MIT Sloan | Mr. Indian Healthcare Analytics
GMAT 720, GPA 7.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. Filipino Startup
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Ms. Media Entertainment
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Consumer Goods Senior Manager
GMAT 740, GPA 8.27/10
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Evolving Teacher
GRE 328, GPA 3.26
Columbia | Mr. Indian I-Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 8.63
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Chef Instructor
GMAT 760, GPA 3.3
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Tech-y Athlete
GRE , GPA 3.63
Harvard | Mr. Deferred Financial Poet
GMAT 710, GPA 3.68
Harvard | Mr. Lieutenant To Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Berkeley Haas | Ms. EV Evangelist
GRE 334, GPA 2.67
Wharton | Ms. Product Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. Indian Engineer + MBA Now In Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 8.7 / 10
Chicago Booth | Mr. EduTech
GRE 337, GPA 3.9
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Indonesian Salesperson
GMAT 660, GPA 3.49
Berkeley Haas | Mr. LGBT+CPG
GMAT 720, GPA 3.95
McCombs School of Business | Ms. Tech For Non-Profits
GRE 312, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Combat Pilot Non-Profit Leader
GRE 329, GPA 3.73
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Actual Poet
GMAT 720, GPA 12.0/14
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare Administration & Policy Latino Advocate
GRE 324, GPA 3.4
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Asian Mexican Finance Hombre
GMAT 650, GPA 2.967
Columbia | Mr. Fintech Data Scientist
GMAT 710, GPA 3.66
Tuck | Mr. Opportunities In MBB
GMAT 710, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. Co-Founder & Analytics Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 7.4 out of 10.0 - 4th in Class
Harvard | Mr. Strategy For Social Good
GRE 325, GPA 3.5
MIT Sloan | Mr. Spaniard
GMAT 710, GPA 7 out of 10 (top 15%)
NYU Stern | Ms. Hopeful NYU Stern Marketing Ph.D.
GRE 297, GPA 2.8

The Three Hardest Things About Navigating The MBA Waitlist

advice about navigating the hardest parts of the MBA waitlist

I have written before about how to optimize your chances of getting off the MBA waitlist, and about why you are likely there in the first place. Consistently, people struggle to strike the right balance between being proactive and telegraphing disinterest. Here is additional advice about navigating the hardest parts of the MBA waitlist.

  • Waiting for so long.

Although some schools reevaluate waitlisted candidates with each successive round, many don’t – and in either case, waitlist decisions often extend into the summer. One of the most frustrating parts of the MBA waitlist process is the need to make alternate plans while also staying flexible. Nevertheless, it’s important to go ahead and deposit at your second-choice school, pursue that appealing job option, etc. People who can wait, and who can accept offers that come later in the cycle, are at an advantage.

  • Not overwhelming the committee.

Many candidates have a natural desire to convey their passion for the school. This understandable impulse can backfire, though, if you overdo the communication. Follow their directions and don’t ask for individual feedback unless it’s offered. Same with visits, don’t decide to pop in unless they invite waitlisted applicants to do so. I would also avoid weekly “update” emails – wait until you have something substantial to convey.  Finally, don’t have everyone you have ever met send in “endorsement” notes. Volume is much less important than quality.

  • Taking their advice.

Some business schools do offer meaningful feedback to waitlisted candidates. This guidance can be incredibly helpful, but there is a hidden pitfall – if the committee tells you to do something specific, you need to do it. If the feedback is that you should write a new goal statement, clarify your interest in their program or re-take your GMAT or GRE, it’s crucial to follow through. Ignoring the committee’s guidance will hurt your chances.

Finally, remember that you wouldn’t be on the MBA waitlist if there wasn’t a chance of getting in.


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 24 million dollars in scholarships, and more than 97% have gotten into one of their top-choice schools.