work experience pre-graduation and WE vs GPA^

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wolfpack37
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work experience pre-graduation and WE vs GPA^

Postby wolfpack37 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:06 pm

Hey everyone,

I'm sitting at 3.5/173 right now with one semester before I finish my graduation requirements. That said, I know of plenty of people who finished their major requirements and went out and found jobs, then maybe failed a GE or for some reason never ended up graduating. I'm curious if it would be beneficial to pick up a minor or second major in order to take 2 classes a semester for the next 2 years while also working full-time. Would the work experience be considered as such, given that I wouldn't have graduated?

Ideally, that would result in 2 years WE as well as a GPA increase. Realistically after this semester I can have a 3.54 and after 2 years of taking 2 classes per semester I could increase that to a 3.61.

So basically, my questions are:

1. Do law schools consider pre-graduation work (as described above -> full-time job that would be typical entry-level for someone with a degree) as work experience?
2. If the answer to (1) is "No", would 2 years WE or a 3.54->3.61 GPA increase be more beneficial toward law school applications in the long run.
3. And last, how does non-relevant WE compare with relevant? IE if I go out and get a job as a paralegal, will it be more beneficial toward apps than if I go out and get a job involved with finance (my major), and to what degree?
Last edited by wolfpack37 on Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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blink
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Re: work experience pre-graduation and WE vs GPA^

Postby blink » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:13 pm

1) No
2) WE = one of the better soft factors you can have.
3) It's less about what you're doing, and more about gaining some real-world perspective and maturity.

wolfpack37
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Re: work experience pre-graduation and WE vs GPA^

Postby wolfpack37 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:18 pm

blink wrote:1) No
2) WE = one of the better soft factors you can have.
3) It's less about what you're doing, and more about gaining some real-world perspective and maturity.


Okay, and according to your reasoning in (3), (1) should be Yes, given the other information (full-time, salaried, career-esque 40 hours/week job). Any ideas as to why schools would not consider it work experience simply because you're possibly completing a minor taking 1-2 night classes a semester?

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blink
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Re: work experience pre-graduation and WE vs GPA^

Postby blink » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:19 pm

So the job you're talking about doesn't require a bachelor's degree?

Edit: I was relying on the assumption that most gainful employment requires a college education. Given your specific situation, I don't see why you wouldn't be able to raise your GPA while working a legitimate career-track type job in Finance.

wolfpack37
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Re: work experience pre-graduation and WE vs GPA^

Postby wolfpack37 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:23 pm

blink wrote:So the job you're talking about doesn't require a bachelor degree?


Well, like I said, I have a few friends of friends (most specifically with engineering degrees) who lined up jobs pre-graduation, then failed a GE requirement but completed all of their major requirements. The companies that hired them didn't really care that their employee failed Spanish 3 or 15th Century American History, as they had completed all of their major requirements. So they ended up not graduating but working in jobs as though they did.

blink wrote:Edit: I was relying on the assumption that most gainful employment requires a college education. Given your specific situation, I don't see why you wouldn't be able to raise your GPA while working a legitimate career-track type job in Finance.


Fantastic. This is what I was wondering about most specifically because I'm not going to continue full-time UG for 2 years in order to raise my GPA by .1-.2 points and forego 2 years of entry-level salary as well as the interesting new experiences. In light of that, it was really a question of law school apps saying WE or a slightly higher GPA (one that breaks some 25th percentiles!), or, hopefully, having both!

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blink
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Re: work experience pre-graduation and WE vs GPA^

Postby blink » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:31 pm

wolfpack37 wrote:
blink wrote:So the job you're talking about doesn't require a bachelor degree?


Well, like I said, I have a few friends of friends (most specifically with engineering degrees) who lined up jobs pre-graduation, then failed a GE requirement but completed all of their major requirements. The companies that hired them didn't really care that their employee failed Spanish 3 or 15th Century American History, as they had completed all of their major requirements. So they ended up not graduating but working in jobs as though they did.

blink wrote:Edit: I was relying on the assumption that most gainful employment requires a college education. Given your specific situation, I don't see why you wouldn't be able to raise your GPA while working a legitimate career-track type job in Finance.


Fantastic. This is what I was wondering about most specifically because I'm not going to continue full-time UG for 2 years in order to raise my GPA by .1-.2 points and forego 2 years of entry-level salary as well as the interesting new experiences. In light of that, it was really a question of law school apps saying WE or a slightly higher GPA (one that breaks some 25th percentiles!), or, hopefully, having both!



Yeah, I mean I don't have any direct experience with this and it seems like a rare scenario, so I'd be interested to see what some other posters have to say. Seems like worst case scenario is that a school would see through the attempt at raising your GPA, or consider your work as pre-graduation WE. Either way, you'll have a chance to save up some money for school and get some good experience along with a slightly higher GPA. All wins from where I'm sitting.

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skers
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Re: work experience pre-graduation and WE vs GPA^

Postby skers » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:42 pm

Personally, I'd look at the effects upon your future career prospects before the effects upon admissions. WE is a big boost in hiring and will help come OCI time regardless of which school in a largely fungible group you ultimately decide to attend.

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blink
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Re: work experience pre-graduation and WE vs GPA^

Postby blink » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:43 pm

TemporarySaint wrote:Personally, I'd look at the effects upon your future career prospects before the effects upon admissions. WE is a big boost in hiring and will help come OCI time regardless of which school in a largely fungible group you ultimately decide to attend.


Credited.

wolfpack37
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Re: work experience pre-graduation and WE vs GPA^

Postby wolfpack37 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:48 pm

TemporarySaint wrote:Personally, I'd look at the effects upon your future career prospects before the effects upon admissions. WE is a big boost in hiring and will help come OCI time regardless of which school in a largely fungible group you ultimately decide to attend.


In which case, again, the question is whether pre-diploma WE could be considered as such or provide a tangible boost, given the circumstances, albeit by law firms/future employers rather than law schools. Thoughts/opinions?

Just for clarification, if I decide to postpone law school for 2 years, it will be to work. I WILL work. The real question is whether I should work + night classes or just work, which really boils down to the questions I asked originally. Is real-world WE pre-diploma still considered WE (in which case postponing graduation in favor of night classes provides only benefits), and if it is largely not recognized as WE, will 2 years recognized WE or a .07 GPA boost (which puts me above 25th percentiles at 7 T14 schools that I'm currently under 25th percentiles at) provide a more tangible benefit.

Again, many of the arguments in favor of WE are the experiences, you make money, etc. However, even without recognized WE I will gain the experiences and make money, so those arguments are irrelevant. What matters is ON A RESUME is WE or the GPA boost better. And we can look at everything from law schools and employer perspectives!

Thanks for the input so far guys, and I recognize that there are likely very few people who can provide insight into these questions.

MusicComp
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Re: work experience pre-graduation and WE vs GPA^

Postby MusicComp » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:41 pm

A 3.5 is a fine GPA if you have two years of WE. I'd say NW is a definite with a 173 / 3.5. Other schools may be a tad bit more demanding, but if you express your maturity and intelligence through your PS as you have done so with your writing on this board, you'll have no problem securing at least 2-3 T14 schools.

Now, if you want T6...maybe Michigan, or Columbia...but I wouldn't count on it like I would with NW.




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