Smart Questions To Ask MBA Alumni

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Eight MBA Waitlist Tips

“The waiting is the hardest part, 
Every day you see one more card.
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart,
The waiting is the hardest part.” 

So sang Tom Petty some 30 years ago. Alas, Petty was expressing the hope we feel when we’re waiting to reunite with a loved one. But when it comes to getting into school, the anticipation is tinged with as much dread as optimism.

Let’s face it: You pour the best of you into those applications. You spend countless hours reflecting, researching, rehearsing, and revising. If you’re shooting for a Tuck or a Haas, you understand how accomplished those other applicants are. But you’ve been preparing for an opportunity like this for so long. Despite what everyone says, your school’s decision does reflect on you, particularly the choices and ambitions that shaped you. And it doesn’t get much more personal than that.

But rejection may not be the worst outcome. People naturally want a definitive answer. And when you’re waitlisted, you’re suddenly tossed into limbo. You ask yourself, ‘Where else should I apply’ and ‘How long before I know?’ For the coming months, you’ll wonder, ‘What could I have done better?’

When you’re waitlisted, the admissions team is acknowledging that you’re good…but maybe not quite good enough. To borrow a dating term, your school is looking around and weighing their options. You gave, what you thought, was your best shot. Now, the decision is in someone else’s hands.

So how do you cope with a situation like that? Recently, Top MBA spoke with MBA admissions directors at NYU’s Stern School of Management and INSEAD. Here is some of their advice for improving your chances of being chosen:

Rabia Ahmed, Director of MBA Admissions at NYU Stern:

Be Proactive: “Provide us with updates to your application. New information about employment, updated test scores, as well as supplemental recommendation letters or essays can all potentially enhance your qualifications. New information is most effective when it provides a different or updated perspective to the committee.”

Be Self-Aware: “The MBA admissions committee has seen strengths in your application, but there may be ways to improve your candidacy. We are looking for people who have the personal initiative to improve themselves. We provide detailed information about what we evaluate and why on our website. We are looking for the kind of person who can take that information, do a self-assessment and take appropriate action.”

Pejay Belland, Director of Admissions, Marketing and Financial Aid for Degree Programs at INSEAD

Be Patient: “An applicant will certainly need to be patient, but offers can be made at any point in time during the selection process, for either of our two campuses. When making offers to candidates on the MBA waitlist we take into account diversity and contribution so we don’t necessarily release the slots on a first-come, first-served basis.”

Be Informative: “If the candidate does wish to send additional information to the school, he or she may want to elaborate on their contribution to the program. If at any point the candidate wishes to share a time constraint related to the final decision, such as a job offer, or an offer from another school, we encourage he or she to contact the admissions office.”

For additional advice from Ahmed and Belland, click on the Top MBA link below.

Source: Top MBA

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