March Madness takes on a whole new meaning when you get rejected from your target MBA program. Instead of being angry, however, try to learn more about why you weren’t accepted.
These days, in addition to helping our clients get ready for interviews we also meet a lot of new folks who didn't use admissions consulting services to apply - but now are wondering if perhaps they should have. Most often, they are asking for "ding analysis," which is basically "please tell me if I did something wrong and whether I can fix it for next time." We are happy to oblige, of course, and so we see a lot (we mean A LOT) of rejected applications, to a lot of schools.
I have been getting a lot of emails lately that center on the same basic idea: "I got feedback directly from the admissions office and they told me X." Sometimes the feedback is ultra specific ("you should seriously consider retaking your GMAT") and other times it is extremely vague ("there were elements of your application that just weren't quite where they needed to be"), usually somewhere in between. The question is: should you put stock in what they are saying?
The following are 5 pieces of advice that can help anyone who is going through the MBA application process for a second time. Finding the energy, passion, and confidence to embark upon any kind of repeat journey can be tough, so we hope this proves helpful and gives you a little wind at your back.
Here are 5 tips and techniques we have discovered that can help all reapplicants, not just those who become our clients:
Other than "bad luck" or "well, this school is one of the hardest in the world to get into" or "you never should have applied to this school," these are the three most common reasons that people get dinged. Put differently, they are the three reasons you could have avoided:
Time for a quick blog post in the wake of HBS sending out its three waves of decisions (October 6, 8, and 14). You can read the whole thing or you can just read this line, probably: don't take this stuff personally, understand there are a ton of great schools out there, and keep moving forward. Need more? Okay, let's break it down, with three Golden Rules for receiving a decision of this magnitude.
So you've been rejected at business school? Solicit feedback from the admissions committee, alumni or even current students. This is the first step in successfully getting in the subsequent year. Then assess your feedback efforts through this questioning framework: