If you are working for a family business and starting your MBA application, there are few potential issues you should consider:
1. Recommendation - who is going to write your recommendation, and how will the MBA Admissions committee know that the recommendations are not biased because you are part of the family?
2. Progress & impact - you might have been promoted and gained additional responsibility, but how do you prove that the promotions and compensation were based on your performance and not on other consideration?
The bright side of working for a family business before applying to an MBA includes gaining significant exposure early in one’s career, maturity and responsibility, and interesting stories about conflict, dilemmas, and interpersonal challenges to share with the admissions committee. For example, see the WSJ story about sisters CEOs and the challenges of working with siblings.
Family business is also discussed and taught in top MBA programs - London Business School has a dedicated research center for the topic, Harvard Business School offers Growing, Financing, and Managing Family and Closely Held Firms, NYU Stern offers Family Business Management, Columbia MBA offers Managing the Growing Company.
Need help presenting your family business experience in MBA application? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your resume and include FAMILY coupon code to receive a free evaluation.