So, you laid it on the table during this MBA admissions cycle. Your GMAT score and undergrad GPA were in range, you have a solid work history, strong extras, clear goals AND don’t know of any reason that any of your recommendations would have gone sour because you’ve crushed it at work to boot. I mean damn, let’s just say it–you’re stuff is on point.
…Yet, you ended this last round of admissions with results that were less than desirable; in fact, you already know that you’re going to take another stab at it next admissions cycle.
Here are some things that we know to be true about MBA admissions at top schools:
- While most top schools only accept between about 10% – 30% of applicants, somewhere between 70% – 80% are said to be qualified. That latter group includes you: the qualified applicant who it just didn’t work out for this go ’round.
- Some folks just have a more difficult battle to fight in selling their story vs. applicants with similar stats: applicants from over represented demographic groups, recent grads with little work experience, senior citizens (over 32 years of age), folks who’ve taken nontraditional career paths, et al. Perhaps you fit in with this group (I did).
- Outside of the two niches above, the majority of qualified applicants who don’t get in were out-positioned and out-pitched by their competition.
- Most people who have very successsful admission cycles have gotten lots of help–whether from a GMAT class (which a LOT of people with 700+ GMATs have taken and won’t tell you), an admissions consultant (same thing!) or simply friends whove been successful at this deal in the past (I’m in this group as well).
Perhaps you’re someone who’s qualified that just didn’t get any (good) help in positioning your brand. Full disclosure, that could have EASILY been my story.
There is simply NO WAY that I would be headed to Wharton with previous options on MIT and Booth without input from friends like A.P. (Kellogg), S.B. (Stanford), J.J. (Sloan) and Cheetarah1980 (Booth). While I know what to do, say and how to do it and say it now, I was quite green when I started. I probably would have screwed this up royally had I gone it alone; actually, I’m sure of it.
The Naked Truth
TRUTH #1: All of your dream schools have a few new admits who tried more than once. You have folks like the blogger Unclear Admit who got the nod from two well-ranked MBA programs this year after a disappointing shut out on a previous try. What did he and others like him change? Well, they improved their pitch.
TRUTH #2: There are people at all of your dream schools right now–from your applicant pool–with similar (or worse) stats, education and work pedigree; but they had a better pitch for what those schools were looking for from your demographic this year.
The Bottom Line
Regardless of how they get to that point (with or without help), tons of qualified applicants submit to the top programs each year; and regardless of how many qualified applications they look at, admissions committees (“adcoms”) MUST draw the line somewhere. Sometimes, people like you and me end up on the unfavorable side of that line.
While I hold no magic wand for admission, my advice has helped a few applicants (and re-applicants) work out some kinks in their presentation; and they’ve gotten some great admissions outcomes this year.
If you’re someone who didn’t get the results that you wanted this year and you KNOW you have 100% of the raw material that top schools claim they look for maybe I can help you, too. Perhaps we could work together to formulate your “come back strategy” for next year’s admissions cycle. It’s certainly worth a try. Either way, I wish you the best of luck in your efforts.
Would you like my help getting into your dream b-school? Well, there are two starting points for that:
1. Get a Free Profile Analysis (after receiving your information, I’ll let you know whether or not I think I can help you)
2. Get Help Now (If you already know that you want help and what you want help on, then just skip to here)