What to Do When You’re On an MBA Waitlist:
Round 1 decisions came out and you are not in. Bummer. The good news is that you were NOT denied! Here are seven tips for what you can do while you are on an MBA waiting list.
1. BREATHE. RELAX.
Seriously, you are still in play. Celebrate! There is SOMETHING about your application and profile that the admissions committee is interested enough not to deny you. Go ahead and accept your spot on the wait-list before the deadline.
2. LOOK AT THE NUMBERS.
While your GMAT and GPA are not ALL that admissions committee looks at, these numbers are important since they drive the rankings. Clearly, there is nothing you can do about your undergrad GPA now. But, if your GMAT is below the program average, you should seriously consider retaking the exam.
3. CONNECT WITH THE SCHOOL.
Show admissions committee that you WANT a seat in their program and will take it IMMEDIATELY if it is offered. If you haven’t already done so, visit the school. Engage with students. Identify areas in which you can (and will) contribute to the program. Stop by the admissions office and introduce yourself as a waitlisted candidate.
4. ASK FOR SUPPORT.
Is one of your colleagues an alumnus of the program? Is your college roommate a first-year student? Ask if they will write a letter of support and FIT to the school. Most programs welcome input from their current and former students when shaping the class.
5. PREPARE FOR THE PROGRAM.
Are you prepared to take on the quantitative rigor of an MBA program? Admissions committee does not want to admit candidates who might struggle in the core curriculum. If you don’t have sufficient background in the quantitative areas consider enrolling in a class that will demonstrate your readiness.
6. SUBMIT AN UPDATE.
If the program welcomes it, share an update a few weeks in advance of the next decision deadline. You will likely be reconsidered along with the candidates in the next round. As a waitlisted candidate, you have a bonus opportunity to demonstrate your passion for the program and readiness to commit your deposit as soon as admissions committee gives you the nod. Show them the love.
7. BE PATIENT.
Sometimes applicants get in off the waitlist much later than you would guess. One of our clients got admitted to Wharton the last week of July last year! Not everyone has that flexibility or has made other plans, but if you’re flexible, stay patient.