Denied by dream b-school? You have 3 options

You put your heart and soul into preparing your application. Your recommenders said wonderful things about you. You attended the info session, visited the campus, chatted with students, and networked with alumni. Perhaps you had an interview and even got waitlisted. However, despite all your hard work, sleepless nights, and high expectations, the admissions committee decided to admit someone else.

You feel intense emotions ranging from disappointment to frustration to anger. None of those feelings change the outcome – you’ve been denied. So, what are you going to do regarding your plans for business school? You have 3 options:

1. Move on.
If this was the only year you could apply, and if this was the only school you would attend, then you might reasonably conclude that earning an MBA degree is not in the cards for you. If you believe you can achieve your professional goals without attending business school, then choosing to move forward without an MBA is understandable. So be it. Our career advisory services could be a valuable resource for you in terms of accelerating your progress without an MBA.

2. Try again.
If you still want to attend your dream school, and if there are aspects of your candidacy and/or campaign that could be improved, then reapplying next year is a wise decision. You’ll have ample time to get the job done right. And you’ll have the extra motivation to prove the adcom made a huge mistake by not admitting you this year. Even the most selective schools admit numerous reapplicants each year. So, go for it! To ensure that you maximize your chances for success, getting a “ding analysis” from an admissions expert is a great way to start.

3. Change targets.
If your profile is comparable to that of admits at another top business school, and if another school offers a curriculum and culture that align with your goals and values, then pursuing that MBA program as a first-time applicant makes good sense. You’ve learned a lot about yourself and the admissions process from your recent, albeit unsuccessful, campaign. And, depending on the new school’s application deadline, you may be able to apply in the next Round rather than having to wait until next year. You can begin with a free evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses to confirm your fit with the new target school.

Even if your recent MBA admissions campaign was unsuccessful, your deserve a lot of credit for putting yourself out there, presenting your background and vision, and taking ownership of the final result. You should feel no regrets. You’ve earned the privilege of determining the next chapter in your life. Through introspection, exploration and conversation — no matter what the MBA adcom has decided — you will make the right decision about your future.