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Waitlist Tips from Stacy

This topic has 5 expert replies and 7 member replies
Amy MBA Admissions Consultant Default Avatar
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Waitlist Tips from Stacy

Post Wed Dec 26, 2007 11:55 am
I have re-posted this from Stacy Blackman's blog, which you can access directly at: http://blog.stacyblackman.com

Waitlist Tips

As we approach the decision time of year for first round, many applicants will receive the confusing result of being waitlisted.

While the waitlist is definitely not what you were hoping for, don't give up hope. In fact, there may be steps you can take to increase your chances of admission.

First, take note of each school's waitlist policy. In past years some schools, such as Wharton, only wanted to hear whether or not you want to remain on the waitlist. This means you don't have to do any more work, but it can be frustrating to have no control over your situation.

However, other schools in previous years, such as Stanford, Columbia, and Kellogg, have been open to hearing more from waitlisted candidates. While this allows you to take some action, it also means quite a bit of work. Here are some concrete steps you can take:

Feedback: You can contact the admissions committee to get feedback on your application. What they say should inform your efforts moving forward - Do you need to increase your responsibilities at work? Or take on more volunteer work? Or improve your GMAT score?

Update Letter: Begin with a letter that reiterates your interest and provides an update of activities since you submitted your application - promotions/changes in scope of work/additional responsibility, travel plans, classes taken, new GMAT score, changes in volunteer activities, and personal activities such as learning a language, completing a triatholon or taking on a new hobby. Be sure to include why these updates make you a better candidate than before. How will your activities make you a student who will further enrich their program?

Reference: You can also submit an extra letter of recommendation. However, please be sure it adds new information and a different perspective from your professional recommendations. For example, it could be a letter from someone you volunteer with.

GMAT: Sometimes an improved GMAT score can tip the scales in your favor. However, before you get to work on improving your score, ask the school directly if this would help.

Keep in touch with the Admissions Committee: Check in with them regularly (email is a great method) to demonstrate interest and keep them updated on your situation. Be sure to keep the updates meaningful and do not pester them by asking constant questions.

Before you contact a school with any information, check with their specific policies on how much they want to hear from you - Are they open to receiving just an update letter? Are they willing to read an additional recommendation? Do they want regular updates? You want to do as much as you can without disregarding their requests or overloading their staff. Above all remember that you are still in the game!

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hp2009 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:14 am
Thanks Amy for your advice. I applied in Round 2 and just heard I have been waitlisted a few days ago. The school welcomes any updates that I think can strengthen my application. I emailed the adcom asking for advice and am waiting to hear back. I have a few questions regarding my plan of action:

1. My GMAT score is 30 points below the average stated in the class profile, should I retake the test? If yes, I would need at least 3 weeks to do additional practice tests and questions to feel prepared and confident I can pull up my score. I'm not working currently, so I can devote full-time to studying.

2. Since I'm not working, I'm devoting my time to community service currently. I serve as the marketing co-chair for a non-profit. Would it be a good idea to ask my co-chair to write a letter of support for me? The 2 recs I submitted with the app were professional. I am also involved in new community service activities since I submitted the app a month ago and plan on mentioning it in my waitlist letter.

I have visited the school twice (once to interview and the other for a class visit). Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Lisa Anderson MBA Admissions Consultant
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Post Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:02 am
Dear hp2009,

I think increasing your GMAT score would definitely help in your case since you are 30 points below the average. I also agree that a recommendation from your current community services activities along with an update would be helpful. It sounds like you are doing all that you can do and your efforts to improve your application will be noted when the school re-evaluates your file.

Best of luck,
Lisa

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CP522 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:50 am
I was recently wait listed and I would like to know what kind of additional recommendation should I submit. Should I get another professional recommendation or would a personal recommendation shed some more light on my candidacy?

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Lisa Anderson MBA Admissions Consultant
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Post Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:14 am
Dear CP522,

Generally, professional recommendations are preferred over personal recommendations. However, if you submit an additional recommendation, be sure it is saying something different than the recommendations already submitted. If it is not providing another perspective to your skills and abilities, then the additional recommendation will not add any value.

Good luck,
Lisa

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Vitalina Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:32 am
Hey Lisa,

I was waitlisted at Judge. Sad
The email that I got says that 'If you have any questions or if your circumstances significantly change, then please do not hesitate to contact us'

Can I treat it as a subtle invitation to provide more info? I can definitely submit another rec, for example. I used to work as a global project manager, and then I changed jobs to key account manager, which kind of looks better on CV ))

Or shall I patiently wait for them to make a contact?

Thanks in advance!

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Lisa Anderson MBA Admissions Consultant
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Post Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:08 am
Dear Vitalina,

You absolutely want to contact Judge to inquire about what you can do to strengthen your application to reach a positive decision. It might be an additional letter of recommendation, but it might be something else. You need to find out what the admissions committee has a concern about, if anything, and what you can do to address the concern. Stay positive and periodically keep in touch with the admissions office to express your continued interest until you get a final decision.

Best of luck,
Lisa

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futjim Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Thu May 06, 2010 1:08 am
Hi Lisa,

Great article.

I was recently waitlisted and on their email it said that I'm welcome to supply them any information that would strengthen my chances of getting in.

My problem, or it might not be a problem, is that I didn't mention about the mini tutoring business I have been doing for the past year on the application package because I didn't think it was THAT significant. But after talking to friends, they all suggested that I put it in the update letter. Do you think this is a good idea? Should I include a mini business plan to show what my business is about or is that over doing it?

Also, I'm not sure how to bring this up in the update letter because I don't want to give them the image that I forgot to put it in. Is there a good way to present this information to them?

