How to handle rejections and MBA waitlists?

An MBA from the top-most study destination is a dream for many aspiring candidates. Graduating from a top b-school will definitely provide your career with an unimaginable boost. However, with that said, getting into a leading program is exceptionally tough, with the top schools admitting only a fraction of successful candidates. This means there are times when your application could get rejected! 

You worked hard for your GMAT and made sure that you earned the highest score possible. You sought out opportunities at your job to lead crucial projects to ensure you had viable demonstrations of leadership. You prepared day and night for your interview, and finally, you turned in a good application along with your essays, LORs, and Resume to your dream business school, hoping that you made it through the process. But today, you’re staring at the rejection letter you never expected to receive. 

“Reality could be often disappointing.” We get it is harder for you to accept the fact. But does that mean it’s the end of the line for you? Absolutely not! 

Pull yourself together; you have got work to do!

You turned in what you thought was a winning application but were there any chances of improvement? Think clearly. If yes, then no need to linger any further. Take action! 

In the below paragraphs, we will discuss how to approach re-building your application from scratch and the required actions to be taken after you find your application rejected. So, stay tuned to find out what to do if you have been dinged!

PULL YOURSELF UP! THE WORLD DOESN’T END HERE.

Getting rejected is a bummer, but more important is giving your best. Don’t feel bad if you aren’t selected. Step back a bit. Obsessing the results will only stress you out more. 

Take a break, go for a walk and try to unwind yourself.  

There is no reason to let the sadness linger any further; one rejection does not mean the end of your story. So let it out and move on.

Moreover, there are certainly no fewer examples of applicants who didn’t get into their dream school the first time they applied; they reapplied and were admitted to their dream school. “It can be done.” 

Do the best you can, self-introspect, improve your profile and resume, turn in the new applications, and dream on!

SELF-INTROSPECTION – REFLECT ON WHAT WENT WRONG

“It’s the most important step.” Spend some time and try to evaluate your application strategy. Try to determine whether or not you have put together the best application possible. The application strategy involves a lot of things, including essays, LORs, Resume, etc. If you feel there may have been some issues or further opportunities to improve your profile, take action.

Pinpoint your weaknesses – Think through the complete process and identify your weaknesses. Then, if possible, consult a mentor, consultant, or a trusted friend. 

Ask yourself certain questions – Asking questions is one of the best ways to introspect. Ask yourselves the following questions to know where it all went wrong! 

How did the interview go? 

How can you make your case stronger? 

Did my essays have any gaps in them? 

How does your GMAT score stack up? Your Grades? Your Work experience?

Try to compare your application and student profile with currently enrolled students. If you find that you’re lacking in comparison, then try to address the issue immediately. For example, if you lack in GMAT, take a quant class to improve. 

Timing of filing application – Next, consider the timing of filing your application; if you have submitted it in the last round, it’s obvious that you have lowered your chances of getting admitted simply because there are fewer slots available.

Why our School – At last, consider whether you have shown enough interest and excitement for the school and provided a customized application. As for the Adcom, they want to know why you choose their school over others and why you believe their school is uniquely suited for you. Try to synchronize the school’s culture and your candidacy to make them appear as a perfect match.

After a deal of good self-reflection, it’s possible that you could still be a bit confused about why you didn’t get in the program. In such a case, you might consider hiring a professional consultant who will help pinpoint your mistakes and areas in which you need improvement. Moreover, a consultant will also help you guide through the entire application process along with helping you prepare for your interviews, finding new schools to apply and help in crafting a perfectly unique story of yourself. 

THINKING OF REAPPLICATION, AVOID INCITING THE ADCOM

Business schools are one of the most bustling places during admissions. You should avoid calling the Adcom members repeatedly for feedback on rejected applications. This kind of behavior is not appreciated by the committee and could put you on their radar for all the wrong reasons.

In any case, you try to contact the Adcom members make sure you don’t do it immediately and try to obtain just basic information about the policy regarding the reapplication process. Then, you may see if you can gather any additional information about their application.

STRATEGIES TO DEAL WITH MBA WAITLIST

As each B-School is unique in its way, you need to determine what your target school expects from waitlisted applicants. Click the below link to understand a few strategic MBA waitlist tips to help you make your next move:

MOVE ON. DECIDE WHERE TO APPLY NEXT.

One of the most critical questions is whether you can choose to apply somewhere else or want to continue pursuing your dream B-school. Most B-schools allow you to reapply. Hence, if you’d like to follow your plan, seek out the reapplication rules at your school.

It could turn up in your favor!  Schools often recognize a person filing a reapplication which could be symbolic of your determination to get into their program. Many famous schools such as The McDonough School have admitted about 50% of its re-applicants in the past few years.

According to the admission committee, successful re-applicants are those who have done enough self-introspection to understand where they can improve, take steps to do so, and then communicate this to AdCom.

Suppose an applicant has made a significant effort to improve his candidature upon previously perceived weaknesses truly. In that case, it showcases that the candidate has grit and determination to work hard for what they desire, which is one of the most important qualities that any B-School seeks in their student body.

