Tag Archives: wait list

6 Ways to Play the MBA Waiting Game

After months of planning, studying for the admissions exam, writing essays, and wrangling recommenders, once you hit the submit button for your business school applications you’ve probably been wondering what to do with yourself during the MBA waiting game. Here …

MBA wait listAfter months of planning, studying for the admissions exam, writing essays, and wrangling recommenders, once you hit the submit button for your business school applications you’ve probably been wondering what to do with yourself during the MBA waiting game. Here are six tips to make the most of this period.

1. Be happy: What did you enjoy before essays and GMAT scores became the focal point of your life? Take this opportunity to relax a bit, read a book, or go for a run.

It’s likely your social life has languished on the back burner for the past few months, so spend some time reconnecting with your family and friends before every waking minute is spent job hunting and networking with your fellow MBA classmates. While accomplishing a huge goal such as gaining admission to an MBA program will feel good, friends, exercise, and relationships are the path to longer-lasting happiness.

2. Fantasize about your plan B: It’s tempting to start planning out your first few weeks on campus—the clubs you plan to join and the apartment you will hunt for—but reminding yourself that you have alternatives is healthy. You’re young, intelligent, and accomplished. If you didn’t go to business school in the fall, what career shift or huge dream might you fulfill?

Maybe you would flee to Paris and take art lessons, learn Mandarin (in China), or hike the Appalachian Trail. Fantasizing about plan B is more practical than you think; when you start receiving those acceptance letters, you’ll have a head start on your summer plans!

3. Avoid discussion boards: While commiserating with strangers over the Internet may seem like an attractive outlet for your anxiety, focusing on an outcome you can no longer control will only add to stress in your life. While it’s certainly positive to network with your potential future classmates, make sure you approach any rumors or myths with a balanced perspective.

It is natural to search for certainty in an uncertain process. With admission rates hovering at 10 percent for the most competitive programs, many candidates feel anxiety about the final decisions. However, if you have put together the strongest possible application you can and worked to impact every factor under your control, it’s time to relax and wait for the results.

4. Prepare for interviews: If you absolutely must remain focused on your MBA plans, starting your interview prep is a good outlet for your energy. Working on your communication and presentation skills can be an ongoing challenge.

Practicing common interview questions with friends and family will both make you more prepared when the interview invitation arrives and minimize your anxiety.

5. Become a local, even if only for a few days: MBA candidates should remember that they will be choosing not just a school but a city or town as well. Therefore, now is an ideal time to plan that campus visit, and to explore the region you may soon call home for the next two years.

6. Stay connected: Demonstrating continued and genuine interest in your MBA program of choice is one of the best ways to show the admissions committee that you are strongly committed to attending their program. How to do this? Reach out to alumni for an insider view of the program, and perhaps some interview pointers as well.

If the school plans to hold an information session online or in a city nearby, sign up or show up. You can never have too much information about your target school. The more opportunities you create to connect with the program, the better you’ll be able to judge its culture and community to determine if it’s the right fit for you.

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Waitlist Guidelines from UCLA Anderson

All MBA applicants are anxious to learn whether or not they’ve been admitted to their dream schools. For some prospective MBAs, however, those decision dates come and go… and they’re still in limbo. They’ve been …

MBA waitlistAll MBA applicants are anxious to learn whether or not they’ve been admitted to their dream schools. For some prospective MBAs, however, those decision dates come and go… and they’re still in limbo. They’ve been waitlisted.

While this isn’t ideal, MBA applicants should celebrate the fact that their candidacy is strong enough to merit further consideration by the admissions committee. It’s a great sign that you are qualified to attend the program, and that the school is interested in your profile.

Each school has its own policy when it comes to wait list etiquette, and the admissions team at the UCLA Anderson School of Management has shared its protocol and suggestions for Round 1 candidates who now find themselves placed on the waiting list.

  • If your application status indicates you have been placed on our waitlist, your name will remain on the waitlist until a final decision is made on your application or until you request your application be withdrawn.
  • Waitlisted candidates (excluding those who withdraw) will be reconsidered for admission in subsequent rounds.
  • Round 1 applicants will receive an update on their application status by the Round 2 decision deadline of March 29, 2017. Some candidates may be offered the option of remaining on the waitlist for consideration in Round 3.
  • Remaining Round 1 and Round 2 waitlist candidates will receive an update on their application status by the Round 3 decision deadline of May 24, 2017.
  • Anderson cannot give individual feedback to waitlisted applicants.
  • Chances of being admitted off the waitlist are difficult to predict since the number of students admitted from the waitlist varies from year to year depending on the size/strength of the admit pool, number of admits who enroll, and other factors.

Unlike other MBA programs, UCLA Anderson does allow applicants to submit additional materials if there’s been a significant change that bolsters your candidacy, so be judicious when deciding what to send.

“We ask that you use your personal judgment and discretion in submitting additional information that is relevant to your application. Some examples include (but are not limited to): updated GMAT/GRE/TOEFL scores, promotions at work, and recent extracurricular accomplishments,” the adcom notes.