Thank you in advance.

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Lisa Anderson MBA Admissions Consultant
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Post Thu May 06, 2010 4:59 pm
Dear futjim,

I agree with your friends; I think your business is something you should write about in an update letter, focusing on the entrepreneurial aspects of the venture. You don't need to address why or why not you did not include it previously--simply write a letter and state that you want to provide an update to the admissions committee on your application and then you can proceed to give an overview of your business. You want to focus on how you launched it, how you are growing it, and how you are managing it. Also, you want to note any positive results like an increase in revenues, increase in word-of-mouth business, etc.

Good luck,
Lisa

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visitor13 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Thu May 19, 2011 1:04 am
Hi
I recently heard from my dream school that I am on their wait list, I had applied in R3 and was not offered any interview just this status update on my application page which I happened to check today, 4 days after it was posted (they didn't send any email about the admission decision just on the application page the status was updated)
I have strong family ties to this school as my husband is a recent alumni. I need sincere advise about what should be my next step


I am planning on writing a follow up email to adcom and my question is what all should I include in it.

My GMAT score is 660 and the avg for this school is 690, if I decide to retake GMAT then I would need at least a month of preparation. Do you think it is worthwhile to retake GMAT with my situation? and if yes then should I tell them that I am planning to retake GMAT next month with the hopes of improving my scores?

I am planning on launching my own website in the next month; its going to be about pets and has income potential in future but right now I am in the fetal stages in terms of designing and developing it. This is something I recently thought about and I didn't mention this anywhere in my application. I am torn as to whether this should me mentioned anywhere now, as this does not remotely resonate with my long term or short term goals (Healthcare industry) but it is a great idea and has potential to be highly successful.

I had mentioned about my strong entrepreneurial interest in my application, do you think informing them about this website venture would be a good way of demonstrating my entrepreneurial abilities?

I do want to mention here that I am currently unemployed and I volunteering with a few non profits so in terms of any new developments in my professional life, this would be the only significant one.
And I have no chance of getting any new recommendations. I can write a optional essay though

What do you think? and any other specific advise for me?

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Lisa Anderson MBA Admissions Consultant
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Post Fri May 20, 2011 8:59 am
Dear visitor13,

If the school does not specifically state otherwise, I highly encourage you contact the admissions office regarding your application to determine why you were placed on the waitlist. That way, you can target your update materials to address the specific concerns and questions of the admissions committee. If the school will not provide feedback, then you will need to assess your areas of weakness and come up with a plan--which you appear to have done. Based on the limited information in your post, I would suspect your employment situation and GMAT score are most likely areas of concern. I think you need to weigh the risks of a GMAT retake at this point--if you feel confident you could increase your score, then it is probably worth retaking. I do think you need to address what you are currently doing in terms of employment (both paid and unpaid) and draw the link between those activities and your future goals. Likewise, I think you need to focus your goals a bit more in the sense that you note your goals of working in healthcare while also having an entrepreneurial interest. This dual interest cannot be presented as separate as you appear unfocused--you need to find a way to show how they (will) work in concert. Once you have obtained feedback and/or done a thorough assessment, then craft your strategy and get your new essay/statement in as soon as possible.

Good luck,
Lisa

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visitor13 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sat May 21, 2011 10:04 am
Hi Lisa,
Thanks so much for your timely feedback and honest opinion. I have decided to take the GMAT next month but I will report the scores only if I get a higher score. I am in a very unique situation and my unemployment status is because of that. I am an international medical graduate who came to US to pursue medicine and I started one yr residency in a university program. However after a year my contract was over and I had to renew it to continue my training. At that time i decided that I wanted to switch careers. Since I was pursuing my residency training on a work visa, once I left the training I no longer had a work visa sponsorship (though I maintained legal status in US as my husband's dependent) and in the bad economy it was impossible to find a secondary job which would also sponsor a visa. I took this time off to volunteer at various non profits and also to prepare for GMAT (which was not very easy as it was almost 10yrs since i had last touched maths before giving GMAT).
So here I am now wait listed. In my application I had expressed strong interest in healthcare consulting and healthcare entrepreneurship. I have crafted the follow up letter/ essay to the adcom and tried to tactfully mention about the website I am planning to launch. I just hope they take it positively.
Thanks for all your help. If there are any other pointers you might have for me after reading this post, it would be great.
Thanks

AbhiJ Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:40 am
Amy wrote:
However, other schools in previous years, such as Stanford, Columbia, and Kellogg, have been open to hearing more from waitlisted candidates. While this allows you to take some action, it also means quite a bit of work. Here are some concrete steps you can take:

Feedback: You can contact the admissions committee to get feedback on your application. What they say should inform your efforts moving forward � Do you need to increase your responsibilities at work? Or take on more volunteer work? Or improve your GMAT score?

Update Letter: Begin with a letter that reiterates your interest and provides an update of activities since you submitted your application � promotions/changes in scope of work/additional responsibility, travel plans, classes taken, new GMAT score, changes in volunteer activities, and personal activities such as learning a language, completing a triatholon or taking on a new hobby. Be sure to include why these updates make you a better candidate than before. How will your activities make you a student who will further enrich their program?

Reference: You can also submit an extra letter of recommendation. However, please be sure it adds new information and a different perspective from your professional recommendations. For example, it could be a letter from someone you volunteer with.

A higher GMAT score, courses and promotion can certainly tip the scale in favor.

Not sure how much - travel plans, changes in volunteer activities, learning a language or taking on a new hobby can be helpful - at later stages of application. Won't it appear that you are doing the same not out of interest but to get admitted. Something is better than nothing but can these activities be a game changer.

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