The journey to acceptance to the right MBA program for you will undoubtedly take awhile. You have to start with the GMAT, then figure out your schools, then map out your strategy, and put together all the apps, then sit back and wait till you get your answers…
And for some people, that process has to be repeated. It can add up to a lot of time. This is not atypical, and if you end up in that boat, don’t feel bad about it.
Often the jagged journey is just because you haven’t yet found the right fit of the best MBA program to who you are and what you want to do. Other times it’s because there’s room for improvement in the profile, and getting rejected is frequently the motivating factor that can help someone decide to finally make those improvements.
Sometimes people actually are successful in their apps – but getting into one program makes them realize that it’s not the program that they want to go to.
Another common issue? You’re trying before it’s time.
We have a story today about a BSer for whom most of this was true – someone who, with time, ended up in a most excellent place.
You are probably aware that many top MBA programs want to see significant work experience in order to be confident that you’re ready for the challenges and the rigors of the MBA curriculum. Not only do they want to make sure you’re not in over your head in the very difficult grad school environment, but they also want to ensure that everyone in the class is able to contribute to their peers. This comes from having some decent work experience, being out in the world in a professional capacity where you’ve done stuff.
Sometimes, when someone is too young, and not showing quite enough experience that’s compelling or notable, then the schools will reject for that reason alone.
This BSer first approached us for help on their apps way back in 2012 (writing that does make it seem like forever ago). They got our take on their situation with our Comprehensive Profile Review (a great place to begin for anyone, regardless of when you’re planning on applying). This person had a solid GMAT score, above-average academics from a very good university, and a smattering of interesting extracurriculars and community service to round out the profile. The only glitch? They were barely two years out of college, with not much of a work history to speak of yet, and a bit of a hodgepodge set of nontraditional jobs. Our profile write-up mostly told them how this was going to be a factor but, with the right set of essays, they possibly could have a shot, based on some strengths that we were seeing. One question they asked at the time was:
I’m applying to all schools in Round 2 because I’d like more experience in my new job first. Does this strategy make sense?
We responded that actually no, applying in Round 1 is very advantageous, particularly given the schools that they were targeting. Three months more experience in a new job is not really going to move the needle, in most cases. It shouldn’t matter TOO much if you’re a hot-to-trot candidate; the schools accept lots of Round 2ers, too. But for anyone who’s going for the best of the best, we really truly do encourage you to get those apps in for Round 1 if possible.
And then they disappeared on us.
No worries, it happens. Lots of Brave Supplicants come to us for that initial profile review and then we never hear from them again. We always hope that that means they were empowered to pursue their MBA dreams on their own and were able to be successful with that one dose of input.
In this case, the BSer in question did indeed resurface… a long time later.
Check back for Part 2 of the story to see how this one ended up.