The anxiety and apprehension that many business school applicants feel the day after the deadline can be overwhelming. After months of prepping for the GMAT, tweaking the resume, chasing recommenders, and polishing essays, all of a sudden it gets very quiet.
For those asking themselves the question, "What do I do now?" the answer is simple.
"Nothing, nada, zip, zilch."
You’ve done all the right things, so take pride in that accomplishment. However, some applicants find it impossible to do nothing. So, they go out and convince some alumnus — who didn’t know the applicant well enough to be a recommender — to send a letter of support to the admissions office. Or they decide to make a second (or third) visit to campus to show enthusiasm — hoping to "accidentally" bump into an admissions officer. Or perhaps they email the adcom just to say, "I really really REALLY want to attend your school."
As harmless as these gestures may seem, the truth is that they actually can hurt your chances for admission. Such impulsive actions convey: 1) a lack of confidence in your candidacy; and 2) a fear that this school is a huge stretch. That’s certainly not the impression that you want the admissions committee to have while they’re determining your fate.
Okay, since some of you still don’t believe that "doing nothing" is the right way to go, here are 3 suggestions:
1. Start to prepare for your admissions interview.
You can do some additional online research about the school, talk with friends and family about your strengths and experiences, practice answering the toughest questions you can imagine — such as explaining that "C-" in freshman calculus or the 2-month backpacking trip in between jobs. Working with an expert on MBA interview prep can ensure that your time is well spent.
2. Get an expert evaluation of your applications.
Even though you’ve already submitted them, having some objective feedback on your strengths and weaknesses will help you prepare for your upcoming interview or — worst case — for your waitlist campaign or reapplication campaign.
3. Apply to more schools.
Yes, that’s right, more apps! If you’re having serious doubts about the competitiveness of your candidacy or the quality of your submitted applications, rather than obsess about it, harness that energy into a search for other good schools whose deadlines have not yet passed. How will this help? Well, if you do more apps, your chances of getting admitted somewhere can only improve. Or if you find that you don’t have the desire and energy to apply elsewhere, then you’ve confirmed that your original applications are solid, that you are competitive, and that you can now… relax!
The MBA Exchange sincerely hopes that this blog post has been helpful for those of you impatiently waiting for an interview invitation to arrive. You are not alone!