So, you’ve applied to several MBA programs and didn’t get in. Now what?

May 4, 2010
Tags: Admissions Process, Applications, B-School, Choosing the Right School, School Selection

Written by Alison Merzel, Director of MBA Admissions, Graduate Programs Office, Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University 

Look at your consideration set Consider applying to a couple more schools. Maybe you’ve limited yourself and chose programs that aren’t a good fit for you. Do more research—some schools are still accepting applications for 2010. At Fisher, we accept domestic applications until July 15. Some schools may still be willing to review your application. It can’t hurt to ask. 

Be self-aware Are you applying to MBA programs with little to no work experience? Some schools may take a small percentage of students straight out of college, but others require professional work experience. Only 5-10% of the Fisher MBA class has less than one year of post-baccalaureate work experience. These students have outstanding academic aptitude; significant internship, co-op, or non-traditional work experience, and strong leadership potential. Look at your profile. Are you ready to add meaningful value to an MBA program right now, or would you be a stronger candidate for the program after gaining some more experience? 

Reapply At Fisher, we will hold all application materials for one year. A candidate who wishes to reapply needs to submit a new application form and provide any new information that may strengthen his or her chances of admission:

GMAT  The GMAT is one element of the application process that you still may be able to improve, unlike your undergraduate GPA. Remember, schools accept students with a wide range of profiles, but a competitive GMAT score can’t hurt your chances of admission. It may be worth retaking it if you think you can do better.

Additional Letter of Recommendation  Request one. Coach your reference and make sure he or she is well informed about the process, the program to which you are applying, and your personal and professional accomplishments and goals.

Essays  It can’t hurt to look at them again. Did you make careless mistakes or accidentally send an old draft? Have someone proofread the essays and evaluate the content. The admissions staff reviews countless essays—you need to stand out as someone who is certain to succeed in the program and beyond.

Resume  Have someone review your resume who can give you honest feedback and provide possible suggestions for improvement. Update your resume to include any new jobs or positions you have held, awards or recognition, membership in professional organizations, or community involvement.