“Now what?” 5 tips for rejected MBA applicants

1. Get over it.
Sure, it hurts when your dream doesn’t come true. You put so much time and effort into that application. You felt so confident when you submitted it. So, how could the admissions committee possibly say no? But they did. And re-reading your application for the hundredth time won’t change that outcome. The reality is that adcoms make mistakes, as former admissions professionals on the consulting team at The MBA Exchange would admit. Deserving, dedicated, determined and qualified applicants are sometimes denied for reasons beyond their control. Painful? Yes. Insurmountable? No.

2. Look within, then look around.
It’s time for a gut check. How much do you really want a top MBA education? Can you achieve your near-term and long-term career goals without attending business school? Are there alternative ways for you to add essential knowledge, refine your perspective and expand your network? Will extension courses, books, seminars, clubs, etc., suffice? If not, then you’ve made your decision to re-apply for a top MBA.

3. Identify and fix what’s broken.
If you were the adcom, why would you have rejected your candidacy? Think hard before you answer that question. Was your GPA or GMAT below the median? Did you demonstrate current leadership, at work and in the community? Was your resume all about responsibilities instead of tangible impact? Were your essays authentic and truly compelling? Did your recommenders confirm your strengths with convincing examples? It’s very difficult to be objective about yourself. So consider getting a professional “ding analysis” of your denied application to help you discover what factors hurt your chances for admission.

4. Reconsider your targets.
Simply reapplying with the same candidacy is not going to produce a better result at the same school next year. So, if you can present a stronger case for admission, but still want to get a top MBA education, it’s essential that you look at different schools where your qualifications and presentation could be more appreciated. Surely, there’s at least one other MBA program that can provide a platform for achieving your career objectives. If in doubt, Spring is the ideal time for a campus visit. Check it out. You’ll probably surprise yourself with how attractive other schools can be for a reapplicant.

5. Reapply.
You’ve confirmed your determination to gain admission. You’ve added the missing pieces and fixed the broken ones. You’ve identified the schools that offer what you want — and want what you offer. So, now’s the moment for you to sit down and get started. First step? We strongly advise getting an expert evaluation of your candidacy so you’ll know which aspects — professional, academic or personal — to address.