What To Do When Waiting on MBA Admissions Decisions
Waiting on your MBA admissions decisions can be an anxiety-ridden ordeal. But it doesn’t have to be.
Stacy Blackman, contributor at US News and founder of Stacy Blackman Consulting, recently offered three ways applicants can stay productive while waiting on their decisions.
Stay Engaged With Your Target School And Its Programs
Just because you’ve submitted your application and are awaiting the results, that doesn’t mean you’re completely done. Blackman recommends that applicants take this time to continue immersing themselves in areas related to their target program.
“With a potential interview on the horizon, you’ll want to keep up with any big news announcements that you can reference later to demonstrate your interest and commitment to attending this particular institution, if admitted,” Blackman says.
To stay current, Blackman suggests that applicants follow the school and relevant professors on social media and to keep up to date on potential meet up events for prospective students. “The more specific details you can weave into a conversation with your interviewer, the more you will convince the admissions team of your fit with the school’s culture,” she says.
On top of connecting with other prospective students, Blackman urges applicants to reach out to current students or alumni who can provide interview insight and answer questions regarding the program.
Business schools typically weigh applicants’ interview performance as heavily as their performance on the GMAT or GRE, according to Blackman. So, it’s important to take this time to focus on preparing for interviews.
Chad Losee is managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid at Harvard Business School. Losee tells US News that MBA interviews offer insight into how applicants think and what they are passionate about.
“We don’t feel that people need to come in with a life plan already mapped out, but we do like to get a sense for how people think about the decisions that they make,” Losee says.
Blackman says it’s a good idea for applicants to develop responses to common MBA interview questions first. Questions such as “what your strengths and weaknesses are, why you want an MBA now, why you applied to this program and what your post-MBA career goals are” are generally typical questions you can expect in every interview according to Blackman.
Blackman also advises applicants to prepare for the curveball questions as well. Harvard Business School applicants have previously reported interview questions such as “What is the most interesting conversation you’ve had this week?” and “Explain to me something you’re working on as if I were an 8-year-old.”
“While you can’t fully prepare for these types of surprise questions, it’s helpful to brainstorm stories and examples from your professional or personal life that support the general themes of leadership, overcoming challenges and your unique passions and ambitions,” Blackman says. “Come ready to discuss things you haven’t already shared in your application.”
Have A Plan B
Expectations can sometimes overshadow reality. It’s important to not let those expectations get carried away and to come ready with a backup plan. Blackman advises applicants to ask themselves the tough questions. Consider timeframe, waitlists, other schools, and even career shifts.
“Remembering that you have choices feels immensely reassuring,” Blackman says. “Having an acceptable backup plan in mind will go a long way toward helping you not only cope with any potential adverse outcomes but also thrive in spite of them.”