Tag Archives: which round
February 20, 2017
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News. Everyone has an opinion about submitting an MBA application in round three, and a lot of the conversation circles around how competitive it …
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.
Everyone has an opinion about submitting an MBA application in round three, and a lot of the conversation circles around how competitive it is. If you tried your best but you just couldn’t pull together all of your business school materials before round two deadlines hit, you might wonder whether round three is the answer.
By the time the final admission round starts, admissions committees have seen thousands of qualified applicants in the first two rounds, have a fairly good idea of what the incoming class will look like and also compiled a waitlist of additional qualified candidates.
Before round three closes out, a certain percentage of people admitted in the first two rounds will have already committed to a program. In short, precious few spots remain when the admissions committees finally turn their attention to final-round applications.
As such, deciding whether to apply in the final round requires serious reflection and sound reasoning. Consider these three signs that you should not apply to business school in round three.
1. You had no luck with earlier round applications. This is a guaranteed red flag that your MBA application needs more work, and applying in the final round will likely yield the same results.
It’s a huge mistake to think that fewer applicants in round three means less competition and better chances of admission. As we’ve mentioned before, successful round three applications offer the schools something that has truly not appeared in applicants from the previous rounds.
The admissions committees know what they need to round out the class. They have become good at estimating numbers and evaluating and accepting applicants who fit their criteria.
Only the strongest, most compelling candidates make the cut, so if your applications didn’t generate sufficient interest in earlier rounds, they certainly won’t amid the exceptional candidates at the end of the season. Instead, you should regroup, restrategize and apply again next year.
2. Your test scores are middling and you’ve only tested once. The majority of applicants plan to take the GMAT or GRE a second time if their initial test scores aren’t in the 80-percent range for their target MBA programs. Like it or not, test scores greatly influence admissions decisions. As we’ve discussed in prior posts, preparing early and adequately for the entrance exam is critical.
While each year we hear of that miracle case where someone gets into Harvard Business School with a 650 on the GMAT, it’s likely that the person’s profile was so extraordinary in every other way that it offset the low score. Devote ample time to test prep this spring and bring that crucial application component in line with what the admissions committee expects to see from successful candidates.
3. You’re rushing to get all of your materials together. The golden rule in MBA admissions is apply only when your application is as strong as possible – and not a moment before.
Maybe projects at work have kept you ultra-busy these past few months. Perhaps one of your recommenders seems less enthusiastic about your b-school plans and you need to find a new one. Or maybe you just haven’t devoted as much time as you’d like to those important extracurricular interests that the admissions committee loves to see.
Think of every part of the MBA application as precious real estate. If you’re rushing any one component just to get everything submitted on deadline, the quality will suffer.
Take a breather, get your materials together in a thoughtful manner and wait for round one deadlines. This extra time will allow you to approach the application more strategically, and will certainly yield a more positive outcome than a sloppy last-round application will.
Finally, if you do decide to throw your hat in the ring, be sure to have a Plan B in case things don’t go your way. Developing resilience is incredibly important if you need to reapply, but it’s also essential in life.
Even when you put your best out there, you might still fail. However, to be successful, you need to learn how to bounce back and try again.
January 4, 2017
Deciding in which round you should submit your MBA application can cause a lot of stress, as each seems to have its own pros and cons. As numerous business schools have second-round deadlines eminently, you …
Deciding in which round you should submit your MBA application can cause a lot of stress, as each seems to have its own pros and cons. As numerous business schools have second-round deadlines eminently, you might like to take a look at how the admissions team at the UCLA Anderson School of Management—whose R2 deadline is January 5th— views the pluses and drawbacks of each application round.
Here are just a few of the points made by the UCLA Anderson AdCom on the subject:
Applying in Round One
Pros: Applying early shows you’re serious about going to business school. In the case of UCLA Anderson, you have the best shot at merit-based fellowship funds in the first round. If you don’t get accepted in the first round you still have time to apply to other programs in Round 2.
