We gave a bunch of tips and accolades in advance of Decision Week but, what if you are on the other end of that spectrum?
If you didn’t make it in, IT’S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD! Yeah, it will feel like a punch in the gut. If this happens to you, we know, it totally sucks. You’ll need to go through the mourning process – which may involve copious amounts of beer, or Ben & Jerry’s. It’s like a relationship ending. We get it. BUT!!!!
Guess what? We’re willing to bet that you have learned a lot through this process. That’s hardly a consolation when all you wanted was to go get started on your MBA, but believe us, it’s valuable.
We see gobs of reapplicants be successful in their second season attempts. (If you don’t believe us, check out some of our many Success Stories posted here on the blahg. Bunches of them are from reapplicants.)
Realizing how competitive this is, and that you can’t just throw ideas at the metaphorical wall in your essays to see what sticks – that you need an actual strategy… well, that learning will serve you well, not just in next season’s applications, but also in any other highly competitive endeavor you may embark upon later.
Like, going for funding for that startup you say you want to do one day. There are plenty of parallels between the pitch process for bschool and future fundraising.
Or, true fundraising, as in, for a non-profit. There’s plenty of worthy causes out there that could use your time and attention, and the skills you’re developing through your attempts to get into bschool will surely be applicable in working to help some of them. Or, in starting your own, which many of you say you want to do.
Or even just convincing your someday-spouse that you two really should go for a vacation in Belize instead of visiting their parents over the upcoming holidays.
Mostly though, the process of applying to bschool forces a level of introspection in life that many young people have simply never gone through before. You’ve been faced with the Big Questions – who do you want to be when you grow up? What do you want to do with this precious opportunity of living? Heck, some people even realize, after getting all their apps rejected, that the MBA isn’t the right next step for them – that they can deploy the time and money that would be required of an MBA into something that they now decide is more valuable, and will get them further with their life goals.
Whatever conclusions you came to through your effort to develop some coherent essays for your apps this season, we encourage you to embark upon those journeys NOW. It doesn’t take bschool to get started.
In fact, if you are serious about getting into bschool and you’re faced with not getting in just yet, the very best way that you can convince the adcoms next season about the worth and merit of your plans is to move forward with them today. Get started getting started. You don’t need to be sitting in an MBA classroom in order to pursue your goals.
Look around and see what skills you can pick up this summer.
Check out some part-time projects or roles you can dive into – maybe a new assignment you can volunteer for at your current job that can get you exposure to a different team, environment, technology, manager… some new situation that will stretch you and force you to grow.
Sign up for a class.
Find some charity that needs your help. There are plenty of them around.
Or just start reading. Books can take you far. A healthy habit of reading is a great thing to nurture.
While not getting in is undoubtedly a massive disappointment, there’s always a new path-forward available – sometimes it’s hidden in the weeds and behind a bush you hadn’t checked out before but it’s always there, and often surprising, in terms of where it will take you.
We’ll be around all summer, offer advice and guidance for those who are going to try again. The MBA rollercoaster is still riding. There’s plenty of great schools out there who will be eager to read your well-crafted essays, once you’re ready to get back in the game and play.
And good luck to all who made it – and all who are taking the more circuitous route. There’s glory to be found in every life when you keep digging for it.
A number of Brave Supplicants have sought out our Post-Mortem Application Review services this week. If you didn’t make it in and you want an objective read on possible reasons why, then you can check that option out for yourself.