologize, I didn't clarify a few things and probably still won't. I am hoping to raise my GPA by .2 in the next 3 semesters and I will take a practice LSAT within a week or two.


Ooo ok. That's a little bit more reasonable.. Are you a sophomore, or a Jr that plans to take a year off?

djchach
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Re: Thoughts on work experience

Postby djchach » Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:47 pm

eaper wrote:
djchach wrote:Thank you for the quick response. I apologize, I didn't clarify a few things and probably still won't. I am hoping to raise my GPA by .2 in the next 3 semesters and I will take a practice LSAT within a week or two.


Ooo ok. That's a little bit more reasonable.. Are you a sophomore, or a Jr that plans to take a year off?


I'm a junior and haven't taken any time off. I plan to graduate in a normal 4 years in May 13' at my undergrad and continue to law school right after.

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cinephile
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Re: Thoughts on work experience

Postby cinephile » Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:04 pm

If you want to be accepted into a good MBA program, you'll need full time work experience after finishing college. But more importantly, what do you want to do with your MBA? Why the dual degree?

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Thoughts on work experience

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:33 pm

djchach wrote:
eaper wrote:
djchach wrote:Thank you for the quick response. I apologize, I didn't clarify a few things and probably still won't. I am hoping to raise my GPA by .2 in the next 3 semesters and I will take a practice LSAT within a week or two.


Ooo ok. That's a little bit more reasonable.. Are you a sophomore, or a Jr that plans to take a year off?


I'm a junior and haven't taken any time off. I plan to graduate in a normal 4 years in May 13' at my undergrad and continue to law school right after.


You'll be applying in fall 2012, meaning that you will be applying without your last two semesters worth of grades.

As the poster above me said, you'll need full time experience post-undergrad to get into a good MBA program.

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eaper
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Re: Thoughts on work experience

Postby eaper » Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:47 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:
djchach wrote:
eaper wrote:
djchach wrote:Thank you for the quick response. I apologize, I didn't clarify a few things and probably still won't. I am hoping to raise my GPA by .2 in the next 3 semesters and I will take a practice LSAT within a week or two.


Ooo ok. That's a little bit more reasonable.. Are you a sophomore, or a Jr that plans to take a year off?


I'm a junior and haven't taken any time off. I plan to graduate in a normal 4 years in May 13' at my undergrad and continue to law school right after.


You'll be applying in fall 2012, meaning that you will be applying without your last two semesters worth of grades.


As the poster above me said, you'll need full time experience post-undergrad to get into a good MBA program.


This is why I was asking. Spring semester Junior year (or one year before you start law school) is the last set of grades that really matter unless you want to apply late <probably not worth the wait>. So, unless you want to take time off, you have one semester to bring your grades up.

sillyboots
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Re: Thoughts on work experience

Postby sillyboots » Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:20 pm

As painful as it is to try not to think about it, I think there's a lot of wisdom in not worrying about your options until they're in front of you. If you can increase your GPA that's great, but I'm skeptical about how much an increased GPA helps. I went to an obscure, low ranked university and had a really unimpressive GPA (~3.1), but looking back on where I got accepted and didn't, it seemed to be almost entirely a function of my LSAT score. Where I had a slightly higher end LSAT score for the school, I pretty much always got accepted or at the very least waitlisted, even though my GPA was often far below the average for the school (and I went to a far less prestigious university than my peers).

Others might have opposite stories, and I know once you get into the T6 range you really need the fantastic LSAT score *and* the great GPA, but I wouldn't worry much about your school or your GPA. Just concentrate on dominating the LSAT to the best of your potential. Once you get your scores (real score, mind you.. I, and many people I know, did significantly better on practice exams than the real deal; test day does weird things), you can see where you have realistic chances and figure out what you want to do. On that note, I wouldn't rule out taking a year off-- you're young, it sounds like you've been working for a long time, and it might not be a bad thing to shake things up and try something new before diving into a time-dominating career path.

djchach
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Re: Thoughts on work experience

Postby djchach » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:09 pm

cinephile wrote:If you want to be accepted into a good MBA program, you'll need full time work experience after finishing college. But more importantly, what do you want to do with your MBA? Why the dual degree?


Well I've always been interested in corporate law as well as working in the business field. When I heard of this joint degree, I figured why not have the best of both? Though I always knew that you needed full time work experience for a good MBA program so I'm not sure if that is still an option for me.

eaper wrote:This is why I was asking. Spring semester Junior year (or one year before you start law school) is the last set of grades that really matter unless you want to apply late <probably not worth the wait>. So, unless you want to take time off, you have one semester to bring your grades up.


Well... I feel like a complete idiot. I honestly didn't even think about that until now, I'm surprised my adviser didn't see that either. Well its nice to know that GPA isn't that big of a focus as compared to the LSAT, however I will try my hardest to get as close to a 4.0 this semester so I can try to raise it as much as possible before my application process starts. I don't really want to take a year off of school, I rather just continue with my education and just stay in the school and study mode.

