Admissions Tip: Applying After Being Laid Off:

by on April 29th, 2011

What if you were a holder of one of those no-longer-existing jobs and planned to apply to business school this fall for matriculation in Fall 2012? Does the layoff doom your application?

The answer: No. Not at all. Admissions committee members read BusinessWeek and other periodicals that blare the same economic gloom and doom. They know that you are not responsible for the recession (I said it), the turmoil in the credit markets, the poor risk management at the top of major financial institutions, and the bust that so frequently follows a boom.

But you are responsible for your reaction to the lay off3.  If you quickly succeed in obtaining a new position that moves you closer to your long-term goal, or that allows you to take on more responsibility and show growth, that’s great. But obtaining a good job may be difficult in this business climate. Keep the following in mind:

  1. You may have to adjust or alter your career plans to meet market conditions.  Risk management has suddenly become a growth industry. Perhaps your number crunching skills can be put to good use in this suddenly hot field.
  2. If your layoff starts to drag on, don’t plop yourself in front of the TV, video game, or Sudoku book. Do something. Take up a new hobby. Learn new skills. Participate in a community service active. Volunteer for a candidate. (There are more than enough of them this year in the US.) Transform your layoff into a growth experience with initiative, energy, and optimism.

Either of these responses will allow you to show the resilience and backbone that schools value. In addition, by taking these steps you will learn new skills, develop marketable talents, and demonstrate the personal qualities which schools (and employers) admire.

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