Exercise restraint in communications, but also convey your enthusiasm whenever possible, as they want to be sure you’ll say yes if admitted.

Finally, to all those waitlisted candidates out there, take heart. It’s not the news you wanted, but there are plenty of reasons to keep hope alive. You wouldn’t be on the wait list if you were not someone they thought could be a great addition to the class. Hang on and stay strong—and positive—as you wait out this last leg of the MBA admissions process.

Image credit: Flickr user monkeyc.net (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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SBC Scoop: Success on the Wait List

*Please note that no client details are ever shared in SBC Scoop or otherwise without complete sign off from client. This time of year we hear from many applicants who have ended up on a …

*Please note that no client details are ever shared in SBC Scoop or otherwise without complete sign off from client.

This time of year we hear from many applicants who have ended up on a wait list for their top choice programs. For our comprehensive clients, wait list strategy is part of the all inclusive consulting package. We’re also available to help new clients on an hourly basis – go ahead and contact us to hear more.

Our comprehensive client Abhishek had selected Wharton as one of his “reach schools” out of a list that included Duke, North Carolina, and UT-Austin. He had a stellar academic record in his engineering program, and an interesting work trajectory. Abhishek started his career at a large multi-national IT consulting firm, and then took a position as the third employee at a start-up providing services to small businesses. The company grew and as their client base expanded Abhishek was able to increase his responsibilities rapidly into project management and client facing services.

Abhishek’s work experience helped him stand out from similar applicants, and his MBA plans were in line with his future goal to be a C-level executive at the company. However, Abhishek had a hard time with the GMAT and had only a 680. The quant and verbal sections were also a bit uneven, and despite taking the test several times Abhishek had been unable to crack the 80th percentile barrier that schools like Wharton prefer to see.

Though Abhishek’s GMAT was lower than the mean for Wharton and many of his other target schools, we thought his excellent GPA and interesting work experience would be enough to get him a close read from the admissions committee. As results came in, Abhishek was admitted to UT-Austin, Duke, and wait listed at Wharton. Because Wharton was his top choice, and the reach school, Abhishek decided to remain on the wait list and see if it would come through.

Wharton specifically discourages additional information from wait listed candidates. Therefore we did not put together a wait list letter or seek additional recommendations to bolster Abhishek’s case. It was clear that Abhishek’s lower than average GMAT was likely causing question on his candidacy and making it difficult to choose him over similar candidates with stronger scores. Since this was such a clear weakness in his application, we encouraged Abhishek to take the test again after changing his study approach (he used a tutor who designed a personalized plan to address his specific issues). Though Wharton wouldn’t accept additional materials, they would see his improved GMAT score when it was officially submitted at the test site.

Abhishek successfully increased his score to 710 by focusing on some of his test anxiety. Later in the summer he was offered a spot in the Wharton incoming class and he decided to take it.

Though we can never know if his improved GMAT score was the reason Abhishek made it off the wait list he was glad to have taken concrete steps to improve his chances.

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4 Tips for Getting Off the B-School Wait List

Nobody likes to land on the wait list when applying to business school, but an article on Forbes.com shares some insight from admissions directors on how to handle the dreaded wait while your first-choice school …

Nobody likes to land on the wait list when applying to business school, but an article on Forbes.com shares some insight from admissions directors on how to handle the dreaded wait while your first-choice school makes up its mind about you.

Here are some top tips from the story:

Follow the school’s directions about being in touch. And whatever you do, don’t be a pest.

Columbia Business School says: Don’t call us–we’ll call you. “We no longer encourage people to set up an appointment with their wait list manager or reach out voluntarily to us,” Linda B. Meehan, assistant dean and executive director of MBA admissions, explains. “We’ve decided it makes better use of our resources if we reach out when we have questions, rather than having candidates flood us with information we may or may not be looking for.”

(On the bright side, Forbes found that the Kellogg School of Management and the Tuck School of Business are both more open to contact from waitlisted applicants. Haas School of Business prefers to hear from applicants via email.)

Let them know you’re still interested, if indeed you still are.

Haas School says: Enthusiasm will only get you so far. “Some people believe that convincing us they’re really, really interested will get them off the wait list. That’s just not true,” says Peter Johnson, executive director of admissions for the full-time MBA program. “What gets them off the wait list is strengthening one of these weaknesses.”

Enhance your application

Scrutinize your application and look for weaknesses. Remember, be brutal. Some common reasons for being wait-listed include low grades in college math courses; a lack of clarity about your future job aspirations; and/or a lack of evident leadership experience or community service.

Communicate your deadline

If you’ve already been accepted at another program but still holding out hope for your first-choice school, let them know you’re on a deadline. Many say they’ll try to accomodate your deadlines if they can, Forbes found.

In the end, though, there may not be anything you can do. “One of the big determinants in getting off the wait list has nothing to do with you,” says Peter Johnson. “We can’t predict what all the admitted students will do. Our goal is to minimize the stress as much as we can. We try to communicate frequently–and not give anyone unrealistic hopes.”

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For a concise, thoughtful guide that will help you navigate the MBA admissions process with greater success, order our NEW book, The MBA Application Roadmap.

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