As for work, I hate to leave that job because I've been with WF for over 4 years now. However, on the other hand, eliminating 20-25 hours a week of work during the semester would drastically help me raise my GPA and give me a lot more time to study for the LSAT.

sillyboots wrote:As painful as it is to try not to think about it, I think there's a lot of wisdom in not worrying about your options until they're in front of you. If you can increase your GPA that's great, but I'm skeptical about how much an increased GPA helps. I went to an obscure, low ranked university and had a really unimpressive GPA (~3.1), but looking back on where I got accepted and didn't, it seemed to be almost entirely a function of my LSAT score. Where I had a slightly higher end LSAT score for the school, I pretty much always got accepted or at the very least waitlisted, even though my GPA was often far below the average for the school (and I went to a far less prestigious university than my peers).

Others might have opposite stories, and I know once you get into the T6 range you really need the fantastic LSAT score *and* the great GPA, but I wouldn't worry much about your school or your GPA. Just concentrate on dominating the LSAT to the best of your potential. Once you get your scores (real score, mind you.. I, and many people I know, did significantly better on practice exams than the real deal; test day does weird things), you can see where you have realistic chances and figure out what you want to do. On that note, I wouldn't rule out taking a year off-- you're young, it sounds like you've been working for a long time, and it might not be a bad thing to shake things up and try something new before diving into a time-dominating career path.


Thank you for the response, I enjoy hearing from other members and their experiences. If you don't mind me asking, what did you end up getting on your LSAT (on practice and actual test day) and where did you attend law school? And like stated earlier, I don't think taking a year off of school and working would be a bad idea, I just don't think its a good idea for me. As of right now, I'm happy where I'm at with school and don't see it changing in the next 3 semesters, so I'm pretty confident in wanting to go to law school right after undergrad.

apollo2015
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Re: Thoughts on work experience

Postby apollo2015 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:13 pm

If you will be going straight into law school, skip the MBA for the time being. Without more work experience, you would not be getting into a top business school. Plus, since you are not going to spend any time in the "real world" before law school, you may find yourself wanting to change your life path later on after you discover how you feel about life after academia. That would be the best time to start an MBA program, as a way to reset your professional career.

Its doubtful that any more work experience while in school will make a big difference for you, so focus on your academics/LSATs/soft factors.

If you feel like staying in South Dakota, a regional school could make sense for you. It looks like there is only one law school, the University of South Dakota, in the state. Their 75th percentile GPA was 3.59. Try your best to get your GPA up to that at least.

(Also, if you haven't gone Greek yet, join a Fraternity while you still have the chance. Having a strong network is crucial in fields like law and business.)

Trips
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Re: Thoughts on work experience

Postby Trips » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:39 pm

I think the fact that you go to school in SD may help you.

I go to school at USD, and I was just having this conversation with one of my professors, whose brother went from NSU UG to grad school at Harvard.

The Harvard guy thinks the fact that he went to school in SD played a role in Harvard in accepting him. The schools wants diversity, even if it means geographic diversity.

Now I assume this a few decades ago that he went to grad school, so I dont know if its necessarily up to date, but I thought I'd mention it.

djchach
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Re: Thoughts on work experience

Postby djchach » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:13 pm

apollo2015 wrote:If you will be going straight into law school, skip the MBA for the time being. Without more work experience, you would not be getting into a top business school. Plus, since you are not going to spend any time in the "real world" before law school, you may find yourself wanting to change your life path later on after you discover how you feel about life after academia. That would be the best time to start an MBA program, as a way to reset your professional career.

Its doubtful that any more work experience while in school will make a big difference for you, so focus on your academics/LSATs/soft factors.

If you feel like staying in South Dakota, a regional school could make sense for you. It looks like there is only one law school, the University of South Dakota, in the state. Their 75th percentile GPA was 3.59. Try your best to get your GPA up to that at least.

(Also, if you haven't gone Greek yet, join a Fraternity while you still have the chance. Having a strong network is crucial in fields like law and business.)


I don't really feel like staying in South Dakota. I definitely wouldn't mind going to the University of Minnesota though. And as for Greek life, SDSU is definitely not the school for frats. Not really many around and not much to them if there are.

Trips wrote:I think the fact that you go to school in SD may help you.

I go to school at USD, and I was just having this conversation with one of my professors, whose brother went from NSU UG to grad school at Harvard.

The Harvard guy thinks the fact that he went to school in SD played a role in Harvard in accepting him. The schools wants diversity, even if it means geographic diversity.

Now I assume this a few decades ago that he went to grad school, so I dont know if its necessarily up to date, but I thought I'd mention it.


Do you currently go to law school there or still in undergrad? Thanks for the heads up on law schools choosing South Dakota residents, nice to hear of some people getting out of here.

Trips
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Re: Thoughts on work experience

Postby Trips » Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:19 pm

djchach wrote:Do you currently go to law school there or still in undergrad? Thanks for the heads up on law schools choosing South Dakota residents, nice to hear of some people getting out of here.


Still in undergrad. I wouldn't want to go to USD's law school either.

Another option you might want to check out is Iowa. I think your GPA might be a little low, but focus on LSAT and you never know.




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