Cons: Least amount of time to properly prepare for the GMAT/GRE. Also, the time factor may not allow enough time for you to pull together a high-quality application.
Applying in Round Two
Pros: Applying in this round allows you ample time to visit the school and make a convincing argument about fit based on those experiences on campus.
Cons: Competition is fierce as this is the most popular round. If you don’t get accepted, you may not have time to apply anywhere else this cycle.
Applying in Round Three
Pros: The final round offers the most time to continue enhancing your profile with promotions at work or deepen volunteer commitments that show off your well-rounded personality. You’ll also have time to re-take the GMAT or GRE multiple times if needed to get your score in a competitive range.
Cons: A capped class size makes this by far the most competitive round as there are fewer spots available in the class. You will likely be compared against many other individuals on the waitlist from earlier rounds.
The truth is that the admissions committees know what they are looking for. They have become pretty good at estimating numbers, and evaluating and accepting applicants that fit their criteria. The best strategy is not to play the game of which round, but to submit your application as soon as, but not until, it is ready.
Make 2017 the year you achieve your most ambitious professional goals! Take the first step by signing up for a completely free consultation with one of our all-star advisors. We can answer questions, provide advice and help set you up to make your MBA dreams come true in 2017. Sign up today at: www.stacyblackman.com/contact
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September 23, 2016
Applying to a top-tier business school is a time of high anxiety for many MBA hopefuls. With such fiercely competitive admission rates, it’s only natural that candidates might feel vulnerable about their chances. Plus, going for …
Applying to a top-tier business school is a time of high anxiety for many MBA hopefuls. With such fiercely competitive admission rates, it’s only natural that candidates might feel vulnerable about their chances. Plus, going for an MBA is a huge and expensive decision, so how do you know if the school you’re targeting will be right for you?
In a recent update to the Admission Director’s Blog at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, Director Soojin Kwon shared the reflections of several second-year Ross Student Ambassadors who were in your shoes not that long ago. Their experiences should help calm any fears or concerns you have about the application process in general and, in particular, about choosing to apply to the Ross School.
Here are some key excerpts from Kwon’s post:
Applicant Fear #1: “I wasn’t sure that Ross and Ann Arbor would be as diverse as other schools/cities I was considering.”
Kwon: Nearly a third of our students come from outside of the U.S., with India, Brazil, China and Peru as our leading international countries. Within the U.S., the state with the highest representation at Ross is California. The metro area where the most students lived prior to Ross is New York, followed by Washington, D.C.
Our entering class has worked in a wide range of industries – from consulting, banking, marketing, and startups to the military, education, nonprofit, healthcare/pharma, tech, law and hospitality. They’ve worked in 340 different organizations including the Kenya Ministry of Health, the Turkish Treasury, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, NBCUniversal, Time Warner Cable, Coach Inc, and Coca-Cola.
Women comprise 40% of our entering class. Minorities comprise 24%.
As far as Ann Arbor goes, it may surprise you to know that we have more restaurants and independent bookstores per capita than any other city in the U.S. It’s been ranked among the most educated city in the U.S.
Applicant Fear #2: “I heard mixed messages about which round to apply in. Obviously, it worked out in the end, but I was worried I’d hurt my chances if I applied in one round vs another.”
Kwon: Chances are, you have an idea of which school is your top choice. Let’s call it “School A.” You submit an app to School A in Round 1. Your app to Schools B and C are nearly ready but you decide to wait until Round 2 to submit those apps. In the months following your Round 1 submission to School A, you visit the campus of Schools B and C. You connect with students and alumni of those schools. You fall in love with School B and decide that that school is your new top choice. (We see this a LOT.)
You resolve to submit a killer app for School B in Round 2. In December, you find out from School A you’re admitted. Great! School A requires you to submit a non-refundable enrollment deposit in February…before you find out if you’re admitted to your new top choice school. Now you have to either (1) put money down to hold your spot at School A or (2) take your chances on being admitted to School B. We frequently see applicants choose Option 1.
