In an edition of Morgan’s Timeout with Trav series, he answers a question from an MBA aspirant who is concerned that business schools may not take his application seriously because he has no experience working for a big corporation.

Morgan says that business schools have no bias for or against certain types of work. You could have worked for a large, well-known company, for a small company or for a family business. You could be an entrepreneur. Business schools will not hold it against you. The real key is showing the impact you have had, whether in your role in an enormous Fortune 500 company, in starting up your own business, or somewhere in-between.


However, working for a family business will impact your application. One big impact it will have is on your recommendations. Family members are likely to be your managers and business schools don’t welcome letters of recommendations from relatives.

Check out: Work Experience Before the MBA (Video)

One solution is go to long-term clients you’ve worked with. You can also contact external contractors you have worked with, such as partners, lawyers or accountants. They should be able to give concrete examples of your leadership abilities.

Family business experience as an advantage  

In many cases having worked for a family business may be an advantage because you don’t need an internship in order to achieve you career goals. This means that programmes others shy away from can be useful to you. For example, you can enrol in one-year MBA programmes or Columbia Business School’s J-Term MBA programme, which allows qualified students to skip the summer internship and get their degree in just 16 months.

For these and other insights, watch the video and see if it can help you make the right decision regarding your future education.