Now, if you don’t want to wait for reapplication and prefer to apply to a different school, you have to restart the application process for that particular program. Start with researching the program, if you haven’t already. Then, reassess your GPA and GMAT score as per the school requirement, work on the essays with a fresh perspective, and finally, customize the application as per the requirement of the new program. Most importantly, never stick to a single B-School; consider applying to more than one B-School if you didn’t the first time around.

CUSTOMIZE YOUR PROFILE & IMPROVE YOUR CANDIDATURE

As said many times before, research is the most crucial part of your application strategy. Try to dive into greater depths of the previous year’s class profiles at the schools that interest you. Try to understand the standard requirements like the preferred GMAT scores, GPA, and experiences that current students are bringing to the table. 

Proper analysis of the class profiles would help answer certain questions like 

Does my profile match up? 

Where do I lack? 

Do I have an area of weakness? 

How can I strive to improve upon that area of weakness?

Customize your profile following the following points.

Consider retaking the GMAT 

Consider retaking the GMAT if your dream school requires higher scores. 

Showcase academic Brilliance: An MBA application needs you be an exceptional performer in your GMAT/GRE test along with having a high GPA

Your Post-MBA Goals must indicate your Growth Potential.

Your ideas & initiatives, source of motivation, and where you project yourself in 1, 5, or 10 years/What are your Post-MBA Goals, all counts while determining your growth potential.  

3. Work on your Extracurriculars: Extracurricular can define a person’s character. Hence should be an important part of any candidate’s application. 

Your past excellence in a club activity or sports or any other extracurricular gives you a chance to showcase examples of your leadership and the contribution you have made so far. Always remember to have quality over quantity! 

Do not flood the resume with your extracurricular! Any Top B-school doesn’t care about how many extracurricular you have; rather, they want to know how good a participant you are! They want to see deep dedication and excellence in fields you are passionate about.

Also, Volunteering activities can be considered an important aspect of your extracurriculars. Hence, always take part in Volunteering activities whenever you get a chance. 

It’s a smart way to demonstrate that you aren’t someone with a business-minded attitude only but a person full of generosity and a good heart. So make sure you make good use of such examples to strengthen your application.

WORK EXPERIENCE

The importance of work experience is not something candidates are unfamiliar with. In a way, your work experience brings out the essence of examples of your leadership skills, analytical skills, innovation, and character in a realistic environment. Hence, if you are still early in your twenty’s and have just graduated with a job experience of only a year or two, you might want to increase your work experience to 3 years at a minimum. Since having a high work experience showcases that you are experienced enough to deal with the rigorous nature of their course/

BRANDING FOR MBA

Last but not least, branding yourself for MBA. First of all, you need to understand that a top-notch B-school is not short on applications with robust profiles and good GMAT/GRE scores. Hence you need more than just good academics to secure your spot on the list. You need to customize the application strategy essay strategy, draft a unique resume, and be thorough with the school research. This requires a lot of hard work, subject expertise, and superior experience to leave a mark on the adcom.  

Hence, sometimes it’s just more stress-free and beneficial to hire a consultant and have him start from the most basic step to provide a detailed outline about the MBA admissions process. Then, you can join on a call with an MBA counselor to get your profile customized, help in your candidature assessment, help to set forth your career goals, prepare you for interviews, and at last, evaluate different offers for you (if and when you make it to your target schools). 

Moreover, you can also hire consultants or select experienced recommenders to draft robust LORs and add relevant things that you think would boost your resume. Practice with previous essay questions and mock admissions interviews. Set your goals right, and be sure about your reasons for attending business school.

IMPROVING YOUR CANDIDATURE 

Prepare for the candidature part by thinking about your candidacy. Demonstrate your skills and leadership examples through your essays and interviews. Don’t give vague answers like you earned a big profit for the company; quantify your results. Tell the AdCom exactly how much you made and how you did it.

Understand what it will take for you to become a valid candidate at that school and create a plan to get there. How can you make your application as competitive as it can be?

Sometimes, this might mean that you need a fresh approach or a new perspective, or a few more years to transition into a new job, or gain additional responsibilities at your current role, increase your GMAT scores and academic profile, or simply gain more years of experience working in a company.   

Make sure you think carefully about why you’d be a good fit at the school. Be specific in your examples –like adding something you witnessed on-campus that captured your attention or the place’s vibe – within your essays and interview. B-Schools always appreciate it if you recognize their unique qualities and what separates them from the rest of top-tier business schools. 

There you go! I hope the above paragraphs will provide you with enough motivation to pull yourself up and apply for new programs. 

Make sure you go through the article once before reapplying or applying to a new MBA Program. What’s more important than failure is to understand why you failed. Keep in mind the points mentioned earlier while rebuilding your application.   

In any case, you need more in-depth information about any particular aspect of the application process, interviews, and course structure, feel free to hop on a 45-minute extensive 1:1 call with our team of experts. We will provide you with previous questions samples, application samples, LORs, testimonials and guide you step-wise so that you can develop a unique Resume with clarity, precision, and creativity.

We at MBAandBeyond follow a stepwise procedure to ensure maximum efficiency, quality, and interaction to make sure we make every minute worth it! Furthermore, we at MBA and beyond are determined to guide you through your entire application process, ensuring the best offers from top Business schools. 

Always remember that “failure is not the end of life; it’s a lesson learned to help succeed in the future.” Happy learning! ☺

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