The moral of this story: if you’re close to being ready to submit an app for several schools, you should strive to submit them in the same round.
It’ll give you the benefit of being able to make a decision with all your options laid out at once. Of course, you should apply when your application is as strong as it can be. But if your app is ready for one school, chances are, you’re probably close to being ready for another school. The main difference is generally only the essays.
The Ross admissions director also shares advice on handling low GMAT/GRE scores, enlightens applicants who are unfamiliar with what Michigan Ross is “good at,” and reveals why you don’t need to devote an excessive amount of effort to answering the Ross essay questions.
Read Soojin Kwon’s complete post, and with any luck, you’ll feel much more relaxed about the whole process…well, at least a little bit!
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March 17, 2016
To apply or not to apply in the final round, that is the perennial question. Harvard Business School‘s Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid, Dee Leopold, recently gave a crystal-clear answer…for college seniors, at …
To apply or not to apply in the final round, that is the perennial question. Harvard Business School‘s Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid, Dee Leopold, recently gave a crystal-clear answer…for college seniors, at least.
“If you are a college senior who has the bandwidth to complete an application, I think that you should,” Leopold says, noting that there’s really no downside risk other than missing out on the last weeks of college life to prep for the GMAT or GRE.
“The worst that can happen is that you get turned down to the very small 2+2 Program. Many current students at HBS found themselves in that situation, went out and joined the work world, and reapplied successfully,” she adds.
As for candidates with a few years of work experience under their belts, Leopold acknowledges the third round is more complicated since most of the seats in the Class of 2018 have already been taken and it may be difficult to get a visa.
Despite those potential challenges, the director clears up a few myths that may be keeping qualified candidates from considering Round 3. Contrary to popular wisdom, needs-based financial aid is just as available for last-round applicants as it is for Round 1 admits.
If you do apply and are not successful, rest assured you can reapply in the future with absolutely no negative repercussions.
One plus of Round Three is the quick turnaround time between interview invitations going out and final decisions coming down. Invites will be sent by April 20th at noon, and your fate will be revealed on May 11th.
As always, we at SBC suggest candidates submit only once they feel their application is as strong as possible. If you apply in the final round, do make use of the optional essay to explain why you waited so that the admissions committee doesn’t come to the conclusion that this is just a last-ditch effort after failing to receive an admit at another MBA program in an earlier round.
“We ALWAYS admit people from Round 3,” Leopold says. “And they are always very wonderful.”
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Image credit: Visionello (CC BY-NC 2.0)
March 10, 2016
Round 3 deadlines are nearly upon us, and while the final round is the biggest gamble of the application cycle, schools have that round for a reason and use it to admit those stellar students that add something really special to their classes.
“We actually enjoy round three,” Dee Leopold, managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid at Harvard Business School, once told the Wall Street Journal. “It takes a certain amount of confidence to apply then. Those applicants march to their own drum, and we would never want to miss them.”
You should definitely use the required or optional MBA admission essays to explain to the admissions committee your reasons for waiting until the third – or final – round to apply. You don’t want anyone to jump to the conclusion that you are using round three as a last-ditch effort to get into business school in the fall after receiving rejections from other schools in earlier rounds.
Standing out from the pack is imperative, and never more so than when applying later in the game. As I mentioned in this US News blog post, if you want to do well in the admissions process, you have to communicate who you are, not just what you do.
That said, some schools offer students a better shot in the final round than others. According to a recent article in Poets and Quants, Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business is the most final round-friendly, followed by NYU Stern School of Business, INSEAD, and Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.
The MBA admissions blog at Tuck School recently published a post on the realities of applying in Round 3, complete with anecdotes and advice from three recent graduates who applied in the April round (as it’s known at Tuck).
Finally, it’s important to have a Plan B in case things don’t go your way. You can always apply to a set of schools in round three knowing there is a good chance you will need to reapply to them and add in some new ones next season.
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Image credit: Paulo Wang (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)