Essay Advice: If You’re Reapplying…

If you wanted to boil down your goal in writing the reapplication essay to four words, they would be: Show how you’ve grown.

The adcoms may compare this year’s application with the past dinged one – or at least with the notes from reviewers. And they’ll be looking for improvement, plain and simple.

To show that you’ve grown and that you’re a more impressive applicant this year than you were last, you’ll need to answer the following questions in your reapplication essay:

Have you made a concerted effort to mitigate your weaknesses? Did you retake the GMAT or enroll in an Econ 101 course to prove that you’re willing and capable of excelling in a demanding business school?

Have you clarified your goals? Sometimes applicants are rejected simply because the adcoms get the sense that they’re not sure why they want an MBA and don’t have clear post-MBA goals. In your reapplicant essay you should show that the past year has helped reshape and reaffirm your goals and that you do in fact have a clear sense of why you want an MBA and why now is the best time for you to pursue one.

Have you demonstrated “fit”? Do you show there is a match made in Heaven between your professional and educational needs and the school’s strengths and values.

Have you internalized and utilized school feedback? If you were lucky enough to receive feedback on your dinged application, make sure you put it to good use. If the feedback suggested that your leadership skills were on the weak side and in response you worked hard to increase your leadership responsibilities at work, make sure you highlight your advances and what you’ve learned from the experience.

Linda Abraham, founder of


By Linda Abraham, CEO and founder of and co-author of the soon-to released book, MBA Admissions for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.  Linda has been helping MBA applicants gain acceptance to top MBA programs since 1994.