What Stanford Really Seeks In MBAs…From Former Adcoms

Here’s What To Do If You Get Rejected

Getting a rejection letter is never ideal. And while it’s okay to feel disappointed, it’s important to stay focused on what lies ahead in the next admissions round. US News recently offered a few tips on how rejected applicants can better prepare themselves for the second round of applications.

“This is an ideal window, despite the stress and anxiety, to make lemonade out of lemons, because the round two deadlines – which correspond to early January for almost all top U.S. MBA programs – are around the corner,” Esther Magna, a principal at the MBA admissions consulting company Stacy Blackman Consulting and an alumna of the MBA-M.P.H. program at the University of California—Los Angeles, says.


If you’ve been rejected from your target schools, it may be wise to consider whether you’re targeting the right type of MBA program. MBA fit, experts say, goes both ways.

“Are your personal interactions consistent with the school’s stated values? When you speak with alumni and current students, do you get the sense of a supportive and collaborative climate or a more competitive classroom? Nothing will give you a better sense of a school’s culture and identity than a visit to its campus,” Caroline Diarte Edwards, Director of Fortuna Admissions and former Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid at INSEAD, says. “But if that’s not possible, much can be gleaned by participating in MBA fairs and networking events with alumni and students in your areas of interest. Remember: It’s not just about whether you’re a fit for the program, but also whether the program is a good fit for you.”

Additionally, it can be helpful to apply to a greater number of schools in the next round.

“Certainly, the wider of a net the applicant is willing to cast for MBA programs, the more of these programs that they decide to apply for … the better the admit chances are, all else equal,” Magna says.


The essay is the perfect opportunity to communicate your fit for an MBA program. But, experts say, applicants often make the mistake of reusing their essay material across multiple B-school applications.

“That is typically a sure bet to get dinged, because all these programs, they compete against each other to some extent, and they have a radar,” Magna says. “They are aware when there is a sense of copy-paste or tweaking from their sister school … So we oftentimes, depending on the school, encourage starting from scratch.”

Sources: US News, P&Q

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