Decide Whether to Alter Your MBA Application Strategy in Round 2

MBA application strategy

If you applied in Round 1 and plan to submit materials to other business schools in Round 2, you may feel tempted to mix up your MBA application strategy for a couple of submissions—especially if you’ve already gotten a few dings.

We know how frustrated you feel if you’ve poured a ton of time and energy into perfecting your application materials and then hearing only crickets at the end. But before you decide to position yourself in an entirely new way, scrap your essays and embark upon a drastically different strategic course, you need to take an objective view of the materials you already submitted. Or better yet, ask someone else who’s familiar with the process to do so.

Is it time for a new MBA application strategy in round 2?

Unfortunately, you can’t change any of these hard data points:

  • Your undergraduate institution
  • The classes you took
  • Your GPA
  • Your employment history

Plus, there’s not enough time before round 2 to do anything about these two areas either:

  • GMAT/GRE score
  • Volunteer activities

Do you detect any major red flags across those areas? If so, you need to be honest with yourself. Even the greatest essay set in the world may not be able to offset those issues.

In that case, if you thoroughly planned how to best position yourself with your Round 1 materials but have received dings, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your strategy was faulty. It may just simply mean that you need to consider less competitive programs.

Actually, the same thing goes even if there are zero red flags across your materials. A rejection doesn’t mean you are not accomplished or deserving of a spot in School X’s incoming MBA class. It only means there wasn’t enough room to accept everyone. Perhaps you need to widen your net a bit more?

That’s why we recommend staying the course with your MBA application strategy between Round 1 and Round 2—unless you never actually created a strong plan in the first place. Then, by all means, reassess your efforts!

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