Some of you are starting to worry, which may or may not be justified. If you tend to be a worrier, you already know that about yourself, and you may intellectually recognize that you’re doing it, and be unable to stop. Worrying in this case only adds to your stress levels and is not productive, but you still will be worrying. Our post today may not actually help those of you who are worriers, since all we’re going to do is talk about the “what if” scenarios that can make the worrying worse. But, we do want to acknowledge that worrying is a “thing” and that many people succumb to it, and there’s also techniques you can learn to help yourself find more peace in day-to-day life, perhaps with the support of a qualified therapist or counselor.
So, with that mental-health disclaimer out of the way:
If you’re waitlisted from Round 1 and you have active Round 2 apps, yet have not gotten an interview invitation yet… Your waitlist could still pop! And, if you made it onto the waitlist in Round 1, then that means you did something right, and there could still be a chance with Round 2, even if no interview invitation has yet materialized. Right now, we’re predicting the highest potential for admit with domestic (American citizen) applicants who have a decent GMAT score and are waitlisted at good schools. There’s also strong possibilities for international applicants with high GMAT scores at good schools.
If you’re waitlisted at H/S/W/K/M* then this prediction may not apply. Those schools have maintained their incredibly high standards this season and we have not seen much softening. Obviously there’s still a chance if you’re in the waitbucket at those places, but we cannot say one way or another if an admit will materialize from there. It’s just too competitive to call it, especially since we have not seen your application (or even if we have; these schools are simply too selective to know for sure at this stage).
Of course, the other big category is the second-round applicant who has come up short with invites so far, and we’re now six weeks past the deadlines. If you applied to more than six schools in Round 2 and none have extended an interview, then yeah, we’re worried. 🙁 That’s particularly true if you applied to schools in Round 1 and also did not get interviewed.
Or what if you’re interviewing, but only at one school?
Well, it only takes one! But yeah, that is a lot of eggs in a single basket.
Certain types of applicants are going to have certain paths available to them regardless of whether there’s an MBA in their future. If you’re sitting pretty at your current job, especially if you’re in private equity or maybe consulting or some other field where they want to keep you around based on how much institutional knowledge you’re carrying, then you could end up leveraging this crossroads into a new opportunity with greater responsibility. No, it won’t be bschool, but maybe you can construct a plan for building a bschool-equivalent path of experience, training, and on-the-job real-world learn-big-things-while-working with some key executives at your company.
Other BSers will determine that no matter what, they must go to business school in order to get where they’re headed in life, so they decide that if this year doesn’t work, they’ll regroup and try again in the fall.
If you’re starting to wonder if you might not get in, now is a great time for reflection!
Obviously you’ve been grappling with this question since starting to write your essays many months ago.
But during that process, you were writing your essays for some stranger to read. You were undoubtedly trying to say the right thing, to impress your adcom reader into giving you an interview.
It’s not that the things you said in your essays were wrong (hopefully!). It’s just that you were saying them for an audience.
Stepping back now, what do you want to do with your life?
No really. Answer that question. What is it that’s driving you towards the MBA?
Yeah yeah yeah it’s likely money, and the elusive concept of greater opportunities.
But what do you see the MBA as giving you?
Maybe you know concretely. Maybe you did this exercise in earnest before, multiple times, and you really understand the value for you personally of what business school can provide.
But have you re-examined all of that lately?
If your heart is set on transitioning from your current career, into some new-and-different career path entirely, then yes, the MBA can be instrumental in that.
And, what can you do to start working towards it now?
If this is REALLY what you want to go do, then why not try to take that first step today? Even without knowing if you’re going to bschool in the fall or not?
There’s plenty of actions to be taken to prepare you for whatever transition you have in mind.
You can join an industry association in the new field that you care about.
You can find a Meetup group or hook up with some alumni from your college who are doing this job that you want to do, and ask for an informational interview.
You can start to build skills today.
Maybe you don’t really know Excel very well. Now would be a great time to improve.
Maybe you don’t like public speaking, like, at all. Join Toastmasters and get some practice. Or find an improv group and REALLY get practice in overcoming those fears!
Pro Tip: All of these suggestions are going to be useful for you whether you’re going to bschool this fall or not! All of these are how you start getting ready for a new transition. And, if you end up in the unfortunate spot of reapplicant, then all of these will be useful to talk about in a Round 1 app when that time rolls around a few months from now. And yes, it’s only going to be a few months. Essay requirements will begin coming out in May and June. There is not that much time at all for you to loll around on the bench before it’ll be time to get cracking on essay strategy again.
And, there are also other career opportunities that you could potentially pursue, including structured training programs offered by big corporations. For example, many consulting firms have an experienced-hire track where they bring people in from other (non-consulting) careers and give them on-the-job training, even without an MBA. Is it the same as going to business school? No. Is it likely going to end you up in a similar place? Oh yes definitely it could, if you’re motivated and apply yourself.
The MBA matters most for your very first job once you graduate.
In five or ten years, it may be difficult for you to imagine this, but quite likely, you’re going to forget that you have an MBA at all, and there might be little differentiation between you and your non-MBA executive peers, in terms of achievement and competence. There will always be differences of course, but please keep in mind that the MBA is ***not*** a requirement to succeed in life.
There is one category of applicant for whom the MBA may be more valuable in making the next-step transition, and that’s the individual who is coming out of the armed services and looking to find his or her footing in the civilian world.
(If you have access privileges on your account to view our Military MBA content then you’ll see this next little snippet of info.)
PS: This BSer went on to score an admit to an excellent school but it was damn tough for awhile as they were waitlisted at four or five places before one converted in June.
Hopefully you can appreciate now: There are options!
And, whether you score an admit in the coming weeks or not, you have the ability to start changing your life TODAY.
Don’t put your life on hold waiting for the MBA to materialize. That’s not how to make the most of the days you have stretching before you.
Decide to start working towards your next phase NOW. Don’t turn over all the power for how you will be a success to the whims of the adcom.
Be the protagonist of your own life.
The proactive are the ones to whom opportunities come.
Construct your own fate.
Be an advocate for your own happiness.
Make life happen.
Don’t let it simply happen to you.
*Harvard/Stanford/Wharton/Kellogg/MIT in case that needed explaining