Planning your next move after a waitlist reject

Are you someone who has experienced the long and enervating journey through GMAT, brainstorming applications, interview preparations and the waitlist bide, only to receive the dreaded reject from your dream business school?

Firstly, take a deep breath and give yourself a pat for getting a strong consideration as an applicant at your dream school. You must acknowledge that your promising candidacy led you to getting interviewed. Think of rejections as learning opportunities you can leverage to improve and become successful the next time around. The journey towards your goals is not over yet and you must continue to improvise your strategy for applying or reapplying to B Schools.

The most important thing one should do on hearing about the waitlist decision or a reject is to get feedback from as many experienced professionals and alums as possible, and to develop your own insights around the potential improvement areas in your application. The applicants who continue to apply to B Schools without much introspection over unsuccessful attempts are more likely to be disappointed than those who take time to conscientiously plan the next move.

Here are some of the areas that could surface from getting your work reviewed by experts

1. You over estimated your chances and applied to later rounds
As someone with an average profile and average goals, you must not only differentiate yourself by working hard on your narrative and goals selection, but apply to one of the earlier rounds in the next cycle. Re applicants should surely focus on bringing examples of new experiences into the application to demonstrate growth mindset.

2. You did not give your best shot on the essays and the application
This is a common one. Your essays reflect on your seriousness for MBA and the amount of effort you put in to understand the value principles of the school. As interviews are only one aspect of the overall decision process, the quality of your essays and application is taken into account for the final decision irrespective of your waitlist interview performance.

3. Your GMAT score vs the rest of your application
Despite showcasing stellar work on the application and essays topped up with a pleasant interview experience, if you have not been accepted at your dream school, re-evaluate your GMAT performance and try to get feedback from the admissions committee on this aspect.

4. Your recommendations
Needless to say that recommendations submitted by your managers/supervisors/mentors should strongly compliment the narrative you presented in your application. Lazy and lousy recommendations can make the school skeptical of your honestly in the application.

5. Revisit your dream schools list
A waitlist reject from a top tier school with high yield is less likely to convert into success the next time around. Therefore, continue to revisit your list of target schools and do not become fixated on reapplying to the same school with only minor improvements on your application. Try to understand what each school seeks in terms of cultural fit, personality type, professional goals and prior experience and evaluate your fit with the school. Use the learnings from your unsuccessful attempt towards presenting an even stronger application the next time.

“Rejections (lets not call them failures) are stepping stones to success ” – staying persistent and strong in the face of challenges while not being too hard upon yourself will lead you towards a happy and fulfilling future.

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