tl;dr: Being rejected sucks, and if that’s what’s happened to you this season, we’re sorry. 🙁
Most BSers we work with experience at least some rejection, and the vast majority of them also experience at least one success. That success may not be the admit to their top choice #1 school, but they do their homework and apply to schools they really like, and so once the disappointment wanes, they often find enthusiasm and excitement for the program where they landed. (Or, sometimes, they use that experience to realize that no, they really want to try for School A and B, and they decide to skip the school that admitted them and sit out a year to reapply in the fall.)
If you’re sitting here at the tail end of Round 2 having not gotten in ANYWHERE yet, then that can be awfully discouraging. No, scratch that, it can be outright painful.
The emotions that come up with a rejection are simply awful — especially for the common personality who tries for a top-end MBA. Often, these are the Type-A, highly motivated go-getters, and it may be the first time you haven’t achieved something you set out to do. Getting into a top-shelf MBA program can be more difficult than getting into a very very good university for undergrad (though in some cases, it’s actually harder to break into those schools at the bachelor’s level). Or, for many of you, you didn’t necessarily try for the top-shelf universities for undergrad, which is one reason that now you have realized you really want to go to one of them for your grad program.
So what do you do when you don’t make it in? How do you handle this disappointment? How do you begin to process the letdown — and often, the embarassment and even shame of not getting in? How do you show your face at work — especially if you’re in an environment where lots of your colleagues also have tried for MBAs this season, and maybe many of them managed to get in?
IT CAN BE AWFUL.
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Hopefully for most of you, this post doesn’t apply — you either made it in somewhere, even if not your first choice, or you’re still on the waitlist at some schools that could eventually convert for you.
However, there’s likely to be at least one of you for whom your MBA dreams have been dashed — or it may seem like it, until you move through the process of mourning what wasn’t to be, through which you may uncover other ideas for next steps that you might even be able to execute on in the near term, without waiting for another full season.
Or even if you do: Round 1 will be here before you know it!! It’s likely just two months from now that schools will begin releasing application requirements including essay questions for the Class of 2024. It may be awhile before you warm to that idea. For now, you may be feeling isolated and lonely and like you’re the only one who didn’t make it in. That’s not actually the case. Lots of very good applicants are turned away every year. Even though we recently said that Round 2 was “easier” for some candidates, it was still an INCREDIBLY difficult season.
Being rejected from bschool may seem like a condemnation of character, and it’s hard not to take it personally. It’s only saying that your presentation wasn’t in line with what the schools were able to say “yes” to. It is not a verdict on your qualities, capabilities, strengths, or values as a person.
You may also be interested in:
- The illusion of possibility (wherein we critique modern society’s comparison culture and the damage it does)