If you recently applied to business school, you are probably wondering what’s happening behind the scenes with your MBA application. Here is advice about what to do while you wait.
- Interview invites are often staggered.
Please don’t read too much into it if you aren’t immediately invited to interview. True, silence is sometimes an ominous sign, especially if a school releases all of their invites on specified days, like Ross, LBS, HBS, and GSB. More frequently, however, schools review applications and issue invitations throughout the round. The timing of your review usually has nothing to do with your candidacy – it’s most likely a reflection of the school’s internal process.
- If they do invite you to interview, choose the most personal option.
I am frequently asked how important it is to interview on campus. My real answer is that it’s very important; if you are genuinely interested in the school, my best advice is to interview on campus if that’s offered to you as an option. It’s easier to connect with your interviewer in person, and it also demonstrates a commitment to the program. As a second choice, I would opt for an in-person interview in your location. Choose Skype as a last resort.
- Don’t ‘network’ too much.
People often get antsy after submitting their MBA applications, and want to do more to demonstrate their passion for the school. It can be tempting to reach out to connections at your target schools – but I would exercise caution. At this point in the process you should have already leveraged your strongest connections. It can seem forced and overly transactional to approach people now – and even if you do have some untapped relationships, save them in case you need support as a waitlisted candidate or a reapplicant.
- Think carefully about proactively communicating with schools.
I know it’s tempting, but please don’t call or email unless something truly dramatic happens. It’s fine to let them know about better test scores, for instance, but not that you were assigned to a cool new project. And definitely don’t ask them for an update about your status.
- But respond ASAP if they reach out to you.
Sometimes schools will ask you to clarify some aspect of your candidacy. If this happens, please respond right away. Just like you are anxiously looking for signs about the strength of your MBA application, schools are also gauging your level of interest. They notice if you wait 3 days to respond to an interview invitation or to answer their question about your study abroad transcript.
Karen has more than 12 years of experience evaluating candidates for admission to Dartmouth College and to the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Since founding North Star Admissions Consulting in 2012, she has helped applicants gain admission to the nation’s top schools, including Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Wharton, MIT, Tuck, Columbia, Kellogg, Booth, Haas, Duke, Johnson, Ross, NYU, UNC, UCLA, Georgetown and more. Clients have been awarded more than 18.2 million dollars in scholarships, and more than 96% have gotten into one of their top choice schools.