I have a friend who recently graduated at the top of his class at a prestigious east coast music conservatory. (He graduated with a bachelors of music.) He wants to be a conductor and applied to a number of graduate programs, but his application (with pre-screening videos) did not result in any invitations for a live audition. He says that the feedback he received was that he didn't have enough conducting experience. To remedy that lack he has enrolled in a Masters of Music Ed program at a local university. I've looked at the program, and to my (inexpert) eyes, it seems to be preparation for teaching high school orchestras, bands, choirs, etc.
Is this a useful pursuit for someone who doesn't really want to teach high school? Will any fine arts graduate programs in conducting find secondary school experience compelling? If not, does anyone have any suggestions for improving one's conducting skills to better the chances of graduate admission?